Smart Went Crazy

Washington, DC's Smart Went Crazy made records and played countless shows across the USA. Con Art, the band's last CD/vinyl release, is 73 minutes of eclectic rock stimuli guaranteed to keep you guessing.
Smart Went Crazy sprang out of a studio project begun by Chad, Abe, and Hilary. The trio added Tony Dennison on drums and the new foursome recorded the Cubbyhole EP, later released on their own label CozyDisc in 1994. Jeff joined the band around this time and the new quintet soon began playing live shows in the Washinton, DC area. Devin Ocampo replaced Tony on drums in the Winter of 1997.
SWC's first full length, Now We're Even, was recorded at Inner Ear and released in Feb. of 1996. It is considered the blackest humor Dischord has ever seen pressed into vinyl or lazed into plastic. The irony is clear, sharp and scathing through the lyrics. The well-orchestrated music acts as the lure, more beautiful where the words sting the most.
Con Art was recorded in the Spring of 1997, again at Inner Ear with Don Zientara engineering. While some sounds on Con Art can be traced to earlier releases, the elusive Con Art definitely possesses a different, edgier sound. Devin Ocampo adds a fresh rhythm energy while the guitars and electric cello have both stepped up in the mix. The lyrics on Con Art, while diverse in origin, often map the turmoil of relationship termination.
SMC disbanded at the end of their Spring of '98 tour.


Fuel was a Bay Area post-hardcore musical act that combined melody, power, and raw emotion to create both personal and political songs, something that was unique during the "first wave" of emo in the 1990s. Fuel had a sound akin to early-Hot Water Music and especially Fugazi with twin guitars and dueling rough post-hardcore vocals. In fact, it is noted that Fuel was called "Fuelgazi." Fuel's style has been compared to the D.C. sound of many Dischord bands.
Fuel featured Mike Kirsch (of early Pinhead Gunpowder and a number of other notable punk rock bands) on guitar/vocals, Jim Allison on guitar/vocals, Aaron Arroyo on bass, and Jeff Stofan (also of the White Trash Debutantes at one time) on drums.
In 2008, Alternative Press named Fuel as a group of significant interest in its profile of "23 Bands who Shaped Punk." Jason Black of Hot Water Music and The Draft contributed a testimony for the article citing musical influence.


Arcwelder was formed as Tiltawhirl in 1987. Our first single was issued in that year. It wasn't like we weren't trying to play shows, but we couldn't get booked for some time. As it is, the band was nebulous before that. Rob and I put out a cassette together in 1984 called Big Money Miracles. We individually recorded songs on four track, not as a band. Rob, Bill and I released a cassette called Paul Lynde to Block in 1985, again as individuals and not as a band. We toyed with a band in different configurations. We played as a three piece with a Drumulator and me playing bass and both Grabers playing guitars. We played as a four piece with Paul Dickenson on drums and Scott playing bass and both Grabers playing guitars. I think Scott might have been the main singer in these but everyone sang, including Paul.

Soon before the release of our first LP, the Selner Manufacturing Corporation, the makers of the Tilt-A-Whirl ride, slapped us with a cease and desist letter. Well, their lawyers did. We paniked, and changed the name to Arcwelder, after one of our song titles. We considered names such as Tilt,Tiilted World, Milt-a-Berle. But Chris Johnson, our record lable head at the time, had been talking with their lawyers. He was convinced that anything that sounded remotely like tiltawhirl wouldn't fly. "I don't think they'll let you change the name of your band to anythong that begins with 'T'," said Chris.

Since then, lots of other stuff has happened. We released a single on Stereolab's lable which made it into John Peel's Festive Fifty in 1992, signed with Touch And Go Records, played lots of great shows, toured the East Coast and South in the 90's with The Jesus Lizard, Jawbox, Flour, Tar, Kepone. Played shows with The Smashing Pumpkins, JSBX, The Dead Milkmen, Buffalo Tom. Our song Criminal was in the movie Normal Life in 1996. Played at All Tommorrow's Parties in England in 2002 and 2004, played the Sant Feliu Fest in Spain in 2008. Toured the west coast with Shellac in 2009. Blah Blah Blah.