Search Results for "Asian Man Records"

DS Exclusive: Josh Caterer on “Into The Agony,” Smoking Popes’ first ‘original lineup’ album in two decades

Sometimes when I conduct an interview with an artist I’m a fan of, I find it best to pull out a few noteworthy quotes, craft them into a story that I find interesting, and then allow the reader to click through to read our full conversation to provide some level of context. Usually, this finds me asking the subject a number of sort-of fleshed out questions and engaging in a conversation that goes somewhat as planned, and I can almost start to write part of the story in my head as we’re talking. I try to go in with more material than I need, and don’t always get to touch on all of it. But even by my own standards, I had a lot of questions for Josh Caterer.

I’ve been a fan of seminal Chicago band Smoking Popes for the last couple of decades, So when the opportunity presented itself to chat with the band’s songwriter, frontman and principle voice about their new album, Into The Agony, I jumped, even though it came with little in the way of lead time. Given that we’ve never spoken for Dying Scene before, there’s a lot of subject matter to mine: obviously I wanted to talk about the new album, because it’s stellar and upbeat and incredibly melancholy at the same time. And obviously I wanted to talk about the changes in band dynamics that came with founding drummer Mike Felumlee’s return to the band a couple years ago after a decade out of the fold. And about their sticking with Asian Man Records. And my daughter wanted to know if he actually ever broke his arm on stage. And I wanted to ask about issues of faith and politics and punk rock, particularly in the present sociopolitical climate in this country. And about the idea that Smoking Popes seem to exist at that curious intersection of “Bands That Are Immensely Influential Avenue” and “Bands That Are Wildly Underrated Boulevard.” And maybe even his thoughts on whether or not Smoking Popes were miscategorized as a “punk” band early on, particularly when held up against some of the more noteworthy alternative bands that they came through the ranks with. And while we did touch on a few of those things, a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum.

That funny thing, as it turned out, was Judy Garland.

In hindsight, had I been paying close enough attention, I should have seen it coming. A black and white picture of Garland serves as the focal piece of the cover art of Into The Agony, and the album’s halfway point is marked by a cover of “Get Happy,” a tune first popularized by Garland in the 1950 movie Summer Stock. But Garland’s presence on this album runs far, far deeper than that. It might be presumptuous to assume that most readers of Dying Scene are primarily aware of Garland due to her iconic performance as Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the “child star” nature of the early part of her life, Garland would go on to have a career that spanned more than four decades, though she became a quintessentially tragic figure (much to her chagrin), long battling issues of an unstable home life, chaotic and at times abusive interpersonal relationships, alcoholism and substance addiction, mental health and more all while desperately trying to put on a brave, happy face and bring joy to the masses through her art.

Stylistic differences aside, that’s a profile ripe for exploration by a punk rock songwriter, especially one with a penchant for crafting poetic tales of love – albeit sometimes unrequited – and loss and hope and heartbreak all with a tremendous pop sensibility. Now rest assured Popes fans; Into The Agony is not a Judy Garland-themed rock opera, not by any stretch. While the idea of diving into the agony might be the central thread that ties the album together, it finds specific inspiration from issues that are both macro and micro, political and personal. There’s despair, for sure – these are desperate times – but there’s a trademark Smoking Popes sense of optimism present in droves, sometimes defiantly so.

With that as a bit of a teaser, I decided in this case to just let our conversation stand for itself, because I found it one of the most interesting chats I’ve had in the roughly 100 interviews I’ve run here at Dying Scene. It was challenging, thoughtful (and thought-provoking), funny, and a little melancholy. We talk about the specifics behind a few tracks, for sure, and also talk about the nervousness that comes with actually revealing the backstory to a song, thereby stripping the listener of the context they’ve provided to the song. And we of course talked a little about the band’s history and the renewed energy they’ve found since Felumlee rejoined the ranks. Head below to check out our full conversation with Josh Caterer. You can also head here to check out Into The Agony for yourself, and head here to see where you can catch the Popes on the road!



New Music: Smoking Popes debut “When You Want Something” from upcoming album “Into The Agony”

Chicago pop-punk veterans Smoking Popes are now officially streaming another new track from their upcoming album, Into the Agony. It’s called “When You Want Something,” and you can check it out here.

Into The Agony is set for release on October 12 via Asian Man Records. Pre-order it right here.

Into the Agony will be the band’s first studio LP since 2011’s This Is Only a Test, and their first with the original “Three Caterers and a Felumlee” line-up since 1998’s The Party’s Over.



Smoking Popes announce November tour dates

Chicago’s Smoking Popes have announced a list of dates they will be visiting this November. The band will be touring in support of their new album Into the Agony which will be released on October 12 via Asian Man Records.

See the tour dates below.



Ogikubo Station stream new album “We Can Pretend Like”

Beautifully poignant and harmonious words of wisdom streaming out of Maura Weaver here accompanied by a  melodious plucking-guitar arrangement delivered by the one-and-only Mike Park.” 

This pair is now streaming their new album “We Can Pretend Like.” These guys are also hitting the road with Alkaline Trio in celebration of their highly anticipated album “Is This Thing Cursed?”

Check out the new digs below!



Smoking Popes stream “Amanda My Love” off upcoming album “Into The Agony”

Chicago pop-punk veterans Smoking Popes are now officially streaming the first new song off their upcoming album Into the Agony set for release on October 12 via Asian Man Records.

Give “Amanda My Love” a listen below.

Into the Agony will be the band’s first studio LP since 2011’s This Is Only a Test.



Smoking Popes announce new album ‘Into the Agony’

Chicago pop-punk veterans Smoking Popes announced today via Instagram the title and release date of a new album. Into the Agony will be released on October 12 via Asian Man Records. We’ll keep you posted if/when the band ends up streaming a new track online.

Into the Agony will be the band’s first studio LP since 2011’s This Is Only a Test.



The Murderburgers stream new EP “Shitty People and Toothache”

Scottish punks The Murderburgers are now streaming their brand spankin’ new EP (by brand new we really mean it was released last week) “Shitty People and Toothache.”

The four song EP was released by Brassneck Records in the UK and Asian Man in the US. You can also buy the vinyls from each label in orange and green from each label respectively.

Check out the new digs below!



Watch: Ogikubo Station release new video, “We Can Pretend Like”

Beautifully poignant and harmonious words of wisdom streaming out of Maura Weaver here accompanied by a  melodious plucking-guitar arrangement delivered by the one-and-only Mike Park.

Ogikubo Station is currently gearing up to hit the road with Alkaline Trio and Together PANGEA in August.

See that schedule and stream the new video for “We Can Pretend Like” below.



Okigubo Station (pop punk) announce new album, release video

Okigubo Station, the new band featuring Asian Man Records founder and current/past member of such bands as Skankin’ Pickle, The Chinkees, and The Bruce Lee Band, Mike Park, and Maura Weaver of the on-hiatus band Mixtapes, have announced that they will be releasing their first full-length, We Can Pretend Like, on August 24 via Asian Man. 

To give you an idea of what to expect from the album, the band has released a video for their song “Take A Piece Of All That’s Good,” which you can check out below.

Okigubo Station last released their self-titled EP in 2017.



Get Married (Rock ‘N’ Roll) announce new album “Songs For The Sleepless,” stream new song

San Jose rockers Get Married have announced that they will be releasing their new album, Songs For The Sleepless, on August 17th via Asian Man Records.

To give you an idea of what to expect from the album, the band is streaming their new song “Living Room.”  You can give it a listen below.

Get Married last released Into The Cosmos in December 2016 via Wiretap Records.



The Murderburgers announced new EP, premiere new song “Turning 29 Was a Mistake”

Like all fine things from Scotland, The Murderburgers taste a bit peaty and burn just right on the way down.

They’ve announced a new EP, “Shitty People & Toothache,” to be released July 27th on Asian Man Records (preorder here) in the US and Brassneck in the UK (fancy UK preorders here).

In the meantime, you can check out the new powerpoint video for “Turning 29 Was a Mistake” at New Noise with Fraser Murderburger’s awful backstory for the song, or go straight to the video below.

The Murderburgers’ last full length was 2016’s “The 12 Habits of Highly Defective People.”

Make sure to drink in all that peaty Scottish goodness. Drink it real deep.

Yeeeeeeeaaaaaah.



Great Apes announce indefinite hiatus following two farewell shows

Bay area punks Great Apes are calling it quits and are going on an indefinite hiatus, effective August of 2018. The band is ending on nothing but good terms, but is due primarily to life getting in the way. The band has two final shows scheduled for August 24th and 25th with Sire Six. You can check out details for the two farewell shows below as well as a statement from guitarist and vocalist Brian Moss.

Great Apes’ last release ‘California Heart’ via Asian Man Records in 2016.



The Murderburgers release video (Live from The Rock Room) for “Stackers are Awesome”

The Murderburgers have just released their new video for “Stackers are Awesome,” on Live from The Rock Room in Westmont, Illinois.

The band’s latest album The 12 Habits of Highly Defective People came out in 2016 through Asian Man Records and Round Dog Records.

Check out the video below!



Smoking Popes announce west coast tour with Bad Cop/Bad Cop

Chicago pop-punk veterans the Smoking Popes have announced they will be touring the west coast with Bad Cop/Bad Cop this spring. The tour is in honor of their third album Destination Failure‘s 20th anniversary. Check out the dates below to see if there’s a show near you.

Smoking Popes last released the Simmer Down EP in 2016.



Chotto Ghetto (Progressive Hardcore) release music video for their song “Chautauqa”

Progressive Hardcore act, Chotto Ghetto have released a video for their song “Chautauqua”. Check it out below.

The song came off their most recent album, “Monstrosity” which came out in June of this year, via Asian Man Records