Hailing from Trenton, New Jersey Doc Rotten are a fast-paced punk band that brings all the energy to the stage. Forming in late 2017 the band recorded their debut EP Fallout soon after they recorded their sophomore EP Sick and Suffering and they set out on their very first tour. Their blue-collar mindset and work ethic show through with how often they write, record, and tour.
I sat down with Frontman Wes Bentley before their show at Fibbers. Talking about how quickly things got off the ground and what’s next for the band.
So you guys started out in early 2017?
Yea, we played a local gig in a basement in Trenton. We got the fever and hit the ground running and it’s been a ride ever since!
What was it like to work with Pete Steinkop of The Bouncing Souls on the latest EP Illusion to Choose?
Yea The Bouncing Souls were a huge influence. To work with Pete was like the little kid punk inside me was like “oh shit”. He was so chill and cool, he was so easy to work with. We recorded it in a house in Little Eden in Asbury Park.
From shooting videos and recording EP’s in basements is this an integral part of the scene or just whats ready available?
We recorded the video for “Better Days” in our drummer AJ’s basement where we rehearse and just decided to throw a house party and get a load of our friends around. There’s not many venues left in America at all, it’s got very commericalized, so a lot of the DIY scene is just putting on house shows to have somewhere to play.
You’ve said that the Bouncing Souls have been a big influence musically, and also Elvis Costello as a lyrical influence. Do you put a lot of emphasis on lyrics?
I like to have a meaning to a song having a start and a finish, it’s not really left open to interpretation. Sometimes you get an idea and you just got to run with it. I like to be by myself and less distracted to get a song done.
What are the up coming plans off the back of this EP and tour?
We finish up this tour in Krakow, Poland playing the 10-year anniversary Booze & Glory show and then head home to start writing the new record. So slow down on the touring and try to get a record out for 2020.
To finish off is their any bands coming up around the Trenton scene that are making waves?
There’s a lot of good bands from around that Jersey/Philly area, it’s so close together. Our friends’ band from Philly, The Lot, I really like them. The Vansaders from Asbury Park and Stolen Wheelchairs, there’s a lot of good bands around that area.
Later that night the guys hit the stage after support from Dublin bands Sandy Kim, Four Men Dead and Jobseekers. Even with a pretty small midweek crowd Doc Rotten came out of the gates blazing. True to their DIY roots they played a full set of material from their full catalogue on bare-bones equipment and borrowed gear as these shows were a last-minute addition to the tour.
After playing a full set of original songs including big hits like Brass Tacks, Mind Control and So Long, the crowd wanted more so the band finished the night with some covers featuring an excellent version of The Bouncing Souls hit song, True Believers.
If you get the chance to see this band it’s a no-brainer. With infectious energy and catchy hooks, you’ll find yourself with a fist in the air and lacking a voice the next day.
Tour dates here.