Archers of Loaf exploded out of the Chapel Hill, NC DIY music scene almost immediately after their first single, “South Carolina,” arrived in 1992. But it was their first record, Icky Mettle, that set the bar: singer Eric Bachmann’s gritty vocals, the band’s lo-fi, math-y noise predicted the trajectory of indie rock in the ‘90s.
Since their break-up in 1998 (in its initial run, the band only existed for seven years–1991 to 1998), Bachmann has pursued a series of solo projects under the monikers Barry Black, Crooked Fingers, and under his own name. In 2011, Archers of Loaf reunited, and in October 2022, will release their first record 24 years: Reason in Decline.
Below, Bachmann tells CREEM all about getting the band back together, those early Chapel Hill days, and, well, drugs.
CREEM: I have to start with a personal anecdote–I first met you at the Record Exchange [a long-gone Chapel Hill record store] in 1993. I remember thinking, “This guy has no interest in any pretentious rockstar vibes.”
ERIC BACHMANN: In hindsight, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I almost feel like some of that ego is healthy and I didn’t have any of it. I wish I’d been a little more in tune with that [confidence,] because I think it benefits your business, if you can market yourself a bit better.
Did you need that? The Chapel Hill scene was such an organic movement to get swept up into…
It was you’re right…but when you look at the way the world is, in reality, the music business is gross. Bob Dylan is awesome, but he’s lying [about his origins to live up to a certain mythology.] I mean I love him…he’s the best songwriter ever but, like Joni Mitchell says, he’s really more of an actor.