Ep. 12 - Jersey Punk Rock Flourishes with Rising Stars Doc Rotten
In this episode of the Powered By Rock Podcast, I get to speak with the band Doc Rotten from Trenton, New Jersey about their East Coast punk rock sound that makes you want to mosh and drink some beers while enjoying some great music.
They have a new album called Unite Resist coming out on March 22nd, 2022, and their first single and music video off the album was just released. It's called "Psych Ward 103" and you can check it out in the links below.
This is a fun interview filled with hijinks and humor while tackling some of the socio-political problems of America. Check out the episode to see what I mean!
Intro Music: "Colorado" by Birds Love Filters
Doc Rotten Website: https://www.docrottenmusic.com/
Doc Rotten YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0HolrzqUpdKAZo40RwkU5Q
Doc Rotten on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3g1RJxNqdCMdt3ALyPFMfM
Doc Rotten on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/doc.rotten/
Doc Rotten's "Psych Ward 103" music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyXi2-XZfnE&list=RDlyXi2-XZfnE&start_radio=1
Isaac Kuhlman 0:00
All right. Hello and welcome to the Powered By Rock Podcast. We're gonna be speaking with a New Jersey punk rock band Doc Rotten today. They have a new album coming out on March 25 of 2022 called Unite Resist, and if it's anything like their new single or past songs, it's gonna be an absolute banger. Doc Rotten is coming up next.
You're listening to the Powered By Rock Podcast with your host Isaac Kuhlman. The Powered By Rock Podcast was created helps showcase some of the best rock musicians in the world. And to pass onto future generations the rock music that has inspired rock fans around the world for decades. We want listeners to be able to hear great stories and life experiences directly from their favorite artists, as well as dig deeper into music theory and talk rock like no other show you've ever heard. This isn't about looking cool. It's about getting real and have a great time. Without further ado, let's start the Show
All right, everybody. Welcome to the Powered By Rock Podcast. I'm actually really pumped for this episode because I'm gonna be speaking with one of the best damn Jersey punk bands around Doc Rotten today. The band consists of four guys from Trenton, New Jersey, and if you don't know them yet, we're speaking with Wes, who's one of the vocalist and rhythm guitar player, Andy, who's the other vocalist and lead guitarist, Doug the bassist and AJ on drums. Yeah. So hey, guys, how's it going? Welcome to the show.
Andy Keris 1:22
Hey, thanks for having us. Yeah, how you doing?
Isaac Kuhlman 1:24
Yeah. So one of my favorite things about having this podcast and being able to speak to you guys is that, you know, it's I get to talk to people who make great music and put their heart and soul into it and play for fans that go to a show and have an awesome time and aren't doing it just because they want to have you know, lots of money and live in mansions and stuff. I mean, obviously everybody would like that. But that's not why you start playing music right? And you don't have to be incredibly famous. You know, it's not always a glamorous lifestyle. That doesn't mean you can't have a lot of fun in the meantime. So first I just want to say when I see you guys on Instagram it looks like you're having a lot of fun So is that kind of how it actually is in real life?
Wes Bentley 2:02
We did it for the money and it's all a show it's all
Isaac Kuhlman 2:08
did it all for the noookie
Andy Keris 2:09
We're actually real miserable
Wes Bentley 2:10
we love sleeping in the van we did it because we like that we don't want mansions we want to sleep in a van.
Andy Keris 2:15
So we try out as many rivers as we can to park next to
Wes Bentley 2:20
a van down by the river. Now man it's just fun you know music let it out. Yeah, writing playing shows having fun we do have fun.
Isaac Kuhlman 2:30
Yeah, that's awesome. You guys haven't had to like get into fist fights over who still who stole the last beer anything yet?
Andy Keris 2:36
We got no one fistfight and it was actually in New Jersey so we're pretty cool with everybody else outside of this crappy state. Everybody else
Wes Bentley 2:46
He means do we get into fights with each other
Andy Keris 2:48
Oh with each other
Isaac Kuhlman 2:49
either way No Yeah, no no,
Andy Keris 2:51
there's yeah, there's been there's been a few times we cuddle a lot yeah, that's how we yeah, we get we sleep real close to each other in advance. So that's like makeup time. You know what I'm saying? Make out time sorry,
Isaac Kuhlman 3:07
makeup or makeup either way somebody's getting benefits there
Andy Keris 3:11
Wes Bentley 3:13
Check us on only fans.
Isaac Kuhlman 3:16
Yeah, that sounds like a live stream service you guys are waiting to start cool. So before we get into some of the other great topics I want to bring up today I first want to ask you guys about your journey. So basically how did you guys end up getting together? I know that some of you guys were in other bands before this but what were you guys doing kind of before that brought you guys all together and to the point where you guys were creating Doc Rotten?
Wes Bentley 3:39
Well, AJ and I knew each other and they were playing in another band and they lost their singer and kind of recruited me and then Doc Rotten formed really from there and as members left we just replaced it and then we got the basically the lineup this is the not
Isaac Kuhlman 3:58
to put out like a Craigslist ad or anything.
Wes Bentley 4:01
Uh we we did before. Yeah.
AJ Martinez 4:04
West fucked up and put out a Craigslist ad. And we got a guy that was terrible to deal with. He was terrible to deal with. He was actually seemed like a good bassist at first. And, you know, more Craigslist ads. No more ever.
Wes Bentley 4:22
You are only only Grindr for now.
Andy Keris 4:27
I was in my car, going to college, actually. And then AJ called me he's like, do you want to play guitar in a punk rock band? And I was like, Yeah, whatever, man. Where's that ever gonna go?
Wes Bentley 4:37
And where'd you go?
Andy Keris 4:39
A year later? I was in Japan.
Wes Bentley 4:40
Isaac Kuhlman 4:41
Wes Bentley 4:42
Your life sucks.
Andy Keris 4:44
It was tough man.
Isaac Kuhlman 4:46
Yeah, so that's kind of actually one of the biggest regrets that I had after high school is that I didn't at least try to tour for one year because I played in a punk band in high school and that was in the year 2000. So that's how friggin old I am. But yeah, I was One of the things like, Yeah, I wish I would have skipped a year of college just to try it out and see what it was like. So that sounds like a, you know, even if it doesn't work out for the extended future, at least you got some awesome experience in the near future.
Wes Bentley 5:13
Yeah, it's been great. I mean, we've seen the world meet a lot of great people. I mean, played all over the country all over Europe. I mean, yeah, it's awesome. You can still do it, though.
Isaac Kuhlman 5:25
Yeah, I know. I have a frickin 10 month old baby. So I gotta wait a little bit. But until and once it gets to three
Andy Keris 5:32
to three years old, should be holding the full time job by then.
Isaac Kuhlman 5:36
He'll be my backup drummer. If we go on the tour, he's gonna be sitting on the alternate spot. But yeah, so I kind of have like a life, a life philosophy and see if this resonates with you guys. But I always tell people like, you know, because you can't die and take money with you. I always say I don't want to be the person. That's the richest person in the graveyard or the cemetery. I want to have the best stories at the nursing home. What do you guys think of that?
Wes Bentley 6:00
Well, I actually had to kind of have this philosophy. I was I read this thing. I don't remember it was called it was like a nurses kind of stories. She was a hospice nurse making the United Kingdom. And she was interviewing people dying on their deathbed. And, you know, they wish they did this wish they did that. So after I read that, I said, Alright, I'm gonna start living my life like that.
Isaac Kuhlman 6:26
Yep. So instead of saying no to things,
Wes Bentley 6:29
yeah, just do it. You know? So I quit my job and start playing music. That's awesome. Yeah, yeah. That's cool.
Isaac Kuhlman 6:37
What about the rest of you guys? What's your kind of? I know that you guys might have some some thoughts about like, hey, you know, what, if Wes doesn't carry this thing, we're fucked.
Andy Keris 6:47
I like the nursing home. thing he just said, a lot of STDs are in there now is an outbreak. So it sounds like the stories just keep coming. So, you know, maybe that's where I need to end up one of these days.
Isaac Kuhlman 6:59
Maybe sooner rather than later. Maybe you'll get more action
Andy Keris 7:01
Yeah, why not just keep the stories rolling.
Isaac Kuhlman 7:06
That's awesome. So let's kind of talk about jump into the music side because I do think you guys have a bit of an old school punk sound and it's not like your, you know, like 70s punk band or anything. But by that, I mean, it's kind of more traditional punk sound that blends a little bit of pop punk into it, but not overtly Poppy. Right. I think it's kind of I always say it's like a mash up between, like, Rancid and Dropkick Murphys. And then you have some roots of like, bands, like just, like Bouncing Souls. So were those some of the bands that kind of influenced your sound? And are there any others that kind of influence?
Wes Bentley 7:38
100%? Yes. You got to have great choruses.
Isaac Kuhlman 7:44
What was that?
Wes Bentley 7:45
You got to have great choruses. You got to have songs that people can sing to right. Yeah. I mean, that's what I like. Yeah. So. But yeah, I mean, I think we all like similar bands. And that that era of punk rock we all agree on.
Isaac Kuhlman 8:00
Yeah. And I see. Is it Doug back there wearing a Ramones shirt? So that's obviously a big one too, right? Yeah. I still don't think I've ever met a punk band. That's like, you know, I don't know. And I don't like the Ramones, Bad Religion for sure.
Andy Keris 8:14
Who were they? I didn't, I didn't get into punk music until I met him when I was 23. And he showed me no effects. And I was like, this shit sucks. This is terrible. And then I was by myself and I put it on and I was like, alright, some of the some of the songs are okay. Yeah. I
AJ Martinez 8:35
mean, Andrew, I took Andrew to a Big Wig show at the core Tavern in New Brunswick. And he was scared, because there was like motion going on. And then 10 minutes later, he was in the page like, this is awesome. I love this
Andy Keris 8:50
some crazy cokehead skinhead tried to beat me up and I thought it was the greatest thing ever.
AJ Martinez 8:55
He said he had a good time
Andy Keris 8:56
I ran away from him. But I mean, I had a good time. I was all sweaty. Well, that's awesome. Because like, I played in like cover bands and stuff like that, like classic rock forever. So soon I saw that and I got involved. I was like, this is fun. This is way better than hitting on older women. Yeah,
Isaac Kuhlman 9:20
Yeah. That's awesome. So I was just curious. Have you guys actually ever heard of the band Midtown from Jersey?
Andy Keris 9:28
Midtown? No, I have not heard of Midtown.
AJ Martinez 9:30
It's interesting. I've heard I've heard of them.
Andy Keris 9:32
Okay. I never heard of them. That's
Isaac Kuhlman 9:35
the reason why I asked is because the song Better Days. It has a very similar sound to some of their pop punk that they played. So they came out in like the 2000 2001 era. But they had some very catchy hooks and they had actually had three singers so it was kind of like this Jersey band that kind of symbolizes that whole heart like vocal harmonics and melodies of everything that you guys are very familiar with and having a lot of in your choruses. So I was just curious to better days was anywhere related to that. But if you haven't heard of them, it's probably just the sound that comes from Jersey. I think that, that maybe it just kind of emanated through pop punk over and punk rock for 20 years now.
AJ Martinez 10:16
Yeah, our original bassist wrote that song. And if actually, if you really listened to the song, it's no different than I Turned Into a Martian by The Misfits. Interesting. I, I can't listen to that our song better days without singing. I turned into a Martian, in my head.
Isaac Kuhlman 10:37
But that's a fricking drummer for you right there. He's like, there's no difference. We stole it straight up there.
AJ Martinez 10:41
Is that exactly exactly the same thing? But no, he was a good songwriter. And he liked he liked popular bands like Midtown. And, and, but but good. They're still good bands and big choruses. And yeah,
Isaac Kuhlman 10:57
I was. I was just curious, is it is he from Midtown? Did he actually come from the band? Midtown?
AJ Martinez 11:01
No, no, he's from Mid Ewing
Wes Bentley 11:04
Isaac Kuhlman 11:09
Nice. Well, cool. So let's talk about what you've released so far. And then we can talk about kind of what's coming up. And to my knowledge, you guys released the EP Fallout 2017, which I've tried to find on Spotify. It's there, but none of the songs are actually available to listen to, but I think two or three of them actually are on other EPS later. And then it went into I think the second one was Sick and Suffering the EP and then followed by allusion to choose is that kind of the orders that how that went.
Wes Bentley 11:37
Yeah, we ended up just bundling them all really in one.
Isaac Kuhlman 11:40
Yeah, that's the deluxe edition.
Wes Bentley 11:43
Yeah, that's, that's that's basically what we did. But yeah, we were just banging out EPS, like every six months. Yeah, I
Isaac Kuhlman 11:49
was curious. Like, how did you guys decide that? That you put them all out so fast? Just because you write so many songs,
Wes Bentley 11:55
I thought, like, you need to, when you start a new band, there's a couple things you need to do is bang out music and play as many shows as possible. Yeah. And you have to leave your hometown.
Isaac Kuhlman 12:09
Yep. So I think that's a pretty, pretty good approach, because nobody's gonna hear of you if you don't play in front of them. Right.
Wes Bentley 12:16
Yeah. And then, you know, put on, you know, put on a good show. So, yeah, that's just how it is. We were just banging it out. And then we ended up just bundling it all in one and kind of built some tours around it.
Isaac Kuhlman 12:31
Gotcha. No, it's you guys just actually got projects. Yeah. So you guys just got done with kind of a East Coast like kind of Upper Midwest tour of like, maybe like 10 cities or something like that.
Wes Bentley 12:44
Yeah, yeah. We went as far as West as I guess Detroit would be the first one.
Andy Keris 12:50
Let's call them cities. Cities. Indianapolis few towns sprinkled in there.
Wes Bentley 12:57
But yeah, that's cool. It was good. It was good to play shows we went from playing you know 100 plus a year to well, we didn't do we did zero and 2020
Andy Keris 13:07
That's a record for us. I'm actually proud of that right
Wes Bentley 13:09
we went to zero I stopped went to zero
Isaac Kuhlman 13:15
you guys have plans for touring this year? Or is it pretty much kind of a wait because of the holidays?
Wes Bentley 13:20
Yeah, I think we're just gonna play local a couple local gigs and then next year we'll we'll be banging out shows.
Isaac Kuhlman 13:25
Nice. So I do have one question about the Illusion to Choose EP now I know that the song mind control actually contains that lyric within it. Some about the news and the illusion to Choose right. But I was curious if it had anything to do with the Guns and Roses double album choose your illusion from back in the day with November rain and stuff?
Wes Bentley 13:45
Andy Keris 13:46
we actually listen? We actually
Wes Bentley 13:48
the whole time. I even dressed like Axl when I was singing the song. I can and that's an and this is I even use this little because he uses the the windscreen I use an orange one to be more like Axl. No, it had nothing to do with it.
Isaac Kuhlman 14:05
Had the little kilt and everything?
Wes Bentley 14:07
Isaac Kuhlman 14:10
Yeah, that's cool. I was just curious.
Wes Bentley 14:12
But it was fat Axl. Remember, I was fat Axl.
Isaac Kuhlman 14:17
I was curious because it is such a obviously. Very related name. Like it's similar. But, you know, like I said, it's from the lyrics. So it wasn't a one to one. I just figured maybe it had something to do with that. But the other thing cool I think about the illusion to choose is that you did get to work with Pete Steinkopf from Bouncing Souls to help produce the album. So what was that process like for you guys as a band?
Wes Bentley 14:40
It was cool. He was fun. You're easy to work with and like, he's great.
Isaac Kuhlman 14:48
Did he give you any like tips or tricks that that helped in the studio for like, making it easier?
Wes Bentley 14:53
I mean, like he would, he would, he would the firt on the first on the first record. You know, he would jump in and give us give us his feedback. But but it was more feedback thing and, you know, keeping us to task. He did a very good job. He's He's like, he's like you know, he's a worker, so it's good.
AJ Martinez 15:17
Yeah, I never heard of him.
Wes Bentley 15:20
He was great.
Andy Keris 15:22
So bouncing what's
Isaac Kuhlman 15:24
the the, if you didn't catch that little sound bit that kind of came out? It was AJ, you know, giving a little crop dusting to to the microphone there. But
Wes Bentley 15:36
How's the mic smell?
Andy Keris 15:38
Isaac Kuhlman 15:41
So this is kind of one of my favorite things about you guys that you definitely don't take yourself too seriously. And I think in one interview, I think it was Andy, you had mentioned that you guys are very mediocre,
Andy Keris 15:51
but wildly mediocre wildly?
Isaac Kuhlman 15:54
Well, I definitely don't think that's true. Because I think you guys are just very relatable. Like if you're in a band and you're having fun, why the why the hell can't you like loosen up and and actually just act like yourself? Right. So I think people go I
Andy Keris 16:05
Bro, I brought one guitar pick on tour. No strings, good. A guitar pick. In Fort Wayne, one of the guitar players lost his pick. And I just picked it up and I was like mine now.
Isaac Kuhlman 16:24
So I think I do think that people can take like that lack of serious seriousness for some carelessness. So what would you say to people who think that you need to be more professional as a band?
Wes Bentley 16:34
We have serious songs. Yeah, right. You listen to us?
Andy Keris 16:38
I don't associate with those kinds of people.
Wes Bentley 16:39
I don't know. Yeah. I mean, like, No,
Andy Keris 16:42
I know a guy that's like that. I know a guy that's like that. And he's all over the place. He does music he's at he's an actor. Now. He was a model. Now he's doing pizza reviews.
Wes Bentley 16:53
Andy Keris 16:55
Yeah, so he's a guy that takes himself way too seriously? Yeah. at that. He's like, he might seem happy. But I don't don't think anything's working for him
Wes Bentley 17:08
Musics a release. Yeah, yeah. So
Andy Keris 17:11
just do what you like to do. Just let it roll.
Isaac Kuhlman 17:15
Cool. Well, in Wes, you mentioned that you do have some serious songs. And I do want to come back to that because you guys do seem pretty focused on subjects of like politics and social issues and critical thinking, like not just being a vegetable and or whatever vegetable and just sitting there letting the news brainwash you, right. So how do you juggle being political and trying to unite people? Because that's actually one of the things that you guys seem to have an overall message of, it's like bringing people together, rather than dividing them over controversy. Is it kind of something as simple as like, let's frickin rock together drink a beer and talk about some shit.
Wes Bentley 17:48
I mean, yeah, yeah. But like, I guess it's more like, for me, it's just more like, seed planting, and just, you know, calling out things rather than, you know, my perspective or our perspective, and just you're just putting it in a fun song to sing along
Isaac Kuhlman 18:12
to I guess. Yeah, it's not being overtly like trying to change people.
Wes Bentley 18:16
I don't want to shove I don't want to shove my opinion down your throat. I don't want you to shove yours. Yeah, let's just have fun. Just have. It's not at all have fun. But like, I mean, I think we all can relate to. There are some fucked up shit out there.
Isaac Kuhlman 18:28
Yeah. You know, do you think it also has anything to do with like, we actually kind of all have a common enemy within the country? And do you think that there is a common enemy that we all can actually bond together over as opposed to fight with each other?
Wes Bentley 18:39
Absolutely. Yeah. We have a common enemy. Yeah, I think so.
AJ Martinez 18:43
You don't you don't want to hang out with somebody and talk about religion, and politics and stuff all night. You know, you want to shoot the shit with your buddy and have some fun and laugh and make fun of each other and talk shit. Yeah. But if you use if you use the music, we're in a punk rock band. Yeah. Doesn't mean you have to be political. There's a ton of fan. The Descendants, the Vandals. There's so many bands out there. The Ramones weren't I mean, they were kind of political at times. But
Isaac Kuhlman 19:16
yeah, they were more political outside of the music than they were within the music. But exactly,
AJ Martinez 19:20
exactly. So you know, use the music as a vehicle to speak whatever you're talking about. But we also have songs that are just about our lives to never intended to write a political political. Yeah. What's going on around us at all times, like illusion to choose? When Wes wrote Mind Control? You could wrote that song today and it would still apply maybe more today. And that was written years ago. So these things are you get the same problem. problems going on around us just escalated at times. And that's why we that's why we don't take ourselves seriously out. You know? outside of the music because life's too short, and we're, we're not super intelligent guys that were blue collar guys, we talk shit and fart into microphones,
Isaac Kuhlman 20:13
you know, during like, at least you set that expectation for your fans like, Hey guys, we're not very smart. So we're stupid. Yeah, we're stupid. So
AJ Martinez 20:22
We sleep in a van.
Isaac Kuhlman 20:27
That's awesome. So if you know, obviously people listening to music, it doesn't kind of lean one way or the other in politics. It's like I said, I think it is a common enemy of the news, government, you know, taking what's, what's ours and hoarding it for themselves and all that stuff. And I don't think anybody considers that political. I think that's just a fact. Right? Like, you have the rich and they get richer, and they lie about stuff. And they will always lie about stuff. So why are we sitting here bickering over this stuff that they're lying about? Because they're the ones that are in control? We we don't have that.
Wes Bentley 20:59
Yeah, the solution is we have all the power, we just need to unite and stop acquiescing.
Andy Keris 21:05
And we're having more fun too. So I mean, so
Isaac Kuhlman 21:08
would you say that the solution is to unite and resist?
Wes Bentley 21:12
Bingo. Hey, just say no.
Andy Keris 21:17
Now, that's not a no show,
Isaac Kuhlman 21:20
we'll get. We'll get to that in a minute. Cuz that's the new album. We talked about that a little bit. But I think I kinda wanna talk about some of the songs on the album because some of the songs Well, on the album's I should say, it's not just one album, but I am kind of referring more to the deluxe edition that has most of the songs. But when I listen to songs like Federation, very similar to Mind Control in that sense that everyone's like, entitled, but also like, because they're kind of told that's how they're supposed to be. But I want to talk about it more musically, because there's that song particularly now I know you, you guys are probably pretty well known for Brass Tacks, and for sick and suffering, those are kind of the more anthemic crowd pleasers, I assume. But that song Federation for me is one of the songs that I find really awesome because musically, it has like all these starts and stops and it sounds like the songs dying off and then like, you get like a drum and a flam on the on the drums and it's like put up put up and starts back up again. I'm like,
Yeah, like that, that just that little, that double beat on the on the drums that AJ does, I'm like, that's actually really cool. Because in my mind, it sounds it displays like this visual of like somebody resuscitating the song. Right at that point, like, as you're coming in with the lyrics. It just sounds visually sound, or it sounds audibly, like what I would think in my mind is what the sound would be of somebody doing something to visually spark that song up. So you know, then not to mention, like, you know, there's a lot of other good drumming parts in that, but that that just singular part I, every time I hear it, I'm like, fuck, that's cool.
Andy Keris 22:59
That's song sucks
Wes Bentley 23:00
good job drumming
AJ Martinez 23:04
First time they've ever said that, ever.
Wes Bentley 23:07
It's the first compliment you've ever had. So I don't think he knows better. And
Andy Keris 23:11
you just blew so much steam of his ass this smell horrible. But in another
Wes Bentley 23:15
parts coming out? Yeah, great.
Isaac Kuhlman 23:18
Well, the funny thing is, because it's like a very, it's like a very simple like, thing, but because it's like, right at that point in song, you know, it's like, I was like, pin pin the, it's like pin the something on my demons. I can remember that the actual line
Wes Bentley 23:32
Pin it on the demons
Isaac Kuhlman 23:34
And yeah, pin pin on the demons in my head. That's what it is. Yeah. And so yeah, it's like pin it on the demons. Yeah. And so like as it comes in, like, that just sounds cool with the lyrics and stuff. But that whole song actually, musically rips through the whole thing. Because you've got little like, guitar in the background, you've got like, you know, the bass is still doing pretty well. So the complexity of that song, I guess, is is a little bit different than some because it's got more things happening. A lot of pop punk sounds, or a lot of punk sounds is pretty straightforward. But that one kind of has the changing complexity. When you guys were actually writing that song or putting it together? Did you intentionally try to make that one more complicated? Or it just was like, This is how it sounds in my head and I want to play like this.
Wes Bentley 24:20
No, it wasn't really trying to make it more complicated. It was just, I was just sitting on a couch with an acoustic. And I just was better than it ended in it and just kind of playing it. I was just like, it's gonna be cool. What can I do with this? And it kind of got it was really the ebb and flow in the music, which had to do with different mindsets to me. Yeah, see, it's hard to say so it was, it was it was really all all the message that that dictated the music. So like the parts where it slows down. You know, I envisioned somebody whining.
Isaac Kuhlman 25:00
Yeah. Meltdown or something and just like,
Wes Bentley 25:05
You know what I mean? Like just being like a little entitle a little bitch.
Isaac Kuhlman 25:08
Yeah. Actually makes it kind of even cooler because when you transition from one verse to the chorus, it kind of does that. It's like it winds down. And it's like, fuck this like a bop bop and then it goes into the course right? So it kind of like get over that shit.
Wes Bentley 25:21
Yeah, that's yeah. And when when when I brought it to like the whole band it just kind of morphed into what it was what it turned into. That's awesome. We actually played it recently in rehearsal. It sounds better now.
Isaac Kuhlman 25:35
Yeah. I was gonna say I can't imagine that. That's one of that. That's like, and it's not that the songs bad because I love the song. And I'm telling you that it's one of my favorites. But I feel like it's probably one of those ones that a lot of people wash over who don't play music, and just go it's good song. But then you got like Brass Tacks and Sick and Suffering where it's very sing along. And even songs like Better Days and the songs where you put the ooze and stuff like that in there. Those are definitely songs that people are gonna sing to you. Where Federation doesn't have necessarily a theme, like a anthemic kind of sound to it.
Wes Bentley 26:11
Yeah, I mean, you know, it's how it came out. You know, it's not like a, I guess we can write songs. Yeah. We could do different things we could
Andy Keris 26:24
do. We could, we could do it. We could do this. He took it. I didn't do anything. I think I joined the band. And that song was just coming about. Yeah, I did record it. But the whole I blacked out the entire couple first couple months.
Isaac Kuhlman 26:40
I feel like there's a constant theme thrown around is that Andy just basically has no idea what's happening most of the time.
Andy Keris 26:47
I was so lost. I first started all this.
Wes Bentley 26:52
Still faking it?
Andy Keris 26:53
Still faking it. Fake it till you make it right?
Wes Bentley 26:59
Yeah. We, when we were we ended up doing a lot of demos. I guess that was late. 2019. Yeah. It's probably early 2020 going around the house. And I guess all of 20 like all of our free time in 2019. Right, it was 2019. Right this year? No, was it 2019? Now when we were writing all the demos and doing all the demos, Oh, 19. We just, I mean, we count we came up with a lot of different music that you know, we didn't select to release at this time. Yeah. Because it's not, I guess not exactly what we were going for. But Gotcha. They're good. They're good, too.
Andy Keris 27:40
Well, they could be they could be better. The one work on it one day.
Wes Bentley 27:44
Yeah. Once we got here, we're gonna be a polka band.
Isaac Kuhlman 27:47
I was gonna say you guys are putting together show tunes for
Andy Keris 27:50
stage now. Or we're putting together tunes that actually sell out one day, because we might actually be freezing in the van one day and be like, alright, I had enough of this. I'm 40 It's time to sell out songs.
Isaac Kuhlman 28:02
Are you saying that 40 is old, cuz that's how old I'll be in like 10 days.
Andy Keris 28:05
It's old when you're sitting in a van freezing your ass off.
Isaac Kuhlman 28:09
You're right. I haven't done that.
Andy Keris 28:10
I see you got a nice comfy spot right there where you're at?
Isaac Kuhlman 28:17
Awesome. So I think, you know, I think it's pretty safe to say that you guys have like a little bit more aggressive sound than kind of what's on the radio. Not to say that it's like angry or anything but I'd say the message is kind of like we're kind of sick of the same shit that's going on. So you're not just gonna you know play like the sellout songs like you're talking about Andy, but you don't just blame the world, you fully are aware that you and I and everyone else has their own part in this messed up social experiment. So where do you think we go from here?
Wes Bentley 28:43
In the world? Yeah. I think that tyranny loses. Awesome and people realize they have all the power.
Isaac Kuhlman 28:53
Do you have a roadmap for us? Because I'd like to know.
Wes Bentley 28:58
The more boots on your face and more oppression that people have, the more they'll rise up and say no, so I think we're going the route. So I think it's already happening. Yeah, so
AJ Martinez 29:08
with things like Bitcoin and things like that, you can't it's really hard to fight a bigger opponent, and the government's pretty fucking big. They're like, the mafia, basically. Yeah. So with things like Bitcoin, the best thing to do is just decentralized type of system that you can circumvent and basically ignore them just go parallel rather than run into them head on, just go parallel with them and ignore them. And, you know, eventually though, they will fight back but I mean, I, uh, um, I have a I have a lot of guns. I don't speak for everybody in the band like that. But like I personally do. So like I'm I'm good with that. Like I don't I don't want to ever hurt anybody. Or but I you know, just in case anybody comes knocking on my door like, I'll be alright.
Isaac Kuhlman 30:07
Yeah. I like that.
Andy Keris 30:10
That's a good soundbite to this interview
Wes Bentley 30:12
Yeah, rude. I mean, one of the one of one of the problems is, is, you know, misinformation, disinformation censorship. So it's not like you can go on any of these legacy media outlets. I'm gonna call them the corporate media legacy, because they're, they've basically, you know, censored themselves out of business. Yeah. So they're running on fumes. But, you know, you can it's not like you can go there. So one of the things that is the courts, you have to use the courts because that's where propaganda doesn't exist where you can only speak fact. Yeah. And emotions don't matter.
Isaac Kuhlman 30:54
Yeah, that's actually funny because Alex Jones recently got sued by parents of the victims of Sandy Hook, and he had to actually sit there and like, tell the truth. He's like, I'm just playing a character. What I say on my show isn't real. And you're like, You're a piece of shit.
Wes Bentley 31:10
Alexon Alex Jones, fired a journalist for who, who released a documentary. And then she got arrested for releasing the documentary fired her. Wow. Millie Weaver was her name. Documentary called Shadowgate. It's very interesting. Yeah. So Alex Jones.
Isaac Kuhlman 31:30
Yeah. All right. So let's talk about the new music. Because obviously, you guys have released the first single off the new album called Psych Ward 103. And put together a music video for it. I think both a song and video are actually pretty cool. And it's very similar to what you're talking about with the the moods and the emotions of that one Federation, where you kind of have a storyline for each verse, and it kind of goes in chronological order. And with the music video, you actually introduce a female actress who actually explains like, what how are you feeling Wes and talk about this and move on to that, and it actually kind of propels the storyline. So how did that idea for the music video come about? Because it's done pretty good and includes, you know, good actors in some dialogue, which not all punk bands do.
Wes Bentley 32:13
Well, I think we should talk about the song first where the song idea came from.
Andy Keris 32:20
It's about the ongoing opioid epidemic and no actually it's not. I wrote that song making fun of my roommate. Because he always, he would always get messed up and go to Florida and he'd always get a new girlfriend and never worked out in a rehab. So like, yeah, sorry that when I say Florida, I mean rehab. Yeah, it was gonna it was gonna like Florida, Florida. Arizona. You Yeah, some sort of? So I wrote that. I wrote in like, 10 minutes. And then I was like, Hey, dude, this is a song I wrote about. Yeah. And I sang to him, and he did not laugh at all. But it's fun. But I was cracking up and I was like, it's pretty good. I gotta show the guys this song.
Isaac Kuhlman 33:03
That's when you know, it's good when the person who wrote it about absolutely hates it.
Andy Keris 33:07
Yeah, it's great. And I don't think I've sent him the link to the song or anything like yeah, maybe I will. I'll be like, Hey, I wrote the song for you remember? went viral.
Isaac Kuhlman 33:17
And now it's our biggest song. Cool.
Wes Bentley 33:20
Yeah, and the video was fun, like, so that was DIWhy films, who they've done music videos, and shorts and horror films for for movies and stuff like that. And we're friends with them. They're here in Trenton. And it was just kind of just gave them the lyrics and they just kind of put the whole thing together. You know, it was just, they just did a great job.
Isaac Kuhlman 33:47
That's awesome. And that was
Wes Bentley 33:49
it. And I hate doing videos. And yeah,
Isaac Kuhlman 33:53
I'm saying just so people know, if they're looking it up, it's di like, why isn't why the question, right? Yeah.
Wes Bentley 33:59
I Yeah. Yeah, why
Isaac Kuhlman 34:02
So in the video, they said, there is a female. That's the young girl in room 103. Was she somebody that the band knew or is this an actress if within that community or was anybody
Wes Bentley 34:16
We go way back. I met her about 15 minutes before we started filming. She's an actress. Yeah. They have worked with her in the past. Nice. Chrissy, right. Chrissy? Yeah. So they worked with her in other films. Yeah, and I mean that she did nurse they did a great job. Eileen, Eileen. Come on Eileen. But yeah, it was it was cool. It was it was it was really they I think they did a really good job.
Isaac Kuhlman 34:51
Awesome. And so let's talk about the new album obviously. You know if it's anything like the first single it's going to be pretty awesome album. So what can people actually get spec for this album that may be similar or different from what you guys have already put out.
Wes Bentley 35:04
I think it's better.
Andy Keris 35:05
It's more amped up. Yeah,
Wes Bentley 35:07
I think it's I think it's it's a lot better. Definitely. It has really the same. I guess it's in the same wheelhouse as the as the first record, but I think it's a great record.
Doug Pomba 35:22
Well, first off, we
Wes Bentley 35:24
did a great job. .
Doug Pomba 35:25
First off, I'm a part of this record.
Wes Bentley 35:27
Doug was there. We all wrote songs. Like we all wrote songs. It was, it was it was really? Yeah, it got better. Yeah. So yeah, it was cool. Because we got cabins we did to kind of when we were writing it and working on it, we got two cabins, one in like the Poconos and then one in New York.
Isaac Kuhlman 35:54
Sounds pretty fancy for some guys who love vans.
Wes Bentley 35:57
Well, we had we, we, we had to, you know, hide some bodies. We went wrong.
Doug Pomba 36:05
This was my first full length record that I've ever been a part of. And I had a I didn't know what to expect, like writing all the songs and getting all these going through the process of you know, a full length record. Like all these songs. I've only wrote, you know, two or three songs here or there. But I had I had a blast through the whole process was awesome, you know? Yeah.
Wes Bentley 36:29
What did we end up writing? How many songs total 20. It was in the 20s and record 19 And then then whittle it whittled it down to 16. For the record,
Isaac Kuhlman 36:41
Nice. So did you guys do it all yourselves, or who do you work with to actually record it?
Wes Bentley 36:46
Pete. Pete Steinkopf. Yeah, he called he did it again. So and that's actually where I got the idea for the cabins because I watched a documentary on the Bouncing Souls. When they were talking about how I spent my summer vacation and they did it all on a cabin in like Vermont or New Hampshire something something in New England, so I was like, well, we should do that. No distraction. That was just it. We literally would just wake up wake up at eight and go to bed. I don't know in the middle of the night 2 am cook some
Doug Pomba 37:12
eggs in the morning. right to it. Just
Wes Bentley 37:15
work. bagging it out. So is that
Doug Pomba 37:19
and then the one cabin? We had a we had a wood fireplace go and that's where we did vocals where we did vocals,
Wes Bentley 37:25
vocals right by fire. It didn't dry your stove. Yeah, it didn't dry your mouth out or anything. It wasn't hot or nothing.
Isaac Kuhlman 37:34
You guys didn't want to put like a boiling pot of water on at least
Doug Pomba 37:41
we're not that smart. Like it was like no, we've already discussed or not. That's why it was fun, though. It was fun.
Isaac Kuhlman 37:46
That's awesome. So when you guys are actually go... When you put this out? Are you guys gonna be releasing another? More music videos for it? Or how's the how's kind of like, what's the process before you guys launch it? Cuz it's gonna be so like four months away? Right?
Wes Bentley 38:01
Yeah, the title track videos coming out in the new year. Right? It's January. That one is gonna drop.
AJ Martinez 38:07
Yeah, we were. The dates aren't firm yet. But we're gonna be releasing three more music videos before then. Yeah, well, there'll be two two will come out right before the record one will come out shortly after. And don't want to give too many details on it. But they're gonna be they're gonna be awesome. I mean, like, what these guys DIWhy guys and gals. They're..our buddy Andy did all our other music videos before and he was fantastic to work with. But just I don't know if it's just like switching and seeing what other people doing. But it's like, I'm so stoked to see because we've only seen Psych Ward, which is already out. And then the next video for the title track like Wes was just talking about. And we're so happy with just those two alone. And we're really excited about the next two after that.
Isaac Kuhlman 39:08
Awesome. So you guys haven't recorded or haven't done the first or the last year you have done them all already know.
AJ Martinez 39:13
All the videos recorded. Yeah, we recorded all of them. We just haven't seen you
Isaac Kuhlman 39:17
haven't seen the final product footage. Yeah, exactly.
Wes Bentley 39:20
Yep. Cool. But it was cool.
Isaac Kuhlman 39:23
What do you So Wes, you obviously said you don't like doing music videos. But what do you guys think about like when you see the music videos come out and you're like, that's us. That's, that's where you're gonna be on YouTube. That's gonna be us on YouTube. Because I
Wes Bentley 39:35
was like, wait, I have to hear me and look at me.
Doug Pomba 39:40
When I when I when I first saw the Psych Ward 103 music video, I was like, wow, I have really bad sunglass tan. So, so sunglass burn. Yes, I was I was on a boat all day. And then I showed up there and I took my took my sunglasses off and I was like, wow, that's really bad. So for anybody watching this, go and look, and at my face, Raccoon, it's really bad. It's really bad. Yeah, so I
Isaac Kuhlman 40:09
was gonna do a
Andy Keris 40:10
rap music video. There's bitches all over the place. Tell that story, Doug.
Wes Bentley 40:19
Yeah, videos or videos. I mean, I just, you know, it's like, not the fun part for me, that's for sure. Yeah, you know, it's cool. But this they actually did really, really good. Really good job. I didn't hate it. So that was cool. Yeah. And our first videos, our buddy and Andy did them all at Andy Salinsky he did a great job. But this was now this they kind of had like, with DIY they there's there's more than one person to production for it. Yeah, they have. You know? They got more people in and it was just it was they made it like they got more stuff very, very, very easy. Yeah, cuz they got, you know, they make movies and stuff. Yeah, they're not a one man job.
Isaac Kuhlman 41:09
So I was gonna say cuz you said you know now you got to look and see hear you got to hear yourself and see yourself and I was like, well think about how the rest of us feel Wes.
Wes Bentley 41:16
i You got Yeah. Sucks to be you. And again, it's I guess it sucks to be me.
Andy Keris 41:24
I'm looking at myself right now. Great. Terrible.
Isaac Kuhlman 41:29
No, that's awesome. Like, it's been a lot of fun. Obviously talk to you guys. And I really do. I think your music is friggin awesome. And I can't wait to hear the whole record. So you know, we're gonna put some links in the show notes below this video, obviously in the podcast and everything for anything, but before we go today, you guys have anything that you want to talk about upcoming shows that you guys said you might be doing some local shows, or anything else you want to say to fans before we go today.
Andy Keris 41:54
We'll be playing at the Mill Hill basement. Yeah, December 4. Awesome. December 4. I don't
Doug Pomba 42:01
have anything to say about like shows or anything. But this is my first Bang drink. This said please sponsor. Um, shakily got me all jittery. I don't even know going on right now. That's
Andy Keris 42:15
what I like to tell the fans. I just got Banged. We have fans. Fans, we got one thinking about the time we were in Slovakia. And that guy was singing our songs in the front there when we were playing. And I was just like, that is so cool. Like we're in like, really? halfway around the world and somebody knows our songs. Yeah, and we're here right now.
Wes Bentley 42:40
Yeah, I mean, the only thing I would want to really promote is the upcoming record. And if you liked our old music, you're gonna really fucking like what's coming. Yeah.
Isaac Kuhlman 42:50
Awesome. So thanks, guys. I just want to thank obviously Wes and he Doug and AJ from Doc rotten for the incredibly fun conversation today. And if you haven't checked out their music yet, make sure to go to the show notes below to the of this episode and check out the music there. So if you like what you heard on the show, please make sure to subscribe to the podcast and share it with your friends on social media. You can see the full video interview on our YouTube channel as well. Also, if you want to check out some of our written content, or any of the products or merch that we have available, go to poweredbyrock.com to read our absolutely free rockin blog full album interviews, album reviews, interviews and lists to keep you entertained and find our gear as well so you can pick up some items and buy and look like a rock legend. That's our show for today. We'll see you for the next episode soon. Until then rock on.