Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

The Chronics

Michele DeVinney

Whatzup Features Writer

Published June 19, 1997

Heads Up! This article is 25 years old.

Since they were featured in these pages

almost 10 months ago, The Chronics have

been busy building their following both

within Fort Wayne and beyond, covering

an ever-growing territory, a region they

have every intention of expanding as

1997 continues.

Although The Chronics have been together

in their current form for almost five

years, the band’s members — bassist

Rose Lazoff, guitarist Jane Palajac and

drummer Jerry Miller — have known each

other personally for well over a decade.

That partnership, and the resulting

commitment to each other, has allowed

the band to pursue their dream of making

original music together.

Having been members of an 80s touring

band, one that performed primarily

covers of other people’s material, the

three determined upon their formation in

1992 that they weren’t interested in

repeating that grind, preferring instead

to write and perform music together that

reflected their own diverse musical

tastes. The first product of that

effort, their self-titled debut CD, was

released in 1995.

Since then, the band has been busy

performing through the Midwest,

cultivating a devoted following and

expanding upon a repertoire that will

ultimately result in a follow-up CD.

While The Chronics have had their share

of successes in the past couple of

years, one of the more interesting

occurred last September when they found

themselves opening for Joan Jett and the

Blackhearts at Piere’s.

“That was a great experience,” says

Palajac. “Mostly being able to play with

a really huge sound system and to be

able to play in front of that many

people was just really fun. We loved

that. And, of course, meeting Joan was


The band members have also found

themselves being received well in front

of crowds outside the Fort Wayne area,

playing in Toledo, Bloomington and

Madison, Wisconsin this past spring. All

have provided them with satisfying

experiences, but the recent show in

Wisconsin seems to be the closest to

their hearts.

“That was really fun,” says Palajac. “It

was fun to play in front of an audience

that we did not know, but they were real

open to original stuff, and we felt like

they really liked us. We felt we did a

good show, and we had a lot of fun.

We’re working on a return trip in the


As a matter of fact, they’re looking to

revisit all of those places and more in

the fall, hoping to expand their

horizons in the process. But, while they

will be playing some area dates this

summer — including an appearance on

Saturday, June 21 in Auburn, a M.O.M.S.

performance on July 1 at Columbia Street

West and a possible appearance with

Strut Train during the Three Rivers

Festival — on the whole, The Chronics

are looking for some down time, allowing

them to build their stamina for the

later part of this year.

“People are just taking it easy,” says

Palajac. “We’re hoping to enjoy the

summer a little bit, have some vacation

time, do a lot of jammin’, just have

some fun. And then we’ll get ready for

the fall, and then hit it really hard


Aside from their possible touring plans,

The Chronics are working on material

that will probably yield them their

second CD, one that they’re hoping to

record in the near future.

“We’re ready to start recording,” says

Palajac. “The problem, of course, comes

down to money. If there are any

eccentric millionaires out there who

want to throw some money our way, they

can contact us through WhatzUp or our

P.O. box.

“But we’re anxious to get that going. We

have some new material that’s been

tested live for awhile as well as some

that no one’s heard.”

Their studio work, while capturing their

sound, doesn’t always capture their

spirit, which has led to talk of a

possible live video or CD. The video is

being discussed seriously, with a few

aborted efforts already under their

belts. The CD might also have to wait


“The live CD is still getting talked

about,” says Palajac, “just because we

do a particular thing when we’re live,

that whole improvisational-jones is

going on at that time, and a lot of

people would like to hear that from us,

we’ve been told. But I think we’re

probably going to stick to a studio

recording instead of a live thing. But a

live CD isn’t out of the question.”

After all of these years together,

building a team that works on a personal

level and a professional one, you might

wonder what makes this partnership last,

both onstage and off.

“That’s a good question,” says Palajac.

“We’re all so different. One thing is

that we all get bored pretty easily so

we all three are looking for things that

excite us musically on a continual

basis. People who come to hear us

realize that a lot of the songs that we

do, that maybe they’ve heard on the CD,

we change them around. We love to jam

and create as we go, so I think that’s

something that keeps us together.

“I think we just … I don’t know. I

don’t know what it is. You know somebody

so long, you go through everything with

them. We traveled on the road together

in a road band, and you see everybody at

their worst and at their very best. And

so I guess if a problem arises, we know

how to deal with it; we know how to let

things go.”

They also know how to maintain the

commitment to each other, their

friendship and their future as a band,

As Palajac notes, aside from their

families and friends, this is their most

important endeavor.

“We’re really dedicated. This is what

the three of us like the most. This is

our main focus. It’s the thing we love

the most, so we make it work.

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