Music & Nightlife

With its catalog now streaming, defunct local favorite Noises 10 return for one night

This is the last lineup of the Noises 10, which included Matt Knutsen on guitar, John Licare on Bass, Jonathan Erickson on drums, and frontman Jason Scavone.
This is the last lineup of the Noises 10, which included Matt Knutsen on guitar, John Licare on Bass, Jonathan Erickson on drums, and frontman Jason Scavone. Courtesy of the Noises 10

It’s been more than a decade since Charlotte rock band the Noises 10 sold out the Visulite Theatre on a semi-regular basis.

After two major-label deals and failed brushes with national stardom, the frustrated group called it quits in 2010. But with its back catalog and unreleased material now available on streaming services like Spotify for the first time, the band is reuniting for one night: this Friday, at its old home base.

Supposed big breaks, unfulfilled promises, and shelved recordings — the stories are as old as the recording industry. For every Avett Brothers, there are countless acts that could see the finish line but never quite made it there.

A brief write-up in Billboard in 2006 called the Noises 10 “impossible to ignore,” helping the group to connect with L.A. producer Eric Valentine (Queens of the Stone Age, Taking Back Sunday) and secure a deal with Jive Records.

“There was a two-year period where we recorded close to 20 songs, a lot of them with Eric,” says frontman Jason Scavone, who was joined by fellow West Charlotte grads John Licare (bass) and Jonathan Erickson (drums). “We got signed to Jive and got dropped before it was ever released. It was the exact same scenario when we signed with (Warner Brothers’ affiliate) Roadrunner.”

With the introduction of Napster, iTunes and the like, the music industry was scurrying to play catch-up — and Noises 10 was a casualty of an uncertain era. Although it worked with A-list producers and toured with Brandi Carlile (with whom Scavone recorded a duet), the band was frustrated by the ongoing stops and starts, and eventually called it quits.

“We were really deflated at the end of all that and it was getting to us personally and as a band, and affecting our relationship as friends,” says Scavone, who moved on to a publishing deal and worked with other artists, recording as the Hot Gates briefly and as a solo artist since. “We were friends and we loved making music, but it left a bad taste in our mouths that had nothing to do with us. Now we can revisit everything on a positive note.”

On Friday night, Scavone, Ericskon and Licare also will be joined by former Noises 10 guitarists Dan Hood and Matt Knutsen — with each performing the material they made with the band. That brings Scavone back to what kicked off this renaissance in the first place.

Although Noises 10 released three full-lengths and a couple EPs between 2003 and 2010, you’d be hard-pressed to find those releases online.

“It’s basically like it never existed,” says Scavone, who was prompted by a query from punk legend Patti Smith’s son Jackson Smith. (He’d recorded the Hot Gates album with Scavone.)

“He reached out and said, ‘Are you ever going to put that record out? That was one of the best studio experiences I’ve had and it’d be a shame for you not to do anything with it,’” Scavone recalls. “That spawned talking about other songs that never got released.”

Remastered versions of “It All Belongs,” “There’s an Elephant in the Room” and “The Hammer, The Anvil, The Stirrup” — as well as EPs, bonus tracks and the Hot Gates album “Ride It Out” — are now all available on streaming platforms.

There are no expectations this time around, though.

“Spotify streams — it’s not a big money maker,” Scavone says. “It’s just that we created this for people to hear it, and it’s not had the opportunity to be heard.”