After Glory Front, the guys lost Karen as their keyboard player and backup/sometimes lead vocalist and went even further into the shoegaze universe. It was primarily their driving influence and they would continue to delve into it for sometime. However, deciding the name Glory Front sounded more like a white-power band they retreated the basement to write more music and select a new moniker. Enter Matt Werth.
Matt was a Little Rock, Arkansas native who I had met when he contacted my band Franklin to participate in a compilation LP. The We’ve Lost Beauty LP would be released on his label File 13 and we were honored as hell to participate. In addition, Matt and his friends put on shows in Little Rock and were willing and able to set up a show for Franklin and Fracture during our 1995 summer tour.
When I met Matt that summer, we instantly hit it off. We spent one afternoon driving around in his parents station wagon and that was the start of an oddly symbiotic relationship between Philadelphia and Little Rock Arkansas for years to come. The following summer, in 1996 Matt would book another show for Franklin and Goodbye, Blue Monday. During that trip, we became obsessed with the game 4-square (another thing we shared in common with the Arkansas kids) and one evening, while playing a righteous game in the parking lot of a grocery store, I played Matt the Glory Front demo. He had recently been accepted into college somewhere in Wisconsin I believe, and was having some dread about attending. However, once he heard that Aspera Ad Astra (Justin, Drew and Mike’s new moniker) needed a bass player, Matt’s eyes lit up.
Matt would end up ditching college in favor of moving to Philadelphia, immediately teaming up with Aspera Ad Astra for many more years.
Peace was Aspera’s first album. While it might sound a little dated and its references may be a bit obvious, at the time, it was a great album that barely hinted at the truly incredible places musically they would go in the future.
Sadly, track 9 on the album, a song called Take It Easy is simply too large of a file to be able to post here. Aspera Ad Astra really dug their slow burn jams.