The Queers are a pretty interesting band, they play punk the way punk was meant to be. While hardly spring chickens (sorry Joe, but none of us are getting any younger!). They have been around since the early 80’s which makes them ‘first generation’ punk, and they maintain the high energy of that era. This is high octane stuff. The big difference between these guys and a lot of the punk movement is they actually know how to construct a song and play the instruments involved.

My first brush with this great band was last year when they released Munki Brain, one could almost call it the ‘thinking mans punk’.

A new CD has just been released in support of the now defunct CBCG Club in New York, and its deceased owner Hilly Kristal.

I decided it was time to find out more about this curious band. Using my huge network of acquaintances in the Music world, (thanks Clint) I managed to get in touch with The Queers head man, no other than Joe Queer himself!

I think at this point I should also do what the TV does, and offer a ‘Viewer Discretion Is Advised‘, for a couple comments he makes!

I know I am going to regret this question, but I have to ask it. How did you come up with the name The Queers?

Thanks for apologizing-we just wanted a name kids would remember and that would make people think.

How long have you been playing together?

Eh we started in ’81 sort of as a reason to drink beer and hopefully get laid. We achieved one and fell flat on our faces on the other but we’re still playing to this day. Kind of funny we have traveled the world doing this but there it is.

I really liked Munki Brain, good solid stuff that you can sink your teeth into. What sort of fan reaction have you been getting?

A lot of our fans are boneheads that just want to listen to the ‘kill mom and dad and do drugs and buttf*ck the girlfriend’ type songs so some of Munki Brain went over their heads. But a lot of people love it. I don’t really care that much-I mean I want people to like it but as long as I like the album and  know I tried hard and there are some great songs on it I’m happy. Brian Wilson and I Think She’s Starting To Like Me are two of the best songs I have ever written. Most pop punk bands nowadays are just writing about a jock stealing their girlfriends at the prom type of bullshit and it’s f*cking lame as hell. No one is swinging for the fences-they are offensive in their inoffensiveness. None of them are taking any chances. Plus most of them don’t have any real life experiences cause they’re all rich spoiled motherf*ckers.

The CBGB live album from your 2003 concert has just been released, as I understand it CBGB was quite the venue to play.

Well truth be told CB’s was a dump and a huge ripoff. It has this legendary status cause of it’s past but they ripped us off money wise a few times. They wouldn’t sign the contracts and when it came time to pay they’d thoughtfully point that out. They also had some fat motherf*cker there who had a vaguely thug air about him who would take time out from stuffing his mouth with a cheeseburger to tell you to cool it if you complained too loudly. That whole ‘save CB’s from the evil developers’ thing was another scam for them to make tons of money. I say so long to bad trash.

Have you had an opportunity to listen to the CBGB CD yet? While I liked it, I thought the sound quality was a little iffy in parts. But that is the nature of the game with a live recording.

Yeah its definitely spotty. I’m not into live albums by The Queers much anymore cause we have a few now.

What are your main musical influences?

Well I grew up on stuff like  The Stones and The Who and David Bowie, Lou Reed, Mott the Hoople…….I love Jesus and Mary Chain and they are my favorite band now. Great stuff. Makes me jealous cause its so good.

Where can people find out more about The Queers? and 

Whats next for you and the band?

I’m opening a recording studio in NH after the tour. We’ll do a new album there and lay off the touring except for short stuff till next year. After that my plans are unclear.

What else should we know about Joe Queer?

I’m so far to the left I’m off the cliff, love to cook when I am home  and  love my Mom. Oh I make a mean chili too.

Thanks Joe, and good luck with the tour and new album. I hope I’ll be on the distro list for a preview copy.

Simon Barrett 

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