The Bollweevils
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The Bollweevils

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1989 | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1989
Band Alternative Punk




"The Bollweevils Announce 2016 West Coast Tour"

Chicago punk veterans The Bollweevils have recently announced a West Coast tour! The string of dates are centered in Southern California and take place at the end of March. These guys don’t get out that way often, so many sure you catch them when they come through and buy them shots of tequila. They like that.


3/23 – Long Beach @ Alex’s Bar w/ Shattered Faith, White Kaps
3/24 – Ventura @ The Garage w/ White Kaps
3/25 – San Diego @ Kensington Club w/ White Kaps, Darlington, Tiltwheel & Western Settings
3/26 – Los Angeles @ The Viper Roomw/ Luicidal, White Kaps & Bad Samaritans
3/27 – Santa Ana @ Constellation Room w/ White Kaps, Stalag 13, Sederra & Mr. Firely - For the Love of Punk

"Basement Screams Panel - Riot Fest"

. . .I slammed the remainder of my water bottle coffee and headed to the Riot Fest Speaks stage.

The panel was called Basement Screams and it focused on the Chicago punk scene and what sets it apart from so many others. The panel consisted of Nan Warshaw (founder of Bloodshot Records), Dem Hopkins (owner of club Oz), Joe Principe (Rise Against, 88 Fingers Louie), Jeff Pezzati (Naked Raygun), Brendan Kelly (Lawrence Arms), Daryl Wilson (The Bollweevils) and was moderated by Joe Shanahan (founder/owner of the Metro). For those of you who have been to Chicago, you know that we are a prideful city when it comes to just about everything. The punk scene is no different. I’ve gotten into many a heated debate from here to LA to Philly and back about why I believe that this city has one of the best scenes in the country. It was inspiring to hear a handful of local legends recount their stories while solidifying my above point.

It was stated that the scene was born out of necessity; there were not all ages shows. Therefore, venues like the Fireside Bowl, Metro and Durty Nellies sprung up. But as alternative music because more popular through bands like Nirvana, Chicago was able to remain more pure and almost untouched. For whatever reason, the major labels were never able to plant roots here and fuck it up. It was stated, however, that a band or artist has to work harder in Chicago since we do not have the notoriety of LA or New York. But the fruits of their labors mean so much more. Alright, I can hear myself going off on a Midwestern fueled tangent. Long story short, I love two things in the world: Chicago and music (oh and Tito’s and soda with lime and tacos). So it was surreal for me to hear Brendan Kelly recount a tale of sitting on a stoop outside a house somewhere near Belmont and Clark for hours upon days on end just because it was rumored that it was the Raygun house. Jeff, who was onstage right next to him, affirmed that it was definitely NOT the Raygun house before launching into the rationale of how far into the punk scene he is and how that would make it hard to ever have a friend that is not into punk music. The whole panel was amazingly inspiring and made me fall in love with my city all over again. - For the Love of Punk - Kendra Sheetz

"The Bollweevils 12/11/10 at Metro"

Saturday night the Metro was the venue chosen to host the return of the Bollweevils, a band that hasn’t played in close to two years. They headlined a five band bill that saw them sharing the stage with a nice lineup of bands from Chicago including 88 Fingers Louie. It also was a celebration for Dr. Daryl’s birthday!

Boom Juice started the evening off as the crowd was slowly arriving. They were a two-man band that consisted of a guy with a laptop and a bunch of gear and a singer. The gear operator also sang sometimes too. they mixed up some pop with hip-hop and dance and were an odd fit for a punk rock show but were still entertaining and added some diversity to the lineup.

The House that Gloria Vanderbilt quickly followed. They had a lot of members in their band who played a variety of instruments and a couple of them also sang. They played some off-kilter, psychedelic indie rock that bears a small resemblance to the Make-Up at times. Their musical-blender style was pretty refreshing and they put on a really good performance and are a band well worth checking out.

Noise By Numbers were next. This band features Dan Vapid of Screeching Weasel/Sludgeworth/The Methadones fame along with JefF Dean of nearly every current band in Chicago fame. They played a mid-tempo poppy punk with some occasional bouts of crunchy guitar that Mr. Dean is becoming the master of. A couple of the songs were very heavy on the poppier side of things but overall they were a good band.

88 Fingers Louie took the stage as the crowd grew quite a bit. They played a fun set of songs spanning most of their career. Dennis talked a lot between songs and their set had a really light-hearted and personal vibe to it. Of all the shows they have done since getting back together, this was one of the more enjoyable performances and the band played flawlessly with smiles on their faces the entire time. The crowd was way into it too and were dancing all around the main floor. They did a Descendents cover that Daryl from The Bollweevils joined them on stage for.

The Bollweevils took the stage to close the evening and they once again proved how they were one of the best bands of 1990′s Chicago punk rock. They played a rock-solid set of many old favorite and even threw in a few new songs for good measure. These new songs were really good and had that distinct Bollweevils sound. Daryl was his usual energetic self, dancing and moving about the stage while the band belted out hit after hit. A few times Daryl came down into the barricade so he could have the crowd sing some choruses and during one song he even did a stage dive over the barricade into the loving arms of the crowd which was no small leap!

The band played about an hour and it was nothing short of great the entire time. The crowd sang along to all the songs and danced and clapped and smiled which just seemed to make the band give them even more to be happy about. The Bollweevils have never failed to deliver the goods live and this show was no exception and it was about the best pre-Christmas present any Chicago music fan could ask for. - MXV

"Cockney Rejects/Youth Brigade/The Bollweevils 2/21/13 at Reggies"

Thursday night was a night for punk rock veterans as three bands that have been around a minimum of 20 years shared a bill with way too many other bands for a weeknight show over at Reggies. The threat of a snow storm couldn’t keep the place from filling up full of punk rock fans from multiple generations.

The Crombies, who have at least one member from Deals Gone Bad in their band, played some upbeat ska. They had a classic 2-tone style to their music and they had a bunch of fans in the audience who were dancing along to their songs.

Modern Day Rippers played fast tempo, punchy punk that often crossed the hardcore border. The played with more energy than usual and their set was blistering. Singer, Germ, was his usual entertaining self. These guys are a lot of fun and well worth checking out if you get a chance.

The Bollweevils made a rare appearance to play this show. They easily stole the show with their tuneful and catchy hardcore. The band not only played some of their regular staples but they played some songs they rarely ever play. If that wasn’t enough they also played four new songs! The new songs sounded as good as anything in their discography and they really need to get them released on a new record immediately.

The legendary Youth Brigade quickly followed. They were down a Stern brother and instead had two different members and were now a four-piece. They played all the “hits” from their early days along with some newer songs that aren’t really that new anymore either. They sounded great, talked a lot between songs and the crowd went bananas during their entire set.

The crowd thinned out a bit due to the snowstorm when the Cockney Rejects took the stage. They played a long set full of their classics and the crowd up front which was heavy on the skinheads sang along and danced around. The band had a lot of energy that the crowd picked up on and gave it right back to them. They played so many songs that it’s hard to imagine anyone who was a fan of theirs was disappointed and if anyone was you’d be hard pressed to detect it while scanning the crowd. They put a nice finish to a long night (too long really) that featured some great punk legends that was worth driving home in a storm and staying up late. - MXV

"Agent Orange and The Bollweevils 10/11 at Reggie’s"

Saturday night was a perfect night for a punk rock show and in the South Loop area of Chicago there was no better place to find such a show than Reggie’s. Punk legends Agent Orange played a show along with longtime Chicago punks, The Bollweevils. That alone was more than reason enough to come out but for those slightly younger punks, Guttermouth also shared the stage with those bands as well. The Bollweevils played first which seemed like a crime, especially considering they were way better than the band that played after them but at least it meant that the show got started on the best foot possible. They once again put on an extremely energetic and entertaining performance that featured many old staples along with some great new material they’ve written recently. The band talked a bit between songs and everyone had a lot of fun during their set. During one song, Daryl came out into the crowd to sing along which inspired the entire middle section of the audience to start a giant mosh pit that ended up lasting for most of the rest of their set. Pinata Protest were next. This was an odd band that sounded like a punk rock mariachi band. Imagine a band like the Dropkick Murphys being played back with a SAP (Second Audio Program) in a mash-up with a mariachi band who also happened to like Rancid and you can get an idea of what they sounded like. It didn’t work at first but the second half of their set was a little more entertaining and faster paced. One of their biggest faults was the use of pretty much the same accordion sound in every song which made it sound like they just kept playing the same song over and over again. They really should have gone on first as The Bollweevils was the far better band. Agent Orange took the stage to a very crowded club at this point and they proceeded to tear the roof of the place with a top-notch performance. They played pretty much their entire first album plus stuff from the later records including current songs they just released less than two years ago. The crowd went nuts for all the classics and they went slightly less nuts during the newer songs (all of which were quite pleasing to the ears). Band leader and sole original member, Mike Palm, was in great spirits and his band played those classic songs pretty much flawlessly. They played a long set that easily lasted an hour and had more songs than you could count but it seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye because it was so good. Whoever said punk rock was a young man’s game is an idiot because over 30 years later Agent Orange still play with the amount of energy they did back when they were young. This band really should have been the headliner instead of Guttermouth and as far as this writer is concerned they were! - MXV

"Gallery + Review: 88 Fingers Louie, The Bollweevils and The Bomb in Chicago"

On December 21st, 88 Fingers Louie reunited for their 20th anniversary show. Although, I am hesitant to title it an “anniversary” show since the band has practically broken up more times than they have played live. Forming in Chicago in 1993, 88 Fingers Louie plays a mix of melodic hardcore and hardcore punk. The original lineup consisted of Denis Buckley on vocals, Dan Wleklinski (AKA Mr. Precision) on guitar, Joe Principe on bass and Dom Vallone on drums. Vallone left the band in 1995 and was replaced by Glenn Porter, who stayed until they disbanded in late 1996. With reconciliation and a new drummer named John Carroll, 88 Fingers Louie started up again in 1998. But, this reunion only lasted a year. There was a 2009 reunion for Riot Fest and that was the last anyone heard from them, until now.

The show was at the newly opened Concord Music Hall, which is a bizarre venue. In fact, word has it that the space either used to be a club owned by a member of the Jersey Shore cast or an exclusive VIP Latino biker bar. Whatever the truth may be, the building is in an obvious transitory stage. The actual venue is in a large room, three stories up, with a professional sized stage and floor room to match. Fog machines cloud the air as patterned laser lights are projected onto the ground. There is also a strange VIP section located at the back of the space, remnant of a time when fog machines were more appropriate. Despite the young and hip club feel of the setting, the crowd was filled with older punks. And why not? The lineup for the night paralleled the ‘aging but still relevant punk rocker’ theme. The supporting bands were The Bollweevils and The Bomb, both Chicago locals and friends from the same musical era.

The Bomb, who played first, was started in 1999 by Naked Raygun’s vocalist Jeff Pezzati. Although classified as having punk roots, The Bomb has more of a rock sound. The music is much slower and steadier than that of Raygun. Reminiscent of recent The Damned releases, their sound is something that had matured beyond the realm of pure, raw punk rock. The songs clearly showcase the musical skills of a four piece of punk veterans. However, The Bomb didn’t seem to have an engaging effect on the crowd. Perhaps it was the slower songs which, in turn, made for a less visually appealing stage presence. Perhaps it was that specific crowd, hyped up by the promise of an anniversary show and apathetic to any band they weren’t there to see. In either case, it was unfortunate that many people made trips to the bar or the merch tables during The Bomb’s set.

The Bollweevils took the stage second. This four piece formed in 1989 and also has a history of disbandment and reunions, although much more amicable than that of 88 Fingers. Within just a song and a half, singer Daryl Wilson’s liveliness brought up the energy of the crowd tenfold. He also engaged them with fun and catching stage banter. “This is an old school show. All of us have been around for a long time. And it’s great to see so many younger people here tonight. There are a lot of old people here too,” Daryl spoke as he paced back and forth across the stage, high-fiving the crowd. As he continued with talk of the old scene, he made sure to thank everyone for coming out and helping to restore something ageing by instilling it with younger life. With that, The Bollweevils played one of two new songs that night. The new material is incredible, maintaining the same sound and power of their previous work. There is no real rift in the two time frames of music, which is saying a lot since the band’s last album release was in the late 1990s.

Their set showed unity not only with the crowd but within the band as well. Ken Weevil (guitar) and Daryl sang songs into the same microphone, showing union though their body language. Denis from 88 Fingers even came out and assisted with backing vocals for a song. The band also had brought a bag of koozies onto the stage and sporadically tossed them out into the crowd, winning over the young and old alike. The fist pumps and sing-a-longs had started early in the set and didn’t end until the band put down their instruments. As Daryl jumped into the crowd, my friend leaned over to me and said, “That’s a 43 year old doctor with five kids”. It was one of those rare moments when one is able to witness true ‘lifers‘. Almost 25 years ago, The Bollweevils were formed. Since then there have been girlfriends, marriages, kids, college, real jobs, ups and downs, breakups and make-ups. Through the daily hassles, their commitment to punk and to music has remained and that is a thing of wonder.

The Concord didn’t seem to fill up until moments before 88 Fingers Louie graced the stage. Holding the microphone in one hand while vigorously gesturing at the crowd with the other, Denis shouted “We are, we were, we will always be… 88 Fingers Louie!” As the first 4 chords of the first song were played, an aggressive and excited pit broke out in the middle of the floor. The enthusiasm of the crowd never dwindled. As promised, all original members of the band were there. Denis, Dan and Joe remained onstage for the entirety of the performance. Dom, Glen and John rotated drumming throughout the set. “You know we have 5 other drummers that you’re never gonna see. That’s ’cause they exploded,” Denis joked. Denis surely lived up to his nickname of ‘The Grandpa’ by continually teasing about his age, his weight and his continual disdain for Kanye West. In yet another display of unity, Denis jumped down from the stage to sing and connect with the crowd. The pit broke into pure chaos. After a seemingly hard time hoisting himself back onto the stage, he huffed and puffed as he stated “Gonna go home after this. Gonna go have a heart attack.”

From Mr. Precision’s 3 full body guitar spins to Denis sporting a t-shirt touting local business Pete’s Barbershop, it was clear that some things in Chicago never change. Just as Denis assisted in singing a Bollweevils’ song, Daryl came out to sing on “I Hate Myself”. It was just another gesture verifying the strong and everlasting connection they have which was formed over 20 years ago. As a 10 year old with a red Mohawk crowd surfed by me, he made me think back to my first punk show 17 years ago. I thought about the effect that it had on me, how it opened my eyes to a world beyond my bedroom. I thought how grateful I was that two of the three bands I saw that night are still around and actively playing. I thought of the fact that one day, I will be at a reunion show listening to someone I idolized speak of the scene as it was in my day. As the show came to a close, 88 Fingers Louie thanked the audience over and over, telling the crowd that they wouldn’t have survived without them. In actuality, many of us wouldn’t have made it without them either. - Kendra Sheetz

"The Bollweevils 4/7/12 at Brauerhouse"

Saturday night one of Chicago's finest punk bands of all time played their first show in the suburbs in about 17 years when The Bollweevils headlined a three band bill. The venue was the Brauerhouse and the suburb in question was Lombard, IL. People from all over made the easy journey to the club which was full. First up was Napervillain MILFS. These guys did an entire set full of cover songs. Their rock covers were very good with a punk edge to them and quite enjoyable. Their punk rock covers on the other hand left a lot to be desired. Their cover of Husker Du's, "New Day Rising" should never be attempted again. At the end of their set, Jeff Pezzati from Naked Raygun joined them for two songs; the first being a cover of Thin Lizzy's, "Jailbreak" and the last being a rendition of "Rat Patrol". If these guys decide to solely be a cover band, they should stick to punking up rock songs as that aspect of their set was a lot of fun. My Big Beautiful played second. They seemed to have more of the "it factor" than at their show last fall with Naked Raygun and something really clicked this time because they were really enjoyable. Their mid to fast tempo rock/punk was super catchy and fun, as was their cover of "American Girl" which had many people up front dancing (as in actual dancing, not playing human bumper cars). Their singer has a really great, melodic voice and they had a good, punchy guitar sound. They really delivered the goods on this evening.

The Bollweevils took the stage shortly after and they were sporting a new bass player. This was their first show with the new guy and he easily delivered the goods. They played a smorgasbord of old songs, and didn't play any of their new stuff this time presumably due to having to break in a new member. They broke him in well so far as he has a real spark in his playing that injected additional energy to the rest of the band and they seemed more energetic than ever. This energy also ignited the crowd, who went absolutely crazy through the entire set. People were bouncing up and down and all around and sometimes even falling onto the tiny, one foot tall stage.

Every song sounded great, Daryl's singing was top-notch and he was jumping around everywhere, including going out into the crowd to sing. Songs like "Dehumanize", "Eye to Eye" and "Sundown" sounded as good, if not better than ever. They ended their set with "The Failure of Bill Dozer" (fun fact, Bill Dozer used to write for Spontaneous Combustion!) and left the stage for only a couple of minutes before the fans demanded an encore, which the band happily obliged by playing a couple more songs. When the dust settled, they played about an hour and left a wake of drunk, sweaty, and happy bodies in their wake. It was a great ending to an incredibly fun night out with a great crowd. - Michael Vinikour - Chicago Concerts Examiner

"Bollweevils The Heavyweight"

Heavyweight is tangible leap forward for hardcore punkers the Bollweevils, displaying a more complex and nuance-ridden approach than the group's debut, Stick Your Neck Out. (The intervening album, History of the Bollweevils, Pt. 1, was a compilation of previously released tracks.) the Bollweevils still burn through each track in a high-speed thrashed-out frenzy, but this time there are some bolts of melody ripping through the tracks, and the buzzing guitars seem a whole lot more nimble and varied than on the group's debut. This is particularly evident on highlights such as "20 Something" and "Fence Sitters." The album also features a blistering throwdown on Bad Brains' "Pay to Cum." This is a highly appealing (though breathlessly energetic) album, particularly when measured against the soundalike tracks on the group's debut. - Erik Hage


Still working on that hot first release.



Led by the sneering vocals of lead singer Daryl, The Bollweevils are direct inheritors of a Chicago hardcore tradition handed down from acts such as Naked Raygun and The Effigies.

Undisputed as one the finest Chicago punk outfits during the 1990s, The Bollweevils were, and still are, defined by their spirited live performances and a song catalogue that demonstrates both their roots and creative ability as a band.

Known for their connection with fans, The Bollweevils began their recording career on Underdog Records, but soon were noticed by Dr. Strange Records. And shortly thereafter, the band released the punk staple “Stick Your Neck Out,” which featured favorites such as, “Dehumanize,” “Bottomless Pit,” and “John Doe.” The album defined The Bollweevils sound, which is laced with high-paced drumming, aggressive guitar and bass workings, and witty and sometimes tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Because of this, The Bollweevils soon garnered one of the largest local audiences and became one of the preeminent bands during the 1990s Midwest punk scene.

During this time, the band began playing more shows throughout the United States and shared the stage with bands that were both influences and contemporaries, including Naked Raygun, Rancid, AFI, Pegboy, Down By Law and Youth Brigade—many of which who later appeared on the band’s album liner notes.
The Bollweevils' second album, The History of the Bollweevils, Part One, collects previously released material from EPs and compilations. 1995's new studio effort Heavyweight boasted a more mature approach, with increasingly complex arrangements and backing vocals. The album concludes not only with a cover of the Bad Brains' "Pay to Cum," but also a 10-minute-plus, audio tour-diary entry.

And although the band went through several lineup changes, The Bollweevils never lost focus on creating an everlasting effect on the Chicago punk scene. Perhaps, one of the best representations of this is their release “Weevil Live.” To see The Bollweevils live is not only an experience, but an assault on the senses and the album surely captures that spirit. The band gels on stage like very few bands can—with Daryl flying around stage and jumping on the audience, Ken and Bob shredding guitars and the fans just eating it all up.
However, like all good things, things had to come to an end and the band officially disbanded in 1996 when they announced, on the legendary Fireside Bowl stage, that they would be playing their last show. To put it simply, fans were not only stunned, but very disappointed as well. At that time, it appeared that The Bollweevils were destined only to become folklore to a new generation of punks.

But in 2003, The Bollweevils reunited for a one-off sold-out show for WLUW at The Metro with a new drummer, Pete. The show, at that time, was considered as the best Bollweevils’ performance to date and whole new generation of Chicago kids were now even more intrigued by the band.

So when the band officially reunited once again in 2006 which included Naked Raygun, The Blue Meanies and 7Seconds, there was a resounding “Hell Yes” by the punk community because unlike many bands who have come and gone, The Bollweevils’ music is as relevant today as it was when it was first written. 

The Bollweevils have continued to dazzle the masses,  and with new bass player Pete Mittler (formally of The Methadones, The Bomb, and Naked Raygun) have been infused with a new energy. Jeff Pezzati of Naked Raygun has said "They are one of the best bands in Chicago right now".  Many fans have remarked that The Bollweevils have not only continued to be great but have gotten better and better. The new single, Attack Scene, with songs Honesty Isn't so Simple and the anthem The Bollweevil(s) has come out to rave review with a video soon to be released.  This band continues to stay relevant and has been very active in 2015 taking the act on the road to play Southern California at venues Like Alex's and The Viper Room in LA.  They shared the stage at Rude Fest St Louis with GBH and The Casualties among many other great punk bands.  2016 will see more new songs, new adventures on the road, but the same true punk power brought to you from one of Chicago's finest.

~ Partly written by Erik Hage, All Music Guide

Band Members