For the first time ever, The Menzingers are coming to San Luis Obispo. SLO Brewing Company (SLO Brew) hosts the punk rock band on July 14, along with the punk band Bouncing Souls.
Matt Rice, graphic communication junior, said he’s a big punk rock fan. He’s excited to finally see one of his favorite bands play, he said.
“A lot of music is really angry, but they are fun,” Rice said. “I love that they have a really raw and honest sound.”
The Menzingers consists of Tom May (guitar and vocals), Joe Godino (drums), Eric Keen (bass) and Greg Barnett (guitar and vocals). Barnett and May are both lead singers for the band, which May said creates an interesting dynamic. May described the band’s sound — without wanting to get too technical — as indie-punk.
“We grew up listening to punk and ska music since we were 13 or 14 years old,” May said. “It became a lifestyle choice.”
A mystery surrounds the name Menzingers. There’s a story behind the origin; however, the band is staying mum about it.
“It means something, but that’s a secret,” May said.
Graphic communication junior Sean Garnsey said The Menzingers have an incredible energy.
“It pulls together a lot of great elements in punk and pop-punk music,” Garnsey said.
The first time Garnsey saw the band was at 924 Gilman in Berkeley while at a show for a different band. He said the crowd was huge but doesn’t think the crowd at SLO Brew will be as large. He said he is excited to see them again now that he knows all the band’s songs.
“It was awesome seeing them the first time and I’m really excited to see them again,” he said. “I think it will be good.”
Garnsey’s favorite album from The Menzingers is “Chamberlain Waits,” released in 2010. His favorite song is “I Was Born,” which he called a fun song. He said anyone who’s interested in getting a taste for the band should listen to that song.
The Menzingers released it’s most recent album “On the Impossible Past” in 2012. On the Independent Albums chart, the CD reached No. 36 on March 10, according to Billboard.com. On the Heatseekers Album chart, “On the Impossible Past” topped at No. 6, according to the same site.
Rice said his favorite song is “Gates,” from the album “On the Impossible Past”. He said it’s somber but the lyrics and music convey a raw feeling. He said it’s a memoir-kind-of song.
“It’s heartfelt, passionate and catchy,” he said. “It’s a great sing-along song.”
The four members grew up together in Scranton, Pa. and moved to Philadelphia about four years ago. May said the band has big followings in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and California, and it’s getting bigger every time they go back to each place.
Recently, the band left their previous label, Red Scare Industries, for Epitaph Records. May said the owner of Red Scare is one of his best friends. The transition to a bigger label was positive for the band, he said.
“It’s been incredible. We went from a smaller label to a giant mechanism.”
May said the change was not overwhelming and everyone has been very helpful, and that the members grew up wanting to be a part of Epitaph Records.
“It’s cool that we’ve come full circle,” May said.
The Menzingers are mostly focused on touring currently, May said. However, according to May, the members are always writing new music. He said the process is a collaborative process, with everyone working together to create the music. The two lead singers come up with the bare bones of songs versus the chorus, he said. However, all four of them hash it out.
“We’re excited about where we are right now,” May said.
Tickets for The Menzingers and Bouncing Souls are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. The all ages punk show begins at 7 p.m.