Faction Biography

Review The Artist (2)

Source: http://www.thefaction.net/Band/band.htm
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The Faction was off to a scrappy start at the Caballero Villa on Halloween Day, 1982. Encouraged by bands he saw at the famed Briner Hall in downtown Campbell, California, (a San Jose suburb), Stevie was learning to play bass guitar and had been having loose rehearsals with various ex-Winchester Skate Park refugees who were now locals of his backyard vert ramp. His original efforts went under various names like Xerox and Abandoned Children. But it was this Halloween when the Faction got its start by playing 'Spineless Majority' with the following line-up;
Steve Caballero - bass guitar
Gavin O'Brien - vocals
Craig Bosch - drums
Russ Wright - guitar

Russell had just purchased a Japanese set-up and was practicing constantly. Gavin was always over-opinionated, and sang along to The Germs and The Adolescents daily. Craig was pounding his drums at his parents’ house for over a year, and showed early on what he was capable of, but after that first practice Craig left the band to play with The Unaware, one of San Jose's original punk bands. Adam 'Bomb' Segal took Craig's place on drums as well as becoming the defacto manager. Daily practices ensued while the skating raged in the backyard with this line up;
Steve Caballero - bass guitar
Gavin O'Brien - vocals
Russ Wright - guitar
Adam 'Bomb' Segal - drums

The new line-up was the first to play a public gig, supporting Social Distortion at San Jose City College, on the two-year anniversary of Darby Crash's death, December 3rd, 1982.

More songs were written and added to The Faction's growing set list, (Room 101, Intrepid Souls, Fast Food Diet), and gigs at San Francisco's Mabuhay Gardens and On Broadway, where the band members spent a great deal of their time anyway, followed. Adam moved from drums to guitar and the new kid no one knew, Keith Rendon, joined in on drums. After that first practice with Keith, Gavin's then girlfriend left him for the new drummer! Practice was also moved from the spacious Caballero Villa, to the Segal residence in south San Jose. The next line up looked a little something like this;

Steve Caballero - bass guitar
Gavin O'Brien - vocals
Russ Wright - guitar
Adam 'Bomb' Segal - guitar
Keith Rendon - drums

Then out of nowhere Russ freaked out and left the band for the greener pastures of high school in Chico, California.

The band was less than six months old when it accomplished what no other San Jose punk band had been able to do: they released vinyl in the form of the 'Yesterday Is Gone' 7" e.p. Recorded at Tom Mallin Studios in San Francisco, Yesterday Is Gone was typical of a rushed, DIY hardcore/punk offering of the early '80's. It was this session that also produced two songs for a forthcoming compilation cassette from Thrasher Magazine, 'Skate Rock'.

Local resentment in the San Jose scene directed at The Faction was growing at this time. Non-skaters, English punks, and people who resented the band's notoriety that they felt was due to Stevie's popularity in skateboarding did not like the fact that The Faction were first with vinyl in the little scene. The band was nearly ready to accept their status as also-rans until embarking on a California tour in the summer of '83, where enthusiastic crowds from Fresno to Los Angeles met them. It was that short tour that encouraged an ambitious plan of attack that included a full-length album, and a full-scale tour of the USA. And for the duration, there were no illusions that any kind of monetary success would ever come from the band. It was all being done 'just because'.

That first national tour the following summer was in support of 'No Hidden Messages', the band's first 10 song independently released l.p. Adam, as head of his own label, I.M. Records, produced the single as well as the album, and booked the entire tour on his own which was a huge success.

While flying to Japan for a skateboard contest, Stevie was inspired by the dual guitar tracks on the Adolescents first album that he played over and over during his long flights on his Walkman. When he returned, he recruited Ray Stevens from the recently disbanded Los Olvidados to play bass for The Faction so he could make the move to rhythm guitar. At the time, Ray was seen as somewhat of a legend in the eyes of the band. His previous band were the kings of the Bay Area punk scene even though they never put a record out. Ray joining The Faction added a new dimension to the band's songwriting capabilities, and lent some much needed credibility in the eyes of the Bay Area scene. The line up now looked like this;

Steve Caballero - rhythm guitar
Gavin O'Brien - vocals
Adam Bomb - guitar
Keith Rendon - drums
Ray Stevens - bass

In September of 1984, shortly after recording the 'Corpse In Disguise 7" e.p., the Faction were asked to come to Lincoln, Nebraska to play one set in conjunction with the Thrasher Magazine 'Midwest Melee' pro skateboarding contest. Stevie would already be there competing, so the rest of the band piled into their fabled Vandura, left San Jose on a Friday night and arrived late Saturday Night in Nebraska. Four songs into their set, the Lincoln cops raided the show and shut it down. After showers, the band was immediately back in their van in the wee hours of Sunday morning in an attempt to get Keith back to San Jose Monday morning for his job at an auto tire shop, no sleep, no time to think. When the band arrived back in the Bay Area that Monday morning, Keith discovered he didn't have to work after all, rendering all that driving on no sleep for naught.

Now, you have to remember that back then, there was no money to be had playing in a punk band. There was no radio play, no record deals, and no video exposure. Realizing this, it was Keith's turn to freak out and leave the band to concentrate on his knowledge of the tire industry.

With The Unaware now disbanded, original drummer Craig Bosch was annexed back into the fold. His enthusiasm and technical ability had grown leaps and bounds since that first practice. The line up changed again;

Steve Caballero - rhythm guitar
Gavin O'Brien - vocals
Adam Bomb - guitar
Ray Stevens - bass
Craig Bosch - drums

Other records and compilation offerings were issued over the next couple of years, (see the Discography section), and a second US Tour took place during the summer of 1985 before the band played their last show, supporting Husker Du in Palo Alto, California. The split officially came nine days later on Halloween Night, 1985, at a party in San Jose. Personality conflicts were to blame, (can you believe that?), and the band members went their separate ways.

In 1989, for reasons no one seems to recall, The Faction reformed and played two sold out gigs at The Cactus Club in their hometown. The first show saw 300 people turned away at the door after over twice that were crammed into the new club. Not bad for a band that wasn't topping the popularity charts in their own scene a scant four years prior. They went with the last working line up, with the exception of Adam on guitar. Filling in for him was another pro skateboarder who had recently moved to San Jose, Jeff Kendall.

Steve Caballero - guitar
Gavin O'Brien - vocals
Ray Stevens - bass
Craig Bosch - drums
Jeff Kendall - guitar

A four song demo tape was recorded, with a few of the songs released to compilations, one of which titled 'Accelerate', which will be included in a forthcoming movie about Mark 'Gator' Rogowski. This reunion didn't last more than a few months, and it was back to normal life for the band.

Throughout the '90's, Stevie and Ray hounded Gavin to reform the band. They said they wouldn't do it without the singer. Gavin refused without fail. Then in 2000, the band that really inspired The Faction more than any other, local heroes Los Olvidados, played an action packed set at the famed Bottom Of The Hill in San Francisco to a club full of old scenesters from The Bay Area. That show prompted a telephone conversation between Los O's Mike Fox and Gavin that lasted nearly an hour. Gavin pushed for Los Olvidados to take over the world, but Mike pushed for Gavin to agree to a Faction reunion. Three days later, Gavin called Stevie and it was on. Ray was back in an hour later, but with Bosch no longer living in SJ who would play drums? Fate played a hand in the band finding the long lost Keith Rendon who rode motocross with Stevie on weekends. Keith was frothing at the mouth when offered to return even though he hadn't played drums in 15 years. To fill out the guitar sound, Mike Fox suggested bring back original guitarist, Russ Wright, who had his own red-hot Bay Area band The Demonics. Russ agreed.

Steve Caballero - rhythm guitar
Gavin O'Brien - vocals
Russ Wright - guitar
Keith Rendon - drums
Ray Stevens - bass

The closest to original line up was together again with the aim of doing one blockbuster gig at San Jose's Usual Nightclub. The 'San Jose Legends Show', as the club and promoter Zero Magazine billed it, featured three of the first SJ punk bands that were considered ground layers in the local scene, plus opening powerhouse The Forgotten! Ribzy was the first legends group, followed by Los Olvidados, with The Faction headlining. The show sold out over a week prior to the date, and was very well received by the sold out crowd. There were even two guys who drove all the way from New Jersey to see The Faction that night, dwarfing the previous sheer insane distance for one show that The Faction had committed going to Lincoln, Nebraska in '84!

Spurred by the reception they received from the local media and crowd that night, the band agreed to have a go at it for real. Since then they have killed it in The Bay Area a few times, in Seattle, Washington, and Munster, Germany where they played their first show outside the USA in front of over a thousand people. A new full length CD is being recorded as this is penned, as well a quick return to Germany in the summer of 2002. Stay tuned!

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I HAVE RECORDING OF "PUPPY FEAST" BY THE UNAWARE WITH CRAIG BOSCH ON DRUMS | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/16/12

I HAVE A STUDIO RECORDING OF "PUPPY FEAST" BY THE UNAWARE AT GRANNYS STUDIO IN CAMPBELL, CA. & CRAIG BOSCH IS ON DRUMS I THINK...
I AM RICHARD BEET OF "THE RETORTS" & WE HAD "ANDY AVERAGE" ON VOCALS & WENDY BEARSCHILD ON BASS & CHRIS SLAGEL ON GUITAR... WE PLAYED MABUHAY GARDENS A COUPLE TIMES..

I'm Trying to contact Adam "Bomb" Segal | Reviewer: A. Consumer | 9/27/07

I had some questions for you regarding an LP you did on IM Records. Please email me back so I can send you my question. I'm unsure if its you or a bootleg.


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