The Requiem: Still Willing to Shred Easy Chairs with Lawnmowers. Interview, Photos, Video And the Complete Discography
The Requiem was a fast hardcore punk band with melodic leanings that operated in the hardcore scene of St. Louis from early 2003 until mid 2005. The band's sound was in the same vein as Panic, American Nightmare and/or Bane, wherein fast four-chord riffs give way to mid-tempo breakdowns underneath a passion-filled, screamed vocal delivery.
The Requiem @ Lemp Arts Center - Bassist Kevin Tomorrow and vocalist Chris Kenyon
The earliest incarnation of the band featured Tony LeSeure on vocals -- his previous band had been the hilariously-named and fucking awesome 2 Keys House staple powerviolence group Keanu Reeves Reeveau. A mid-stream lineup change brought in vocalist Chris Kenyon who, coupled with the addition of second guitarist Phil Branch, seemed to bring added focus the already-beloved local band. In it's two years of existence The Requiem released two EPs, the first, In Loving Memory Of..., with Tony and the latter, We Are Not Equals, with Chris, both of which were later released on a discography CD along with demo tracks and unreleased songs on St. Louis' Dark Front Records. The band played it's official last show on June 17, 2005 at the Lemp Arts Center. Following Chris's tragic passing, which involved complications from a seizure just months later in late 2005, The Requiem reunited with Tony for a one-time benefit / memorial show at the Czech Center.
Below: an interview with guitarist John Gierse, a streaming track, photos, video footage from the band's last show, and the complete downloadable 22-song discography.
The DIY punk, hardcore and metal scenes have always existed underground and off-the-radar in St. Louis, operating out of basement venues and VFW halls throughout town and rarely-if-ever striving for mainstream attention. While necessary to conduct business properly, an unfortunate side-effect of the approach is that within a few years of disbanding great musical acts are often seemingly erased from the public consciousness. This could have to do with the fact that there is no "retirement plan" for aging punks -- indeed, the genre is perpetually populated by kids in the 18- to 24-year-old demographic -- or perhaps more to do with the intentionally underground middle-finger-to-the-public-at-large attitude with which the music carries itself. In any case, I've always found this posthumous descent into obscurity to be a shame, and my aim with this weekly blog is to shed some (discreet) light on the actions of the current local scene as well as to document some of the notable bands from our city's past.
Guitarist John Gierse and drummer Mitch Morris
(Interview edited for content and clarity.)
Daniel Hill: So, I'm a terrible interviewer and have no questions prepared. What do you think about that?
John Gierse: I think we'll do fine.
Alright, cool. So, give me some biographicals about the Requiem.
Well, Kevin, Mitch and myself were in a band called Holding Tomorrow, and we were on our last legs and pretty much decided to end it. I think at what turned out to be our final show Chris approached us about just doing a project band, just super fast songs not lasting longer than a minute -- Panic worship. We didn't actually get together for another few months. Chris got super busy tattooing and we talked to our friend Tony whose band xKRRx [Keanu Reeves Reeveau] had just broken up. Basically it just took off from there. We started writing songs, ended up recording a three song demo, and a five song EP. We played out for about a year when Tony decided to leave the band.
Why did he decide to leave?
I think it just got to a point where he wasn't really into it.
That would have been 2003, right?
Original Vocalist Tony LeSeure
Yes. That was right after we traveled across the country to play Che Fest in San Diego. I think he played one last show and then Chris (who originally had the idea for the band) took over on vocals and Phil came in on second guitar.
The rest of the interview and the complete downloadable discography is on the next page.