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CATHOLIC BOYS

It’s happened. Finally, a modern band comes along from the nether-region of the United States called the Midwest and totally ruins everything for me. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. No longer can I listen to bands that I used to hold near and dear to my heart without feeling like the music oozing out of the speakers at me is completely boring, rehearsed, and even second rate. All because of this one band. That one band is called the Catholic Boys. They’re from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and they fucked me up. I’m not just talking about the Long Island Iced Teas they got me hooked on when I saw them play on their Midwest Summer tour of ’04 either. I mean these four kids have absolutely ruined music for me, and for that they will not be forgiven.
I’ve been lucky enough to catch the Catholic Boys four separate times now, and every show just gets better and better and more energetic and crazed. The last time I caught them live was in Kalamazoo, Michigan on a dreary Sunday night. They were billed with Miss Alex White and the Lost Sounds. Catholic Boys were the first band of the night to play. They were also the best band of the night to play. Not to take anything away from Alex or the Lost Sounds, who as we all know are not slouches by any means, but there was just no coming back from such the punishing, mischief filled, and intense set the Catholic Boys had just put on. Eric beating the drums so hard and so furiously he literally broke them. Paul strutting, squirming, and screaming his ass off, which was definitely hugely entertaining. JonE playing so hard and with so much conviction he busted the E string (the big one dummy!) right off and just kept on hacking away. NickG at stage right slicing out some of the best guitar work I’ve ever seen or heard in punk-rock, all while barking out lyrics so viciously his face is turning a reddish tint of purple. This madness lasted all of twenty minutes but I really don’t think many of us spectators could have taken much more. We were spent. Drenched in beer, spit, and sweat, they left us barely able to hold our heads up anymore and they were the first fucking band! I was (mis?)fortunate enough to sit down and have a little chat with the Catholic Boys at a party on my last visit to Milwaukee. This interview took place after roughly eight hours of steady drinking and smoking on my part and the band's. P.C. punks and those easily offended may want to skip this one.

TB: Eric. Let’s hear about the time you were drunk out of your mind and you wandered into a complete stranger’s house and nearly had to fight for your life to get out.
JonE: That’s like every day.
NickG: Yeah. No shit.
TB: That happens every day?
Eric: Where was it? Was it here in Milwaukee?
TB: I have no idea. You told me about it a couple months ago…
NickG: Was it in Monroe?
Eric: Maybe. It was probably at Dead Squirrel, that time I got naked and jumped out of a car. That was July eight.
NickG: Somewhere around July eight…
Eric: No. It was for sure. It was a noise show and I tried to go to it but we went to the Lakefront tour, which is all you can drink for three bucks so I did that and drank gin and blacked out and got naked and jumped out of a car.
TB: Good wholesome fun. So, the Catholic Boys originally started out as a Kids influenced sort of cover band?
NickG: Exactly a cover band actually. It was a Kids influenced band. It was all Kids covers.
JonE: It was just for one set.
Paul: There used to be an all covers show every year in Green Bay and we played that as the Kids.
NickG: Eric wasn’t in the band yet.
TB: That was going to be my next question actually. Why wasn’t Eric included in the original lineup? As he was part of the Teenage Rejects with JonE and Paul.
Eric: It was because of distance, right?
NickG: It was because he signed a contract that said he would never play music with Paul and JonE again and a bunch of people signed it as witnesses.
Paul: He signed a contract on a wall and like twenty people signed it and it said he would never play in a band with us again.
Nick: Then we had this other drummer who didn’t want to be in the band any more after a while.
Eric: Because of Paul.
NickG: Yeah. Then Eric played a show…
TB: What was that drummer’s name?
NickG: Oh yeah, that was Lugs. He’s in this band called the Shut Ups.
TB: Why didn’t he want to be in the band with Paul?
NickG: He didn’t like Paul because they were living together…
Paul: One time at practice by accident I jumped through his bedroom window. He had windows leading to his bedroom for some reason. It was a weird house.
NickG: It was a diving shop converted into a house.
Paul: Yeah. But after that it all just kind of went downhill.
NickG: Then we asked Eric to play a show because we had it scheduled and didn’t want to cancel it.
TB: But before Eric there was a second drummer.
NickG: Oh yeah, Logan. That didn’t work out at all.
TB: Why didn’t he work out?
NickG: Because he sucked and he didn’t like the band.
JonE: There were three days before Eric started…
TB: How did Eric start playing…
JonE: I’m trying to tell you! Jesus Christ! Three days before we were supposed to play with the Lost Sounds in Green Bay Logan said he wasn’t going to play the show because he wanted to go up north with his cousin and some girls. So Eric learned all our songs in like two days and played the show with us.
NickG: We only practiced with Eric as a unit once before that show actually.
Eric: Really? I didn’t remember that.
NickG: Yeah. I wasn’t there and you three practiced without me once. Then right before the show we practiced…
JonE: Right before the show.
NickG: Yup. That was when we found Richard Adventure’s used and folded up condoms next to a pile of shit or something like that.
Eric: ‘Cause he fucked that ex-Pop Machine girl.
NickG: Yeah. He fucked her in the basement. Wait, no. That was a different girl. He fucked that stripper. That ex-Pop Machine girl is the girl I ate out in your bed that night.
Eric: Oh. Which one? There were two Pop Machine girls. They were both robots. Nick got some robot pussy.
NickG: Yeah. I’m sure I did a bad job because I was wasted.
Eric: It was in my bed?
NickG: Actually no. It was in your room. You were in your in your bed. We were in another bed. It was funny. Kind of awkward when I see her now but she buys me drinks.
Paul: Jay drank his own piss that night too…
TB: Whoa. I’m changing the subject here. So Greg Lowery wanted to release “Psychic Voodoo Mind Control” on Rip Off Records, right?
Paul: He offered to do the cd version but Todd was doing the cd for Trick Knee Productions.
TB: Why did you go with Trick Knee over Rip Off? Rip Off is a much more known label.
NickG: Because Greg’s a dumb ass and Todd’s our buddy.
Paul: Yeah. Todd’s our friend and he would give us a ton of copies. He’s given us tons of cd’s. Whenever we run out he gives us a ton more. Greg would just rip us off I’m sure.
TB: Did you get ripped off in the Teenage Rejects when you were dealing with Rip Off Records?
Paul: Well we only did a 7” with Rip Off.
Eric: We were broken up for a year and a half when that came out.
JonE: That’s right. We were broken up for more than a year before that 7” came out.
Paul: He sent us fifty copies. That’s good enough. So no, I guess he didn’t rip us off.
TB: You guys just got through recording seven songs for two separate 7”’s somewhat recently. What label will they be coming out on and when?
JonE: No Fuckin’ Chance. Any time now.
NickG: That’s the name of the label it’s actually going to come out on. No Fuckin’ Chance.
Eric: Really? That’s the name of the label?
JonE: And Bancroft Records is the other one. It’s supposed to be out now but probably won’t be out until February or March.
Eric: Wasn’t it supposed to come out yesterday? It’ll probably come out in like July.
Paul: No. Dale Merrill, the guy putting out the record on Bancroft finally got a job so it should be out soon.
Eric: He did? No shit?
Paul: He just got a job. Finally.
NickG: He was a stay at home dad.
Eric: Is he working with us Nick? They’ll hire anybody…
NickG: Probably…
JonE: He told us it would be out by the end of February but we’ll see.
NickG: No Fuckin’ Chance is this label from the Netherlands that have never put out any other records…
Paul: Nanny Tepper.
NickG: Yeah. It’s run by Nanne Tepper.
Paul: Nanny.
NickG: Yeah. Bancroft is run by this dude from Port Huron, Michigan.
Paul: Dude? I think douche is the word.
TB: Douche is the word? Come on I know Dale.
Paul: I’m kidding. I love Dale. I just like to make fun of him.
TB: How’d you guys hook up with Nanne Tepper and No Fuckin’ Chance seeing as he’s based in the Netherlands?
NickG: He’s just some crazy Dutch dude who likes good music I guess.
Eric: Doesn’t he run Grunnen Rocks? (Ed.: For the record, no. That's Evert.)
TB: How did that happen though? Who contacted who?
NickG: He wanted to start a label and he liked our album and he was like “Hey. I want to put out a record” and we were like “Okay” and that’s basically it.
TB: The songs on those two upcoming singles were recorded by Jay and Alicja from the Lost Sounds?
Paul: Yeah. It was done really fast. We did it all in like three hours.
TB: Most of your other releases were recorded by Justin Perkins from Yesterday’s Kids and the Obsoletes for free, right?
NickG: He recorded Psychic Voodoo Mind Control. That’s it. It wasn’t free.
Paul: It was free to us. Todd Trickknee paid for it.
TB: Was there a big difference between recording with Jay and Alicja as opposed to Justin?
Paul: We barely had any time so it was really rushed.
JonE: Yeah. We were on tour when we recorded with Jay and Alicja.
Paul: We did it all in like three hours. Four hours max.
NickG: We recorded the music in an hour. Then we walked around for like two hours.
Paul: Then we went back and recorded the vocals for another hour.
Eric: They mixed it without us too. Which is cool. It worked out good.
NickG: Alicja actually mixed in some keyboards and weird sounds but not to the point where it would sound different when we play the songs live. Just kind of weird underneath-the-music noises.
Eric: They fuckin’ ripped the shit out of “Selfish Asshole” too. It’s like “PRRRSSSSHHHHHHH!”
NickG: Yeah. It’s at the end. It sounds like a machine gun at the end.
Paul: It was done really quickly though. It was the fastest recording.
TB: It wasn’t hard to deal with them at all then? I’ve heard they can be a little difficult from other bands.
NickG: No way. It was smooth sailing.
Paul: It was really quick and they were really cool.
NickG: The one thing that was really different from when we did it with Justin was that we never listened to the songs after we recorded them. We just assumed it sounded good and just went on to the next song and then just sang over them.
Eric: We know when it sounds good. We don’t need to hear it if we know we’ve played it good.
Paul: We did like one take or maybe two different takes of two different songs and mostly it was a-okay.
NickG: It was real quick and it sounds real good. I think it sounds good.
Paul: It sounds good.
NickG: I would probably like it better if it was going to be one EP and it was all seven songs. It seems like it would fit better but I guess it doesn’t really matter.
TB: Who’s idea was it to split it up into two different singles?
NickG: There were just two different people who wanted to put out a record and we had seven songs ready to be recorded so we decided to give one guy three and the other guy four.
TB: Are you guys planning on recording anything again in the near future?
Paul: In April probably.
JonE: Yeah. Probably a couple months after we get back from our tour in December and January.
TB: What’s it going to be for? Another full length? More singles?
NickG: A full length. It will be a second album. Trick Knee Productions will probably put out the next one too.
Eric: I was hoping Dirtnap Records would do it.
NickG: The thing is though is that Todd Trickknee will pay for the recording and Dirtnap will only pay for it after we send it to them apparently if Ken Dirtnap likes it. I don’t know. I’ve never talked to the guy.
Paul: Fuck Dirtnap. Fuck every label.
NickG: Yeah, really. I have nothing against Todd Trickknee putting it out again. He does a good job. He pays for the recording. Plus he’s such a cool guy.
TB: For such a small label Trick Knee Productions has such great distribution too.
Paul: Yeah. If we do the CD with Todd we’ll end up doing the vinyl with P. Trash too. Which is an awesome label.
NickG: We’ll probably end up doing that like a month after we get back from tour so hopefully we’ll have decided what songs we want to go on it.
TB: With this month long tour coming up, you’re basically touring on “Psychic Voodoo Mind Control” still? The vinyl version has finally just come out on Dropkick Records, right?
NickG: Yeah. I guess. I didn’t really look at it like that.
Eric: We could be touring on the first 7”. We’re going west. We’ve never played there.
NickG: Yeah. I never looked at it like that I guess. I mean we’re just going for fun. I want to say something about our next record too.
TB: Do it. I’m running out of things to ask you guys. I’m just drunk holding out a tape recorder. I need as much as I can get.
NickG: I think I’m going to like it more than the other one but other people won’t.
TB: Oh yeah? What are the differences?
NickG: I don’t know. The songs are just a little more different I guess. It’s just kind of weird.
Eric: There’s not even more parts. It’s just a lot different. Hard to explain. I guess just way the way the songs fit. They’re just different.
NickG: Yeah. We just do what we do.
Paul: We’ve probably spent more time on the songs too.
NickG: Definitely. When we first started practicing on the songs I didn’t think they were ever going to work. But now I’m just so pumped to go out on tour and play those songs. I think it’ll be awesome but I don’t know what everyone else will say.
Paul: They’ll probably say it sucks.
Eric: Yeah, probably. They all want us to be dead.
Paul: But everyone likes Taxi and I really think Taxi sucks.
TB: Oh okay. Speaking of bands who suck, are there any bands that you think suck so bad you’re actually just dying to tell us about in print?
Paul: Crosswires. They used to be this band but they broke up and thank God for that because they fucking sucked.
NickG: The Crosswires was actually this band whose drummer tried getting me to quit my stupid Catholic Boys band who does these rinky-dink little two week tours and get with a real band who has a lawyer and a booking agent and get some recognition.
Paul: Crosswires were one of the worst bands ever. Also Anti-Freeze.
Eric: Oh yeah, they sucked. They were horrible.
NickG: They did suck but weren’t as bad as the Crosswires. I actually like a member or two or three of the Crosswires but their band did suck shit.
TB: How about you JonE? You hate just about every band don’t you?
JonE: Yeah, I hate them all.
NickG: He likes Green Day.
JonE: I don’t know. I hated the Tears.
TB: Do you like any new young bands coming from Milwaukee right now that nobody else knows?
JonE: The Kind of Jazz Music That Kills.
All: Yeah. The Kind of Jazz Music That Kills.
NickG: The Kind of Jazz Music That Kills will destroy your fucking brain.
Paul: Terrior Bute.
NickG: Terrior Bute. Yeah. These high school kids that sound like the Screamers.
Eric: Terrior Bute rocks. Matt, you saw them.
TB: I did see them. But I also want to see their name in print. That’s why I asked the question.
NickG: I wish I was as cool as Terrior Bute is when I was in high school.
Eric: How about the Strong Come Ons?
NickG: They’re not new or from Milwaukee. But yeah, that’s it. The Kind of Jazz Music That Kills and Terrior Bute.
Eric: Period Three. I really like them but I don’t think anyone else does.
NickG: I like them live but I don’t like their CD.
Eric: It’s pop-punk though. It doesn’t really fit into our scene.
TB: Anything else you might want me to ask you guys?
Eric: Not really. We’re going to have The Kind of Jazz Music That Kills tape with us on tour so…
TB: How do you survive yourselves?
NickG: Wow. That’s a weird question. That’s a really good question though. I’m sure some of us will die before we’re thirty so I’m not sure we will survive ourselves.
TB: Okay. End of interview then.
NickG: Wait. I have something I want to say. I’m going to make this one point and then I’ll drink more. Fuck all the faggots that just like just to “rawk” with a “W” and a “K” that just want to rock and they don’t really like music and that pisses me off. I’m blown away by…
Paul: Kurtis Blow.
NickG: Kurtis Blow, yeah. Outkast is one of my favorite groups. I just love music. I think we all just love music.
Paul: Ultra Magnetic MC’s.
NickG: I don’t know what that is.
Eric: Whatever man, you’re so white.
NickG: I’m white as hell. Look at me. I’m wearing a Santa hat on my head and a poinsettia on my scarf. Just because I’m ignorant doesn’t mean I’m dumb.
Eric: Lets give our shout to the Plastic Letters. They’re a good band.
Paul: They’re fucking gay.
Eric: How about the Clorox Girls? They rock. I wanted to say the Teenage Rejects discography LP will be out real soon on Ugly Pop too.
Paul: I want to say that every p.c. punk band sucks.
NickG: Oh but yeah, I don’t care about all the haters that just want to “rawk” and don’t really love music. If you can’t admit that someone like Christina Aguilera can really belt out a tune than you’re a fucking faggot. That’s all I’ve got to say.

END INTERVIEW

Interview by Matt Coppens
Pics by Canderson


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