Conor Oberst - guitar, vocals
Ben Armstrong - drums
Robb Nansel - guitar
Todd Baechle - bass
COMMANDER VENUS is the band that spawned BRIGHT EYES, CURSIVE and THE FAINT
Conor Oberst-- then 17, and in 11th grade -- and his bandmates Ben Armstrong, Todd Baechle (who founded THE FAINT), Robb Nansel (guitar, who now runs Saddle Creek Records), and Tim Kasher (of CURSIVE fame – left right before recording TUV) released 'The Uneventful Vacation,' a collection of high-pitched odes to growing up young, sad and disinterested in 1998. We always knew that the raw and unrefined elements of COMMANDER VENUS would grow into something special. 'The Uneventful Vacation' is considered a seminal EMO record.
The key to COMMANDER VENUS lies in the powerful passion of Conor's lyrics, which belie his age and sound as though they were penned by a road-weary rock veteran, not a junior in high school. Listening to "We'll Always Have Paris" or "The Role of the Hero in Antiquity" will leave you deeply touched and mildly curious about the source of his insight. "We'll Always Have Paris" is a standard love song. "It's an expression I always heard and liked- I think it's from Casablanca." Some how Conor knows now what we wished we knew then. The emotions within 'The Uneventful Vacation' span from apathy and heartbreak to bittersweet memories and full-bore rage. COMMANDER VENUS explores the period in all our lives when the future looked ever-brighter just as the looming reality of life threatened to crash the party.
NOW - BRIGHT EYES is an ever-changing entity. It's only constant is singer/songwriter Conor Oberst whose lyrical and musical ability continue to amaze us. BRIGHT EYES has 3 records available through Saddle Creek, all highly recommended. THE FAINT is all the rage today, described as a new wave breakthrough mixing punkrock and technology. And CURSIVE are simply phenomenal, giving life back to a stale and breathless scene called "EMO."