If Lookout! Records still existed, Orange County foursome the Hoagies would be the ideal group for the label. Take one part three-chord punk a la the Queers and one part '70s rock a la the Donnas and you've got the Hoagies.
However, there's more to the Hoagies than just a fascination with '90s Bay Area punk. You see, the Hoagies like sandwiches. A lot. So much in fact that the foursome (singer King Hoagie, guitarist Tony "No" Bologna, drummer/keyboardist Sloppy Joe and bassist Rye Bread) are about to release a 12-song record titled Cold Cuts that includes songs such as "Rye or Die," "I Wanna Grinder" and "I'm Gonna Put It In Your Pita."
Joke and/or themed bands almost always suck, but don't go dismissing the Hoagies as the punchline to a joke no one ever told because the songs are actually really good. In fact, Cold Cuts is so rockingly catchy that I, a vegan, not only enjoy the record, I'm thinking about getting a pastrami on sourdough right this second.
OK, that's a lie, but I did like the songs enough to devote an entire six minutes coming up with questions to email the band. Here, in not even remotely close to their entirety, are their pickled answers.
OC Weekly (Ryan Ritchie): I'm vegan, so why should I give a shit about any of these songs?
Tony "No" Bolonga: You shouldn't. You should grow a pair, eat a cheesesteak and THEN listen to our songs.
Sloppy Joe: Seriously? What kind of fucktarded way is that to start an interview?!
Rye: So the first question is about you. Journalism fail. Even though you would prefer a shit sandwich, I can't judge.
King Hoagie: Take it easy, guys. We're not a political band. He should give a shit about these songs because there are plenty of cucumbers on most of my sand--wait. Do cucumbers have eyes? Shit. Focus on flavorful spreads. Aioli? Is that a thing?
Your bio says you have a hunger for "hot, beefy sandwiches." It also says your hometown is Long Beach, so...
SJ: Are you looking for a recommendation? I've become a fan of Jersey Mike's. Shit's FRESH!
Rye Bread: I once gave a knuckle sandwich to some punks at Zed Records.
What I mean to say in that previous question is this: Have you played with Gayrilla Biscuits?
SJ: Let me consult our extensive database of past shows...no.
RB: Some people enjoy a mouthful of sausage, and others a mouthful of sausage. We would fall in the second category.
Is it just a coincidence that your song "Midnight Pork" is an exact rip-off of the Hot Snakes' "Automatic Midnight?" And is it a coincidence that I pulled a midnight pork on a girl this weekend?
SJ: We have been asked that very same question by several members of the press and, coincidentally enough, the fine gentleman who wrote that tune was raised in a world devoid of Sw@mi. It was something of an act of god, not unlike two identical snowflakes. You don't just melt that twin snowflake now, do you? As for you, I'd like to pull a hot snake on you this weekend.
TB: I don't believe in coincidences. Or that you were pulling anything other than your own pork, jabroni.
KH: Your girlfriend sounds like a real keeper. And to answer your question...there are no coincidences in punk rock, only carb loading. That's a quote. John Brannon, I think? Your readers can look that up.
Just how does Sloppy Joe play both drums and keyboards? Is he the anti- Def Leppard guy or something?
TB: He's the anti-Def Leppard guy, but only inasmuch as he wants to fistfight Joe Elliott. SJ: see above.
RB: He drums like a one armed man in a BLT eating contest.
KH: That's a low blow, bro. Blow My Fuse was a great drumming record. Your readers can look that up.
Your demo is called "Cold Cuts," yet we've already established that you prefer "hot, beefy sandwiches." So can I just assume this whole thing is a farce and I should go back to listenting to serious music such as LMFAO?
SJ: Who's tape are you calling a "demo," buddy?! To answer your question, we like sandwiches from all walks of life. Hot sandwiches. Cold cut sandwiches. Greek sandwiches. Fuck You sandwiches. You name it!
RB: I don't know who died and made you the Earl of Sandwich. Two pieces of bread, some animal by-product in the middle and there you go. I had a mayonnaise sandwich last night and I am still picking crumbs out of the couch.
TB: [Sets to work carving a swastika into interviewer's forehead]
KH: My pregnant girlfriend microwaves all cold cuts. Something about food poisoning or some shit. She's kind of a whiner, but I love her.
Ok, here's a serious question...Joke bands are funny for all of 10 seconds, so how is it that I don't hate your music? I mean, it's actually pretty good.
SJ: Who are you calling a "joke band?" You don't hear us calling you a "joke journalist" now do you?
TB: We're dead serious about sandwiches, homes. Some shit you don't joke about.
RB: One of the most common threads that brings the world together as a people is meat and bun. You have a man from Vietnam sitting down with a banh mi on the same park bench as a Southern man eating a po' boy. You tell me that is a joke; I tell you that is world peace.
KH: You have good taste.
In ten words or less, tell me what each song is about (that's ten words for each song).
SJ: Our songs are not unlike club sandwiches. Do you really want us to take out the frilly toothpicks and show you each mouthwatering layer or would you rather just put in in your mouth and taste it for yourself?
RB: I am not some kind of OCD case that goes around counting shit three times. Except when I make my BLT. It is what I call the palindrome sandwich. It must be the exact same from top to bottom in a perfect vertical symmetry of pork. With the exception for the frilly toothpick, of course.
KH: Groups like to party and party people need fuel. Our drummer/keyboardist has this thing where he sleepsnacks late-night. As a band, we all agree which bread is the best bread. We all also know that bacon is very in right now. But the wrong sandwich place at the wrong sandwich time...phew boy. It's a real bummer. You brought up cold cuts....stay away from those later in the day. A Hoagies tip for safe sandwiching.
What's going on with releasing these songs? The Internet is abuzz that there might be some sort of official product. A tape, perhaps? Please, tell us if/when this is happening.
: Cold Cuts will be available digitally this October at www.thehoagies.bandcamp.com
. We're also working on a limited cassette release packed with satanic messages and other good stuff for growing minds. All proceeds will go to us.
RB: Fingerprints in Long Beach ordered 500 copies of the yet to be released cassette. Stop by and put your name on the list. Last I heard about 400 had been pre-ordered.
When these songs are released, will they come with some sort of amazing marketing toys like napkins or Swiss cheese?
SJ: You think napkins and Swiss cheese are amazing toys? That's not very vegan of you.
TB: Christmas must have been depressing at your house.
RB: Like some hot pastrami on a cool summer's eve, the shit sells itself.