Monikers Wake Up

Monikers Wake Up
If you think life doesn’t get much better than 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, you will love the shit out of Monikers. Fronted by Ryan Seagrist, ex-guitarist for pop punk legends Discount, they are a band who make no bones about trying really hard to sound like Crimpshrine. By being so damn up-front about their East Bay intentions, the result is the compelling, catchy and dirty Wake Up, an ode to all things Schwarzenbach and Ott. Obvious comparisons can sometimes sell a band short but in the case of Monikers, they provide the perfect jumping-off point into an earnest collection of pop punk songs that, most importantly, take the spirit and ethos of a bygone era of the genre and put them into vigorous sonic practice. Songs like "Mine” and "What Doesn’t Kill You” capture the energy and grittiness that started with records like Unfun and continues proudly with the simple melodies and earnest approach of Wake Up.

Is having been in a popular band a leg-up or a hindrance when it comes to something new?
Vocalist and guitarist Ryan Seagrist: Because Monikers are involved in the same scene, the Discount thing has been a help. It’s not necessarily because people know us and buy the records because of that, it’s that I already know a lot of the people involved in labels and bands. I’m still seeing people I’ve toured with ten years ago. A bunch of us are still doing it. I’m not sure if younger kids really know Discount that well, really. It’s been difficult keeping our records in print sometimes. I’m proud of what we did and I think that Monikers are something I’ve always wanted to do, and, frankly, we need all the help we can get.

When you’re so unapologetic about aping your influences, does it make it harder to get people to take you seriously?
I don’t know how anyone can really think they’re doing anything original. I think people respect our honesty about it. We started a band because we wanted to do ’90s East Bay-style pop punk. That’s what I grew up on. I still listen to those records. I think there’s a certain honesty in the music from that era because getting big was never an option — punk bands weren’t big. They weren’t on MTV. It just didn’t happen. Now, I think a lot of bands start with that aim in mind. Playing music to make money takes something out of it for me. And Good Charlotte and fucking Fall Out Boy aren’t punk bands. Sorry. (Kiss of Death)