A band apart
Reuniting Mister Metaphor: easier than French
Sacramento, CA 95814
When revisiting something after a long absence, whatever it may be, it’s only natural to have mixed feelings. Time has a way of changing things, for better or worse. In the case of Justin Goings, drummer for popular but now-defunct local act Mister Metaphor, who just reunited, the feeling is like he never stopped playing with his old band—yet at the same time, somehow, things seem different and new.
Mister Metaphor started as a project back in 2001, with Goings on drums, Mike Sparks on vocals and guitar, Ben Edrington on guitar and Ryan Rake on bass. Their music was labeled math rock, but their sound was more like an updated, technical progressive rock (progressive-progressive maybe?).
Recently, they were talked into coming together for a reunion at TownHouse Lounge, and for Goings, it’s just like old times.
“It almost feels like a new group,” he said, “just because we have all had a lot of time apart.” Goings said that Mister Metaphor didn’t play together for four years, but explained that it feels good, and that having a few practices and getting to know each other again and getting reacquainted has been fun.
“[The band] kind of just dissolved. We never really had an official breakup,” Goings explained. “So I guess you could say there was never really any closure.”
And even now, Goings doesn’t feel that this reunion is an end to Mister Metaphor. “I don’t see this show as even being closure, you know what I mean? It’s a reunion show, but we all went on our own paths, started doing our own things, started going to school, work, and Mike [Sparks] wanted to move. It just kind of evaporated.”
The band stopped playing shows in 2005, but Goings isn’t sure exactly when. And neither Goings nor others can cite any specific reason that the project ended. People simply went their separate ways.
Since breaking up, Sparks went on to play in Bridges and By Sunlight, based out of Seattle. Goings joined Jeepster and is currently working with the Monolith out of San Francisco, Sasha Vallely from Spindrift and Riley Bray.
The band recorded two EPs during its four years together. The first, Die on the High Road, was released on Davis-based label Omnibus Records. That album sold out the entire 2,500 copies that were printed. The second Mister Metaphor record, unofficially titled How We’re Livin’, was never actually officially released, but was made available free online to fans.
“My friend Jay introduced me to Mark [Kaiser], who ran Omnibus, and we recorded an EP at The Hangar,” Goings recalled. “I was really stoked on that; I really liked that label. They put out the first Shins album, and I think Ent, and I loved Ent. So that was really cool for me.”
Goings said that the reunion show is really more of a fluke than anything. The guys agreed to get together at the insistence of a friend, who arranged everything. They haven’t exactly been in touch much since their last show, but after only a few practices, they feel that they are ready to take the stage again.
“We have made it through every song we have done,” Goings said. “At this point, it’s just refining [the songs].” But Goings admitted that the band had to cheat and listen to old albums to relearn the tunes. “If it weren’t for the recordings, I would have forgotten some of those parts. Same goes for all of them.
“It’s like a language. I took French in high school, and I can’t speak it anymore, because I haven’t spoken French to anybody.”