Nikki Roberts | April 2017
Since 2012, Bumsy and the Moochers have been playing their danceable ska grooves in venues across the Chicagoland area. After seeing the group perform this past summer at The Drunken Donut in Joliet, I knew I had to catch their latest show at Reggie's with So Pretty, The Two Tens, and The Dollyrots. Before their set, the band sat down with me to do an interview about their sound and the Chicago scene. For the sake of coherency, the responses from all six band members have been reduced to one combined, conversational answer.
If you had to pick two animals to describe your sound, what would those animals be?
Bumsy & the Moochers: That is an awesome question. A kookaburra and a walrus.
-Or an elephant! Because its trunk could be a horn.
-That's a trunk, not a horn. Rhinos have horns.
-This is a hard one, but definitely a kookaburra. Those are Australian birds that are really obnoxious.
From releasing Bored Up! in 2015 to Easily Distracted in 2016, how has your sound changed? What was the recording process like for each of those releases?
B: It changed a lot, a whole lot. Just the overall way we wrote songs changed. We changed guitarists and we learned how to write better music.
-Definitely. Our song writing changed and got a lot better. Our horn lines did, too.
-This time around, we focused on recording more than we did on the first album. Hearing yourself [recorded] definitely helps a ton, too.
If you had to play one at one Chicagoland venue for the rest of your musical career, which venue would you choose?
B: Probably Reggie's.
-The Metro is mine, because that's the place I've always gone to shows.
-Or the Riviera.
-I say Reggie's cuz I've always loved playing here. I've played here since high school. I've always liked the crowds at Reggie's, too. Plus it's got a record store and you can eat!
-Every body who comes to a show at Reggie's knows what they're getting in to; they're just more excited to be there as opposed to some places where people end up at the bar and there's also a show going on.
-I was gonna say Sub T, but there's too many stairs.
-Oh, that reminds me! RIP Double Door. Double Door would be #2 because that place was fun. That was one of the first big venues we played.
What are your summer plans?
B: We've been talking about touring for awhile, but nobody can get a week off of work! Probably towards the summer; we're talking about doing some long weekends.
-We're playing in Bloomington and Milwaukee again in April and May, so mini tour type things.
-We're talking about getting back in the studio sometime after July to turn our EP into a full length album. We already pretty much have an album; right now we have a lot of songs in pocket that we're working on perfecting.
Last question: crucial thanx. Anyone you want to thank? Bands, people, random bums?
B: Nope! We did it this by ourselves.
-I would like to thank the 90's for the entire ska push.
-All of our friends who came out to shows in the beginning
-All the other ska bands. When we started, it was pretty much just the four of us: CROSSTOWN, Run N Punch, and Public Divide,
-Oh ! And Beat the Smart Kids and Waste Basket
-Now I feel that there are more ska bands and every body's got their own traction, so I feel that every body's more spread out than they used to be.
-Now every body's getting in to the punk scene and the ska scene, so we share shows. In the beginning we were playing with all hardcore bands like The Pervert Preachers; we really stood out.
-I'd say thanks to all the people who came out to the hardcore punk shows, and then we'd be playing "YMCA", and people still dug us.
-We should thank Jurassic Park; that's why I wrote the song "JP Knows How To Party." They're awesome! Best taco truck.