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Weigh Down



The first line-up consisted of Matthew Thomas on guitar and vocals, Jason Labbe on drums, Rory Derwin on guitar, and Mark Zappone on bass guitar. With Woken by Wire they toured the East Coast in January of 1999 after being together for approximately three weeks. That April they recorded an EP for Garbage Czar Records of which 500 were pressed. Soon after Rory and the band mutually parted ways due to disparate maturity levels. ..The other members admired guitarist Trevor Healy whom they knew through Woken by Wire. Trevor was studying guitar building in Arizona at the time but soon came East to attend Skidmore College and play with The Weigh Down... Mark Zappone abruptly left the band several months later and Adrian Van de Graaff came to his first band practice playing the songs off the EP like he had been practicing them all his life. (Adrian was spared an official audition because it was said that he had invented the Van de Graaff Generator. The band had no idea what function this scientific device performed but found Adrian’s accomplishment impressive beyond any musical ability or lack-there-of.) ..The core line-up of Weigh Down was now together: Matt, Jason, Trevor, Adrian. They released Good People in the Making, their first full-length album, in early 2001 on Meeting & Passing Records. ..Trevor moved to Brooklyn and Jason was soon to follow while Matt and Adrian stayed in the New Haven area. Geographical distance and stylistic confusion led to a transitional period during which they recorded demos of several songs that were soon abandoned. During this period Matt had begun writing a solo record of narratively linked songs. While on tour during the summer of 2002 the band found themselves in total creative crisis: they simply did not like their style and resented the commonly misapplied “math rock” label... After a decent show in Omaha, Nebraska Matt relented and gave the songs he had written for himself to The Weigh Down. They decided to drop the “The” from their name and immediately the whole enterprise took on a more imperative mood. Matt’s songs and a somewhat happy rehearsal situation in Williamsburg’s Sound City facility (sharing a space with The Double) gave the band focus and officially shifted their locale from New Haven to New York. Matt’s well-developed and cohesive songs were exciting. Weigh Down worked on this material for the next two years and the song-building process became increasingly collaborative. ..Looking to add new tones and textures they took keyboardist Emily Lee in late 2003. The music sounded its best and the band was for the most part smooth-operating. But in the early months of 2004 it became understood—though mostly unspoken—that Weigh Down had nearly run its course. They played live for the last time in March 2004. They set up camp in Mitch Rackin’s Tone Float Studio in Chinatown and began recording Welcome to the Family Zoo in April. ..Weigh Down worked on the record through 2004 (into 2005, actually) and it was released on New Haven's Safety Meeting records in 2007. It’s hard to say that the band “broke up,” as there was no real rupture, either personal or creative. Interests in other projects grew in unison with a feeling of exhaustion. In the second half of 2007 and the first half of 2008, Weigh Down played semi-regular shows in New Haven and New York City (with Brad Amorosino from Titles filling in for Trevor) to support the "new" record..... (The) Weigh Down toured in an ’85 Dodge van affectionately called Chocolate.