|Genre|| Ska |
|Label(s)|| Slug Tone! |
Fueled by Ramen
|Associated Acts||The Five Maseratis|
| Stephen Jackson |
|See Past Members|
The Pietasters are a seven-piece ska/soul band hailing from Washington, D.C., with additional members from Maryland and Virginia.
In 1990, a group of friends were attending college at Virginia Tech in the mountains of Virginia. Among them were Stephen Jackson and Chris Watt who had previously dabbled in playing punk rock covers.
Soon after, a mutual friend, Tal Bayer, began attending nearby Radford University. He was very much into ska and reggae and suggested that they form a ska band. After recruiting a high school friend, Tom Goodin, and an Architecture classmate, Ben Gauslin, The Slugs were born. Soon, they were skipping classes, melding ska, reggae, R & B and punk rock while practicing for hours to learn songs by Madness, The Specials, Bad Manners, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Burial, The Skatalites, The Business, and others. Unfortunately, the name The Slugs was already taken and the band needed a new name. For a few months, the name was changed to the Dancehall Crashers. It was too similar to another ska band out west so the search for a new name continued. Some British neighbors used to refer to the heftier guys in the band as Pietasters, which is British slang for "fat guys". The name stuck and The Pietasters were born.
A few months later, a similar band from the DC area, The Skunks, asked The Pietasters to play a local ska night at a bar in Georgetown. The Pietasters were still rough around the edges. Soon, they were playing every dive bar in DC. The manager of one such bar befriended the band and helped them record their first record, The Pietasters, more commonly known as Piestomp.
In the summer of 1993, The Pietasters set out on their first national tour in a used school bus they'd bought for $900. The tour was haphazard with stops in Ohio, Oregon, Kansas and even many in Canada. By the end of the tour, almost all of the original members quit the band. To this day, only trumpeter Carlos Linares and lead singer Steve Jackson remain as original members.
The Pietasters auditioned many players and decided on Jeremy Roberts, Toby Hansen and Alan Makranczy as their horn players, Rob Steward (Covington) on drums, and Paul Ackerman on keys. Tom Goodin remained on guitar. The new line-up continued to tour whenever possible, and soon attracted the attention of Bucket Hingley, front man of The Toasters and owner of Moon Ska Records. He asked if The Pietasters wanted to be a part of a tour package called, "Skavoovie 94". The Pietasters accepted and were soon touring with The Toasters and The Scofflaws. The tour was much more organized than their last outing and proved to be very educational. By the end of the tour, The Pietasters were scheduled to record "Oolooloo" on Moon Ska with Victor Rice producing.
Oolooloo came out in the summer of 1995. The Pietasters continued to tour the country, and even managed to record "Strapped Live!" between stops in Raleigh, NC and The Black Cat in Washington, DC. "Strapped Live!" was released in 1996 and quickly became a fan favorite and the closest thing to a live Pietasters show. Throughout this period, The Pietasters had been recording new songs, re-recording older ones, and recording some covers. The results ended up as "Comply", and the song selection foreshadowed their next release.
While touring with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the band made a stop in Los Angeles. Backstage at the show, Tim Armstrong from the band, Rancid, approached the band and asked if they'd like to be a part of a new label he was putting together, Hellcat Records. The Slackers, Hepcat and Dropkick Murphys were already committed and he wanted The Pietasters on board.
After clearing such a move with Moon Ska, The Pietasters signed with Hellcat, a subsidiary of Epitaph Records, and their next album, Willis was recorded and released in 1997. A tour of the US soon followed as well as their first ever tour of Europe. The Pietasters also made appearances on the Warped Tour and opened for such acts as The Reverend Horton Heat, Cherry Poppin Daddies, and Ozomatli.
By 1999, The Pietasters were in the studio again to record Awesome Mix Tape #6 for Epitaph's Hellcat Records. They finished the album and set out on the road again touring Europe with the Warped Tour, then the US again with the Pilfers and Spring Heeled Jack, and closing out 1999 with an opening stint for the legendary Joe Strummer. Years of touring finally took its toll on Paul Ackerman and Tom Goodin, who amicably left the band. Bassist Todd Eckhardt also left the band and was replaced by Jorge Pezzimenti of Virginia band, The Decepticonz. Erick Morgan, formerly of The Skunks, took over keys, and Toby Hansen replaced Tom Goodin on guitar.
In late 2001, The Pietasters were well into recording their next album when they learned that former bassist, Todd Eckhardt, had died in his sleep. The news was extremely hard on The Pietasters and their fans. The Pietasters soldiered on and released a new album in 2002 titled Turbo, a nickname of Todd's. The new album's blend of Jamaican riddims and Northern Soul won praise from fans and critics alike. It even caught the attention of James Brown who asked The Pietasters to be his backing band at a sold-out concert in Washington DC in December 2002. The following year, The Pietasters released their first DVD, Live at The 9:30 Club. Their song "Out All Night," was featured in the videogames Street Sk8er for the PlayStation, and NCAA Football 06. In 2006, The Pietasters played the International Ska Circus in Las Vegas.
On August 21, 2007, seventeen years after their inception, The Pietasters released a new studio album entitled, All Day.
- Stephen Jackson - vocals
- Toby Hansen - guitar, trumpet
- Andrew Guterman - drums
- Alan Makranczy - saxophone
- Jeremy Roberts - trombone
- Carlos Linares - trumpet
- Jon Darby - bass
- Dan Schneider - keyboards
- Talmage Bayer - vocals
- Tom Goodin - guitar
- Pat Kelley - guitar
- Todd Eckhardt - bass (deceased)
- Chris Watt - bass
- Jorge Pezzimenti - bass
- Ben Gauslin - drums
- Rob Steward - drums
- Eric Raecke - tenor saxophone
- Rob French - trombone
- Caroline Boutwell - farfisa
- Paul T. Ackerman - keyboards
- Erick Morgan - keyboards
- Jeb Crandall - keyboards
- Dave Pinkert - keyboards
- Jason Trippett - Saxophone
- The Pietasters - 1993 on Slug Tone! Records
- Oolooloo - 1995 on Moon Ska Records
- Willis - 1997 on Hellcat Records
- Awesome Mix Tape vol. 6 - 1999 on Hellcat Records
- Turbo - 2002 on Fueled by Ramen
- All Day - 2007 on Indication Records
Rare Albums, EPs, Singles, and OthersEdit
- The Ska-Rumptious 7 Inch - 1992 on Slug Tone! Records
- All You Can Eat (EP) - 1992 on Slug Tone! Records
- Soul Sammich - 1994 on Slug Tone! Records
- Ocean - 1996 on Moon Records
- Strapped Live! (live album) - 1996 on Moon Records
- Comply - 1996 on Moon Records
- Warren Miller's Snowriders 2 Soundtrack - 1997
- Out All Night (Promo) - 1997 on Hellcat Records
- Out All Night (EP) - 1998 on HellCat Records
- Yesterday's Over (Promo) - 1999 on Hellcat Records
- The Pietasters 1992-1996 - 2003 on VMS Records
- Live at the 9:30 Club (DVD) - 2005 on MVD
- Don't Wanna Know EP - 2007 on Indication Records
- NCAA Football 2006 (Game Menu and Minigame Soundtrack)
- New Breed - a Burning Toast / Slug Tone! Records Production (or see it on YouTube)
- Stoned Feeling - a Burning Toast / Slug Tone! Records Production
- Out All Night - an Epitaph / Hellcat Records / Slug Tone! Records Production
- Yesterday's Over - an Epitaph / Hellcat Records / Slug Tone! Records Production
- CMJ New Music Monthly, Best New Releases, Nov 1997
- Spin Magazine, Crude Boys: The Pietasters Take Ska One Step Beyond, Mar 1998
- CMJ New Music Monthly, Soul Providers, For the Pietasters, soul and ska go together like Sammy and Dean-O, September, 1999
- Hoi Polloi! #4 Interview, June 1997 (PDF)
- Interview with Steve Jackson by Greg Szeto at Aural States (Nov 2007)
- Mobtown Ska PodOmatic Podcast Interview, 2008
- ↑ Interview with Rancid's Lars Frederikson http://www.ink19.com/issues_F/98_08/ink_spots/rancid_nf.html
- ↑ http://www.epitaph.com/artists/album/168/Awesome_Mix_Tape_6
- ↑ http://www.theagencygroup.com/artist.aspx?ArtistID=157
- Official site
- Epitaph Records artist info page
- The Agency Group artist info page
- Rockers Revolt artist info page
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at The Pietasters. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Less Than Jake Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|