The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 08, 1996, Page 13, Image 13

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    Westward tobri
By Ann Stack
Senior Reporter
Christopher Hall’s window on the world
really isn't as stained as it appears to be at
first glance.
Hall, the lead singer and principle
songwriter of the rock band Stabbing West
ward, is known for his raw, painfully honest
lyrics on relationships gone bad and trust
Stabbing Westward will bring that angst
to the Ranch Bowl in Omaha Saturday night
in support of its second album, “Wither, Blis
ter, Bum + Peel.”
Hall formed the Chicago-based band 11
years ago with keyboardist Walter Flakus.
Hie two met at a summer music camp in high
school, fighting over a girl. They both lost
the girl, but found a future in music together.
The pair went to Western Dlinois University,
where they studied music and evolved as a
“At first it was just us, a drum machine,
keyboards and a four-track,” Hall said. “We
were really into The Cure and Depeche Mode
—that music sort of lent itself to keyboards.
Hence the industrial — although I hate that
word—and electronic side of the band.”
Influences and electronics aside, Stabbing
Westward is a rock band, first and foremost.
“We write our songs on guitar and add
keyboards. We don’t want to be another Pearl
Jam or Nirvana,” he said. “I think we make
an innovative rock band, but a piss-poor in
dustrial band.”
Whatever the case, thanks to heavy air
play and videos on MTV, Stabbing Westward
has finally achieved some of the success it
deserves. The band also managed to miss the
fabled sophomore stump —die album has
sold more than half a million copies since its
January 1996release, and the current single
“Shame” is in the Top 10 on Billboard’s
Mainstream Rode Tracks.
It even had the somewhat dubious honor
ofdoingil opening dates for arena-rock gods
Kiss while out on their reunion tour.
“That was pretty overwhelming, the huge
ness of the spectacle,” Hall said. “The crowds
received us well, but after the first night we
realized this was a Kiss audience—we had
to put (m a big rock show instead of being
II we re playing ior our own auiucuuc,
we can let the show be more subtly emotional,
more what the songs are about,” he said. “The
songs are intensely personal.”
In that statement lies the crux of what
separates Stabbing Westward from other rock
bands around—its ability to reach an audi
ence through lyrics that hit so close to home
for so many people. Take the current single,
“I stare in this mirror, so tired of this life/
If only you would speak to me, or care that
I’m alive/Once I swore I would die for you,
but I never meant it like this.”
“Anyone who’s been through the ringer
can understand,” Hall said. “But it (writing
the album) didn’t really make me feel any
better. At the end of the day, she’s still not
The doors open at 5:30 pjn., with the
show starting at 6. Opening bands are Ash
and Drill, and tickets are $ 10 in advance, and
$12 at the door.
I 'Antiques'Floral’Gifts*' &j
• Primitive & Country Art* M
Stop in and see our tm
unique gift lines including.. l|
Gourmet Foods, Candles, J
Books, Stationery jj|
and much more. K
,»^E*%- I
, The Historic Haymarket
100 N; 8th St ■ Armour Bldg.
Lincoln. NE-<402 476-1911
Photo courtesy of Columbia Records
THE MEMBERS of Stabbing Westward are, from left, Walter Flakus, Christopher Hall,
Jim Sellers, Andy Kubiszewski, and Mark Eliopulos.