After American Pinup in Altoona, Pittsburgh was the next stop on my birthday tour last month. I met up with a couple of friends at Howlers to catch a show with The Slobberknockers, Soulios, The
After American Pinup in Altoona, Pittsburgh was the next stop on my birthday tour last month. I met up with a couple of friends at Howlers to catch a show with The Slobberknockers, Soulios, The Burnrides, and the legendary, Scotch Bonnets. As much as I dig the Scotch Bonnets, their set was a bit lackluster for me, and I was really there for The Burnrides anyway.
The Burnrides started when Dan and Jerry, both formally from Grizzled Yinzzers, had a dream of starting a classic Pittsburgh punk band with some ska thrown in and enlisted the help of Ian, from Brazilian Wax, and another friend, Owen. One evening after drinking, they called their buddy, Trip (Killer of Sheep, Fuck Yeah, Dinosaurs!, and FeralCat), and informed him that he now played bass in a ska band as well. Together, they set off to create party music that has undertones of social issues and a message that promotes having fun, without being a dick.
When this 5 piece band steps onto the stage, their boisterous presence takes over, and the good times begin. Jerry takes lead vocal and guitar in the group and originally hails from Warren, PA. He brings the energy and the sound that speaks to his influences, such as Operation Ivy, Bad Brains, and Suicide Machines. Though not a hardcore guy, he loves the flavor of that style and it comes through in his music right when it’s needed.
On the saxophone is Owen, who is from Dubois, but currently lives down south and flies in for their shows. He seemed to be the most soft-spoken of the group while we talked, but his sax skills say all that is needed when on stage. The social issues of reggae, such as equality and the struggle of the working class, hits a special chord with Owen and he addresses these problems in both his professional and musical aspects of his life while jamming on his sax.
Alright, full disclosure here. I have an obsession with MC5 and The New York Dolls, and I’m a sucker for some rocking keys. So Dan was definitely in my zone. From New York, he started listening to organ music and bands, like The Selecter and The Independents, and then moved on to poppier punk, such as Reel Big Fish. Dan has an absolutely blast on stage while he plays and I’m still not sure how he can dance and thrash around while still managing to hit all of the keys when needed. Word on the street is that he also makes some pretty kickass bagels, so we may have to feature that in future months.
Trip was born in New Orleans, grew up in Pittsburgh, and became obsessed with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Flea as a toddler. During his teenage years, he taught himself how to play the bass, solely by listening and figuring it out. This kid oozes passion, not only on the stage with The Burnrides and his many other bands, but also during the interview. The entire time we were all talking together, Trip sat there and played bass on his beer can to the tune of the background music.
When he isn’t fighting crime with the Teen Titans Go! team, Ian pays drums with The Burnrides and is a Pittsburgh native. He combines his background in the local ska scene with his love of emo to create a style that is unique to him. His music taste became even more unique when he went to school and became friends with Music Majors. His beats keep the band on task and focused and he adds such flair to the group.
When I sat down with The Burnrides, I had a feeling that this interview was going to be different. Then they all showed me where they grew up using Jerry’s hand as the state of PA and I knew it. You can tell that these band members hold each other in high-esteem, pun intended. They may just be starting out and finding their collaborative groove, but they have the foundation to do great things together. They are a blast to chill with too.
This winter they are recording a 7 inch and hopefully it should be ready for us around summer. These tracks were previously written by Jerry for other bands, but the group looks forward to collaborating on fresh songs together in the future. So if The Burnrides come to your town, don’t listen to Caroline. You definitely want to get in that van!!
Follow them on the internet machine here!