To begin, it must be said that you've had a long and storied involvement with the pop punk scene for much longer than I've known you. Can you tell us how you initially discovered pop punk, and how it became a central interest for you?
But it wasn’t until the Insomniac tour that the floodgates were opened. I watched the opening band, The Riverdales, in awe, thinking, “This is probably the closest thing to watching The Ramones as I’m ever gonna get!” After the show I bought the self titled Riverdales CD at the merch table and noticed they were also on Lookout. I thought to myself, “I wonder if any other bands on Lookout sound like this?” I went to the Lookout Records website and the rest is history.
Next was a “band” made up of myself and my friend Barry on bass in college called The Tritones. We badly recorded one album in my bedroom on a digital 8 track, and never played a show.
The first real band I was in was drumming for a band from St Louis called The Belushis. Super fast, snotty pop punk. We played a lot of shows and had a lot of fun. We basement recorded an album at our guitarist’s house that really didn’t get much of a chance to be heard since we stopped playing shows shortly after recording it.
It was during my time with The Belushis that I met The Eyeliners and started Talking to them about drumming. I played a couple shows with them, and In the process I ended up meeting The All-Stars from West Virginia and drummed for them for a little while. After that I returned to STL and the Belushis, and started a new band doing my own songs called The Shaniquas. We played a couple shows and then I ended up being asked to tour with The Eyeliners so The Shaniquas fell apart and I did that for a while. Once my time with The Eyeliners was over I formed a new version of The Shaniquas, and also started drumming in a new band with Teflon Dave called The Fintas. Fintas recorded an album that we self released, and The Shaniquas did a little recording, but both bands ended when I returned to college to finish my degree.
Jump forward about 10 years and I started getting the itch to play music again and replied to a Craigslist ad looking for a drummer and met Corey from Parasite Diet. He was starting a new version of the band and at the time was planning on singing and playing electric ukulele, but right before our first practice he decided he’d rather go back to drums so I became the guitarist/vocalist. We’ve been doing stuff off an on since 2014 including a tour with Paul Collins, and recording several EPs and 3 albums. We’re currently writing a new album that we’re gonna record up in St Louis at Encapsulated later this year.
My first album with Parasite Diet was released by Eccentric Pop and it was through that connection that I met The Putz. PD and Putz had played a few shows together and we had got along pretty well, so when Putz needed a new guitarist they asked if I’d be interested in filling in, which then led to a permanent spot. We’ve recorded two albums and several Eps together and done several tours. We also are about to record anew record at Encapsulated.
In 2015 I ended up with a lot of time on my hands thanks to life events, so I decided to take a chance and talk to Joe Queer about playing with him. A few weeks later he called me up and asked if I’d like to do some shows with MTX and Screeching Weasel. Of course I said yes! I did three east coast shows on bass, and 3 west coast shows on guitar. After that I ended up playing bass for a few more Queers tours, and had a blast getting to play these songs I had loved for so long.
It was through The Queers that Dave Parasite approached me about filling in on bass for a tour, so I figured, “why not?” I ended up doing two unforgettable tours with Dave.
I also did a short span of time drumming for The Independents, with Jack from Parasite Diet on bass. I’d known those guys for years and loved having the opportunity to play with them. Great guys, and a great band!
That brings me to current bands. Here, locally, in the Nashville area, I play bass for a ramonesey band called The Rip Taylors. We recorded most of an album just before the pandemic and it’s finally getting mixed now, so hopefully that’ll be out soon, and we threw together a cover song for the Ramonescore Records Mutant Pop Tribute.
Teflon Dave, Billy Putz, and I have talked for years about doing a band together and that’s finally coming together. We did a track on the Ramonescore Records Mutant Pop Tribute as Teflon Dave and The Eccentrics, but we’ll have a different permanent name for our next release.
Also with Billy Putz, I’m drumming in another new band, along with Chad from Covert Flops, called The Pembrookes. We’re well on the way to having our first album and ep written, and also had a track on the Ramonescore Radio Mutant Pop Tribute.
And then there’s my solo stuff as Classic Pat and The Coruscants. I’ve got tons of stuff in the works on both of those fronts.
I’ve got a few more covers already done and coming soon, I’ve started a solo album of originals that will be out in December, and I’ll have another set of originals out before that probably (just waiting to see which ones end up on the new Parasite Diet album first). I’ve also got a couple sillier cover albums planned and/or started, and a few other surprises.
And Corey is a master lyricist. He thinks of lyrics in ways most people never begin to. Rhymes, not just at the ends of lines but in other strategic places throughout the verses, word play, crazy metaphors and double meanings. Not a single word goes into one of Corey’s songs that doesn’t serve a purpose.
I’m extremely fortunate to get to work with and learn from both those guys.
All of those things and the franchises that go with them are a huge influence on the stuff I write or listen to in terms of music. I mean, The Coruscants should prove that right off the bat. I just wish I could get my songwriting to the level of someone like Horror Section, where you know the song has to be about something horror nerdy, but it’s done so tastefully that it’s almost a game trying to figure out what movie is being referenced.
The only other thing I tend to do when in writing mode is to write with an album in mind. I write a song and then I say, “Okay what would sound good as the next track on the album?” Most of the time I don’t even have to think about sequencing by the time everything’s recorded because it was written in order already.
Like I mentioned earlier, there should be two albums of original material coming later this year. And I’ve got most of the songs ready for the more power pop/80’s rock style album that “Change My Tune” would fit on standing by. I’ve got a particular guest vocalist I’m trying to lock down for one of the songs and I don’t wanna do it until that happens.