Aside from having the coolest name of any punk-leaning Chicago-area band since Big Black, Smoking Popes have been blessed with core fan base that refused to quit on the outfit. When leader Josh Caterer pulled the plug on the Popes in 1998, it came little more than a year after releasing what might have been the group’s best album, Destination Failure, perplexing many but apparently offending few. Seven years later, a sold-out reunion show in the Popes’ hometown was all it took to get Caterer back in a creative mood. From there, Josh and brothers Matt (bass) and Eli (guitar) pretty much picked up where they left off, releasing Stay Down in 2008 and compilation It’s Been A Long Day last year. The new This Is Only A Test (Asian Man) is a concept album that only occasionally comes across as such, with the 38-year-old Josh taking on the role of an angsty teenager to convincing effect. Josh and Matt will be guest-editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new Q&A with Josh.
Josh: Going to the movies by myself is one of my favorite things to do on planet earth. Some people think it’s weird and lonely, like eating at a restaurant by yourself. But it’s not the same, because at a restaurant all the lights are on and people are looking around and talking to each other. At the movies, they turn the lights off and everyone stares at the screen, and if they talk, you tell them to shut up. Seeing a movie alone allows you to experience the film on your own terms without worrying if the person you’re with is going to laugh when you laugh or cry when you cry or make little distracting comments all the time. If I see a movie by myself and it’s really good, I’ll take my wife to see it the next day. She never makes distracting comments. Watching a movie with her is pretty much just as awesome as watching it alone, unless the movie stars Will Ferrell, in which case it’s going to seem a lot funnier if she’s not there.
Video after the jump.