In the final chapter of this three part series, we got to sit down with one of my favorite bands: The Queers. Joe Queer has been the longest member of The Queers and has carried out the vision of this band from the 1980s to the present day. There has been many changes from this band when it comes to labels and members but many albums later The Queers have stood the test of time.
Mr. T Experience and The Queers might be the peanut butter and jelly of the Lookout era days. They are different in styles and personalities but something about this combo really works for this pop punk fan base. The Queers have always had an allure with their bratty and tongue in cheek lyrics but has some real thought behind what they say. They want you to be in on the joke or to be offended by it. With these clever musical stylings, you can’t help but get an ear-worm from time to time.
The main focus of this interview was to find out why this fan base has been coming back to these two specific bands year after year. I have seen The Queers countless times in my punk rock career and it is just a staple of my diet. I am sure a lot of fans can say the same about both these bands. And this is coming full cycle due to their fans bringing their kids with them to have the same experience.
I wanted to know from Joe what the secret is to his success is. The Queers tour constantly and somehow make it work tour after tour. They still have relationships with bands they came up with and they also try to highlight some of the up and coming punk bands they meet on the road. I will say that was the refreshing part of this interview, is that this particular punk ethos is still there and thriving after all these years. It was a short but fun conversation but you can tell he is still a fan of the music that influenced him and wants to keep going back on the road.
The Mr. T Experience is one of the last true musical experiences. They have a full discography, books and blogs, and a ton of pop culture references throughout their music career that has held up after all these years. In 2019, they decided it was time to see Texas again with their friends The Queers for a limited date run. Like I said in my previous post, they are one of the pop punk bands from this particular era of punk history that keep us coming back to time and time again.
Honestly, I wasn’t the biggest MTX fan but I have always been very intrigued on what my friends saw in them. They were 100000% obsessed over the lyrics, specific albums, and my friends even got engaged at a show. I was curious to see how MTX fit into my life. I was into more music like Minor Threat at than MTX at the height of popularity during their Lookout Record era. I think what I was missing then was the emotional availability to understand the complexities of their music and that pop punk allows humor, sadness, and pop to exist in the same space. I understood The Queers right away because they are super direct with their humor and it is the forefront of their songs. But with Mr. T Experience, it’s about the story telling and cleverness interlaced within it. They make you think as a listener and that’s not a bad thing. They have catchy hooks and lyrics throughout each musical phase as a band into the their current sound.
What really helped me understand this band better was seeing their process during these dates. How they made their set lists work for each date, how they interacted with their fans, and most importantly what their fans have to say about them. I meet someone with a several MTX tattoos. Fans were talking about how King Dork changed their life. Fans that go out of their way to see a band (i.e. getting flights and/or babysitters). And of course getting to meet Dr. Frank himself gave me lots of perspective. After all these years, he is just wanting to write the music that he loves and feels resonates with his fans.
I think what keeps MTX beloved is that it is ever changing but doesn’t steer course from the original purpose. This makes Mr. T Experience’s music very relatable to the fans while they grow into the people they become. I enjoyed talking to Dr. Frank about this phenomenon and about this particular tour. I hope we can do a part two with MTX in the future because I feel they will have more stories and music to share. Enjoy the photos and interview below!
*This might be strange to see remains of live music from 2019 in the time of COVID 19. Luckily we saved some gems in our archive for a time like this.
Let’s return back to a different day and time just for a moment. Especially since it is where we want to return to in the future for live music. This past winter, I was fortunate enough to join my friends on a pop-punk filled excursion through central Texas. I went to the Dallas and Austin dates to find out why the fans of the Mr. T Experience and The Queers have such a devoted following after all these years. Since the days of Lookout, both these bands have held their own and have influenced a generation of musicians to follow their roots.
One band that definitely falls in the same vein would be the openers for this tour, The Capitalist Kids. Their power-pop sounds and their punk ethics marry in a delightfully fun way. Don’t sleep on this band because of their flashy pop vibes because there are layers of ethical thought, love, and loss weaved throughout their discography. As stated in this interview, the band has gone through changes, locations, and tours to get where they are now. I can’t think of a better band to represent Texas on this tour with MTX and The Queers. See interview and links to their pages below:
I just want to start out by stating I think Guttermouth and The Queers are underrated when it comes to being popular in punk rock. Will they ever be a band like Rancid? No. When I want to see quintessential and offensive punk rock; this is where I go. These bands are not politically correct and not here to impress, they are here to be fun punk rock like it is supposed to be.
That being said, this was a show I was super excited for. After all these years of missing them come through town, I got to see The Queers and Agent Orange. I don’t know what I was doing with life that I kept missing these shows but I finally got my act together.
I am thrilled that a local production company Come and Take it Productions, has decided to bring these tours into town and give them a place to play. Needless to say, I got to the show late which usually isn’t my style. I actually like to check out opening bands. I regret not seeing the One Shot Down and the Atom Age. One Shot Down is a local Austin band and I love their hardcore style. The Atom Age I have heard so much about and I love what I have heard from them.
But my heart truly lies with The Queers. I love their sweet pop-punk songs but then they turn around and offend me (in a good way). Everyone was going crazy and enjoying songs such as “Murder at The Brady House” and “Love Love Love” which were some of my favorites. They also did two covers; The Ramones “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” and Screeching Weasel’s “Cindy’s on Methadone”.
Guttermouth is one of my favorite bands to see. The first time I saw Guttermouth was the best. In Emo’s heyday in Austin, Guttermouth played there quite a few times. I once saw them throw a kid out for looking like he shopped at Hot Topic (and for being an asshole). From then on, I was a fan for life. They don’t care what they look like or how they sound for that matter. Some of their songs are ridiculously good and well written. Even though the subject lines of their songs are over the top but they are still weirdly relatable.
Lastly, I got to see Agent Orange. I have been a fan for a long time now. Living in Darkness is one of my favorite nihilist punk albums. It is dark surf punk opus. I was happy to see that they still tour and I love hearing their songs. My only real bone to pick is that I wanted their set to have that dark edgy sound rather than how they performed their songs live. I can get over member changes but arrangement changes might be where I draw the line. Regardless, I think all the bands on this tour are underrated in the punk’s vast culture and there should be more lineups like all these bands currently on tour.