The Factory Re-Opens, Produces

A local D.C. band favorite reunites after 20 years

By Jhaan Elker
|  Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011  |  Updated 2:42 PM EDT
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A sitdown with The Factory's lead singer Vance Bockis and bassist Scott Sartorius.

A sitdown with The Factory's lead singer Vance Bockis and bassist Scott Sartorius.

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Rock & roll is timeless. And if there’s ever a band to prove it, it’s The Factory.

After 20 years of inactivity, the local D.C. favorite reunited recently, and signed a seven-year recording contract with Acetate Records.

How'd that happen? Acetate's founder was once a fan, and just so happened to stumble across their old videos on Youtube. A few e-mail exchanges later, and the deal was done.

Back in the day, led by singer Vance Bockis, The Factory shredded and strummed their way to D.C. popularity starting in 1984. The band produced songs of drugs, young love, lust and middle-class bravado with hits like “Girl That I Want” and “Ecstasy.” They drew large crowds with their rock beats threaded with punk and R&B.

But after many band member switches, including the addition of bassist Scott Sartorius, the band succumbed to pressure and in-group problems. Ever the attempt-to-write-firsthand artist, Bockis was brought down by personal demons and drug addiction, issues many artists in the industry of past and present face.

Although Bockis eventually overcame his problems, the band didn't survive the turmoil, and in 1992 went their separate ways. Bockis and his band’s turmoil even prompted future Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighter Dave Grohl's D.C. punk band, Scream, to write a song about him called "GLC," or "Good Lookin' Corpse."

In 2010, though, a glimmer of light shone through when Acetate Records reached out to the band with the intentions of releasing remastered copies of their greatest hits. The band took it as a sign, and used the opportunity to reunite the band for revival.

Since the release of their new self-titled album, the band has booked several gigs and has played to satisfying results. Their next gig is on April 21 at Surf Club Live (4711 Kenilwoirth Ave., Hyattsville, Md.) and will be their first headline in more than 20 years.

"It wasn't easy growing up in the murder capital of the United States," said Bockis, with a wicked sense of humor and amphetamine eye. “Though the experience [has made] us stronger. We’ve aged, but we’ve also evolved. We can we can make things happen in a new way.”

Sartorious was quick to agree, saying their age has also added to the urgency of following their dreams.

“We’ll just keep this going,” Sartorius said, “and hopefully inspire a few other people who thought that they can’t still play because they’ve gotten a little bit older, to pick it up again, get out there and do it.”


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