Hello fans. A lot of excitement around the band as we barrel through winter 2015. The re-release of Weirdo will begin happening in late February/early March; and we will be headed to SXSW and playing several shows in the Midwest and Southeast this spring. Check out the tour page on this site! Below is a primer on the Weirdo re-release as written by our manager Doug Rasmussen. Enjoy and see you at the shows!

–Mike, Dan, Sean, and Tigger

As the release of the Weirdo reissue approaches, the fan/manager in me wrote a few thoughts down I would like to share with y’all. Yes I am pumped and you should be too. Enjoy (Doug Rasmussen).

It wasn’t under the light of Endicott Johnson, but the light of the Capitol Dome in Downtown Madison Wisconsin on April 30 1994 that shone with its usual imposing hue through the fog and upon the unsuspecting patrons entering the music club known as The Chamber. My group of two arrived early to get a table and sit down with a pitcher of beer (remember those?), and to get ourselves primed for singer-songwriter Freedy Johnston who was touring on the heels of critical acclaim and was recording in Madison at Smart Studios.

20-years plus since that spring night in Madison and what can one say–the memory of a weirdo still burns as primal and omnipresent as it does today–so much so I remember the date and month of the show like it was my mother’s birthday. We came to see a pop-singer songwriter, we left having seen something just flat out fucking intense and unbelievable.

To us upper-Midwesterner college students at the time Athens GA meant riding in a Chrysler as big as a whale or losing our religion (two things as suburban children of the 70s/80s we had already done)—not losing our collective minds during a rock show. Who the hell was this angry man interrupting my idle table chatter by yelling at the top of his lungs for us to shut the f**k up and stop talking—and then screaming as he belted out lyrics about a phone call from the all night diner in his mind— standing on the stage, alone, in front of the mic, strumming his guitar, looking well–weird (and crazy). Uncomfortably obsessed (stunned?) we all watched with awe–sucked in like watching a car crash–and then we rocked–hard. I think we saw Freedy later (can’t really remember)–and then we immediately went back to our respective dorm room/flat/whatever in a daze and promptly bought the Weirdo album from B-Side records in downtown Madison the very next day.

Fast forward to 2015 and the same band is still going strong, with the same lineup that blew us away on that Weirdo tour, and re-releasing the record that made us all do a double take and look at this intense fiery rock band from Georgia some 20 years ago. What have we learned in 20-years? We have learned that great rock bands like Five Eight continually find a way to reinvent themselves, create new material and energy, and in so doing remain as relevant now (even more so in this era of overly ironic mustache indie hipster drudgery) as they were then. We have also learned that great rock bands and great records sometimes need to be heard again under a different light (not the capitol dome light), in a different era, a different time—to be reaffirmed and appreciated.

Remixed and remastered from the original tapes by Athens GA wizard/original producer David Barbe, the new Weirdo isn’t so much a look back as it is a look from the present and a look into the band’s future. While the members of Five Eight are in the late 40s and early 50s, their intensity live and creativity in songwriting is as strong as it ever was, and the remaster has done an excellent job of lifting Mike’s guitar/voice, Sean’s guitar, Tigger’s drums, and Dan’s bass enough out of the 1990’s fuzz of the original mix to provide a sense of sonic clarity that replicates the band’s current live sound and focused intense direction. Listening to the remix isn’t so much 1994—its actually more like 2014 or 2015—its an update—its 20 years of strength and longevity, of rocking one’s ass off until you drop, of never quitting, of getting better as musicians and as a band, of lifting the emotional needs and scars of the past, of nurturing the needs of long-time and future fans of one of the greatest pure live rock bands to ever grace the American club scene.

The songs are the same and there are some great reissues included that were inexplicably left off the original record (The Only One for example), but the songs are different too. The remixes are loaded with new energy, new passion, and a new sense of longing for what remains real (20-years later) about heartache, disaffection, emotional disconnectivity, suicidal tendencies, being hurt, and being a WEIRDO.

Is everybody ready to rock….?

-Doug Rasmussen

As we wind up the band’s 25th year we could not be more excited about the future. The Weirdo Remix will be released on Chicken Ranch Records (Austin TX) in 2015 featuring 5 previously un-released tracks and a mix that truly enhances and improves the sound of the original record. Look for it on vinyl and digitally.

We have also been working on our new record and the studio work is mostly complete and we could not be happier with the new material. Look for that in 2015 as well.

In the meantime check out the tour page for newly confirmed shows–with more coming. We will be making it to SXSW this year–and we are looking to add a Nashville TN show April 10th.

Thanks for your continued unwavering support and happy holidays to our fans!

–Mike, Dan, Tigger, Sean

Oct 13 2014

Studio and Stage

In the midst of all the excitement surrounding the Weirdo remix–we had to book some live shows. Why? The remixed record sounds like Five Eight live. And what better way to amp up the fans and finish the year strong than by blowing minds and having fun both in the studio and on the stage.

See you on the road 11/14 at the World Famous in Athens GA and 11/22 at the Atlantic in Gainesville FL.

–Mike, Dan, Tigger, Sean

Jun 19 2014

Athfest Weekend!!

This is just a Shameless plug for what I love to do.
I’m kind of just a kid pic posting lurker; I do try and like things from time to time. I do see all the invites from my friend’s shows but I rarely go, lately I have been particularly lame. It’s pretty awesome how many folks are doing the things they love! It would being even better if I got my butt off the couch and saw them. I don’t usually say how grateful I am to live in Athens, but I do love it!! And this weekend it’s just a great time to live here you can see so much music. There is just so many great people playing music all over town. I am very excited to be playing on the main stage Sunday afternoon sandwiched between some of my favorite friends and bands. Mike Rizzi my good friend & old drummer will be on stage with Ed Rollins of Collective Soul right before playing in The Sweet Tea Project, and Jack Logan will be joining us mid-stream to play a few of my favorites from his enormously prolific catalog and two new songs that he’s written with Five Eight!!! After us Radiolucent and Drivin’ N Cryin and so many before and after like Timi Conley & Friends,& Don Chambers playing on the Hull street stage. Sunday will be a great time. We are playing three shows this weekend and they are going to be intense. First is the always uncomfortable and strangely, “like you’re playing in a dream” Its Friday Concert at WUGA broadcasting at 3:00pm. Then Saturday we play Eddies Attic for an early show; this performance is part of the Amplify Decatur weekend to celebrate Decatur Cooperative Ministry and their great work helping families avoid homelessness in Decatur and DeKalb Counties. And finally Sunday at 4:30, Athfest!!! this show is for the folks who I want to see the band that usually can’t Like Maggie and Dylan. — mm

Apr 16 2014

New Album Preview

Fans: As many of you know we have been busy at work in the studio. Here is a song for you from those sessions–The Hollow. Enjoy!!