The Descendents' Bill Stevenson on the Lemonheads, Rise Against and More

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Bill Stevenson, who's readying for a December 7 gig with the Lemonheads at the Gothic Theatre (see this Now Hear This item for more details), isn't a man who likes to sit around doing nothing. He's the anchor of the Descendents, All and a third band, Only Crime, in addition to being a de facto Lemonhead. Stevenson produced and co-wrote several songs on the act's latest disc, 2006's The Lemonheads, and he and Descendents/All bassist Karl Alvarez are backing main 'Head Evan Dando on the outfit's current tour. In addition, Stevenson is an owner of Blasting Room Studios, a Fort Collins facility that enjoys a growing national reputation among rock and punk acts. During a conversation with Westword, Stevenson shared details of upcoming projects and provided an update about Alvarez, who suffered a heart attack this past summer.

According to Stevenson, he was on tour in Canada with Only Crime when he got a call about Alvarez's health issues. Fortunately, he says, "It doesn't seem to be, like, a severe thing. They did all the blood work and testing and so forth, and there doesn't seem to be a major problem that they can put their finger on." Alvarez's doctors have told him to take it easier -- something that's not so simple for a player who must keep up with Stevenson's ferocious pounding. Still, "it didn't debilitate him or anything," Stevenson continues. "I haven't noticed any change in him. He seems to be feeling fine."

In the meantime, Stevenson and his studio partner, Jason Livermore, are finishing up the latest recording by No Use For a Name -- check out this video of the band on the road to Colorado --and are about to start pre-production on a pair of new discs. In late January, they're set to work with Useless I.D., a band from an unlikely locale -- Israel. "They're really, really good," Stevenson enthuses. "They play perfectly. It's crazy." Shortly thereafter, in early spring, the men of Rise Against return to the Blasting Room, where they cut 2006's The Sufferer & the Witness, which proved to be the band's commercial breakthrough. The Geffen Records release reached the top ten on the Billboard sales charts and earned radio airplay for several songs, including "Ready to Fall" and "Prayer of the Refugee." Stevenson and the band are already in the early stages of pre-production, with actual recording expected to take place in April.

It's sure to be a blast. -- Michael Roberts


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