The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 09, 1998, Page 13, Image 13

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    „ . • Courtesy Photo
JOE KING (far right) of the Queers returned to his life as a punk rock sardonist after regrouping on his father’s
fishing boat last year. He now commands the helm of a reborn Queers, which is composed of members of fellow
tour mates, The Jon Cougar Concentration Camp.
The Queers seek change
Group heads for the road with a new band, CD
By Jason Hardy
Senior staff writer
A little more than a year ago Joe King made some
lifestyle changes.
After almost 15 years of playing punk rock, King,
known to the world as Joe Queer, frontman for the
Queers, put music on the back burner and set sail toward
a new occupation.
“My dad called and said my brother needed someone
to help on his fishing boat,” King explained. “So there I
was, working on the Carol Ann in the North Atlantic in
late October.”
Gone were the late nights of playing poppy-punk bal
lads and anthems in smoky clubs around the world. In
their place were early mornings of backbreaking labor
and fish guts, his only comfort being the ballad of the
lapping sea.
King’s new direction was prompted after the Queers’
original lineup disbanded. The group’s most widely
known and successful incarnation, featuring Hugh
O’Neill on drums and B-Face on bass, fell apart after the
1996 release of their critically acclaimed album, “Don’t
Back Down.” After a brief tour O’Neill was diagnosed
- with an inoperable brain tumor and B-Face joined the
Groovie Ghoulies.
Nowadays King is back on the mainland with a new
lineup and a new album and has traded his slickers for a
pair of Converse.
The Queers, currently made up of members from the
Jon Cougar Concentration Camp, has teamed up with
long-time friends and punk legends the Mr. T Experience
for a nationwide tour. The show stops in Lincoln tonight
for an all-ages gig at Knickerbockers and includes open
ing acts the Parasites and the Jon Cougar Concentration
Camp - yes, they do a cover of “Small Town.”
In a phone interview from his home in New
Hampshire, King talked about his ocean-inspired return
to the world of punk rock and the new pseudo-super tour.
During his stint in the fishing industry King again
developed a desire to make music and, after recruiting
the members of the Jon Cougar Concentration Camp, he
ventured back into the studio to record the Queers’ latest
full-length release, “Punk Rock Confidential.”
Initially King was worried about maintaining the
classic Queers sound with new members, but after hear
ing the recording his confidence returned.
“I knew the band was good, and I knew we sounded
like the Queers,” King said. “Plus it was really fun play
ing with new guys.”
King said the 15 songs on “Punk Rock Confidential,”
which was released last month, may be some of his most
honest work yet, much of which is due to the time he
spent on the Carol Ann, where King still works when not
“I don’t listen to what’s going on. I’m living in a bub
ble out here,” King said. “It gives you a musical inno
cence. That’s why I like working on a boat, because it has
nothing to do with music. It kind of keeps you grounded,
plus it’s healthy, hard work. The tough punk rockers with
mohawks and jackets couldn’t do this shit.”
Despite decades worth of punk rock recording and
touring experience, it wasn’t until this year that King and
his old pal Dr. Frank, the brains behind MTX. decided to
pool their punk rock potency for an extended American
tour together.
King said the merger with MTX seemed like an obvi
ous move for the Queers’ new tour.
“Basically I just wanted to have some close friends to
play with,” King said. “Also, there are kids who
won’t necessarily come out for just a Queers show
or just an MTX show, but they'll come out for a
show with the Queers and MTX.”
In a phone interview from Champaign. 111.,
Dr. Frank said he had always wanted to offer fans
a stacked bill like this tour's lineup.
“It usually doesn’t happen with our types of
bands,” he said. "It’s cool that we’ve been able to
finance this one because there are some kids
who’ve been waiting for this bill all their lives and
to a certain type of person this show is a dream
come true, and that’s who we’re doing this for.”
Despite the incredibly vast amount of songs
the Queers and MTX have recorded over the
years, King and Dr. Frank both plan on appeasing
fans by granting the inevitable requests for classic
tunes - maybe even a Ramones cover.
“We try to do some songs from every era,” Dr.
Frank said. “We used to do our set and then play
requests, but on this tour there isn’t much time, so
, basically the request part has kind of moved to the
mam set. People come up and ask me to play a
song and I write it on my hand with a marker. But
§*. it kind of depends on if we remember it or not.”
Memory failure aside, Dr. Frank said the
show would run the gamut of quality punk rock
we ve aone a lot or tours wnere tne ouis
haven’t made much sense,” Dr. Frank said. “It’s
pretty cool to have a lineup that’s like bang, bang,
bang with bands that all sound well together.”
Tonight’^'all-ages show starts at 6 p.m. Call
(402) 476-6865 for more information.
Courtesy Photo
POP-PUNX INSTITUTION the Mr. T Experience comes to
Knickerbockers tonight armed with a slew of satirical love
sunns. Dr. Frank (bottom) is longtime friends with Joe King
cf headlining act the Queers.
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