In music, as with anything, persistence pays off - along with talent. Finch guitarist Randy Strohmeyer kept in touch with Drive-Thru Records co-owner Richard Reines throughout his many musical adventures.
The story starts with a band called Numb, which, according to vocalist Nate Barcalow, was "pretty much a Deftones rip-off." This unit, which also included bassist Derek Doherty, saw Strohmeyer's band play at a party. Later Doherty suggested Strohmeyer join Numb as the second guitarist. A bit reluctant at first, Strohmeyer eventually signed on bringing a Punk edge. In short order, the name was changed to Finch. Drawing on influences as varied as the aforementioned Deftones to Blink 182, the Temecula, CA based group's line-up also included guitarist Alex Linares, and drummer Alex Pappas. When they felt they were ready, Strohmeyer made the call to Drive-Thru.
Reines gave the group an audition more as a favor to Strohmeyer than any thought Finch might be an up and coming act. But, as the story goes, Reines was blown away. He brought in his sister Stefanie, Drive-Thru's other co-owner, into the loop and she was impressed as well.
In '01 Finch released their debut EP "Falling Into Place" with "What It Is To Burn" arriving in early '03. The title track was released as a single and was a major success. Appearances on the Drive-Thru Records stage on the Warped Tour along with U.S., European, and Japanese tours with New Found Glory and The Used followed.
Finch's strong start was undercut almost immediately. They bounced from label to label, Pappas left due to musical differences and their sophomore set, "Say Hello To Sunshine" was poorly received. Then the band went on an "indefinite hiatus" with each band member pursuing their own interests. And not always to their own betterment.
Doherty ventured into real estate but was convicted of fraud, sent to prison for fifteen months and ordered to pay $98,835 restitution for defrauding clients by taking advance fees for loan audits that he never performed. He was replaced by Daniel Wonacott.
Finch reformed in late '07 and recorded songs for the "Finch" EP before starting work on what was planned to be their third album. Instead of an album, only a few songs (including "Hail To The Fire" and "World Of Violence") surfaced. And that could have been the end of the story.
Four years later, '12, Finch's early manager asked the band members if they would be interested in doing a show to celebrate of the 10th anniversary of their debut "What It Is to Burn." A one-off show grew into a tour. Footage from the band's initial reunion show in California was recorded and released as a CD/DVD titled "What It Is to Burn X Live."
However, the group's future still remained uncertain. Strohmeyer summed up the situation.
"Nate's got another band that he fronts and he is very into that and Alex went to culinary school and works in a lot of kitchens and I think he's actually opening up a food cart. And Daniel Wonacott makes a lot of apps and Pappas is like a full-on recording engineer."
But a positive reception on the Warped Tour led Finch back to the studio.
Produced by Brian Virtue (Thirty Seconds To Mars, Jane's Addiction, Chevelle), Finch finally released its third studio album, "Back To Oblivion."
They also offered a free acoustic collection of songs from their catalog titled "Steel, Wood And Whiskey" on their website.
Finch broke up again in late '16 following Barcalow's departure.
Before that occurred, Finch's Pappas, Linares, and Wonacott formed Speak The Truth... Even If Your Voice Shakes with Senses Fail's Buddy Nielsen. They soon became known as Speak The Truth. Their debut single was "Crash My Car."
A week before the song was released, Finch released a statement. "Within the last 10 years Finch has only released ONE full length album. That can't be understated. In 2009, Nate walked away from an album and quit. Yesterday, Nate quit again, for the third time in the band's history.
2002 What It Is To Burn
2005 Say Hello To Sunshine
2014 Back To Oblivion
2001 Falling Into Place
2008 Finch (self-released)
2010 Epilogue (self-released)
2009 A Far Cry From Home
2014 What It Is To Burn X Live