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The advance accompanist of Peachcake makes his way through the army during Sticky Fingers at Bar Smith in Phoenix on Friday, Feb. 10, 2012.
Stefan Pruett of Peachcake was what Katherine Amy Vega, a longtime acquaintance who generally photographed his concerts, describes as “an undefinable, bewitched man who offered support, escape and beam to those about him.”
The Carefree built-in had been active in Los Angeles for several years, absolution music as the Guidance, aback Pruett was credible above the morning of Sunday, June 14, by acquaintance and ambassador Jeremy Dawson of Shiny Toy Guns.
He was 35.
Pruett died of credible affection failure. He had a complete affection action and had three open-heart surgeries throughout his life.
According to buzzbands.la, Dawson said that Pruett’s pacemaker “was due for a action beforehand this year but that his arrangement kept accepting pushed aback due to the COVID-19 crisis.”
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Long afore he confused to LA, Pruett was a major attendance in the busline Phoenix music scene.
He was 19 aback he landed on the awning of the bounded absolute account Phoenix New Times with Peachcake, a arbitrary cyberbanking pop accumulation he started the antecedent summer with a acquaintance he’d accepted aback sixth grade, John O’Keefe.
It was 2004 and by that point, Peachcake’s active shows were drawing “hordes of bemused adolescent indie bedrock hipsters … who sing forth and ball like maniacs,” as New Times summed up the action the band inspired on the bounded scene.
Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World recalls that activity well.
As Adkins told the Republic Wednesday morning, “Stefan had a cosmic-event akin of communicable activity for music. His art dared you to let yourself acquaintance joy. And if you came forth with him for the ride, you consistently begin yourself in a happier place.”
Peachcake’s “This Wasn’t Our Plan” EP absolution appearance at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix, Arizona on May 12, 2011.
Phoenix concert promoter Jeremiah Gratza did go along for the ride. He managed Peachcake from 2002-07 and catholic with them as they took their cyberbanking actuality on the road.
“Stefan admired Flaming Lips,” he said.
“Here was this bandage arena 250-capacity rooms, and we had absolute armament cannons, airship drops, apparel changes. inflatable assurance that we’d bandy into the crowd. It was it was a full-on comedy that no one abroad was accomplishing at the time on that level.”
That’s not the alone thing Gratza acquainted set them apart here in the Valley.
“They were the aboriginal bandage out of Arizona to embrace cyberbanking music,” he said. “And this is appropriate aback all that blog abode actuality was advancing out, like Bloc Affair and LCD Soundsystem and the Rapture. This was appropriate aback bands were accomplishing DJ sets and it aloof happened to abatement in the appropriate time.”
The personality Pruett exuded onstage was a accustomed addendum of his offstage personality.
“He was absolutely one of the best aberrant bodies you would anytime meet,” Gratza said. “For Stefan, actuality jailbait bedrock wasn’t about, like, let me accept a mohawk and abrasion spikes. He thought it was jailbait to abrasion pajamas out in accessible all day every day. And that’s what he did for bristles years.”
Vega was in her backward adolescence the aboriginal time she saw Peachcake, not continued afterwards they started.
“Their shows were therapeutic,” Vega said. “When I was in my backward teens, ambidextrous with a lot of angsty growing up stuff, they were there to advice us escape. There were times that I would absolutely not feel acceptable and accept to force myself to get out to the show, but I consistently knew that already I went out to one of their shows, I would leave absolutely elated. They absolutely fabricated it accessible for us to let our close accouchement out.”
Peachcake on stage
One affair Vega enjoyed was seeing bodies who didn’t apperceive what to apprehend during their aboriginal Peachcake show.
“They go through that affectionate of awkward appearance of ‘Am I declared to anticipate this is air-conditioned or will I absolutely abash myself if I participate in this?’,” she recalled, with a laugh. “And to see them cantankerous that bandage and let themselves chargeless and comedy about was consistently aloof a absolutely bewitched experience.”
Watching Pruett onstage, she said, “I could acquaint that he was putting his accomplished spirit into his performance. I don’t know, it had a aberrant ability to it.”
As she and Pruett got to be friends, he retained an air of abstruseness for Vega.
“I’m addition who absolutely brand to bulk bodies out, what makes them tick,” she said.
“Any time I got into a absolutely abysmal chat with him, I was afraid at how how astute he was. And added times it would aloof be absolute nonsense advancing from his mouth. But was absolutely an accurate person. And absolutely heartfelt.”
Gratza was animate at Modified Arts, an all-ages area in city Phoenix, aback Peachcake approached him about animate with them.
“They had this little demo, and they had appointed a bout application the old website, Book Your Own (Expletive) Life,” he said. “And honestly, I was absolutely afflicted that a bounded bandage at that time had appointed a bout and was serious.”
Some of their ancient shows were at the city Phoenix area Paper Heart, area JRC, who went on to accomplish the Trunk Space with Stephanie Carrico, was addled by Pruett’s drive, abnormally afterwards one blighted Halloween show.
“No one came, but Peachcake did their appointed set to a scattering of us and, as it was one of their ancient gigs, articulate terrible,” he said, with a laugh.
“But the activity was what got through. Appropriate afterwards they accomplished Stefan was on his corpuscle buzz aggravating to acquisition a abode affair or added gig they could hop on aftermost minute. He was consistently blame to abound his admirers and accomplish it … He absolutely capital to accomplish music his life, and committed his hustle to it.”
Stefan Pruett (left) and John O’Keefe of Peachcake. Credit: Peachcake.
Peachcake’s aboriginal release, 2004’s “Chain Letter EP” laid out their agreeable arrangement in synth-driven highlights with titles as arced as “I Fell in Adulation With You While Listening to My Favorite Morrissey” and “I Hope We Don’t Get Exploded.”
They appear three consecutive EPs — including a breach with affiliated alcohol Less Pain Forever on Western Tread Recordings, a characterization run by Adkins and Charlie Levy of Stateside Presents — and two feature albums, 2008’s “What Year Will You Accept the World?” and 2012’s “Unbelievable Souls.”
They additionally toured a lot.
Gratza said, “One of our aboriginal tours was with Hellogoodbye. We did South by Southwest. We did North by Northwest in Canada. We did Bamboozle out in California. We toured with Ozma, Cute is What We Aim For, all these, like, emo Myspace bands aback in the day.”
Peachcake in Norway, about to accomplish at the Slottsfjell Festival.
Henri Benard became their bagman in 2011.
“I was at the Rhythm Room,” Benard recalled. “At a Peachcake show. And Stefan said, ‘We got an allure to this anniversary in Norway and we’d like to booty a drummer.’ I was like, ‘Totally. I will absolutely do that.’”
They spent about eight months call alert a anniversary for that headlining set at the Slottsfjell Anniversary in July 2012.
Then they flew to Norway, took the date and proceeded to accept their aperture song batty by a alternation of abstruse issues above their control.
“I’m like ‘Oh God, our bandage is bombing. We came all the way from America. So abundant advertising abaft this appearance and we’re one of those anniversary bands that’s aloof bombing.'”
That’s aback Pruett intervened.
“He stops the show,” Benard recalled. “And he says ‘OK authority on, everybody. We’re gonna alpha over. We came a continued way and we want to accept a abundant acquaintance together.’ It gives me chills cerebration about it. He said, ‘On the calculation of three, we’re all gonna bawl ‘reset’ and we’re gonna alpha this appearance over. And it’s gonna rock.'”
So he counted to three, 5,000 bodies shouted ‘reset’ and the appearance went off after a hitch.
“If he had fabricated a altered call or aloof not been the dude he was, that ability accept gone absolutely different,” Benard said. “And I anticipate that bearings aloof affectionate of batten to who he was as a actuality and absolutely as an artist. He was a awe-inspiring guy. But at the end of the day, it aloof stemmed from an animated and at times agitable bulk of love.”
Peachcake played their final appearance at Crescent Ballroom in 2013.
Pruett had been assuming with Peachcake for added than a decade at that point and Gratza feels the bandage had artlessly run its course.
“Obviously, Stefan still admired music and was still heavily complex and absitively to go at it solo,” Gratza said. “We absolutely had him accessible for She Wants Revenge at Crescent aftermost year. That was absolutely the aftermost time I saw him.”
That Crescent appearance was allotment of a U.S. bout the Guidance did in 2019 with She Wants Revenge and Dawson’s activity MXMS. And Pruett had aloof appear a Tommie Sunshine and MureKian remix of “Overs” on June 12.
“It’s like he was aggravating to be as animate as he could be,” Vega said. “He had to be acquainted of his bloodshed his accomplished life, actuality built-in with a affection condition. So it’s absolutely alarming that he fabricated abiding to do article that put so abundant absolute activity out there and was so adorning to others.”
Reach the anchorman at [email protected] or 602-444-4495. Follow him on Twitter @EdMasley.
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