Rodan in a promotional photo circa 1994.
|Also known as||Truckstop|
|Origin||Louisville, Kentucky, USA|
|Genres||Post-Rock, Post-Hardcore, Math Rock, Noise Rock|
|Years active||1992 - 1995|
|Labels||Quarterstick Records, Three Little Girls, Slamdek, Matador|
|Associated acts||King G & The J Krew, King Kid International, Shipping News, Per Mission, Rachel's, June of 44, Sunspring, Cerebellum, Crain, Substance, Parlour, The For Carnation, The Fleshtones, Was (Not Was), Drinking Woman, Retsin, The King Cobra|
|Website||Rodan via Blue Screen Life|
Rodan was a post-rock/math rock band from Louisville, Kentucky. Active between 1992 and 1995, Rodan was founded as a four-piece quartet with Jason Noble, Tara Jane O'Neil, Jeff Mueller and Kevin Coultas as the longest serving lineup. Their sound evokes elements of post-hardcore, noise rock, math-rock and alternative rock surrounding a post-rock style. Often compared to Louisville contemporaries Slint (Who are credited as progenitors of the post-rock genre), the band adopted a more aggressive expansion on the post-rock genre with their 1994 album Rusty and serve as a legendary act among Louisville bands despite their short-lived tenure.
The band managed to tour the United States on several occasions, perform a John Peel session on Radio 1 BBC and influence a multitude of post-rock, post-hardcore, math-rock and post-metal bands.
Rodan's origins date back to an experimental hip-hop project known as King G & The J Krew, started by Mueller and Noble with Greg King in 1989. They spent two years painstakingly working on a debut album entitled Indestructible Songs Of The Humpback Whale, which was released in 1992. The group started playing live with a more rock-oriented lineup, under the name King Kid International (Jeff and Jason on guitars/vocals, Tara O'Neil on bass, and Jon Cook on drums). Soon after in the summer of 1992, King Kid Intl became Rodan. Cook soon left the band; he was briefly replaced by John Weiss, and finally by Kevin Coultas.
In 1993, Rodan recorded the demo Aviary with twelve tracks. Two songs from this tape were re-recorded and released as How The Winter Was Passed 7-inch on Three Little Girls Recordings, each track featuring a different drummer (Cook and Weiss) as the band performed more shows around the Kentucky area. The next year Rodan would release their only studio album Rusty. Co-produced by Jason Loewenstein, it would be re-recordings of six tracks from Aviary, some re-recorded in Chicago by Robert Weston (Shellac). Never officially signed to any label, Rodan had been actively collaborating with Simple Machines – they appeared on several compilations and played at the label's Working Holiday festival. The band also collaborated with a host of local labels such as Three Little Girls and Slamdek.
The band's members played a fictional musical group Truckstop in the cult road movie Half-Cocked, starring O'Neil as the lead actress who stole a van full of musical equipment and toured, learning songs as they went to survive on the road. Many members of other bands (Polvo, Grifters, Freakwater, Versus, Slant 6, The Make-up), Unwound, Helium, Sleepyhead, Crain, and Ruby Falls among others) within the Louisville and indie scene also appear in the film. Rodan contributed the song "Tron" and Truckstop contributed three original songs to the soundtrack released by Matador Records in 1995.
The band toured the USA twice in 1994 with an appearance on BBC Radio 1 performing a John Peel Session at Maida Vale 5 on 3 June 1994 (Broadcasted 23 July 1994). Coultas would leave the group in 1995 with original drummer Jon Cook replacing him for live shows. Not long after, Rodan would call it quits with many of the members moving on to other projects. Coultas played with Noble in Rachel's, and O'Neil in The Sonora Pine, while Mueller and Noble started Shipping News in late 1996, remaining Noble's main project until 2012. Tara Jane O'Neil would also perform with Drinking Woman, The King Cobra and Retsin along with a successful solo career. Jason Noble died from synovial sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that attacks the body's soft tissue, on 4 August 2012. Jon Cook, the band's original drummer, died in early February 2013 from liver failure.
On 11 June 2013, Quarterstick Records released a Rodan compilation entitled Fifteen Quiet Years. It includes the entire BBC Peel Sessions, Rodan debut single, tracks from Half-Cocked soundtrack, and a few songs previously available on 7-inch compilations on Simple Machines, Compulsiv Music, and Slamdek Records along with a download of a host of live tracks throughout the band's existence. All tracks were remastered by Bob Weston.
On 4 April 2019 a recently unearthed demo recording entitled The Hat Factory 93 would be released, featuring five songs recorded as a demonstration for Rusty with the same recording lineup. This demo was for many years long-lost and is now available with proceeds going as a benefit to Girls Rock Louisville.
- Aviary (Demo) (1993, Self-Released)
- How The Winter Was Passed (1993, Three Little Girls)
- Rusty (Studio Album) (1994, Quarterstick Records)
- Fifteen Quiet Years (Compilation) (2013, Quarterstick)
- The Hat Factory 93 (Demo) (2019, Self-Released)
- The Aftereffects Of Insomnia Volume 2 (Three Little Girls Recordings, 1992) - Shiner (Demo)
- Slamdek Merry Christmas Is For Rockers (Slamdek Records, 1992) - Toothfairy Retribution Manifesto
- The Machines 1990-1993 (Simple Machines Records, 1993) - Darjeeling
- Omphalos (Richie's Lemon-Herb Media, 1993) - Tooth Fairy Retribution Manifesto
- Inclined Plane (Simple Machines, 1993) - Darjeeling
- Working Holiday (Simple Machines, 1994) - Big Things, Little Things
- The Monsters Of Rock II (Simple Machines, 1994) - Tooth Fairy Retribution Manifesto (Live)
- CMJ New Music No. 10 (College Music Journal, May 1994) - Tooth Fairy Retribution Manifesto
- Louisville Babylon (Analog Distillery, 1994) - Who Killed Marilyn?
- Compulsiv For Two 7" (Compulsiv Music 1994) - Shiner
- Half-Cocked (Matador, 1995) - Tron (Plus three songs as Truckstop)
- Slamdek A To Z. The Illustrated History Of Louisville's Slamdek Record Company 1986-1995 (K Composite Media & Initial Records, 1996) - Toothfairy Retribution Manifesto
- Louisville Babylon 1994/2007 (Double Malt Music, 2007) - Who Killed Marlyn?
- Jason Noble - Guitar, Vocals (1992 - 1995) (Died 2012)
- Jeff Mueller - Guitar, Vocals (1992 - 1995)
- Tara Jane O'Neil - Bass, Vocals (1992 - 1995)
- Jon Cook - Drums (1992 - 1993, 1995) (Died 2013)
- John Weiss - Drums (1993)
- Kevin Coultas - Drums (1993 - 1994)
- Wikipedia Page on Half-Cocked
- Pitchfork Review of Fifteen Quiet Years
- Rodan on Discogs
- The Everyday World of Bodies live, shot by Lance Bangs
- Tara Jane O'Neil interview via WestWord
- Rodan Bandcamp
- 25th anniversary tribute via Doodlehound