"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint." -Mark Twain

Spokane’s Oil Filter

I could, and someday might, write a book about my experiences with the band Oil Filter. Until then, allow me to summarize our history.

I first saw Oil Filter play live while visiting Spokane, Washington on a work trip back in 1995. The marquee outside the small club read, “FOUR BANDS, THREE DOLLARS” — how could I resist? Of the four bands that played that night, it was Oil Filter who stuck with me. Their sound was unlike anything I had ever heard before, and I loved it. I bought the band’s demo tape at the show, talked with Matt (lead singer/guitar) for a few minutes, and left. A few days later I flew back to Oklahoma, and that was the end of that — or so I thought.

In 1996, I accepted a job with the FAA office in Spokane, Washington. Susan and I packed up our belongings and moved 1,800 miles away from home. Since we didn’t know anyone in Spokane, we began looking for clubs where bands played, and before long we ran across Oil Filter once again (Spokane isn’t that large). I began writing for a local rag (The Wyre) for a month or so before deciding to set out on my own. I launched In-Tune Magazine in late 1996. My first feature interview was with Oil Filter, who by then had released a second demo tape. Through the magazine I developed friendships with several of the members, and although I had no musical advice to offer the group, what I did have was computer knowledge. I began designing flyers for the band’s shows. I set up the band’s first official website. Matt and I designed the band’s t-shirts and bumper stickers on my computer. And, in late 1997, I created the band’s entire CD packaging, including all artwork, layout and design.

From 1996 – 1998 I also began recording the band’s live performances. Not all of them, of course, as I also began working the lights at their shows. I did end up with two or three pretty good live video recordings of the band performing and, while I don’t think any recording has ever captured the massive live sound of the band, it’s all we have to remember them by. Ih the spring of 1998, Susan and I moved back to Oklahoma, and a year or two after that, Oil Filter broke up. Ryan (bass) and Tony (guitar) relocated to Portland and formed new bands. Synthia (drums) and Matt (vocals, guitar) later followed. The last I heard, Matt was back in Spokane, or maybe not. All the band members have a nomadic quality about them. Other than Ryan (who regularly checks his MySpace page), the rest of the guys are pretty tough to track down.

Recently while going through my old collection of videotapes, I ran across one labeled “Oil Filter.” Being 10+ years old, the beginning of the tape has several bad spots. The 2nd and 3rd shows are decent quality. I dumped all three shows into my computer, converted them, and uploaded them to YouTube for the world to enjoy. There are talks of compiling all the band’s known recordings (both audio and video) into one massive DVD collection, but I don’t know if that will ever happen. Until then, here are my videos, divided up into YouTube playlists so you can each concert in its entirety.

Warning: Oil Filter’s music isn’t for everybody. It’s loud, vulgar, and insanely heavy. These links are being provided more for search engines and Internet wanderers than anything else. If you like your music slow, deep and heavy, click away; otherwise, simply imagine the loudest, most annoying music you can think of. It’s a lot like that. I hope some of you who remember the Spokane metal music scene of the late 1990s will enjoy and appreciate these links. R.I.P., Oil Filter.


Oil Filter at the MET (11/96)

Oil Filter at Ichabod’s (12/96)

Oil Filter at Ichabod’s (05/97)

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2 comments to Spokane’s Oil Filter

  • synthia

    oil filter huh? sounds like a bunch of fuckin’ losers to me….and a GIRL drummer?? you must be kidding…everyone knows GIRLS can’t play the drums…

  • jorel larson

    thank you thank you thank you!!!! i fucking love Oil Filter . it is so bad ass that you posted these . sadly due to the fact that i was under age i only got to see one show and it was in a church basement oddly enough.my brother Don Larson (limbo ladds) turned me on to them, any way a million thanks for the chance to see them again. you are the shit!!!!