All too often, even the greatest of bands fall by the wayside in a relatively short period of time; a couple of great albums then comes the creative differences, the in-fighting followed by the inevitable “line-up rotation”. Or worse yet are the groups that slip into mediocrity through a series of sub-par releases ultimately leading to total obscurity and eventually becoming forced to squeak by on past accolades. Few and far between are the bands that despite overwhelming odds remain unified and relevant as the years pass by, that goes double for the punk scene. Strung Out are one of the exceptions to the rule. Not only have they stood the test of time (a few early drummer substitutions aside), with each successive release they’ve managed to grow exponentially in technical proficiency and song writing ability, perpetually raising the bar by building upon the strong foundation of the previous albums.
Jesse Michaels: the man, the myth, the legend. A man? Well, that's a given. The myth? Quite a few surround his whereabouts and doings during hiatuses over the course of his 20 year career. A legend? Most certainly. And while most are quick to remember him as the front man of the widely influential Operation Ivy, Jesse has amassed a healthy body of work with other projects over the years (including Big Rig, Common Rider, and occasional acoustic work). But, to let Jesse tell it, he's always been more of an everyday man than a legend. On a recent tour date with his latest project (Classics of Love) Punknews.org's own journalistic miscreant Dorian "Big D" Wolak found that out firsthand and took the opportunity given to dispel some of the rumors.