Smoking Popes to light it up at Finn’sWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Those love songs with cool crooning over punk power guitar chords by The Smoking Popes rage on. The band’s 1995 classic “Born to Quit” will be reissued Oct. 23 with two bonus tracks.
“I am just overjoyed that people are still responding to the music,” said singer and guitarist Josh Caterer.
“When we go out and play the songs from this album, we can see that there are people in the audience who have a relationship to the songs. This is the benefit of having been around for a while. People have had a chance to interact with the songs and develop kind of a place in their heart for this music, so you can see when you start playing a certain song, people just smile.”
The Smoking Popes will perform the disc in its entirety Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. at Mickey Finn’s Pub. Roll the Tanks and Capaul will open. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
Caterer said not everyone loved the album when it first came out on a small punk label.
“We played several of the songs from ‘Born to Quit,’ which most of the songs on the album are kind of mid-tempo, romantic pop songs, not as punk as our earlier stuff, and the [Chicago club] audience frankly hated it,” he recalled. “People were actually throwing things at us by the end of the set. So we felt like we had kind of alienated ourselves from the punk crowd that we had been playing to up to that point.
“Then once the album got picked up by Capitol [Records], that’s when the critical acclaim started rolling in and kind of validating the album, which was nice.”
“Need You Around,” the first single from the disc, was featured on the soundtrack for the movie “Clueless.”
“‘Need You Around’ is a direct homage to Frank Sinatra,” Caterer said during a call from Barrington, Ill.
He and his brothers, guitarist Eli Caterer and bassist Matt Caterer, started the band in 1991. Seven years later, Josh left. But 2005 brought them together for a concert.
“It wasn’t until after we played the reunion show that we realized how special this music had been to our fans,” Josh said. “We weren’t sure before that if people were going to care that we were getting back together or if anybody was going to come to the show. But when the show was announced, it sold out really quickly and there was a lot of excitement about it.”
The front man for the Popes was excited to mention his solo EP, “The Light of Christ,” which came out Oct. 4.
“It’s kind of a gospel-type collection of songs. These are songs that I’ve written for the [Village Church of Barrington] over the years. I’ve been serving as a band leader in church, I’ve written several songs that we use during our worship time, and I finally recorded these into an album,” he said. “If people want info about that, they can go to joshcaterer.com.”