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Pocket Change

Punk Rock
Suffolk, Virginia, USA

The Suffolk, Virginia-based Christian punk band Pocket Change formed in January 1995. The band comprised singer/guitarist Tim Asimos, bassist Charles Arnold, and drummer Brian “Grover” Saunders. They began with no real purpose or direction under the name Social Bias. At this point, the band was playing covers of other bands such as Rancid, NOFX, Green Day, The Offspring, and Nirvana. The band began practicing in Asimos' garage, which would remain the band’s rehearsal spot for six years. After attending a Strongarm show in the summer of 1995, the band decided to dedicate themselves to spreading the Christian message through music. After several name changes in the first few months, the band picked the name Pocket Change while trying to find a name in time to press their five-song demo recorded in December 1995.

A few months after recording their demo, the band signed with Liquid Disc Records of Nashville, Tennessee. Steadfast, the band's debut release was recorded in August and December 1996. The album was produced by renowned CCM producer Steve Griffith (Audio Adrenaline, Altar Boys). After numerous delays the album was released in May 1997, but did not hit store shelves until the fall. The band did some touring in the Midwest in the summer of 1997, but did not complete a full-fledged tour until the summer of 1998.

After graduating from high school in June 1998, the band went back into the studio with Griffith to record their second release for Visual Records. While the band’s message remained intact, the style switched from the pop-punk sound of Steadfast, to a more aggressive, surf-punk sound with heavier riffs and faster drums. After finishing up recording, the band embarked on a 50-date national tour, headlining with Portland, Oregon-based Pep Squad and playing several dates with Spoken. The band played in clubs, churches and coffeehouses throughout the east coast and mid-west, and also had performances at such festivals as Cornerstone Festival, Sonshine Festival, and Unity Fest. In August, the band returned home to begin college full-time and would resume touring on a part-time basis.

Wake Up, the band's second release, was completed in December 1998 and would hit shelves in June 1999. The album featured several singles that would receive more attention on CCM rock radio. “Take Charge,” the band’s first single, climbed as high as number 11 on CCM rock radio, behind such acts as Jars of Clay, DC Talk, and The Supertones. The second single, “Sometimes,” received similar success, also reaching the number 11 spot on CCM rock radio. After completing a third nation tour in the summer of 1999, the band decided to take an indefinite hiatus and focus their attention on college studies.

After almost a year on hiatus, and thoughts of calling it quits, Pocket Change decided to move forward. The band made some lineup changes: Luke Cotturone joined the band to replace Groverrr on drums. A second guitarist, Jesse Kaluka, was added to the band to help form a more progressive and mature sound. The four meshed well and completed a summer of touring including performances at Cornerstone Festival and Sonshine Festival.

Pocket Change entered a studio in Virginia Beach, Virginia in August 2000 to record a 2 song demo featuring some of the new songs the four-piece had been working on. Some regard these new songs as the best material the band had ever written. After returning to school in the fall, the band completed spot dates throughout the fall of 2000 and spring of 2001. While the band had hopes of signing to a new label and recording a full-length album, Pocket Change decided to call it quits in the summer of 2001. After six years of performing and recording, and decisions to pursue their college degrees and other careers, the band played their last show in their hometown of Suffolk, Virginia in June 2001.

In the spring of 2005, the band got back together to assemble a 1 hour DVD documentary and relive some of their best memories. The DVD, titled Out of the Box and Onto the Screen was self-produced and features behind-the-scenes footage of the band, live concert footage and interviews with all members from 1995-2001.

Discography

1996 One Side to Every Story
1997 Steadfast Liquid Disc Records
1999 Wake Up Visual Records

One Side to Every Story

1996 Independent

  1. Behind a Wall
  2. On the Run
  3. One Sided Story
  4. Right Reason
  5. Due Respect

Steadfast

1997 Liquid Disc Records (LDD10000-2)

Timme Asimos - Vocals, guitar
Charlie Arnold - Bass, backing vocals
Brian Saunders - Drums

  1. Played Like a Deck of Cards
  2. Good Feeling
  3. One Sided Story
  4. Once a Week
  5. My God
  6. Right Reason
  7. For Me
  8. Rest Assured
  9. Behind a Wall
  10. I Have Decided
  11. Comfort Zone
  12. Brand Spanking New
  13. Blue and Pink Sidewalk
  14. On the Run

Wake Up

1999 Visual Records

  1. Take Charge (2:51)
  2. Can't Take Me (2:30)
  3. Weakness Unaware (2:43)
  4. Give It Up (2:42)
  5. Unite to Fight (2:13)
  6. Without (3:14)
  7. Sometimes (2:47)
  8. Just Try (2:21)
  9. Stand Up (2:02)
  10. I Don't Know Why (2:45)
  11. No One (2:00)
  12. Amazing Grace (2:27)