It’s never a bad time to catch up with The Pietasters! The DC Ska legends, both for their tunes and hard partying ways, are one of very few groups that bring as much excitement to their crowds as they do inebriation, so you know you’ll have a blast when they take the stage. The morning may be a bit rough, but at least you’ll know (though may not remember) how much fun you had the night before.
As evidenced by their appearances at virtually every Ska festival that has ever been held, The Pietasters are a staple to the US Ska genre and deserve every credit such a group can be afforded for their dedication and perseverance in the music game. Anyone calling themselves a fan of Ska would be remiss to stay home when they come to town.
A featured act on the first edition of The Apple Stomp at NYC’s Irving Plaza on June 1st, The Pietasters are certain to inspire a bit of smoking, a bit of drinking, and a whole lot of dancing, so get your ass off your shoulders and come have fun with them when they perform! I got in touch with Steve Jackson to talk about Apple Stomp, who they are most excited to see at the show, and if they have any surprises in store for us!
G- What’s up and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five again! How has everything been going in Pietasterland lately?
S – We’re all doing well, thank you very much.
G- Excellent! Now, the last time we spoke, The Pietasters had just released “Oolooloo” on vinyl, and were a featured act on the Skalapalooza tour… How did everything go on the tour and which city do you think had the best reaction?
S- That tour was a blast. It was so much fun to be playing with our old friends in The Pilfers and Spring Heeled Jack. All the shows were great. DC is always our favorite town to play, and the 930 Club didn’t disappoint. The Boston show with Big D was another great night.
G- You also mentioned that you were working on some new music for all of your fans out here. Do you have any updates you can share with us at this time and are there any plans or talk about upcoming releases?
S- All I can say is that we continue to work on the new songs. We rehearsed last night in fact. There are just so many outside demands on the band that we don’t have as much time to devote to writing and recording, and we want to turn out a quality album.
G- Right on. So, The Apple Stomp! The Pietasters are, without question, one of the acts that everyone is most excited about… How pumped are you to play the event, and what do you have in store for the performance? Full album? Special guests? Shut up and wait until we take the stage, Greg?
S- I don’t even know how long our set will be. I’m guessing that it will be on the short side, considering all the bands that are playing. That makes it tough to write a set list. We’ll do our best to represent songs from all albums. I hope we can convince some of the folks in other bands to join us onstage.
G- That’d be superb! While we’re at it, I also wanted to ask which group(s) you are most excited to see during the event… Anyone in particular catching your eyes and ears at this point?!
S- It’s a great line-up and I’m looking forward to taking in all of their sets. The Scofflaws are one of my favorite bands. We did a US tour with them and The Toasters way back in the early ‘90s, and it was a very formative time for us youngsters. I can’t wait to see Sammy and the band tear it up again.
G- Same here! The Scofflaws are amazing!
So, since I didn’t ask you last time, I wanted to know if you have a favorite song in The Pietasters’ catalogue? If not, tell us which 1 song you would give to someone who’d never heard of you before to try and make a new fan?
S- Personally I love a lot of the songs on All Day, “Don’t Wanna Know” in particular. I’m not sure why, maybe because it’s so much fun to sing?
To the uninitiated, that album shows the variety that us Pietasters are capable of. Oolooloo is the album that most of our song requests come from, so I guess I should be pushing that too.
G- Ahhhh Oolooloo! So many memories! So many painful wake ups… Yikes.
So let’s dream a little… You’ve played shows with almost everyone in the Ska genre, and you backed up James Brown, so no one could ever contest your influence and impact in the Ska scene, but are there any bands or artists that you hope to share a bill with in the future? If you could pick out a feasible 3-band dream lineup to be a part of and tour with who would you want to go out with?
S- That’s a tough one. From bands that we’ve played with before and whom I’d love to tour with again the bill would be: Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Bouncing Souls, Pietasters. In a ska-dream world maybe: Specials or Madness, Bad Manners, Pietasters.
Now, if it were a perfect world where people would/could enjoy different genres it might be cool to see: Blur, Supergrass, Pietasters. Hey, a guy can dream.
Thanks for talking to us. See you on Saturday!
G- My pleasure, Steve!