|Record Labels:||Magic Bullet, Thrown Brick|
|Started By:||Dan Davis 2000|
|Largest show:||600 people|
|Last show:||July 2004 @ St Johns (costume party show)|
|Reunion show:||December 3rd, 2005 w/ Camps & Breather Resist|
|Number of Members:||7|
Okay, here's the history from my perspective. (Adam.) Everybody else in the band should definitely come by and give their view of what happened/where/when/etc/.com.
I first saw Kodan Armada around 2000 in Louisville. My friend Travis LLoyd and I were in a two piece metalcore band called Utopiate. We had been added to a show in Lexington with 18 Visions at the last minute, and somehow managed to run into Brent Woosley, Ryan Swigart, and Dan Davis. They left some silly puppet thing with us and told us to come see Kodan Armada in Louisville the next day with Ayin, I think. We all made fast friends, and we decided to trek up the next day for the show.
The first lineup that I witnessed the next day at The Brycc House was fucking blistering, to say the least - noisy, chaotic, unrefined, and beautiful. Nobody really liked them at that point since no music like that was really popular in Louisville, even though I found out later that bands like Usurp Synapse had played in Louisville, and bands like the Locust and Sutek Conspiracy played there several times later when I was able to attend. Anyway, being one of five people in the room, I was blown away when they completely fell into pieces at the end - both musically and emotionally. Travis and I became fast friends with the dudes, making several visits that summer which finally culminated in a few things - two Utopiate shows, one with City Of Ghosts, and one with Kodan Armada, and the now (maybe?) infamous after-Krazyfest basement show at Tony Popp's house in southern Indiana, which included Abscise, Cast From Eden, Spirit of Versailles, Caligari, Every Day After, Kodan Armada, and Utopiate. I remember a bunch of kids hearing rumors that Tony Victory was coming to scout out bands, so everybody argued about the lineup. In truth, I think somebody misheard Cory's dad's name or something. Haha.
Shortly after that summer, I was scheduled to move to college. Utopiate broke up when Travis elected to go to Davidson college in North Carolina. I sort of slummed around a lot in Lexington and went to hang out in Louisville a lot at the BRYCC House whether there was a show or not. Somehow a few things ended up happening where I became a third guitarist in Kodan Armada - but ended up playing second guitar instead due to Shawn leaving the band. That first practice at the 6th Street house solidified my desire to live in Louisville. We wrote the song "One" immediately at that first practice - nothing was added afterward until much later. I think the impatient and electric energy that came from Dan, Ryan, Cory, and myself was obviously there, and everybody in the room at the time knew that something special was happening. That pretty much desired my decision to get out of Lexington and move to Louisville.
I decided to drop out of college and move into a house on 6th Street with Mark Shepherd, Drew Litrell, Alan Wells, Brandi, Kaelan, Danny, Ryan Swigart, Dan Davis, and Lily, Dan's girlfriend at the time. Ryan, Dan, Lily and I all lived on the third floor of this house. The sink was literally falling off the wall. There was one broken window in a tiny hallway, and Ryan lived in a really nice attic room where I slept on a couch. We practiced at 6th Street until neighbors started complaining about noise, which prompted us to move to Tony Popp's basement in southern Indiana, which became a womb for many songs which would later be into Louisville's unsuspecting family of punk and hardcore.
When our second lineup played out, finally, it was myself, Dan singing and playing keyboards, Trevor Brock playing bass, Andrew Turner playing guitar, Cory Popp singing, and of course, the almighty Ryan Swigart playing drums. For a long time, Kodan was basically a baby project that was eclipsed by Crestfallen (who I still consider to be one of Louisville's best kept secrets that never really got the respect they deserved, alongside Abscise.) Eventually, Crestfallen broke up, however, and Ryan in turn focused more on the Armada.
We played a slew of venues, but our primary home during our salad days was the BRYCC House. We played a shitton of shows there. The Armada played a lot more before I was a part of the band, including shows with Harkonen, the Faint, and a bunch of shows I can't even remember. At some point, 6th Street fell apart, and I moved into an apartment on Bardstown Road behind BP with Dan and Lily for a couple of months. I moved in with Jamie Miller and Liz Palmer two months later. I think we recorded the songs for "Ohio Killed the Grey Ghost" right before Cory went to SCAD, but didn't really properly release it until 2002. I'm really fuzzy about this for some reason, but it was our first experience recording (except for some really rough stuff that they recorded with Shawn before I was in the band.) The next part is a completely blur for whatever reason, but that winter Cory decided that things weren't right at SCAD and he wanted to come back home. (Best decision ever, IMHO.) I drove to Savannah to get his stuff and he surfed on couches for a few weeks before getting a place on Deerwood, only a few doors down from 1137 Deerwood, where Jon Musselwhite, Brent Woosley, Derrick Spears, and Dan Davis lived. I lived only a few blocks away, and we spent that winter hanging crucially. Brent was in the band at this point.
I was working at a chain home improvement store at this point, which financed Chris Owens's first studio space with isolation holes for guitar amps, among other things. Most of our guitar equipment was either stolen from music stores or paid for by returning stolen books. The entire first press of "Ohio" came free from the shelves of various chain stores.
Our CD release show on September 6th, 2002, was fucking crazy. At this point we had three singers, two guitarists, a drummer and a bassist.
The show went really well. I can't remember the complete list of shows that we played that summer, but for some reason we started to really click with people and drew more kids. The whole time we had just been doing what we'd been doing from the start - being completely honest with ourselves, playing music we loved, and enjoyed our friendships with each other and everybody else. The entire experience was an emotional volcano that just stayed dormant until a show, when were all able to flip out and let everything go.
Eventually, we parted ways with Trevor. Cory took up full time bass duties and I started using a sampler pedal and a second amp to thicken up our sound. We had been playing weekends here and there, in Indianapolis and Cincinnati, but we hadn't really been outside of the tristate area. We rented a van to play in Baltimore to 15 people one Derby weekend. At some point, Andrew left the band as well. This was right around the time that was were writing material for the Gospel split. Our first show out of town that anybody really was into was a fest in North Carolina called Bombs and Bruises, which was early in 2003. We went on tour that summer with demos and shirts. We played an amazing fest in Orlando which was one of the best shows of my life, and had an overall amazing tour.
We released the splits with Montcalm and What's Yr Damage!?! shortly after that. I remember them coming out really close to one another. I'm pretty sure I had to move back to Lexington at some point in here somewhere. There was a winter tour with Black Cross and a weekend to New Jersey sometime after that. Like I said - it's one big amazing blur.
2004 was probably our biggest year as a band. We were playing a ton of shows to our friends all the time. My favorite venue from this time period was 624 E. Breckinridge St., whose address I probably fucked up. Either way, this house had some legendary fucking shows. Ampere, Van Johnson, Gospel, Life At These Speeds, Mannequin, Sail, Meneguar, Radio Raheem, and a whole bunch of other bands played at that house. Here are a few of my favorite moments from that Ampere show:
|Photos from the Ampere show by:Jackie Spiro|
Keswick was also a second home to us at that point, and remained that way for a long time. We did the Maximum Louisville tour with Breather Resist and Coliseum that summer, followed by a full US tour with This Ship Will Sink. At that point, we were having amazing times on the road, but the pressure of doing so much as a band started to flex a little on our friendship. It came to a breaking point when I decided to quit shortly after the month long tour to start In Tongues. I think that what we had was incredible, but was so demanding that it completely drained us emotionally and physically. It couldn't last forever.
I feel like our role was to help people find a part of themselves that they weren't able to access without an excuse to let it out - the screaming and crying was just a bigger part of how all of us really feel on the inside, but we're all so limited by our roles in life and what we're told is acceptable that we're never able to let it out. Maybe we were just another screamo band, but I really want to believe that we were able to let people accept that, and to let it into and out of their hearts like one huge pulsating emotion going through all of us in those sweaty basement nights. Thank you for being a part of what Kodan Armada was, and what it was able to do.