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The Passing Of My Favorite Band
Saying Goodbye And Thanks To The Latch Key Kids
For 7 Years Of Inspiration

by Samuel Barker
May 20, 2000

Too soon there would come a day that photographs and memories would be all that remain. Remain.

-from "Too Soon" by Latch Key Kids

I can clearly remember my friends and I sneaking off to see the Latch Key Kids at Fitzgerald's. I lived in Crystal Beach at the time, which was about 2 hours from Houston, so my mom was a little apprehensive about letting her 16 year old son travel that far to go to "some club to see some stupid band". But we went anyways. Walking up the stairs, I remember being there to see 30footFALL who was headlining that night. It was my friends Nathan Norman, Derek Carpenter, and myself going to enjoy ourselves on a Saturday night. It was a night that left me in awe.

Tim Guerinot

I remember seeing them take the stage. The first person I saw was Jon, he used to play in a band, Beat Down, with some friends of mine. Then came out Marc Manic, Rhino, and Dave Ng. Dave flipped me out. He had a long skater cut. Reminicent of "The Flop". I wasn't sure what to expect. Tim came out, and then they began to play. It was similar to Lagwagon, but with an edge. Tim Guernot's vocals were awesome. He was jumping around, letting people sing along. He got everyone into it. Before the set he went around and shook everyone's hand and thanked them for being there. I was amazed at how he catered to the crowd. As the music went on, things got crazier. Dave was absolutely insane. He just threw himself around the stage. He jumped around, and with Tim going completely crazy, the show was non-stop action. During one song, Dave took his bass off and jumped off the stage onto the crowd. This was something amazing to me. I walked out of the club that night with a 7" and a new outlook on how a band should perform.

Dave Ng

Due to an extremely stressful senior year, I didn't get to see the band too much in that time. Only catching them ever so often at clubs, or just missing them. It was also at this time that Dave's mother passed on. Which is what the song "Too Soon" is all about. It also seems fitting here. You never do see the end until it's right on top of you. "Anytime, Anyplace" was released this year by Pinche Flojo after the original label(Skene!) who was gonna release it folded. After the release, Rhino left the band to become Riverfenix's(now, Fenix,TX) full-time manager. He was replaced by Dillon Sexton. This move pushed the band to a new level. A shows, you'd notice a lot harder, more precise sound in the new songs, and a new found tightness to the old songs. The duo of Marc and Dillon made the band complete. It was also around this time(well, it was always like this) that the band began having the infamous drummer-dilemna. Jon decided he had done his part with LKK and moved on to Austin. This sent the band in search of another drummer. For a short stint, Damon from 30footFALL/Riverfenix was the drummer. If you weren't fortunate enough to see him play an LKK set then a 30footFALL set right after it, you missed out on a interesting guy. But finally the prospect of being in 3 bands took it's toll and Damon moved on. Which meant Jon came down and played, this happened everytime a new drummer failed. After many failed attempts to find the perfect drummer, and one drummer leaving the band mid-tour, Jon came back to LKK for one last run.

Dillon Sexton

The release of Innocence Gone was landmark for me and the band. This was the album that showed LKK had something special to offer the world. The album began with "Too Soon" which was a brilliant bridge from the pop stylings of Anytime, Anyplace to the harder, metal-ish sound of Innocence Gone. The CD release show was off the hook. LKK took the stage carrying a cow skull with flames painted on it, and a fog machine running full speed. It was the new age of LKK, the metal age. The sound was a perfect mix of the metal sound of Iron Maiden with the poppy twist of Lagwagon. It was perfect, it was something new. Dave came out with his new headless metal bass, and the show began with "Just Care" which begins with an almost metal ballad sound, and proceeds to slap you in the face and make you love it. This is my favorite LKK song, and when I first heard it I couldn't stop smiling. You could see the bright future in this night.

Jon Guerinot

The last time I saw LKK was the night before they headed out on their final tour. This was the tour that ended up getting them on the 1999 Vans Warped Tour for most of the tour. This was when they finally got the recognition they deserved. The show was at the Oven, which is a small pizza parlor. The show wasn't well publicized, so only die-hards were there. Thank God I was there. The show was amazing. The smallest crowd ever for an LKK show, but the show was amazing. Smoke machines in the air, people on their knees giving metal fist to Marc and Dillon as they broke off some of the most metal solos ever, Dave behind the drum set for only the second show, people singing along and Mike "Statch" Morris on bass for only his second show. This show was the way to remember LKK, no matter how many people were there, or what was going on, they gave you 110% of themselves, and made sure they gave you everything you could ask for and more.

When I ran into Tim at the Fat Wreck Tour, he gave me a copy of the split CD they did with Slowride from Dallas. This CD was sick. The last new song they ever recorded "Blame" was amazing. You could feel the power, and hear the tightness. The band had reached it's pennacle.....it was sad that they had already come to an end by the time this CD reached most people. But the memories will always be there.

Marc Manic

This is written not just for LKK, it's an editorial to let every band in the world know that there are people touched by your music no matter how big you are. The Latch Key Kids were a part of my life for nearly 5 years. They were all musicians I looked up to. They were a band I can only hope to emmulate, the memories and effort they gave to the people of the Houston punk community, and the people who saw them play all over the US, are special to many. It truely saddens me to see such an amazing band come to it's end before it was able to reach everyone who needed to hear it. I was and still am fortunate to know Tim Guernot, and Dave Ng. They are both great people who I am forever indebted to for giving me something so beautiful, a piece of their art, their minds, their lives. I will never forget, and always be grateful. Thank you to everyone who was ever a Latch Key Kid. And special thanks to MY Latch Key Kids, Tim, Dave, Marc, Dillon, and Jon. Inspiration was one of the many gifts I got from you five. Thank you and good night.

Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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