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Washed Up Emo

Author: Tom Mullen

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Join Tom Mullen for a look back at when emo was an unknown word, its relevance now and speaks to those deeply involved with the emo/punk/hardcore/post-hardcore scene.

197 Episodes
Today on the podcast, we welcome actor and musician Michael Malarkey. You may know Michael from his acting roles in the Vampire Diaries to Project Blue Book. His most recent album “Graveracer” was released in early 2020. Michael is a huge fan of emo, punk, hardcore, and screamo. My favorite quote was fitting to many that have a love of something not their job and hope they can do one to help the other. He said, “I’m a musician with an acting problem.” Both are great and it was an honor to have Michael be a part of this podcast. If you’re a fan of him or not, or know too much or not enough, you’ll enjoy this episode. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
#196 - Mike Kinsella

#196 - Mike Kinsella


An absolute honor to have Mike on again to chat about what he's up to right now. He's been on so many times, we get right to the life updates and he gives me shit about my sports teams. Plus, we went track by track through his latest Owen record "The Avalanche." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Today we welcome musician Jim Ward. You may know him from At the Drive-In, Sparta, or Sleepercar. He has a new solo record called “Daggers” out June 11th. If you’re listening to this in the future, I’m sure it’s on whatever streaming service or implant we all have to enjoy our favorite tunes. Jim was an absolute blast to talk to and someone I’ve been wanting on the podcast since I started this back in 2011. We spoke a lot  about his life weaving in music, touring, and what he’s learned over the years. Jim pulled zero punches and was hopeful in his words that resonated deeply with me listening back. If you’re a fan of him or not, you’ll dig this chat.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Today, we welcome Johnathon Ford from Unwed Sailor and Roadside Monument. Johnathon and I have been trying to make this happen for years as we’d connect via mutual friends or at a show. Most recently in Brooklyn back before the pandemic we ended up talking for a long time after an Unwed Sailor show and it went places where you don’t expect a conversation to go and all the sudden you get a text or the bartender goes, “yea it’s closing time.” I wanted to do that again so I got Johnathon to come back on to talk about his music career from his early bands to Roadside Monument and his latest album “Truth or Consequences” that is out now on Spartan Records. As with any guests that got to take in the 80s, I was smitten with his stories of Seattle, Tulsa, and what laid the groundwork for his musical taste, ideals, but also where he is today. If you’ve never heard of either band, they are bedrocks for this scene and worth your time to dive into. If you have and looking to hear Johnathon speak at length about his life, you’re going to love this too.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
#193 - Brian Fallon

#193 - Brian Fallon


Today we welcome singer/songwriter Brian Fallon. You may also know him from The Gaslight Anthem or The Horrible Crowes and many other bands. Brian and I caught up to chat about finding music, his love of emo and influences that many may not realize. From The Gloria Record, Planes Mistaken for Stars, Mineral, Sunny Day Real Estate, I Hate Myself… these all shaped his writing from his time in a band and solo career. It was an absolute pleasure to chat with Brian about his life in music so far and there’s plenty more ahead that will always include some influences from our scene both old and new.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Today we welcome Brian Sokel from Franklin and AM/FM. Franklin were a Philly area band from 1992-2000 that had releases and played with many of your favorite bands during that time. Brian was the guitarist of Franklin and put out a bunch of great music that runs the gamut from post to dub to low-fi indie. With releases on Tree, Workshop, File 13, etc and then with Polyvinyl, for his days with the project AM/FM, Brian has spent time putting together photos and audio online for whoever may stumble upon this. It’s how we met today. We also get to spend time talking about his neighbor Atom from Atom and his Package fame. Let’s hear it for “E is for Enya.” Here’s how to learn more. Check out the website and That’s the way to check out all the music and find more stories about this era and scene around Philly. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Today, we welcome Mario Rubalcaba from Clikatat Ikatowi! Mario has been in many bands from Earthless, Rocket from the Crypt, Hot Snakes, and Off!. As with the podcast, we spoke a lot about his time skating, the formation of Clikatat Ikatowi and the surrounding scene of San Diego that shaped him. A lot of great stories from Mario about his time in music. An absolute legendary drummer and so happy he took some time to chat about his time in music with me. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
#190 - Sara Lund (Unwound)

#190 - Sara Lund (Unwound)


Today, we welcome Sara Lund from Unwound. Unwound were around from 1991 to 2002 and Sara joined soon after they started in 1992. Their influences on music and culture run vast from Botch, Garden Variety, Blonde Redhead, Modest Mouse, Pg. 99, and many more. In 2013, The Numero Group released the band’s entire studio output, so it’s out there for you to dive into. Jason Heller from the AV Club and past guest on the podcast was quoted saying “Unwound was the best band of the 90s.” Quite the compliment. Sara has been in many bands since and well worth your time to dig those out. She’s also a drum teacher which you can book an online drum lesson if you want. Learn more at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Today we welcome Brianna Collins from Tigers Jaw. The band just released a new album on Hopeless Records called "I Won’t Care How You Remember Me" and it is fantastic. I had Ben from the band on allll the way for episode 77 so it was time for another episode and why not time it around the new album. Brianna and I talk about the band’s evolution, the new record, and her thoughts on the scene from the revival up to today. It was an absolute honor to have time with Brianna to hear her perspective on the scene and music.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Today, we welcome guitarist and singer from Ryan Ferguson from the band No Knife. I had Mitch Wilson (the other half of the guitar vocals of No Knife) on episode 153 and today, we welcome in Ryan. We talk a lot about his music both solo and No Knife, the scene, and I sorta didn’t realize but I read a super low Pitchfork review of one of his solo albums that Ryan never knew they reviewed or read it. So I read the review and you’ll hear how that turned out. If you haven’t heard No Knife or Ryan’s solo stuff, give it a try. An absolute unique sound and their records never sound old to me whenever they come on… No Knife were one of the best bands ever to come out of San Diego and I’m so happy Ryan spent some time to chat about it EDIT: 3/1/21: Not Ken Griffey, Jr. it was Barry Larkin. Ken Griffey Jr. played for the Mariner’s farm system which was a few years later.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Today, we welcome Alex Stoitsiadis from Dogleg. They’re an amazing band and recently for the 7th annual Washed Up Emo Awards, which is only voted on by fans, won multiple awards and we found some time together to chat about the band and their history up to this point. If you’re not familiar with the band, they’re from Detroit, Michigan and released a record called “Melee” last year on Triple Crown. One of the best new bands out there right now, Dogleg and Alex’s words are worthy of your time.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Chris Carrabba from Dashboard Confessional stops by to chat about his accident recovery and favorite songs from his catalog.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Today, we welcome Jim Adkins again on the podcast to discuss a classic, their 3rd album "Clarity" in detail. He and I go deep into every single song, the album overall, and the upcoming livestream where they’re playing this front to back for us on February 12th. If you’re in the future, maybe this is on streaming services, vinyl or some futuristic platform. Learn more about these livestreams, buy a ticket or some merch too, at jimmy eat world live dot com.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Today we have a special episode with Zach Lind from Jimmy Eat World. He and I spoke recently talking about each song off of their 2004 release "Futures" for WUER, Washed Up Emo Radio that’s on Spotify right now. During the track by track we got into more about the band’s relationship with the fans now during this epidemic and what it’s been like re-learning and playing songs from past albums. I realized I had a ton from the cutting room floor that was worth for ya'll to hear in full. So this episode was quite fun to put together and hope you dig it.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Today we welcome singer and guitarist Brian Carley from the New Jersey emo/indie/post-hardcore band Penfold. If you’re a fan of the 90s emo like The Promise Ring and Mineral, you’re in for a treat. If you haven’t heard of them, meet your new favorite band.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Today’s guests Steven Smith and Jonah Bayer you may know if you owned a television and loved music in the mid 2000s. Around that time, there was one TV show dedicated to the scene so to speak and championed many bands you know and love today. The show was Steven’s Untitled Rock Show on Fuse TV. A show I had the pleasure of working with during my day job at Equal Vision Records. To have their videos played and even interviewed was a huge deal at the time. Host Steven Smith and one of the writers for the show, Jonah Bayer are amazing in their candor about the time and place of the rock show and what is keeping that spirit alive today. A true time in a bottle experience for those that were there and worth taking a dive into again.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Azure Ray is an American dream pop duo, consisting of musicians Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor. Formed in Athens, Georgia in 2001, they later moved to Omaha, Nebraska and became part of the Saddle Creek Records music scene, which also included Bright Eyes, The Faint, and Cursive. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Like two friends who haven’t spoken in a bit. Mike and I start talking about a show i saw of theirs at the beginning of the pod. Mike was absolutely a joy to speak with albeit with some audio issues thanks to cell phones and not being able to do this in person. Also you may hear some beeps, not sure if the NSA was listening but if they are, I hope they enjoyed the trip down memory lane with Mike about the band, his life and what music has meant to him. I also seem to have had a crazy cold but still did this interview so I sound a little stuffed up. Also, it’s worth noting, please check out Travis Dopp’s GoFundMe for his fight against cancer. Look for those links on Washed Up Emo dot com if you’re looking to help out.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Today, we have someone on the podcast that changed my life. Mike Parsell, guitarist from the band Frail. Frail were from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and when they played a local teen center near me in high school, I was absolutely hooked. Only around from 1993-1996, they influenced countless bands we love today when the worlds of emo and hardcore collided without dollar signs. Mike was very nice at the beginning of this podcast, letting me nerd out a bit about the first time I saw them and was very open about the band, his thoughts now about the music, and what it means to him.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Today we welcome Tonie Joy from Moss Icon. Moss Icon were around for only four years but impacted two genres and countless bands after their short time together. They are an icon in this scene and it was absolutely fascinating to hear Tonie’s perspective on DIY and the music scene from his vantage point of being in this band from 1987-1991. We talk about how he met Jonathan Vance, finding punk and hardcore in the suburbs of DC, and the first time he heard the word emo. We also go deep into his relationship with the word and what he thinks now. Tonie was honest and someone I wish I could listen to for hours. Lucky for us, we got an hour and a half of a legend speaking about a time and place where many of the bands we love today bore some lineage to the bands Tonie was in. If you have no idea who these guys are, take a listen online. If you do know, you’re going to hear some stories told only on this podcast.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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