Pavement is an independent American rock band from Stockton, California. He is best known for his lo-fi style that has had a great influence.
The group is formed in 1989, in Stockton, California, by Stephen Malkmus and a longtime friend Scott Kannberg. These two guitarists-singers are then known under their respective pseudonyms S.M. and Spiral Stairs. They are soon joined by drummer Gary Young who provides his home studio for recording the first EP Slay Tracks. It was published in 1989 on the self-financed label Treble Kicker and only in the United States. In 1990 and 1991, two EPs, Demolition Plot J-7 and Summer Babe, and a mini-album, Perfect Sound Forever, hit the US label Drag City. The lo-fi charm of Summer Babe finally ensures the group a contract with the English label Big Cat.
Bassist Mark Ibold and percussionist Bob Nastanovich join them then and release their first album, Slanted and Enchanted in 1992. This album becomes a success with, according to Allmusic Guide, his style of combining chaotic dissonance and broken crystalline melodies and his cryptic and laconic words>. The most visible influence is that of the English rock band The Fall, although Kannberg said he prefers The Replacements to The Fall>. A compilation of the first EP, Westing (Musket and Sextant) comes out a year later in 1993.
During the Slanted and Enchanted tour, Gary Young's eccentric behavior began to be a problem for the rest of the band. The group will understand only after a few dates that Young had big problems with alcohol. Malkmus will later explain to Tape Op, "We knew he was reacting like a hippie, but we did not know he had alcohol problems. We found him on tour because he was nervous and sick ... That's why I let Bob in ... 'To keep playing if Gary slams'>. In 1993, Malkmus tried to record some new tracks in Young's studio, but without success. The singer will say: "Somehow, we did not want to record with him anymore, but we were too nice to fire the members or we did not want to talk about it ... We tried to record here, but it was not right, the studio was not ready, and Young always drank like a hole. "