Generation Loss

In Generation Loss, a San Francisco-based punk project, there are four members. There’s Hannah Lew, a fixture in the San Francisco music scene (known for playing in Grass Widow and Cold Beat) is on bass and vocals. Kyle Crawford, of tape label Wizard Mountain, is on guitar and sings. Chad Peterson plays drums. And then there’s the omnipresent “video.” An element of the band that seeps into its performances, releases, and lyrical content.

If you didn’t know already, we at The Bay Bridged like Generation Loss. From singing praise for their self-titled album on local label Cut-Rate Records, to eventually having it be our featured album – it can be said that we really, really like them.

And according to Lew, the band started from a simple desire to have a “neighborhood band.”

“Especially on the onset we didn’t even think we were going to play live because Kyle (Crawford) was like, ‘I just want to warn you, I never wanna play live,'” says Lew recounting the bands beginnings. “And I was like, ‘I’ve been in a band that played live a lot, so I’m just down to write songs.”

But what drew them all together was their unanimous love for video. All have delved into the medium, whether it be working at video stores or making their own creations.

“Mostly at practice we end up talking about religion, aliens, movies, and conspiracy theories – we kind of talk about the same stuff over and over again,” Lew says. “We have a lot of weird stuff in common, including that we all really love movies. I think some of our songs are directly describing the plot of a movie or a scientific theory.”

And this is the case for a slew of songs. “Enter The Void” and “Total Recall” are about the films that precede them. “Alien Decoy” is about the John Carpenter classic They Live. And “Burn” is about the Salem Witch Trials – and lest we forget – the ’90s Bette Midler classic, Hocus Pocus.

Video is even further embedded into the DNA of the band: Take the band name, Generation Loss.

“When an image gets copied, every time it gets copied it loses a generation of quality,” Lew says. “Kyle had made this video piece, and when we were watching it, I was like, ‘Man, that one effect, that’s rad!’ And then he was like, ‘Yeah that’s the generation loss from copy to copy.’ And I knew that was our band name.”

During performances, videos are projected onto the band as they play. Lew explains the effects of video during performances, saying: “It kind of just puts us on the same field as the audience. It just breaks up the normal rock show for the audience and the band. And it’s kind of like everyone in the room is having an experience because that just feels more inspiring. I think the video aspect helps unify everyone in having a cerebral experience.”

And to further the band’s devotion to video, the band will be releasing a VHS album April 29 at a show the band is playing at the Rickshaw Stop with Ty Segall’s surf punk project, The Traditional Fools. The VHS album mirrors the band’s self-titled. The band let their creative juices flow, using mediums such as surveillance cameras and still cameras to get desired effects.

“We want every album we have to have a VHS album with it,” Crawford says. “We want every song to have a video. It’s the other half of the band.”

So, if one can take anything from Generation Loss, take away their devotion to video.

“I think people have read into our band name and have and been like ‘Yeah, it’s about our lost generation,'” Lew says. “But we’re talking about video – we’re talking about quality getting worse and worse. It’s the moment when variables interact to make the original document different. That’s something that we do sonically and visually.”

The Traditional Fools, Bleeding Rainbow, Generation Loss, Life Stinks
The Rickshaw Stop
April 29, 2014
8pm, $10