New York's The Jukebox Romantics have been touring relentlessly in support of their most recent album Sleepwalk Me Home, which was released last year on Paper+Plastic Records. On June 29th, Punknews' Jeff Sorley met up with the pop-punk trio after their set at the Mill Hill Basement in Trenton, NJ. Suffice it to say, their on-stage banter and exuberance isn't an act. Over an eight-minute period with guitarist/vocalist Mike "Terry" Terry and bassist/vocalist Bobby Edge, which was chock full of pop-culture references, back-and-forth banter, and almost-in-tears laughter; he managed to corral some semblance of an interview.
Hello this is Jeff from Punknews.org. I'm here with two members of The Jukebox Romantics outside the Mill Hill Basement. You're going to hear cars going by, and I'm sorry about that.
Terry: Oh fuck, here he comes.
So, who am I talking to today?
Terry: What's up, this is Terry. (to the person passing by) Get home safe.
Bobby: Bobby. Bobby Edge.
We just said goodbye to a pleasant gentleman from the gig. Bobby, do you want to tell us?
Bobby: Yeah, you know, he had a little too much to drink, and I don't blame him, man. Like he was having too much fun.
Terry: Kinda looked like Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
Bobby: A little bit, yeah. He's going to hop in 2 Wycked and just blast outta here. Head back to…
Terry: Where the fuck was Aqua Teen?
Bobby: Somewhere in south Jersey.
Terry: Yeah, it was New Jersey, I think.
Bobby: Yeah, south Jersey.
I guess what I liked about him was the penny loafers he's got on.
Terry: I didn't even notice.
Yeah he's totally decked out like those tiny little penny loafers.
Bobby: He's the type of guy that I didn't want to lock eyes with in case he thought we'd be connecting in some way.
Terry: As I see him walking away really far from now, you ever seen a TV show "The Hulk"? The music at the end where he's like… Oh no, he's stumbling now! I should grab that guy and call him an Uber or something.
When I was back in the UK everyone always talked about this show "The Littlest Hobo." You ever…?
Bobby: Not really.
It was like The Hulk, but not really. It was some dog that was like a tramp.
Bobby: He'd get really pissed off and turn green? (laughter)
No, he would just go around and, through his sweetness, people would solve their own problems. And now that guy's walking away and hear that music in my ears.
Bobby: I can also hear that "David the Gnome" music, too. (Laughter) Or even like "Perfect Strangers." (Bobby and Terry break into the chorus of "Nothing Can Stop Me Now")
Terry: That's a Chicago song, you know this! (Laughing)
I do, I do.
Bobby: Everybody loves Balki, man. (laughter) Bronson Peugot, his name was…
Bobby: It's a Pokemon name.
Terry: Wait, he wasn't really French? (laughter)
So, hey! You had a new album out just last year!
Bobby: We're still touring on it. We're still doing our thing. We're still playing 90 to 80… to 75% every night of that record, if you want to hear it live. We've got CDs out. You can find them on our webstore… (Terry laughs) Go to jukeboxromantics.cjb.net. It's an Angelfire web site that we made in the '90s. Don't worry man you'll get there. Just wait for it to load. It's not your modem, dude.
Is he always selling?
Terry: No, I'm usually that guy. Wow. Usually he's talking some story about some guy in a burnt sienna shirt farting during the show.
By the way this was the same gentleman we just saw off wearing the penny loafers.
Terry: Probably the most punk guy in the room.
Bobby: You know what I was into it that he was so into it, you know what I mean? Even though he's, like, belligerent and drunk… I mean, I'm belligerent and drunk. So I kind of got a little more respect for this guy. (laughter)
Terry: Don't look at me, I've got no respect for him! (laughter)
Bobby: Nah, you know: He's just having too much of a good time and sometimes that happens on a Friday night.
Terry: You know what? He took himself home, though, when it was time to go.
Terry: Nobody kicked him out.
Bobby: Well, we were out here, so he may have gotten thrown out.
You guys have been touring before this.
Bobby: We just got off the road we were on the road with…
Terry: Iron Maiden.
Terry: They're all a bunch of great cats, too, man. I love all these people.
Bobby: Good dogs. And we've been touring since we started this band. So that's…
Bobby: 2008! This year, this August will make 10 years.
Terry: We try to do at least 200 days a year, at least. We try to get there.
Bobby: Sometimes we only get to 180…
Terry: …175. But we try to. We want to be out there. We want to play.
Well, that's more than most. Now you guys are just kind of finishing up, heading back to play tomorrow night?
Bobby: Tomorrow night in Brooklyn with Airstream futures, our label-mates.
Terry: And Goddamnit!
Terry: I mean, if you haven't heard you should check them the fuck out!
Check out "Goddamnit." Is there a website?
Bobby: Goddammit, Creep Records.
Terry: Yeah. If you go to Creep Records you'll find Goddamnit.
Bobby: Creep Records are good dudes. They put out one of our records.
Terry: They put out the last CD before this. (ed.- Transmissions Down 2015)
Bobby: And then Brogues, this band from New York…
Terry: That we played with once before.
Bobby: Yeah, we played their CD release party, and they put on a show.
Terry: They're good-looking dudes!
Bobby: They're great looking.
Terry: You ever see a band where everybody in this band and the crowd that they bring are good-looking people?
Bobby: That is that band.
Terry: Yeah, we don't bring that. We bring that silly fun, happy…
Bobby: We bring guys who look like me pretty much… Like the orange shirt guy.
Terry: He's right in your wheelhouse.
Bobby: Seeing like, pot-belly and shit… loafers.
Terry: He's got a lot less hair.
Bobby: He's a piece of shit. I identify with that.
Terry: I thought you were gonna say "I have diabetes!"
Bobby: Not yet. I'm working on type 2.
You're heading across the pond?
Terry: We are! We're going back to Europe. We were there last year. City-Rat Records and Booking are bringing us back with…
Both: The Sewer Rats!
Bobby: Yeah it's like Ramones-core put kind of like a beach spin on it a little. Oh yeah, they're great. There all great guys and their music is fucking amazing. Heartbreaks and Milkshakes is their latest record that they have out.
Terry: See, he's always selling. So yeah, they're really good. And then when we come back, when that tour is over- which we haven’t really announced… it feels like things are popping up about it- but once that's over we come back and then they're going to come with us over here and we're going to tour down to Fest together.
Terry: They're super-pumped because they love Fest. A couple of them, or one of them have been to Fest for sure.
Bobby: Yeah, Chris (Gin). Chris has been last year and we hung out with him.
Terry: So they're stoked on Fest. I mean… its Fest.
Yeah, that's really cool.
Terry: It's a like, you know, it's like a lot of this scene is about friendship and returning favors and that sort of thing. And I feel like the East Coast scene does that really well with trying to help each other out and other bands out.
Bobby: Because you know how shitty it is touring on the east coast. (laughter) It's like "hey, maybe you'll get a slice of pizza, maybe you'll get rug burn on your knees." (laughter) Depends on how you play that night.
Terry: That's true. How many people you bring.
Bobby: But yeah, we're stoked to go there and they're helping us out going over there, and vice versa. They're coming here and that's what it's about. It's a community. It's so cool to bring that aspect of the community with them from Europe down to us, and there's not too many bands from Europe playing Fest this year. If you've ever been to The Fest in Florida, like the vibe of that whole weekend is just so: happy, friendship, helpful, kind…
Terry: Pizza. PBR.
Bobby: …kind of like the perfect…
Bobby: (laughing)…the perfect…
Bobby: …the perfect world.
Terry: I'm sorry. (laughter) I'll try to remain positive.
Bobby: You are the yin and the yang of this band. If you ever listen to a Jukebox Romantics song, it always starts out super-negative and ends positive.
Terry: Don't get me wrong, I love Fest. But I treat my body like I hate it.
So you kind of answered my next question. What kind of future plans do you have in store? Aside from that tour…
Bobby: We're going to run for President and Vice-President in 2020.
Terry: For the Elks Club of Westchester County, New York.
Bobby: Yeah, not for America.
Terry: Well, we're working on something cool with our friends in Tsunami Bomb. They're awesome. They're playing a bunch of shows and cool stuff, and back as a band and it's super cool because they're releasing new music for the first time in like 10-15 years.
Bobby: And they're great, man. We just we just meet up with them again and saw them in person at Pouzza Fest. We watched them play… still just as good as they ever were, if not better.
Terry: So we're super pumped to do something with them. We're still in the works. I don't want to say nothing yet.
Bobby: Yeah, we won't say it here. (laughter)
Not in this interview?
Bobby: We're going to Jurassic Park. No, uh… Jurassic World.
Bobby: We're going to Jurassic Westworld, as well.
Well that's I think that's just about the long and the short of it.
Bobby: That's it? We don't get to go any longer?
Terry: No, let's go watch Airstream Futures!
Regretfully, right as we started this Airstream Futures started playing. So we're going to get down there and check them out. Maybe we can get back together and chat a little bit more afterwards.
Terry: Yeah yeah yeah!
Bobby: Oh, no you don't. Don't promise me something you can't deliver on.
Uhhh… now you know I have to. I'm beholden. It's like it's a moral imperative.
Bobby: Don't worry about it. It's great talking with you while we were here. Well thank you for having us. You can check out our Patreon, Jukeboxromantics.com. We stream video games on Twitch every Wednesday. I'm absolutely making this up. (laughter) Yeah. I hope you enjoy the interview, and thank you so much for listening. Gimme all the hate you got in the comments.
Terry: Reverbnation number one artist in America. (laughter)