Preview: The Fest 16: Smoking Popes

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In two weeks’ time we’ll be over in Florida at The Fest 16! Here’s another preview to whet our collective appetites, this time with Josh from Smoking Popes…

The Punk Archive: Hey Josh, how’s it going? How’s your 2017 been?
Josh: This has been a big year for us. It’s the 20th anniversary of our album Destination Failure, so we’ve been putting together a special reissue, which will come out early next year. It’ll be the first time this album has been on vinyl, so we’re pretty stoked about that. Also, we’ve started tracking new songs for the next album, which will probably come out next fall. 2018 is going to be a busy year for the Popes.

The Punk Archive: What’s most exciting you about playing Fest this year?
Josh: We’re looking forward to playing in Florida again. It’s been about five years since we’ve been down there, so we’re long overdue. And the line-up for the Fest is so fantastic, so many great bands, it’s going to be very cool to see a bunch of great shows while we’re there.

The Punk Archive: What should fans expect from your Fest set?
Josh: We’ll play a lot of songs from Destination Failure, since it’s the anniversary of that album, but generally we’ll try to do a good balance of old stuff and new stuff. There will be something for everyone in our set.

The Punk Archive: What do you think it is which makes Fest such a special weekend?
Josh: The Fest is cool because it’s a big enough event to have some very established bands, but it’s still pretty affordable. And they do a good job of keeping the line-up cohesive, so if you’re into this genre of music, all these bands are going to make sense together and it’ll be an amazing few days of musical bliss.

The Punk Archive: Could you pick out your top 5 bands to see across the line-up, and tell us why you chose them?
Josh: Superchunk: One of the best bands ever. Period.
Pegboy: These guys are a juggernaut. Always worth watching.
Teenage Bottlerocket: Great tunes, catchy, fun, energetic. Who could ask for more?
88 Fingers Louie: It’s nice to see friends from back home when you’re on the road. Can’t wait to see how the humidity affects their performance.
Atom and His Package: I’ve had the song Happy Birthday Ralph stuck in my head for years. I hope he plays it.

Head here for more info on this year’s Fest…


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