by Kimberly E. McDaniel
Enon in Maximum Ink on April 2008
The name Enon has the Biblical meaning of “cloud” or “mass of darkness.” Now it also refers to a quirky trio situated in Philadelphia, although the band has been known as part of the New York music scene. Enon was formed by guitarist/vocalist John Schmersal in 1999, and was named not for its Biblical connotation, but for a small town in Ohio, near Schmersal’s hometown of Dayton.
Schmersal was originally part of the legendary 90’s experimental band, Brainiac, with Rick Lee and Steve Calhoun. When singer Timmy Taylor died, Schmersal formed Enon with Lee and Calhoun. After the release of their first album in 1999, Believo!, Calhoun left the band and was replaced by Toko Yasuda on bass and Matt Schultz on drums. Lee followed Calhoun and left in 2002. The band has continued to make their unique sound heard by touring and releasing their fourth studio album, “Grass Geysers…Carbon Clouds” through Chicago-based Touch and Go Records.
The band is usually referred to as experimental, or the ever-popular “indie,” which doesn’t seem to phase Schmersal. He seems to understand that people are comfortable with labeling music in order to better identify it, and he doesn’t deny any of the labels associated with the band. “To please the most broad-ranging audience,” he said. “I would probably categorize us as modern rock.”
Schmersal says that while he would love to work with Kim Fowley someday and is influenced by all kinds of music. He describes the band has having very eclectic tastes, however he says, “There is nothing under the sun which isn’t an influence. I generally don’t listen to music while I am making music, but we are influenced by everything.”
Even given the amount of touring Enon has done, Schmersal has no unusual stories of fans gone wild. He always wanted to be a musician and played in bands while in high school. Schmersal says, “I just always wanted it. I was in bands and just kept playing more and more. I don’t think I am supposed to do anything else!”
Schmersal, like many musicians, sees the future of music as going down the digital highway. The Internet has become the major supplier of music, old and new, to the masses and he believes that this digital revolution will only get bigger. He says, “Music is totally going digital. Certain fans will still buy CD’s or vinyl, but there are so many bands out there and it’s easier to funnel all that music through the Internet. I am curious to see what happens in the near future.”
Curiously, Schmersal has no big scheme for world domination. One assumes that he hopes to still be making music in the future, but he says he can’t say what he will be doing in five years. “I don’t look into the future,” he says, “When I was younger, I couldn’t see myself in my twenties. I thought I’d be dead!”
Fans can go see Enon for themselves, in the Madison area on April 20 at The Annex and in the Chicago area on April 26 at The Empty Bottle.(4971) Page Views Enon Online:
CD: Grass Geysers...Carbon Clouds Record Label: Touch & Go
• Purchase Grass Geysers...Carbon Clouds on Amazon
• Download Grass Geysers...Carbon Clouds on Amazon