4 to Watch: Abandoned Pools

Emerging from the Darkness

Music Features Abandoned Pools
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Hometown: Los Angeles
Members [l-r]: Tommy Walter (bass, vocals); Bryan Head (drums); Sean Woolstenhulme (guitar)
Fun fact: Walter once taught music theory at the University of California, focusing on 12-tone modal composers like Stravinsky and Schoenberg
Why they’re worth watching: The new album follows hot on the heels of Humanistic, Abandoned Pools’ 2001 debut and its flagship alterna-chart hit “The Remedy.”
For fans of: eels, The Verve, Catherine Wheel, even Björk (whose “Army Of Me” the Pools updated on their recent Reverb EP).

With the exception of a few angry political numbers (“Lethal Killers” and the title track), Abandoned Pools’ Armed To The Teeth revolves around Tommy Walter’s breakup with his girlfriend and the ensuing depressed breakdown.

His significant other, he explains, “wasn’t really happy with her job in L.A. and she moved, and I didn’t really step up and say ‘Alright, let’s move in together, let’s do this.’ But the timing was a bit difficult. What happened after the first record came out was, the record label folded, my career kind of spiraled and there were some very dark times. I spent a lot of time just trying to pull myself back up and make it happen again, and there were times when I felt like not doing it anymore. So it was difficult for me, difficult for her, too.”

Walter should’ve been steeped in such gravity. As a founding member of the eels, he worked next to one of the most melancholy men in rock, Mark “E” Everett. “I have to credit E with launching me,” grins Walter.

“I remember at one eels show, E was shushing the audience, and I said to him ‘Y’know, I don’t think you should shush your audience, because they’re just there to drink while we’re doing our show.’ And he got really offended and said ‘Well, why don’t you try it.’ And I said, ‘Alright, I guess I will go try it, go start my own band and sing.’ And now here we are!”

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