April 21, 1992 • I’m in Oklahoma City with three of my closest friends. We have the Beastie Boys “Check Your Head” cassette out of its wrapper and it’s just hit the deck. Jimmy James start. Through artificially enhanced smiles, we all look at each other and know that everything has changed. No, really, it was a moment where the whole world felt different. Can an album change the world? It felt like it. We already loved and listened to Paul’s Boutique on repeat, but it was muddy and didn’t move around much sonically. While Check Your Head was certainly dynamic, with full instrumentation, cut grooves, and soulful rapping not short of memorable sampling, we didn’t expect a devolution to their hardcore roots. When the album was finished we made up our minds. We talked it over and decided we needed to be a band. That was how Staunch was formed. That was before things got bad, but for a second, everything was open, bright, a future laid before us and the band was the car. We wrecked eventually of course. The starter fell out, whatever metaphor is applicable, either way, it ended, and a new band formed in it’s early demise. Sad really, but time moves on. For a second though, everything was halcyon and pure, thanks to the Beastie Boys.
FFO Tribe Called Quest, EATER, Willie Bobo