Formed in 1991 in the suburbs of Chicago, Smoking Popes are a favorite in their hometown and beyond for their mergings of melodic punk with vocals influenced by crooners like Frank Sinatra. Today, for the first time since their album, The Party’s Over—a covers collection of 20th century classics recorded in 1998, and released in 2001 by Double Zero Records—the band has released new material featuring its original lineup of guitarist/vocalist Josh Caterer, guitarist Eli Caterer, bassist Matt Caterer, and drummer Mike Felumlee. Recorded live in the studio with minimal vocal takes, the two tracks, “Simmer Down,” and “Someday I’ll Smile Again” are just a hint of what’s to come when the band releases a yet-to-be-titled new album in 2017.
Listen to the Smoking Popes’ new songs (out today on Asian Man Records), and check out Josh Caterer’s answers to our 10 Questions. The band plays Riot Fest and Carnival in Chicago on September 17.
What is the first album you ever purchased?
Thin Lizzy, Jailbreak
Name one band that changed your life. How?
The first time I saw Iggy Pop in concert, it changed my life. I didn’t know it was possible to connect with an audience the way he did. His commitment to the performance was astounding.
What was the first concert you ever attended?
Kenny Rogers and Dotty West at the Wisconsin State Fair when I was 5.
What was the last concert you attended (that was not your own)?
Aaron Neville at City Winery. He’s 75 years old and still sounds amazing!
What is your favorite tour snack?
Pop Tarts (Brown Sugar Cinnamon)
What is one book we should read?
The Gospel of John
Tell us your best festival survival tip.
If you were running for president during this election, what would be the top item on your platform?
To outlaw car alarms.
Imagine the world is ending at midnight. What are your plans for the rest of the day?
Pretty much what I’m already doing, except I wouldn’t bother to exercise.
What is the best song ever written?
“In Christ Alone” by Stuart Townend & Keith Getty