Kansas City native Jason “Captain Blackie” Blackmore has been playing guitar and singing in San Diego for over 11 years now, but before the Turf Club doorman began blowing the roof off of local venues with projects such as Sirhan Sirhan, Rats Eyes, and Otro, Blackmore was fronting the band Molly McGuire, which, alongside fellow “big melodic noise” outfits Season to Risk and Shiner, was a staple of the mid-’90s Kansas City sound.
Garnering attention from several major labels and sharing the stage with bands such as Tool, Hum, and the Melvins, Molly McGuire disbanded in 1998, not long after the release of their second full-length album Lime (Epic Records, 1996), due to conflicts with the label. Now, with band members spread across Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Kansas, Molly McGuire is reuniting to play Middle of the Map Fest (April 5–7) in Kansas City.
“These are guys I haven’t jammed with for years, and there’s this really positive vibe,” says Blackmore. “Everybody is more than enthusiastic about it.”
After tossing around set ideas with guitarist Scott McMillian, the two had the idea of recording their unreleased material.
“There was so much material that was never properly recorded and released,” says Blackmore. “About ten years ago I compiled a tape of 23 songs that were never released, so we’re trying to pick a strong ten from that batch. Songs we feel never got a fair shake.”
Blackmore says the new album title, Cursed, is a nod to Molly McGuire’s past.
“It’s about the whole major label machine that chewed us up and spit us out and pretty much ended Molly McGuire,” says Blackmore. “Now it feels like back when we started. We’re in it for the right reasons. So, we’re trying to find a way to do it, financially.”
Molly McGuire hopes to raise $5500 before February 3 via online donations on Kickstarter. The band will be pressing 300 to 500 colored vinyl records as donor incentives as well as digital downloads, signed seven-inches, T-shirts, Polaroids from recording sessions, autographed drawings by Blackmore, and, for top donors, an autographed pair of drummer Jason Gerken’s underwear.
For a shot at Jason’s skivvies, Google “Molly McGuire Kickstarter.”