OAKLAND, Ca-Neither Kevin Hunter nor Kurt Herr had much musical experience when they met at San Francisco State University and started writing songs together three years ago. In fact, Herr hadn’t played any instrument at all when he took up the guitar and Hunter had played only briefly in a band in Los Angeles before becoming Wire Train’s rhythm guitarist.
But within a year they were rehearsing with a procession of bass players and drummers and in another year they were signed to San Francisco’s 415 Records and cutting an album. “In the beginning it was practically like a race, trying to learn enough so we could express ourselves,” Hunter recalls. “We’re starting to have a little more fun with ideas now.”
The songs on their LP, In A Chamber, are image-laden portraits of contemporary relationships rendered in opaque detail by Hunter, who says he “was force-fed literature as a child.” All the songs – including “Chamber of Hellos”, which became an underground hit before a single was officially released – “tend to deal with the idea that any given situation can be perceived by two different people as having completely different meaning and value,” Hunter declares.
Wire Train’s sound is driven by drummer Federico Gil-Sola and bassist Anders Rundblad, both recent immigrants to America (Gil-Sola from Argentina, Rundblad from Sweden). Hunter doesn’t see his and Herr’s lack of technique as a drawback, though: “By the criteria people use to judge music I don’t think we’re brilliant,” he says, “but I like the noise Wire Train makes.”