Saturday, December 24, 2005

Volcano Suns Rumbling...


After almost 15 years, Volcano Suns rise again

''I was never that hot on reunions, believe it or not," says Peter Prescott, smiling puckishly at the irony of his remark.

The 40-something indie-rock veteran has, after all, spent the better part of the last four years drumming for the reconstituted yet still fearsome postpunk legend Mission of Burma. And now, after a nearly 15-year layoff (save for a one-off gig a few years back), he's getting ready to commandeer his post-Burma band, the Volcano Suns, for reunion shows at the Middle East Upstairs on Thursday, and then at Maxwell's in Hoboken, N.J., Dec. 30 as part of indie-rock combo Yo La Tengo's annual eight-night Hanukkah residency.

The funny thing is, the reunited Burma's now been together longer than they were the first time around, and Prescott is in better playing shape than he's been in a decade.

''If you're going to do a thing like this, you've got to do it well -- especially when you're regurgitating something old, you don't ever want to do it in a shabby way," he says. At the time of our interview, Prescott and his returning Suns bandmates -- guitarist David Kleiler, who now lives in Los Angeles, and bassist Bob Weston, who resides in Chicago -- haven't had a chance to rehearse together, but they've all been practicing separately.

''For the past month, I've been re-absorbing everything from the old records. The main concern for me" -- Prescott laughs -- ''is that I have to sing a lot more with the Suns, so that'll be a challenge."

The possibility of a Volcano Suns reunion (the band broke up in 1991) had been kicked around for years, but nothing came of it until Yo La Tengo singer-guitarist leader Ira Kaplan got in touch. ''This is the fourth year we've played all eight nights of Hanukkah [at Maxwell's], and we've tried to make the shows as spectacular as we can," says Kaplan. ''In spring of this year, we thought about the Volcano Suns. We were always fans of theirs, and equally important to us, we're friendly with Bob, David, and Peter."


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