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    Punchy

    Punchy Biography

    God I hate bios. All the self-aggrandizing

    drivel; it's embarrassing. But you have to

    have one or no one will know what to write

    about you. So here it is, and for the readers

    sake I promise not to drift into that record

    corp. journalistic style where I pretend to be

    an unassociated third party who absolutely

    loves this band. Okay? Oh yeah, I'm Fritz Beer

    (nice to meet you).

    I started Punchy shortly after moving to

    Austin from St. Louis. My goal was to form a

    band that highlighted a singer/songwriter - me

    - but maintained the "group" aesthetic that,

    as a midwesterner, I always liked. I was

    thinking of Son Volt but not as country, The

    Replacements but not as drunk, The Clash but

    not as English. To me these groups epitomize

    songwriting without being folk singers. You

    got the main writer guy(s) and the band are

    people you know too, and they're playing hard

    - that's what I wanted to do.

    Back In St. Louis I won a bunch of songwriting

    awards with a group called 'The Bishops'.

    These songs were released on various

    compilation records, and I got some

    certificates and some cash, so I was feeling

    pretty good about myself. I suppose this was

    my skill honing period. Overall, the group was

    having some success as well. We put out two

    albums on Grinder Records and did a lot of

    touring, opening for Uncle Tupelo, Smashing

    Pumpkins, Soul Asylum, The Posies, The

    Connells, Afghan Whigs etc... But, the Bishops

    eventually stalled, and I decided to sell the

    big amp and lean harder toward the

    singer/songwriter thing I mentioned above.

    Once In Austin I hooked up with a high school band mate,

    Daniel Bull. He's the bass player who beat leukemia and,

    for his efforts, was honored by the City of Austin as the

    toughest musician around (this is not a joke, but it is

    another story). Daniel and I ran Drummer-wanted adds and

    quickly found a guitarist - Errol Siegel. He liked the

    singer/songwriter/group philosophy as well and convinced us

    that he was more important than any drummer right now.

    He was right; by month's end he had strong armed us several

    gigs - even if it was coffee house and happy hour schlock.

    The point was, we were playing, and the songs were coming

    through. By the time drummer, Armando Reyes joined we

    sounded, I thought, pretty freakin' good. Once Reyes was

    in, the gigs and the travelling came pretty thick.

    Because of on-going illness, bassist Daniel Bull was

    replaced by Lee Abramson. Daniel's health was suffering

    badly, and the traveling didn't help. Of course it was sad

    to replace an old friend, but the new guy, Lee, has been a

    great addition.

    So what's it sound like? I don't know, we get compared to a

    lot of things. Since Lee joined I think we sound more like

    Elvis Costello, at least more than we did. My latest

    favorite comparison is Mick Jones (The Clash) doing Bruce

    Springsteen. We get Tom Petty a lot. I've heard Graham

    Parker before. Someone recently said we were like Soul

    Asylum done right (Hang Time and Horse, were done right). I

    like political stuff like The Clash and Public Enemy. I

    also like freaky Tom Waits shit and big rock like Bush and

    Urge Overkill. Since I'm pressed, I think we're midwest

    rock but not so guitar top-heavy. Then again, I don't know;

    I just write the best songs I can. There's a tape that

    comes with this bio; you tell me.


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