"From the heart, we're punk rock. Some, though, would call us a type of dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, DIRTY pop punk band," explains Fort Lauderdale band Jolly Badfellow's bassist Shaun Meyer. "But when we say pop punk, we mean the good stuff, like old-school Green Day -- meaning as far back as when they played shows with Operation Ivy -- Teenage Bottle Rocket, and such."
The act is influenced by, Meyer notes, "good ol' fashion punk rock 'n roll," along with "skating, drinking, having a good, and lousy time, with friends, girls, cops, or junkies. Their Facebook site claims Jolly Badfellow "makes Ted Nugent sound like Ted Nugent." Meyer clarifies that this is not really the case. "We don't really have a love for Ted Nugent, I just came up with that on the spot because I was drunk and thought it was funny."
Their newest LP, AbortionLand! was released last November, and can be purchased at any of their shows. If you're wondering how the album got its title, Meyer tells the dark story behind it. "We named it that because the title song 'AbortionLand' was written a few years ago about a buddy of mine," explains Meyer. "His older brother got his girlfriend pregnant so they drove up to Orlando for the weekend, took a bunch of pills, and went to Islands of Adventure to try and get a still-birth. That didn't work so they just got an abortion instead."
The way the band got their name, however, is a less morbid, but still dark story. It was taken from a 1964 horror film, A Jolly Badfellow, about an English professor inventing a deadly gas to kill off useless people, but causing them to laugh in hysterics first.
On the subject of mainstream punk, Meyer says, "Real punk never got played on the radio, or maybe 5 percent. Does any one even listen to the radio anymore?"
Green Day certainly got a lot of radio play, so what is "real punk" to Meyer? "It's hard to say what 'real' punk is, especially since none of us were around when 'real' punk began back in the '70s. Some people say that Green Day isn't punk because of their mainstream success and that half of their songs are about love, but look at the songs written by the Buzzcocks and early Ramones. Others say that Motorhead is a metal band, but Lemmy has even said he identifies more with punk rockers more than he does with metal heads.
"In all honesty, I believe the definition of punk rock should be left open and ambiguous, if you want to classify it, go ahead and create something of your own. In a nutshell, punk is a catch 22."
Jolly Badfellow. 10 p.m., Friday, June 21, at Poorhouse, 110 SW 3rd Ave, Fort Lauderdale. Listen to Jolly Badfellow here.