Stoked to announce The Jukebox Romantics are Havoc Underground's Band of the Week #9! Check out our interview with them below:
HU: First off, it's great to talk to you guys. Thanks for taking the time. For those who don’t know, who are The Jukebox Romantics?
JR: Hey! Thanks for having me/us! The Jukebox Romantics are a Punk Rock n Roll band on a mission from planet Vulcan to rock the world and teach people to be excellent to each other while dropping other 80s/90s nerd movie culture references on stage. I tried to make it sound cooler than what it is in a super long run on sentence. It totally backfired. I’m leaving it in. We are a band. Terry, Bobby, & Norm.
HU: Where’d the name come from?
JR: We had a few different name ideas in the hat in the beginning. It’s a really important, not important part of a band that can totally backfire for different reasons. We were almost “The Disaster March” but there was another one of those. So the 2nd choice was The Jukebox Romantics, which was taken from the line “We are the last of the jukebox Romeos.” It’s from the Gaslight Anthem song “We Came To Dance.” We started forming the band in June of 2008 and I was really into that first Gaslight record. The name came from that. A month later they released The 59 Sound which is still a banger. None of us really listened to anything after those 2 records. But yeah, band names mannnnn.
HU: You guys have toured extensively since forming. Could you pick a favorite tour? If not, could you pin down a favorite show?
JR: We have toured a lot. There are definitely a few tours that stick out, the first Warped Tour run we did in 2010, First tour to SXSW, and our first European tour. They all mean a lot cause when we started the band we actually made goals, something I never have really done until that point. I had been in bands where the goal was to party and have fun. With JBR those were the goals as well haha but we also made a list of things we wanted to do as a band, those 3 tours were on that original goals list. So I guess I would say the first European tour. Probably because it took the longest to achieve and almost happened so many times and then fell through, which is a common thread of being in a band. I’m a pretty positive person, and try to live that PMA lifestyle, but if being in a band has taught me anything its to not believe anything is truly happening until I’m on the stage haha. It was a super fun tour with our buds in OC45 in 2017. It was special to do it with friends also and share that with them.
HU: Favorite Show?
JR: Our 10 year Anniversary show is my personal favorite. We had all original members there, old fans and friends, newer ones, it was Christmas holiday season and it was at a club in our home county. We never had a home town, but we always considered lower Westchster County our home. The cool thing about our history as a band is that we never really had any bad blood with each other or a ton of lineup changes. After we kicked out our original singer early on it was the original 4 for a while, I just took over singing. Then our drummer moved away for a job and Norm joined and has been playing drums since. Then our OG guitarist and bass player couldn’t tour anymore, and since that was a big part of our band, it was sad but it was for the greater good of what the band wanted to do goal wise. In 2014 Bob joined and its been the 3 of us since. So all 3 versions of the band played and it was a big big party with amazing vibes. It was a drunken mess as well when you have 1 practice with the OGs lol.
HU: Being in a band myself, I hate this question, but fans always like to hear the answer. Who would you say are some of The Jukebox Romantics musical influences?
JR: Let me check www.jukeboxromantics.com for the influences (cheap plug). If you tossed all of our influences together you probably get something like The Bouncing Souls, Blink 182, Boysetfire, None More Black, One Man Army, Sum 41, Beastie Boys, Alkaline Trio
HU: What's your favorite and least favorite thing of being a part of the New York punk scene?
JR: Favorite – the amazing people I’ve met throughout the whole state... And NY Pizza. Least Favorite – How divided the scene is. Sub genre wise and friend groups wise. That’s why I love things like Punk Island in NYC every year because it’s a bunch of promoters and bands from the underground scenes all coming together. Where I grew up and still to this day when JBR play a home town area show its always mixed genre or bands that might not fit completely together. But that’s cool!
HU: Who is a band that you've met through playing shows that we should all be listening to right now?
JR: Oh The Humanity! – They are one of the most talented bands with all amazing humans in their band. They have a new record coming out soon I believe.
HU: How have you guys been handling the COVID-19 shutdown?
JR: We have been handling it as best as we can I guess. We live a couple hours away from each other, so we haven’t seen each other really. We were supposed to be in the studio recording the 2nd half of our new record. That didn’t happen. We had a short run in Germany for Booze Cruise, that didn’t happen. I did a few live streams. That was fun a few times, but not the same as playing with the guys. Our last show was Dec 13, 2019. Our last band practice was in February. As I type this, we are having a 2/3 full band practice tomorrow and I can’t fucken wait. We have been super careful. My girlfriend is a doctor and was dealing with COVID on the front-lines when shit was real bad. So because of that and my exposure, we haven’t attempt to practice until now. And when we do we will be wearing masks cause we aren’t fucken stupid.
HU: If you could have The Jukebox Romantics be direct support on tour for any band, who would it be?
JR: Blink 182. We have been very lucky to perform with many of our favorite bands from when we were kids. But that band… that band is the reason why I picked up a guitar. I saw a live video of them in 1998 and I was sold, I wanted to run around on stage and play live music with my friends. They aren’t the best band, never claimed to be, but it would be a dream for me for sure.
HU: Do you guys have a favorite song to perform live? Is there a fan favorite live?
JR: Me personally? I love playing the song “Benson, NC (The Bummerizor)” we rarely play it these days, but its just fun as hell. “Bite The Neck” is definitely one of our bigger fan favorites. Another one that’s fun to play with a hot crowd!
HU: Anything new coming up for The Jukebox Romantics?
JR: We will be heading back into Nada Recording Studios with John Naclerio hopefully before Summer is over to finish this record. And if Florida still exists by Halloween and it’s not canceled, we will see anyone who is going at THE FEST. Fingers crossed.
HU: Thanks again for doing this man!
JR: Be safe, strange times, wear a mask, keep that PMA and thanks for having me! Peace!
The Jukebox Romantics - "Breaking Bad"
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