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John DeDomenici has played the bass in many bands. But most notably Jeff Rosenstock's solo band and Bomb the Music Industry. He also played a whole variety of instruments in Arrogant Sons of Bitches. Today, we bring on John and throw every random and obscure question we can think at him. We talk about catching Covid in England, getting his own dressing room at the Gaslight Anthem Jersey show, drunkenly cutting his hand trying to open a bottle of wine, and joining Chris Gethard at Fest in a Smiths cover band. We also talk about green-screening his bass performance to Late Night With Seth Meyers, the time he almost joined Every Time I Die, and why he likes to listen to a punishing amount of 311 and Metallica cover songs. Plus he even tells us about the time in 2004 he did live sound for Donald Trump. Spoiler Alert, Trump was not a good guy.  Support the show
"Everything I do is out of necessity," Jay Vance tells us. He grew frustrated playing with Blue Meanies, then Skankin Pickle, and realized that the only way he was going to have a successful band with longevity is if he no longer played with other humans. So he built his own band called Captured! By Robots, where he is the only human member and the rest are robots.Today, Jay tells us about the early days of Blue Meanies (He founded the band!), his year in Skankin Pickle (As their third bassist!), and the weirdest band to ever exist: Captured! By Robots. he spills all the details and rants angrily about the evils of the music industry in the process. He also talks about his love for rocksteady, his hatred of ska, the role he may or may not have had in Skankin' Pickle bassist Mike Mattingly getting kicked out of the band, and the many unusual TV appearances Captured! By Robots made in its early days. He also says why he will never do America's Got Talent, no matter how many times they invite him. Plus Jay explains what a dildo unicorn is and why he's tripping balls. Here is a link to the rocksteady mix Jay mentioned during the interview Support the show
The Aggrolites have zero ska songs. Sure they play with a lot of ska bands, but their genre is REGGAE, specifically "Dirty Reggae." That means it was influenced by late 60s skinhead reggae, and given a modern, aggressive punk rock edge. The band formed in 2002, immediately appealing to the hardcore skinhead and rudeboy crowd. But in 2007, when they appeared on Yo Gabba Gabba (And performed the E.K. Bunch's classic reggae song "Banana") they gained a much wider audience. Today, we tell the story of The Aggrolites with singer Jesse Wagner and keyboardist Roger Rivas. We talk about the vibrant traditional ska scene they emerged from, and how they formed out of a Derrick Morgan recording project that was never released. We talk in-depth about the first three records and learn how the band went from recording spontaneous jams to thought-out (and sometimes experimental) songs. We talk about the group getting signed to Hellcat and backing Tim Armstrong on his debut solo album, "A Poet's Life" (The session included an Alkaline Trio cover that was released separately). We also talk about how rough it was opening for Dropkick Murphys on tour. We get into the group's style, which has a lot more in common with punk than reggae or ska. And we discuss how, even though they play reggae music, they don't fit into the reggae scene.  Support the show
Five days after Ryan Seaman graduated from high school, he hit the road. His gig: drumming for The Eyeliners on Warped Tour 2002. This was just the beginning for Ryan. He'd go on to play in Fairview, Falling In Reverse, I Am Ghost, and I Don't Know How By They Found Me. That last band played Ellen and Jimmy Kimmel. But before any of this, Ryan was a ska-punk kid going to as many shows in Salt Lake City, Utah as he possibly could. On today's episode, we chat with Ryan about his SLC ska-punk scene years. He tells us how transformative Green Day's Dookie was for him, discovering The Stereo in 1999, road managing The Aquabats in 2019, and how a Link 80 show at Area 51 was one of the greatest shows he saw in his life. We also talk about the movie SLC Punk, The Used, and Adam tells us about the time he saw Mr. Bungle in Utah. We also discuss Utah ska bands, including Insatiable, Sturgeon General, My Man Friday, Stretch Armstrong, Hospital Food and The Knockouts.  Support the show
The Chris Gethard Show was supposed to start like normal, but the audience had their own idea. They shouted "Eat More Butts" at Chris to a degree that he couldn't start his show. The musical guest, Jeff Rosenstock, even gave them a musical accompaniment. For 15 minutes, the show descended into madness. But Chris also didn't fight it because he knew that this would be great TV. Having grown up in the DIY punk scene, he was aware that this type of chaos was where a show's best moments would be. Today, we speak to Chris Gethard about his punk roots. His first show ever was in a Jersey church basement with all local bands. His 2nd was in a friend's backyard. A young, Less Than Jake was also on the bill. Less Than Jake became Chris's favorite band for a while. During this time, he also saw Slapstick, Skankin' Pickle, Mephiskapheles, Catch 22, and was a fan of other ska bands like Mustard Plug and MU330. We also talk about Chris's recent experience hitching a ride with Catbite. He also talks about bringing on Take Today to play his live "New Jersey is the World" show a few times. (He loves, "Do You Still Hate Me?," their Jawbreaker cover and their ska song, SKAdiving.). He talks about his recent interview with Bigger Thomas singer Roger Apollon. And we also talk about his passion for all things New Jersey...he tells us where we can get REAL Italian Ice! Plus Chris tells us how surreal it was recently to see Jeff Rosenstock play a huge show opening for Gaslight Anthem.  Support the show
New York's Stop The Presses were all set to hit the road hard in March 2020. The day they scheduled to leave, New York went into lockdown. So instead, they hunkered down and made an excellent pandemic record, Got It, released on September 29 on Jump Up Records. The group showcases their uniquely dreamy and washy ska-pop sound, rooted in an aesthetic that takes its vibe from the 1960s-1980s, in all its reverb and space echo-y goodness. On today's episode, we interview three members of Stop The Presses, and get deep into their history, first starting in the primarily Spanish-speaking town of Hialeah, Florida in 2010 to their elaborate Halloween-themed shows (One year it evolved into a complete theatrical production called "It's Pronounced Nuclear") to relocating to New York in 2015. Once in the Big Apple, they locked in a new lineup and started working with Agent Jay of The Slackers to produce Money In The Bank (2019) and Got It (2022)We also discuss their three separate RVs, the Cuban roots of The Skatalites, the touring game that gave them their new album cover, and we break down their fantastic cover of Bikini Kill's "Rebel Girl" (Complete with a Dolly Parton "9 to 5" introduction)  Support the show
In 1995, promoter Kevin Lyman launched The Warped Tour. The first year's lineup was an eclectic mix of bands from the 90s (including No Doubt and Sublime). In subsequent years, it gained a reputation as a punk rock festival, though the lineups always remained diverse. And ska was always a component, even during the 2000s and 2010s. Some years, Lyman booked a bunch of ska bands. 1998 included The Specials, Hepcat, Pietasters, Skavoovie and the Epitones, and more. On today's episode, we talk to Lyman about his ska roots and discuss how important ska was to The Warped Tour. We talk about the time in the 80s he toured with The Untouchables, and we discuss how he booked Fishbone in the early 80s at rented halls. We also talk about some of the lesser-known ska bands that played the festival in the 2000s, like Oreskaband, Go Jimmy Go, Westbound Train, Stacked Like Pancakes and Sonic Boom Six. We also talk about Warped Tour's most attended year, 2005, when Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance played as they were exploding on MTV. He tells us about the BBQ bands, and he reveals whether he knowingly allowed Jeff Rosenstock's old band, ASOB, to sneak on to Warped Tour or if he was blissfully unaware.  Support the show
In 2006, Boston ska band Westbound Train played the Summer of Ska tour, followed by the Fall of Ska tour. Between the two tours, they played with Suburban Legends, Big D & The Kids Table, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Reel Big Fish and Streetlight Manifesto--all ska-punk bands. Westbound Train plays traditional ska, rocksteady and early reggae, with a hint of soul.The group, which formed in 2001 in Boston, has always been a ska band out of time. Not only did they form after the 90s ska boom, but they were often alone on an island, the only band on a bill playing overtly 60s-influenced ska. And somehow became one of the most popular US ska bands to form after the 90s. Now, the group just surprise-dropped their first record in 13 years, called Dedication. Lead singer Obi Fernandez sat down with us to talk about the new album and the band's history. We talk about their formation at Berklee College of Music and learn that one of their classmates, comedian Eric André roadied for the band (when he wasn't putting on strange shows at All Asia Bar.) Obi also tells us the influential role that country music plays on all Westbound Train songs. And he tells us how Bucket let him use The Toasters touring van to move to college. We also discuss their time on Warped tour 2009, how the Mighty Mighty Bosstones gave the group their first big shot, and how they rushed the recording of their sophomore album Five to Two in order to have something to show Tim Armstrong in hopes of getting signed to Hellcat (Which they did). Obi also tells us why the band ended shortly after that Warped Tour run when they were seemingly at the height of their popularity. He also tells us what it took to get the band back together again.  Support the show
Gogol Bordello plays a mix of different genres (Punk, Romani folk, Latin rock, polka), though hints of ska can be found all over their songs. Frontman Eugene Hütz calls it "ska without doing ska" and says he almost doesn't think about the ska elements since he sees ska as so closely linked to punk music.  But on Gogol Bordello's latest album, Solidaritine, the ska elements are more overt than ever before. The reason: their new drummer Korey "Kingston" Horn has an impressive ska resume (Aggrolites, Tim Armstrong, See Spot, Western Standard Time Ska Orchestra, Rhythm Doctors) and we all know that the heart of ska is in those drum beats. Today we talk to the legend, Eugene Hutz about Gogol Bordello's relationship with ska. We also talk a lot about Ukraine--Eugene is a Ukrainian political refugee and has done much to support them against Russia's attack, including playing a recent secret show for Ukrainian troops at an undisclosed location. We also talk about his childhood growing up in Kyiv and going to super DIY punk shows and trading tapes with other local punks. Some favorites include Dead Kennedys, Devo, The Selecter, P.I.L., Bad Manners, Murphy's Law, The Specials, G.B.H.On this episode, we also talk about the immigrant experience that often comes up in Gogol Bordello's lyrics. It is often the product of necessity through displacement or economics. Eugene has talked at length about the idea of worldwide citizenship, so he squares this ideal with the global issue of anti-immigrant sentiments that have increased in recent years. Of course, we talk a lot about interesting music too including Sonic youth, Mano Negra, Russkaja, Cuatro Pesos de Propina and The Specials.  Support the show
The Matches played catchy pop-punk in the 2000s, a time when catchy pop-punk bands could be top 40 pop stars. They worked their asses off, were courted by major labels, but never reached pop stardom. Though the band did mean a lot to a ton of people. They built community around their music and made sincere connections with their fans. And they have ska roots. The band formed in 1997 as The Locals. Inspired by Rancid, they originally played a blend of punk rock and ska-punk. They also looked up to fellow east bay band Link 80. And in fact, even went to high school with Link 80's original guitarist Matt Bettinelli-Olpin. The Locals even played Link 80s final show! Today we talk to The Matches' lead singer/guitarist Shawn Harris about the bands roots and dig into several stories throughout the band's career. We discuss their years building a scene at East Bay venue iMusicast, where bands like My Chemical Romance, Zebrahead and RX Bandits would play on tour. We also talk about The Matches first major tour--which was with Reel Big Fish. Shawn tells us about two mind-blowing shows from that tour. We also talk about why Gilman would never book the band, what is was like working with some famous producers (Tim Armstrong, John Feldmann), how The Locals ended up touring in Bosnia while they were still in high school, and Shawn talks a bit about his new life as a children's book cartoonist, book author and Dave Eggers collaborator. Shawn even tells us about the time he sneaked a peak into Dave's CD collection to see what kind of music he listened to.  And it was exactly the bands you think it was!  Support the show
After the '90s, skacore got a lot heavier. One of the reasons for this was Sussex, New Jersey band Folly, who took the heaviest elements of hardcore, metalcore and mixed it with ska. They also did so in a way that emphasized the genres similarities, as opposed to their differences. Though the band struggled to find a significant audience in the 2000s, they would find that years after they broke up, not only did they have an obvious impact on newer, younger bands, but they suddenly fit in with this scene in a way unlike when they were a heavy touring, active band.This week, we talk to Folly members Arben Colaku and Jon Tummillo. We discuss the band's history, their unique philosophy to songwriting and talk about what it's been like for them years after their initial breakup in 2008. We also talk about what a big influence Converge was on them, and conclude that, therefore, Converge played an important role on the development of ska!We also discuss Anthony Fantano name-dropping the group when he interviewed me, Folly signing to Triple Crown Records, local DIY shows at The Phone Booth, and how "Hey!" by The Suicide Machines was a life-changing song for the group. We talk about how they turned disastrous shows into fun adventures. We also break down some of their songs, and we talk about a time they ate so many meatballs before a show in Connecticut that they had to play with the meat sweats.  Support the show
Toronto, Canada had a raging ska scene in the mid-2000s. It included ska bands like Hebrew School Dropouts, Suzy Jacuzzi and the Hottubs, and Five Across The Eye. It also included PUP singer Stefan Babcock's former ska band Stop Drop N Skank. But there was one band, The Flatliners, who would go on to sign to Fat Wreck Chords and make a name for themselves in the punk scene. But when they started, they played intense ska-punk. A brutal, aggressive mix of Suicide Machines, Kid Dynamite, Against All Authority and Voodoo Glow Skulls. Today we bring on Flatliners lead singer Chris Cresswell to talk about his early ska years, which includes the brilliant 2005 Stomp Records album Destroy To Create, a favorite among some of their fans that want The Flatliners to bring back the ska. We discuss iconic Toronto venue, Big Bop which fostered this scene by hosting multiple all ages shows every week. We also talk about how Steve Foote from Big D and the Kids Table helped get the band signed, The many ska tours that The Flatliners did (Catch 22, Suicide Machines, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake), and how OG Flatliners ska fans always "Spill Your Guts" at shows. We also find out if it was Fat Mike that asked the band to stop playing ska! You won't believe what Chris has to say about that!  Support the show
In 1992, Hurricane Andrew ravaged South Florida. Prior to the hurricane, bassist Danny Lore was playing in the punk band Grover Snatch. But the hurricane caused some members to move away. Rather than replace them, he decided to start a new ska influenced punk band: Against All Authority. For months they practiced acoustically--there was no power in South Miami for a while. And as the band got going, they booked their own shows at the Kitchen Club in Coconut Grove. No one else would. Besides, being punk meant being an active participant in the scene. Today we talk to three members of South Florida political punk-ska band Against All Authority, whose records Destroy What Destroys You and All Fall Down are absolute classics. We walk through their entire entire career, get to the bottom of just what makes these guys tick, and find out why punk and ska are so important to them. We talk about 80s punk venue Cameo Theater (Same club that Cannibal Corpse played in the Ace Ventura Pet Detective), early rejected band names, their 1968 school bus that broke down at least 10 times on tour, and their legal battles with American Automobile Association. We also discuss issues with their labels, why they broke up in 2007 and what led to them reforming 15 years later. They also tell us a bizarre story that involves killer monkeys that escaped from a nearby laboratory!  Support the show
Comedian Turner Sparks has a new comedy album out on September 30th. It's called Double Happiness. And yes, it's no coincidence that it is literally the same title as Slow Gherkin's debut album. Turner was a huge ska fan growing up. And he wanted his record's title to give a wink to the ska scene. In fact, not only did he attend wild ska shows in Sacramento at Capitol Garage, BoJangles, El Dorado Saloon, and the Crest Theater, but he also had his own band: Fat Kids On Mopeds. Oh and one of the bands that he idolized was Link 80. He kind of thinks co-host Adam Davis is a big deal. And we go deep into Sacramento lore on this episode, with copious discussion of comedians Keith Lowell Jensen and Johnny Taylor Jr, some love for local group Lesdystics, and Turner points out just how much ska was in the Sacramento-based film Lady Bird. How did I miss that?We also discuss Turner's time running a Mr. Softee ice cream truck empire in China, his recent trip to El Salvador to find out if in fact the country really is run on bitcoin or not (For a potential "Lost In America" TV episode), how politically polarizing stand-up comedy has become, and his brief time running the Sacramento Anti-Racist Action chapter--at the age of 17! Oh, we also talk about how he became friends with SKAmedian Ian Fidance. It had something to do with the hardcore band H20.  Support the show
Victor Rice studied music at Manhattan School of Music intending to be a New York City session bass player. That is until he got talked into joining The Scofflaws in 1988. From that point forward, he became immersed in the world of ska. In fact, after doing a fantastic job producing The Scofflaws' first album, Bucket started hiring him to produce Moon Ska albums. He produced Skavoovie and The Epitones' Ripe, The Pietasters' Oolooloo, The Slackers' Better Late Than Never and The Adjusters' Before The Revolution. Today we speak to Victor Rice about his time in The Scofflaws, producing Moon Ska albums, and playing bass in the New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble. But we also cover his time at King Django's studio Version City, where he and Agent Jay (The Slackers), worked on many a brilliant album like Rocker T's Nicer By The Hour. And we also devote some time to talking about dub techniques and dub history, as Victor has become a master of the genre. His dub name is Strikkly Vikkly. We also talk about Victor's TWO Latin Grammys, some of his work with The Skatalites, what it's like to stay at European squat houses, why he moved to Brazil in 2002, and what it was like to do a dub remix of Hepcat's From Outta Nowhere album. We also talk about Victor's four solo albums: At Version City (1999), In America (2003), Smoke (2017), and Drink (2020) Support the show
Earlier this year Vi Viana released her first ska song in years. The song, "Burning The Bridge," (by her band Gutless) is a serious song about coping with trauma and abuse and features Jer on horns. One of the reasons she wrote the song was to push back on people's (false) idea that ska is silly music. Vi has been a fan of ska since she was a child. She was born and raised in northeast Brazil. Her mom introduced her to the music via The Specials and Brazilian bands like Os Paralamas do Sucesso. At 10, her family moved to Miami and she got into bands like Aquabats and Less Than Jake. But eventually, she would discover a great local scene at the Talent Farm. On today's episode with Vi, we discuss ska in Brazil (Abraskadabra, O Leopardo, Móveis Coloniais de Acaju), Jer's early ska band "Funkman's Inferno," why she sings in English and Portuguese (and how Less Than Jake's Vinnie Fiorello suggested she do it!), and we talk about the brilliant community on Ska Twitter, and new artists like Kmoy, Tapegirl, We Are The Union, Best of the Worst, Half Past Two, Catbite and Eichlers. We also discuss how her music was influenced by her identity as a Brazilian, an immigrant and a queer person. Oh, and we even mention her old ska-punk band Sluggage.  Support the show
In the 80s, when Horacio Blanco was only 14 years old, a friend showed him a poorly dubbed cassette of The Specials' debut album. Even though it was hard to make out, when "A Message To You, Rudy" came on, his mind was blown. What is this music? In no time, he and his friends vowed to show everyone they knew in their hometown of Caracas, Venezuela ska music. First in the form of minitecas (mobile sound systems) and then form their newly formed band, Desorden Público, which would become Venezuela's first ska band ever. By the late 80s, Desorden Público would get signed to CBS and later Columbia Records and score some massive hits in their country, like "Allá Cayó" and "Valle de Balas," great dance-pop songs that also had a strong political message.  Desorden Público would be part of a movement of massive bands in Latin America that incorporated ska into their music, that included Los Fabulosos Cadillacs (Argentina) and Os Paralamas Do Sucesso (Brazil).On today's episode, we speak with Horacio, who tells us the story of Desorden Público, whose name is a commentary on the repressive Venezuelan police they grew up with. He tells us how he set about spreading the word of ska to other Venezuelans, how he brought US ska bands to his country (The Toasters, Bim Skala Bim, NY Ska-Jazz Ensemble, The Slackers), and how surprised he was that Desorden Público was able to create hit singles with such bluntly political lyrics. He also talks about collaborating with ska bands from all over the world, from Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra to Neville Staple (The Specials) to Angelo Moore (Fishbone). We also talk about how Venezuela's economy crashing affected the music community, and he tells us what it was like to work with La Orquesta Sinfonica.  Shout out to Mari Wendler for helping with translation.  Support the show
In the late '90s, a new ska-punk scene was bubbling up in the UK that would last until the mid-2000s. This scene would be defined by groups like Capdown, Sonic Boom Six, Adequate Seven, Five Knuckle and the record label Household Name Records. One of the earliest groups to form in this scene was a band from Derby called Lightyear--and they were the craziest groups from this scene. Defined by copious on (and off) stage nudity, Morris dancing, pantomime horses and never-ending pranks and shenanigans, Lightyear took cathartic songs ska-punk songs about depression, drug addiction and domestic abuse and created a wild stage production that always left the audience confused and elated. On today's episode, we speak with Lightyear's lead singer (and lead instigator) Chas Palmer-Williams. He tells us how getting bullied as a child led to him getting naked as often as possible. He gives us the low-down on a popular hobby, "puppetry of the penis," and he waxes nostalgic about his days at the Victoria Inn. Chas also lists about the US bands that Lightyear tormented (Mustard Plug, Link 80, Slow Gherkin, and Laura Stevenson to name a few), he talks about the Household Records documentary he started (And the problems he's faced), we learn about his new business Hawkr, and most importantly, he tells us the full Ice-T story, one that involves a pantomime horse crashing Body Count's set at Reading Festival where "Ice-T was not amused."  Support the show
Jake Matter thought it was a good idea to start tweeting at celebrities to see if they liked ska or not. Surprisingly, quite a few answered. While most said yes, some did not, like Converge, who told him "Fuck No!" This exchange went viral and earned the Ska or Nah Twitter account 3,000 new followers in under 8 hours, and an article in Loudwire. Several of the people that Ska Or Nah has tweeted at have been on this very podcast, and their responses have served as part of our research for the episodes, including Ted Leo, Max Collins (Eve 6), Laura Jane Grace, John Darnielle (Mountain Goats), Elliot Babin (Touche Amore) and Arizona Ice Tea. Today we talk to Jake about Ska or Nah, his skacore band Grey Matter and why he thinks nu metal deserves to be defended. He tells us about the personal importance of tweeting at Tony Hawk and Rivers Cuomo, what it was like to release a record on Bad Time Records just before the pandemic, how amazing it was to play at this year's Stoopfest in Lansing, Michigan, and the many influences of his eclectic band, Grey Matter: La Dispute, Parquet Courts, Ceremony, We Are The Union, Blue Meanies, Flaming Tsunamis, and Fatter Than Albert. He also tweets at two celebrities during the interview (Melissa Villasenor, Bill Clinton). But do they respond before the episode is finished? Listen and find out! Support the show
Folk-punk duo AJJ was playing Mama Buzz Cafe in Oakland when they were approached by a guy named Skylar Suorez who was angling for some free records. Skylar told the Phoenix group that he worked at Asian Man Records. The group was excited at the prospect of being on the same label that released groups like Ten In The Swear Jar, Shinobu and copious ska albums. Shortly after, Asian Man signed them. On this episode, we bring on Sean and Ben from AJJ and dissect their ska roots. Ben is a much bigger fan of the genre and even played some ska in an early band called Free Delivery. While Sean admits he clowned on ska in high school (The entire golf team at his school listened to Christian ska!). However, we find out that he sang lead vocals on the ska song "ABCs" (with Mike Park and Jeff Rosenstock). He also performed at an "In Defense of Ska" event at Sojo's Donuts in Mesa, Arizona, and told the audience he was "ska-adjacent." On today's episode, we talk about all of Ben's favorite 90s and 2 Tone ska bands, how AJJ and Blue Meanies are similar, which ska bands AJJ has played with, and which grocery store in Tulsa, Oklahoma, AJJ once did a show at. We also talk about AJJ's AV Club Undercover show where they mashed up songs by Talking Heads, Neil Young, Wheatus and more. We discuss Mike Park telling the group that they were too big for Asian Man--but no other label was interested in them, and we talk at length about Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu, who opened for AJJ last year. And we beg him to be a guest on the podcast.   Support the show
Comments (1)

Brian Besaw

Awesome interview!! thanks! AAA 💪🔥

Sep 14th
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