Local Punk Rock Band Gains National Influence
Jul 16 2019

Local Punk Rock Band Gains National Influence

By: Justin Walton

On Friday, June 28, the New Orleans based "alt-rock indie grunge" band, The Bummers, released their new EP, Dairy Beach. The four piece band has been "gaining momentum" in recent months. Their rise in popularity is primarily centered in the "Gulf South and East Coast," but they've seen an increase in "listeners and interactions" as far out as the West Coast. While this national growth is certainly exciting for The Bummers, members Sean Doyle, Ben Shooter, Clay Hakes, and Fox Capone are still rooted in the New Orleans community.

New Orleans, while "firmly based in its cultural jazz heritage," has a surprisingly large "punk and metal music" community according to The Bummers' manager, Michelle Friedstadt. Local punk rock "bands like Donovan Wolfington and Pope" inspired The Bummers, but New Orleans' "wide range of musical influences have pushed the group to develop a more dynamic sound. The band is all about versatility," says vocalist and guitarist, Sean Doyle. At first listen, you could categorize The Bummers as an indie, punk rock band. However, their New Orleans influence keeps the band from being so easily labeled. They're "dynamic," even unpredictable. "[The Bummers] seamlessly transition from dancey pop rock choruses to metal breakdowns, sometimes dropping into an impromptu hip hop outro or beginning their songs with funk-driven guitar riffs. Ben Shooter occasionally brings out his saxophone to add another funk element, and Sean Collins Doyle provides keyboard melodies where appropriate."

Nothing about The Bummers is traditional. In addition to their unique musical influences, The Bummers' creative process is distinctive as well. "The Bummers are a true collective, as opposed to a songwriter and backing musicians," says Friedstadt. "Each band member contributes his own songs to the group...This collaborative approach…means that no 2 songs, even on the same record, will necessarily be the same style." This habit of breaking expectations extends to the topics/ themes covered within their discography. "The band has covered existential topics in the past such as pollution, nuclear war, politics, Western culture, and the deterioration of outdated institutions...these themes are usually presented through a personal lens." The Bummers' multi-genre influences, collective creative process, and willingness to add variety to their sound makes them stand out amongst other punk rock bands.

Ultimately, The Bummers want to "build a community" centered around "maintaining a fun environment" while also creating "music that is both inclusive and aware." If you want to see The Bummers as they continue to grow and mature as a group, they "frequently perform at Gasa Gasa on Freret St along with occasional shows at larger venues like Three Keys and House of Blues."

Currently the band is on the road for their summer tour called "Mass Consumption Party." Catch them in cities such as Philadelphia, D.C., Montclair, Buffalo, Raleigh, Asheville, Nashville, Memphis, etc. Wondering if you'll be able to see The Bummers in NOLA anytime soon? On July 29th The Bummers will be performing at Gasa Gasa alongside Brianna Musco and Kuwaisiana. If you would like to see a list of their discography click here.

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