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Smoking Popes

Smoking Popes Biography

Smoking Popes' take on punk-pop is centered around lead singer Josh Caterer, whose obsessions with big-band records and black-and-white movies on the American Movie Cla**ics channel have led him to develop a vocal style unique in punk -- the Popes sound like a familiar loud guitar band fronted by a lounge singer, mixing uptempo rock with laid-back vocals and lyrics with an old-time romantic feel. The rest of the band, formed in the Chicago area around 1991, consists of Josh's brothers Matt and Eli on ba** and guitar, respectively, and drummer Mike Felumlee. While Caterer doesn't think of the band's music as punk, their supporters include the respected punk indie label Johann's Face, Green Day's Billie Joe, Alkaline Trio, and Fall Out Boy. br /br /Johann's Face released the Popes' debut album, Get Fired, in 1993, and their strange style is even more refined on their second album and first major-label effort, 1995's Born to Quit. The latter spawned the heavily rotated single "Need You Around," and tours with Jimmy Eat World, Green Day, and Goo Goo Dolls brought their music to an ever-expanding audience. Destination Failure followed in 1997. br /br /To the heartbreak of many, the Popes called it quits in December 1998. Their appropriately titled final effort, Party's Over, was recorded in 1998 for Capitol but was not released until 2001 by Double Zero. This label also released two compilation albums of theirs -- Smoking Popes 1991-1998, a collection of many previously hard to find songs, and 2000's Live. In November 2005, however, the brothers Caterer reunited with new drummer Rob Kellenberger for the Flower 15 Festival in Chicago. This performance was captured on tape and released by Victory in February 2006 as the CD/DVD At Metro. A two-month North American headlining tour with Bayside followed. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide

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