Eve Rodriguez of Manhole
Was Manhole a band that you joined or did you start it? Well, I was part of the group that started the band, but it was these two girls that approached me. One was a guitar player and then the other one was a drum- mer. We used to all hang out at Dixie Waste shows. “They were like, “Hey! We’re thinking about putting a band together.” You know, they didn’t have any music written or anything, but they were like, “We heard that you play bass.” I played bass in more of an R.E.M.-ish kind of sounding band. So I said, “Yeah, I play bass.” And so I think we got together for a couple of weeks and then that’s when Damon from Dixie Waste (because he knew Joanne, our drummer) said, “Hey, Joanne said that you guys are looking for a singer, and I just met this girl Alison from Tampa,” and then he brought her over the next day. I’ll never forget her walking in with that notebook. She just sat down and started writing lyrics. I’m trying not to get teary-eyed about this, but we actually have a new song, “ELECTION DAY,” that we wrote – apart. I wrote part of it here, and I sent the music to Alison. This was early in the year when we started talking about doing the show, and she was really busy; she was on vacation and she had all these gigs with all these bands that she’s in. And then she finally sat down and I got a text in the middle of the night, like 5 in the morning. I could tell she had been up all night: “OH MY GOD, EEV – THIS IS SO FUCKING AWESOME!” You know, she’d finally sat down and heard this song. Me and the drummer recorded it and sent it to her and Chris so they could write their parts on it, and I hadn’t heard their parts until two days before the show. There was one part that was not really written in stone, and we didn’t really know what to do with it, and Alison said, “Don’t worry, I’ll bring it to the show. We’ll do this and it’ll sound awesome.” So we played this song and got a really great response, and then we got off- stage and she’s like, “It’s just like the old days. When you would write the music and would give it to me. I felt like you wrote it just for me. Like I knew the lyrics to write to the music because I just felt it.” It was really weird that after all these years, that we could still do that. It just kind of blew my mind.
How did the idea come up for this show?When we did the When We Ruled H-Town showcase, it was weird because we would only get like 20 minutes to play, and it was sort of like we were just wing- ing it, you know? I don’t really think we put much thought into it because we real- ly didn’t plan it. And I think that we just kind of felt like we should do a solid show. We should do our own show with all the songs that we wanna do. We really wanted to bust our ass, do a really badass show. Chris said it best. She said, “We just wanted to put a bow on it, and just be done.” We’re wrapping it up. Give it our best shot, throw a big party and call it quits, and start the new chapter in all of our lives. Everyone’s in so many different bands that even though it’s really great to get together and do Manhole, it’s… realistically we all live in three separate places. I’m here in New York, Chris is in Austin and Alison is in Houston, and then we just have random drummers who fill in! [laughs] Some things never change.
Full disclosure: I played in this band! I was their drummer in late 1992 and early ’93. There were many drummers. Eev Rodriguez (guitar) and Alison Gibson (vocals) formed Manhole in 1990, and bassist Chris Nine joined the next year. They made records and played shows into the late ’90s, when Eev moved to New York to work in television and didn’t play music for a decade. She got back into it when Manhole was asked to play a set in conjunction with release of the 2012 film When We Ruled H-Town, and now she’s playing music again. This past December she got Manhole back together (with Matt Slagle on drums) for one last show at Fitzgerald’s. Eev and I talked about the history of the band coming full circle.