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Wipers

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Portland, Oregon, United States (1977 – 1989, 1995 – 2001)

Wipers were a group formed in Portland, Oregon, United States in 1977 by guitarist Greg Sage, drummer Sam Henry and bassist Dave Koupal. Perhaps best known for the iconic early album Is This Real?, Wipers were one of the earliest American purveyors of the genre, and the group’s tight song structure and use of heavy distortion has been hailed as extremely influential by numerous critics and musicians (including Nirvana, who covered several of their songs), laying the groundwork for the evolution of modern from punk.

The idea behind the Wipers started off as only a recording project. The plan was to record 15 LPs in 10 years without touring or promotion of any type. Sage’s thoughts were that the mystique built from the lack of playing the traditional rock & roll promotion game would make people listen to their recordings much deeper with only their imagination to go by. He thought it would be easy to avoid press, shows, pictures, interviews. He looked at music as art rather than entertainment; with that concept in mind he thought music was personal to the listener rather than a commodity.

“I think I got that concept early on as a kid. I was very lucky to have my own professional record cutting lathe when I was in 7th grade due to my father being involved in the broadcast industry. I would cut records for friends at school of songs off the radio and learned the art of record making long before learning to play music. I would spend countless hours studying the grooves I would cut under the microscope that was attached to the lathe and loved the way music looked, moved and modulated within the thin walls.

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