Kids in the Hall
This is the obvious one, since the scope of the band is based on a character from the sketch. I grew up watching this show religiously and it's crazy to think for such a strange sketch comedy show they were able to get on national TV along with a feature length film later down the line. Hopefully they come back for some more, which seems likely based on recent press they've received.
Atom and His Package
I think I found out about Atom as a result of checking out random stuff that No Idea put out. I saw him at the Fireside Bowl right after I heard the Making Love record, and couldn't believe that he was able to sell that place out with just him, a guitar, and a sequencer playing tongue-in-cheek songs about Enya and Rob Halford. When the Fest line-up got announced this year I became more excited about his set than my own.
7000 Dying Rats
This band holds a special place in my heart. I met one of my best friends (Ryan Durkin, singer of my other band Bad Mechanics and we also run the small label Hewhocorrupts Inc.) at one of their shows, and I would have never met my wife (I met her while on a CTA bus while I was en route to their recording session) without this band. For those not in the know, 7KDR was primarily a grindcore band who didn't have lyrics (just made up sounds and didn't bother to put words to them) but mixed every style imaginable and had either the best song titles or the best stage banter or the best in-between sample tracks ever. Plus they had Derek Hess do all of their artwork, which still is crazy to me.
The Woods brothers & my Milwaukee buddies
I'm very fortunate to have met Nick Woods and the rest of the guys in Direct Hit back in 2008, and they've been at it for almost 10 years. I was in a band with Nick and his brother Peter (the band was Galactic Cannibal), and they were somewhat the catalysts for me wanting to continue playing music as I was almost done with being in bands after one of my last ones (Tension Generation) broke up in 2012. I had the idea for the Eradicator in 2012 and wanted to make it happen in 2014 but was hesitant to do it. I remember telling Peter about it and he thought it would be fun, and I asked Nick if DH would want to be the "backing band" on the first record - and they all agreed. So if it wasn't for those guys I probably wouldn't have done it. As well, if it wasn't for Ryan Bollis, who is very much into collecting things, I wouldn't have wanted to collect records again which was part of the reason why I did this band... to keep putting out records.
Curt's New Hat
I've never met or seen Curt Oren play, but remember seeing his story being shared around in 2015 by some friends who played with him, and thought it was such a ludicrous but amazing thing. For those who don't know, Curt seems to be a guy who wants to take a joke to the point of no return / point where it shouldn't go. He made a hat that said "Curt's New Hat" on it, and thought it was funny, so he made a shirt that said "Do You Know About Curt's New Hat". Then he changed his Facebook name to "New Hat". Then he got a custom license plate with the letters "NEW HAT". Then he spent nearly his life savings taking out a billboard off a highway in Iowa that said "Do You Know About Curt's New Hat". Hearing about it was so obscene, but amazing to me at the same time.
AT&T Internet Family Commercials
This is a weird one to be influential, but I'm going with it. AT&T has these TV commercials that are incredibly stupid where it's an "internet family" that loses internet coverage, then after 5 minutes they are pulling their hair out, then after 15 minutes they're losing their minds with boredom. I remember seeing it and thinking "what if these people were real, and they actually couldn't live without the internet". I then took that approach with the Eradicator in order to write an entire album based on that one 3 minute sketch, thinking "what if the Eradicator was a real person... how would he live... what's his story?". So oddly enough that commercial is influential to me.
If you're in your early/mid 30s and are still into upbeat/pop punk, and you don't think Green Day is influential, then you're probably lying to yourself. If it wasn't for Dookie I wouldn't have wanted to check out their back catalogue, which wouldn't have led me to Lookout Records, which wouldn't have led me to hearing of other similar bands in my area.
Andrew W.K. & The Darkness
This one is a tie. I remember both of these bands coming out at around the same time, and there was such a showmanship to both of these bands that is influential to me. Plus their song subject matter is light hearted which fits with the whole theme of what I'm doing with this project.
This is a noise project that my Milwaukee buddies turned me on to, and the concept is insane. It's a guy who recorded audio of himself riding roller coasters, then put it on a 7" and played shows. Ryan Bollis told me he overheard someone in a record store talking about Nut Screamer playing live, and apparently the set lasted 3 minutes and it was just this guy screaming over an audio sample of him riding a roller coaster, and the set ended with a pool of blood on the floor. So the concept of having just random nonsense being pressed on a record was influential for doing 10+ minutes of squash noise on the B side of the first record I did.
They're my favorite band of all time. No further comment.
Stream and download The Eradicators new self titled album here: https://eradicator.bandcamp.com/
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