Monday, October 31, 2011

Interview With Kevin Sierzega from P.T.'s Revenge. Formerly of Teen Idols/Bullets To Broadway

Critical Mass: Thanks for taking the time to talk with Critical Mass, Kevin. I understand you're currently working on the first P.T.'s Revenge album in over 10 years! How did you and the band come to get back together after so many years apart?

Kevin Sierzega:
It started with the idea of a reunion show and has snowballed into recording sessions. I've always had a feeling we'd play out again, but tracking songs has been an unexpected joy. Ultimately I think the timing in our lives and desire to play together again has been the spark. We also needed a good push and Joe Mizzi was talking Whoa! Records showcase. Brilliant! He's been helping us since day one.

CM: For those who don't know who P.T.'s Revenge is, can you give us a little history on the bands original time around?

We played local shows and put out cassette tapes and full lengths and splits and it was amazing. We had the best shitty punk bank in High School. Matt, Jeff and myself had a fun dynamic that translated to our live shows.
I think the most Important thing the three of us ever did was ask Johnny and Dave to join the band. Johnny is a talent powerhouse and I'd stack his chops up against any player in the game, past or present. Him and Matt get along extremely well and also share a creative bond. Those two are the obvious musical talents of the group. Dave no longer plays with PT's, but was an important part of the puzzle. He actually legitimized us a band offering a punk-rock integrity of sorts. Dave is older than the rest of us and knew a different crowd of people in the scene. He had connections. He also drew influences from bands like lifetime and Good Riddance which gave us a harder edge on many songs. All in all Dave gave us some weird kind of street cred that that band lacks without him. Matt, Jeff, Johnny, Dave and myself are on the "Save the Drama" recording from Sonic and that is the line up I think of when I think of PT's.

CM: How has "Save The Drama", the bands latest release, been accepted? This album, although brand new to the public, was actually recorded 10 years ago, right?

Totally recorded a long time ago. I'm not quite sure how people like the record so far. To be honest, that doesn't matter much to me. It's an album I'm proud to be a part of and I hope people enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed being a part of creating it. Yes the music is 10 years old, but that's the music I love and people who love pop punk from 10 years ago will probably enjoy this record too.

CM: After P.T.'s breakup you were the lead singer in Teen Idols for their 4th and final studio album "Nothing To Prove" and tour. What was it like being a part of the band?

Being a part of Teen Idols was great. (PT's was still together at that point). They were a machine. I met them, practiced with them for two weeks and then went on my first tour ever: Less Than Jake, Anti-flag, New Found Glory. Holy Shit! It was intense. I believe I'd just turned 20 years old before the tour started. There were a lot of Teen Idols fans wondering who the hell I was, but it didn't bother me. Most fans were accepting. Recording "Nothing To Prove" was comfortable because I'd already worked with Mass on the PT's full length. He's the best of the best. I'd still rather listen to Pucker Up or the Self-Titled record, but I'm honored to be a part of Teen Idols history. Vinnie from LTJ put out "Nothing to Prove" on his label Fueled by Ramen and we toured briefly to support it before going our separate ways.

                                                                     Kevin with Teen Idols
CM: What caused the breakup of Teen Idols?

Hmm. I'll say that Phillip quit. He was the only original member of the band so the rest of us felt it would have been inappropriate to continue as "Teen Idols". That being said, Phillip has put together a new Teen Idols line-up including Keith on vocals that is currently playing out. I can only speak for myself, but I wish nothing but the best for Phillip and the Teen Idols. Go see them play and buy their records!

CM: After Teen Idols split, you Heather and Matt formed the band Bullets To Broadway. The band released the now legendary EP "Drink Positive", toured and then just dropped out of sight. There was a rumor going around that you and the band were getting back together a couple years ago. But nothing flourished. What happened? And will there ever be another BTB release?

Ohh long lost love. That band was incredible. I look back at those years as the best I've had. Gui and Heather and Geis and Matt...totally! In retrospect I would have drank less and toned down the drug use to help Matt with the important aspects of keeping a band going. He was the glue, the Papa Bear. I continue to have great relationships with those fools. I wouldn't rule out ever recording new Bullets to Broadway tunes, but logistically, shows and touring are a stretch for me.

                                                                     Bullets To Broadway
CM: Between the demise of BTB and the reformation of P.T.'s Revenge, what were you up to? Did you record any music in between bands?

I recorded an EP and played a few shows with a band called American Etiquette. ex- Mustard Plug and Bang Bang. We played the "FEST" in Gainesville, FL a few years back, but that's really the extent of it. You can probably find some songs online somewhere.

CM: Now that P.T's is back in full force, when can we expect the new album to be released? And will you guy's be touring behind it?

We've recorded 4 tunes that should be out by the time we play the show in December. I'd check the Whoa! Records site for updates. Mizzi is good at keeping folks up to date. If you like "Save the Drama", you'll like the new recording. Touring is unlikely unless one of us hits the lottery and shares the winnings with everyone else in the band.

CM: Is there any websites that you would like to plug where we can get up to date info on the new album, tour dates and merch?

I would check Whoa! Records for updates on any and all things PT's Revenge. Also, you can stream and purchase some of our tunes on some websites that I can't remember.(plus I don't know how to do a link thingy right here). Definitely check out the other Whoa! bands. Make sure to check out and support Johnny K's band "Bat on Fire". Check out and support Matt's band "Arm Your Enemy". Matt recorded guitar tracks on the Common Rider full length "This is Unity Music" featuring Jesse Michaels on vocals. Also check out and support Teen Idols, now based out of Chicago. Check out and support Geis, Gui and Heather and their musical projects out of Gainesville. (Welcome to the world baby Inza. The most punk rock baby of all time. Congrats you two!).

                                                           Kevin with Matt and Heather BTB days
CM: Thanks again for talking with Critical Mass, Kevin. I reviewed the latest P.T.'s album for CM and loved it. I'm really happy to hear you're back again. I hope to see you and the band in Chicago in the near future. All the best to you and the band in the new year! Thanks again man!

Chris, Detroit is only a 4 and a half hour drive...I'll see you at the PT's show

I would like to thank Chris Doerr for joining PT's and taking over guitar and vocal responsibilities. Chris is a longtime friend of the band, husband to Cannons Doerr:) and father to Thomas Doerr.

Most importantly I want to thank my beautiful wife Jocie for putting up with an old man reliving his glory years. I love you mucho grande baby!!!

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