lauren stern pours some syrup with the nj-based ska band…
The first time I ever heard of post-ska outfit The Waffle Stompers was back in 2009. My friends Jon and Gina had invited me to see Reel Big Fish co-headline a show with The English Beat at Starland Ballroom one Saturday over the summer.
There were two openers that night, but the one that stood out to me the most was The Waffle Stompers. I remember being blown away by how energetic and entertaining they were to watch and how fantastic their music was. It is a feeling that I still get when I see The Waffle Stompers perform, which has been too many times to count over the last three years.
I consider the Waffle Stompers to be not only a New Jersey ska staple but a staple in New Jersey’s music scene in general. It makes me so proud as a friend and their fan to see their fan base consistently growing and expanding all over the country. They have been so successful these past few years and they continue to achieve so much each and every day. I don’t know any other band that deserves it more.
I sat down with guitarist Ted Moore about their new E.P., the post-ska movement, and the band’s 2012 touring plans.
Pop-Break: Your EP Words with Enemies came out at the end of last year; how do you feel about all the response it has been getting?
Ted Moore: I’m completely thrilled with the way people are taking to it! We’re very proud of it and feel it’s definitely our best work to date. The songs mean a lot to us and I can’t say enough about Paul and John from Silent Owl Studios for making the production kick so much butt, and of course a major shout out to Danimal Records for hooking us up with those guys.
PB: I’m absolutely addicted to “We’re in for a Long Night.” Besides it being awesome, why did you choose the song for your new single?
TM: Is there another reason necessary? Just kidding … we like “We’re in for a Long Night” because it not only showcases the band musically, but it demonstrates where our heads our at with this “Post-Ska” movement.
PB: You guys call yourself a “post-ska” band and the movement is something you affiliate with. How would you define the term “post-ska”?
TM: It ain’t the ’90′s anymore. Post-Ska is abandoning the sardonic pretension that constantly appears in ska music and just writing great rock songs.
PB: Will there be a full length release coming out soon? If so, when?
TM: Nothing is set in stone yet for a full length, but we’re constantly writing. Right now we’re letting this EP saturate and tour it around; once autumn rolls around we’ll see where we’re at.
PB: You guys have opened for some pretty big ska acts including Reel Big Fish, Big D and the Kids Table, and The English Beat. Are there any other bands you would like to tour with in the future?
TM: Well of course any of the above again! We’re also looking to hook up with Less Than Jake for a string of dates, and I’d like to get a shot at some of the pop-punk tours with The Wonder Years, The Swellers, or Punchline.
PB: Most of the band went to Rutgers University and have previously called New Brunswick, N.J. home. I have also seen you guys play the Court Tavern before, so I was wondering, how did you feel when the Court Tavern shut its doors indefinitely?
TM: It’s always disheartening to watch a classic N.J. venue go under, especially when they are so few and far between. The Court Tavern was a regular spot for us both performing and just hanging out. It will be missed.
PB: How you think the New Jersey music scene, especially the ska scene, has changed from when you guys started playing up until now?
TM: It’s growing! Major shout out to our buddies in Survay Says! and No Such Noise … it’s great for ska shows to be happening as much as they are, and to see these other bands tour the country to maintain our stake as best ska state!
PB: I’ve seen on the Internet that you guys have some pretty interesting tour experiences. What was the craziest experience you guys have had on the road?
TM: It happened this November. We blew out some kind of gasket in our van and the thing stopped dead on the interstate just outside of Johnson City, TN. We called AAA and they sent out the most frightening redneck SOB named Poncho to tow us to the dealer. Poncho had a lip packed as fat as a golf ball. Poncho had a flask of Jack in his truck. Poncho had a GUN. He also let us ride in the van as it was towed down the highway. Terrifying.
PB: What has been your favorite place to play so far?
TM: We’ve been getting a lot of love in a lot of new places recently– Albany, Myrtle Beach, Birmingham, Wisconsin to name a few. But of course we love our old standby’s NJ, Syracuse and Connecticut.
PB: What are your touring plans for this year so far? Any exciting shows or tours coming up?
TM: We’re going south again in March/April, then the Midwest soon after. We’re also planning on making a trip back to Canada when it’s warmer up there!
The Waffle Stompers will be playing, 90.3 The Core’s Corefest, on April 22nd. For more details click here.