This article is about American indie rock band. For the robot made by Fujitsu, see Enon (robot). For other uses, see Enon (disambiguation).
For the Biblical location, see: Ænon

Enon live at the Hideout Block Party in Chicago, 2006
Background information
Origin New York
Genres Indie rock
Years active 1999–2011
Labels Touch and Go
Website www.enon.tv
Members John Schmersal
Toko Yasuda
Past members Rick Lee
Steve Calhoon
Matt Schulz

Enon was an indie rock band founded by John Schmersal, Rick Lee, and Steve Calhoon that was active from 1999 to 2011; however, for most of its history, Enon was a three-piece outfit composed of Schmersal, Toko Yasuda, and Matt Schulz. Though situated for a time in Philadelphia, Enon was known for being part of the New York music scene.


Schmersal was originally in the band Brainiac and formed Enon (named after the village in Ohio, which is close to Schmersal's hometown of Dayton) with Lee and Calhoon following the death of Brainiac's singer Timmy Taylor and their subsequent disbandment. After Brainiac, Schmersal made a solo album under the name John Stuart Mill.[1] Rick Lee and Steve Calhoon were both previous members of the band Skeleton Key, a befriended band Brainiac had toured with. Together they formed Enon. Lee created a number of percussion sounds for the band playing a "junk kit" including a Radio Flyer wagon, propane tank, and old hubcaps.

After the release of their first album Believo! which was Produced by D. Sardy and signed to his SeeThru Broadcasting label in 1999, Calhoon left the band and was replaced by Toko Yasuda (bass/vocals/keyboard) and Matt Schulz (drums). Yasuda was previously in the bands Blonde Redhead, The Lapse and The Van Pelt. With the new lineup, Enon released High Society also produced by Sardy in 2002 and toured with The Faint. A majority of Enon's albums have been released on the Chicago-based indie label, Touch and Go Records after the closing of SeeThru Broadcasting. Lee left the band, and Enon went on to release Hocus Pocus in 2003, and a collection of singles and previously difficult to find internet-released songs with a bonus DVD entitled Lost Marbles & Exploded Evidence in February 2005. In 2007, all three members of Enon contributed to Les Savy Fav's album Let's Stay Friends. Yasuda also did vocal contributions to previous recordings of this band, e.g. the first track of The Cat and the Cobra.

Enon released their fourth and final studio album, Grass Geysers...Carbon Clouds on Touch and Go Records on October 9, 2007.[2]

In summer 2008, drummer Matt Schulz announced that he would be leaving the group to pursue other interests. Afterwards he joined Holy Fuck as a touring member.

Brainiac's former bassist, Monasterio, directs music videos, including two for Enon, and released an album in 2008 with a new band called Model/Actress; Schmersal makes appearances on this album.


Enon was known for using Moog synthesizers and Teisco guitars. Schmersal's green guitar he often uses on stage is a Teisco TG-64, he also owns a Teisco Del Ray. Yasuda plays a Fender Jazz Bass with an adapted tuning machine, which allows quickly tuning to D from E. Schmersal also owns a custom built Twister guitar built by Yuri Landman, an alternate version of the Springtime exclusively crafted for Enon with some additional features such as a scalloped fretboard and an additional pickup in the bridge.


In a May 2011 interview, after touring with Caribou for a good portion of 2010 and 2011, Schmersal confirmed the band "is pretty much over" with no plans to follow up on Grass Geysers...Carbon Clouds.[3] From 2011-2014 Yasuda toured with St. Vincent playing synth.

TV, commercial and production work

While performing with Enon, Schmersal (sometimes accompanied by Yasuda) found himself in demand as a composer for short films, animated programs, bumpers and interstitials, and commercials for clients including Disney, Cartoon Network, MTV and Nickelodeon. Many of these instrumentals feature the signature electro-analog quirkiness emblematic of Enon.[4]

In 2005, Schmersal relocated to Philadelphia and opened his own recording studio. Mean Reds, Thunderbirds Are Now! and other bands recorded albums with Schmersal in this period. Schmersal's music was used for series opens, promo packages and channel branding for Sundance Channel in this period, as well as scoring work for the animated feature Monster House (with composer David Sardy) and the award-winning 2007 indie film Tie A Yellow Ribbon.[5]

An otherwise unreleased song called "We Are The Robots" was used in the February 2008 episode of cult children's TV series Yo Gabba Gabba! titled "Robot." The 1:21 song was accompanied by animation of robots playing with children and assisting with household chores. In 2009, Schmersal and Yasuda recorded the opening theme for PBS Kids show Dash's Dance Party.[6]

John Stuart Mill

Prior to the recording and release of Believo!, Schmersal recorded and released a solo album under the name John Stuart Mill, after the British philosopher and political economist. Schemeral released one 13-track album, "Forget Everything," as John Stuart Mill on See-Thru Broadcasting in 1999. The album was released on CD only and quickly went out of print when the label folded. Columbus-based Scioto Records reissued "Forget Everything" on Bandcamp and on vinyl in 2016.[7][8]

Crooks On Tape

In 2010 Schmersal reteamed with Enon's Rick Lee and drummer Joey Galvan to created the improvisational trio Crooks On Tape. The band released the album "Fingerprint" on Misra Records in 2013 and an instrumental, vinyl-only album "In The Realm Of The Ancient Minor" on Pure Orgone for Record Store Day 2015.[9]

Plvs Vltra

Since 2012 Yasuda has recorded under the name Plvs Vltra, releasing the solo album Parthenon on Spectrum Spools in 2012. Schmersal produced that album, which also features appearances from Danny Ray Thompson of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Scott Allen of Thunderbirds Are Now, Thomas Keville of Man Man.

In 2013 Plvs Vltra released the non-LP single "Rooftop Arcade" b/w "Mesopotamia" on Columbus-based Scioto Records. That same year, Plvs Vltra released second album Yo-Yo Blue on Bandcamp and on the cassette-only label Field Hymns.[10][11][12]

Vertical Scratchers

In 2014 Schmersal collaborated with drummer Christian Eric Beaulieu (Triclops!, Anywhere, Peace Creeps) to form Vertical Scratchers. The band released the album Daughter of Everything on Merge Records in 2014 which featured guest appearances by Jonathan Hischke (Flying Luttenbachers, Hella, Broken Bells) and fellow Daytonite Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices). Pitchfork gave the album a 7.2 rating, calling the music "rock‘n’roll rendered on Etch A Sketch...occasionally, you find yourself marveling at an accidental masterpiece."[13]

Vertical Scratchers also contributed an exclusive track, "Jackie's Favorite," to the Merge 7" box set Or Thousands Of Prizes.[14][15]




Song Of The Month

From April 2002 to December 2003, Enon released a free unreleased song once a month on their official website. All songs were made available as 128kbps MP3 downloads and only available during the month they were released.


See also


  1. Proefrock, Stacia (1999-12-15). "Bio John Stuart Mill on". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  2. "Grass Geysers...Carbon Clouds - Enon - Touch and Go - Quarterstick Records". Touchandgorecords.com. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  3. "Fucking Nostalgic: Interview: John Schmersal (Brainiac, Enon, Caribou)". Fuckingnostalgic.blogspot.com. 2011-05-23. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  4. John Schmersal (demo reel) http://www.johnschmersal.com/cartoons.html. Retrieved 26 July 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ""Tie A Yellow Ribbon" (2007)". Internet Movie Database (IMDB). Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  6. "John Schmersal (artist biography)". John Schmersal (portfolio). Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  7. ""John Stuart Mill: Forget Everything" (album details page)". Discogs.
  8. "Scioto Records (label)". Bandcamp. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  9. Crooks On Tape (official website) http://www.crooksontapemusic.com/discography.html. Retrieved 26 July 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. Scioto Records http://sciotorecords.com/. Retrieved 26 July 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. "Plvs Vltra (band page)". Bandcamp. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  12. Field Hymns (record label) http://www.fieldhymns.com/category/catalog/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. Berman, Stuart. ""Vertical Scratchers: Daughter Of Everything" (album review)". Pitchfork. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  14. "Vertical Scratchers (artist page)". Merge Records. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  15. Vertical Scratchers (official website) http://www.verticalscratchers.com/news.html. Retrieved 26 July 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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