Nearly 22 years later, Stryker Records is re-releasing their first-ever full-length album, Conniption’s “Perfect.”


Jaye Thomas (June 2022) Conniption Singer-Songwriter

Conniption “Perfect” LP released by Stryker Records in 2000 will be re-released over 20 years later on digital platforms

Jaye Thomas in his current band “Rogue Sattellites” (photo by Brian Rozman)

Conniption band photo summer 1999 Bob Bernard, Eric Oliver, Jaye Thomas, Dave Gearte

Stryker Records, Ingrooves (UMG)

Conniption’s 4th full album “Perfect” was released in October 2000

nothing has ever matched the exhilaration of connecting with so many people in such a cool way as I did with Conniption”

— Jaye Thomas

DETROIT, MICHIGAN, USA, July 10, 2022 / — Conniption is explained as “a fit of rage or hysteria”. Conniption would also become the name of a well-known Detroit rock band formed in 1993 by singer-songwriter Jaye Thomas.

Jaye Thomas was a broken child from a broken home, but lucky nonetheless. Fortunately, because his grandparents adopted him and his siblings and gave them a better home when Jaye was 14. However, the damage was caused by past events early in Jaye’s life that led him there. “I spent countless hours alone in my room listening to punk, metal and alternative music. It was a rage-rock escape and I loved it.

After seeing friends cover “born to be wild” at a high school talent show, he decided to form his own band. His father bought him a cheap guitar for his birthday, so he taught himself to play and formed a short-lived band with a few friends in high school. “I had wanted to call it Conniption, but my bandmates didn’t have it.”

That name, “Conniption,” always resonated with Jaye, and the idea of ​​being “in crisis” seemed to fit her personality. After high school, he formed another band with friends Jerame Arnold (drums) and Dave Williams (bass). They called it “Conniption”.

Their sound wasn’t exactly what Jaye wanted. Initially, they were going for more of a “standard rock” sound, but what they ended up with had more of a post-grunge vibe, and nonetheless, people loved it.

They were playing shows all the time to bigger and bigger crowds. “For me, I was a songwriter and people seemed to really react to my lyrics,” Jaye exclaimed. “The words were all angst and bad relationships…and patterned after advertising slogans that had crept into his head over the years. It’s my complicity. Come on, take one.

Conniption’s base was a small rock club called Scalici’s. They played many shows there and were treated like royalty. Ultimately, it was there that they met their future recording engineer and recording engineer Pete Bankert in 1996.

Pete was a believer and ultimately a true friend of the band. He offered to record ‘The Jade Fountain’ for nothing in advance and in return he would collect what he could from their salary at the Scalici concerts. This helped the band make huge strides in the music business as they had now recorded two albums. It also brought Harry Taylor, a friend of Jaye, to help with cover design and web development. They felt unstoppable!

“Unfortunately, my bandmates and I were all a bit broken.” There were power struggles throughout the group, among other things. This would undoubtedly lead to the slow disbanding of the original lineup throughout the band’s first three independent albums. Conniption’s first three albums were: The Stoning (1996), The Jade Fountain (1997) and Tame (1998).

Dave was the first to leave in 1997, he was replaced by bassist, Eric Oliver. Eric played bass on Tame which was also recorded and engineered by Pete Bankert.

Eric decided to reach out to Chris Dobry who had just launched his label “Stryker Records”. In 1998, the band met Chris at a hotel in Southfield Michigan and signed a recording contract. After that, they were eager to get back into the studio and record a new album with the help of their new label. It was around this time that they added a fourth member to Conniption, rhythm guitarist Dave Gaerte, to complete their sound.

“I was working on a loose lyrical concept centered around the idea of ​​reaching a perfect niche in society by becoming ‘simple and small like everyone else’. Essentially, perfection through imperfection,” Thomas said when describing the new album. The album would be called ‘Perfect’. They spent more time on this project than they had on any of the previous ones. When they were done, with the help of Pete Bankert, they had a great album that they loved, and the support of a record label and a following of fans to look up to.

After this project, it was decided that Eric Oliver was no longer the best fit for the band, which was headed in a new creative direction and was influenced by some of the nu metal bands that were emerging at the time. While Eric is credited with playing bass on the album in the liner notes, he is not listed as a band member. He was replaced by Adam Pesola in 2000. Eric and Jaye are still good friends today.

Chris Dobry, owner of Stryker Records worked hard to get Conniption’s name out there and the buzz around the band continued to grow.

Detroit’s alternative station, 89X, used to host a music festival-style “birthday party” every year. It would feature several big names as well as up-and-coming talent. In 2000 they hosted a Battle of the Bands. The prize was to be a performance slot at that year’s “Birthday Bash”.

Conniption’s music was selected along with four other bands from over 500 entries. They played songs from each of the selected bands on the air. “It was the first time I heard my music on commercial radio,” says Thomas.

The Battle of the Bands took place at one of the Detroit-area’s premier theater venues, the Magic Bag. “People really came out for us and even though every band was great, when it was all done it was obvious there were only two choices. The theater was divided by people chanting Conniption and others chanting the name of a band from Toledo, Mad Mordigan. In the end, Mad Mordigan won and got a performance slot for the festival,” adds Thomas.

“That didn’t stop our fans from going crazy and starting a riot at the venue.” People were constantly calling the radio station and complaining about the results until DJ Kelly Brown came on the air and gave the fans a heart to heart. She explained that Conniption came in second place out of over 500 groups and there was nothing to scoff at. She said it was just the beginning and 89x was far from over with Conniption.

All in all, it still looked like a win for the band. “I didn’t hear much about Mad Mordigan after that, but we continued to play sold out at the Magic Bag and other venues in the area, including the legendary St Andrew’s Hall where I had seen several one of my favorite bands to play as a kid.” It was a very humbling experience for Jaye.

Chris Dobry was originally from Wisconsin and had many connections there. He was organizing shows for the band in Wisconsin with mixed success. With the mixed success out of state, some band members eventually refused to go on the road to play for smaller crowds than they were getting in the Detroit area. Unfortunately, this would lead to Conniption leaving Stryker Records. “It seemed like things were at a breaking point and I had to choose between my bandmates and our relationship with Stryker Records. I sided with my bandmates,” says Thomas.

“I didn’t know it then, but losing the Stryker records was the final nail in the coffin of my first real band,” Thomas explains. It took years for our popularity to decline, but without Chris to push our name, it finally did. As things turmoiled, the band decided to go on an indefinite hiatus. The latest line-up consists of Jaye on guitar and vocals, Dan Slaven on bass and Bob Bernard on drums. “The world was changing. The music was changing. I thought, fuck music, I’m going to be a painter and I was. he adds.

Over the years Jaye has been through a lot and finally found her way back to music. His band Rogue Satellites have achieved great success with their psychedelic and experimental pop sound. He also has an electronic band ‘Rottinghouse’ which touches on the influence of industrial rock that he wanted to tap into all those years ago. “Things are going well, but nothing has ever matched the exhilaration of connecting with so many people in such a cool way as I did with Conniption,” says Jaye.

The original release of Conniption’s ‘Perfect’ album dates back 22 years, and a lot has changed since then. “Dave Williams had passed away, illustrating the self-destruction that my lyrics often alluded to. Last I saw him he didn’t look healthy but he seemed happy. Jerame Arnold went on to direct really cool heavy rock bands. Chris Dobry had a lot of success with Stryker Records with some of his really well recorded bands,” Jaye continues.

Pete Bankert sold the Conniption recording console recorded ‘The Jade Fountain and ‘Tame’ albums to Jack White (a well-known musician and songwriter from Detroit, Michigan) but Pete and Jaye still get together for a drink or to record music on the new console.

“By the way, I met Jack White. We were hanging out when Rogue Satellites held an event at their Detroit record store. We talked about two-piece bands and baseball. I built a studio in my basement and I’m getting pretty good at recording myself. Life is strange. You always feel like you’re back to where you started,” says Jaye. “I’ve been thinking a lot lately about releasing new Conniption songs. Why not?”

Christopher Dobri
Stryker Folders
[email protected]
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The video is from the CD release party at the Magic Bag Theater in October 2000 (Detroit)


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