This hardcore punk trio learned to drink in the garage. Then they learned to play music in the garage. Now they drink and play all over the U.S.  They tell of good beer, bad beer, gin Bloody Marys and lending drinking money to rock stars.

 

First taste
Mick: I was seven years old. My dad was always drinking Miller High Life in the Garage while working on the truck. I’d stand around and watch, trying to help. I came to appreciate it whenever he prefaced something with: “Now, don’t tell your mother, but…”
Matt: I was also seven or eight years old when my old man turned me on to beer in much the same manner. I didn’t tell. I kept my mouth shut and the beer flowing.
Rodg: Believe it or not, I didn’t discover booze until I was 23 years old. A late bloomer. I had a Guinness one day and it was just about the best thing I ever tasted. I became an instant beer fanatic.


The usual

Mick: Shot of Tuaca and a Coors Light. Ever since our tour of the Coors Brewery and I tasted a one second old beer I became a Coors man.
Matt: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and a shot of Jameson.
Rodg: On payday Newcastle, Drop Top Amber Ale, or heiferweizen. Any other day—whatever’s cheapest.

You’ve got 20 bucks
Mick: I’d go to a bar where I know the bartender. On the street I’d pick up a case and go to a friend’s house where I know there’s a bottle of Jameson stashed.
Matt: In a bar I’d get five rounds of PBR chased with well whiskey. On the street, a twelve pack of  beer with high alcohol content like IPA.
Rodg: In a bar you can survive on 20 bucks drinking PBRs all night. If I was out on the street I’d buy three sixers of Bohemia. It’s the champagne of Mexican beers, man.

Dream Bender Team
Mick: Jimi Hendrix, Luke Schmaltz and Kurt Cobain. He still owes me some money. I’d just make him buy all night.
Matt: John Bonham, Keith Moon and Dave Grohl. We’d have to fight over who got to drown in their own puke in the snare drum at the end of the night.
Rodg: Angelo Moore of Fishbone, Nikki Sixx and Red Foxx. Nothing like booze to smooth over the genre/generation gap.

Drunkest ever
Mick: We were playing a house party in Auburn, Alabama. I got blotto on Black Label and Jim Beam. Someone had ‘shrooms and we apparently gobbled them up before playing. I had the brilliant idea of turning on a strobe light I found and we drove each and every single person out of there. Hey, more booze for us.
Matt: I was living in Oregon. Almost 21 but not quite. I convinced a friend who was 21 to pick me up a fifth of Seagram’s 7 and a twelver of Milwaukee’s Best Ice. I was doing my Chris Farley bit and I took out his parent’s living room coffee table. I lived a block away but didn’t dare try to make it home. I became overwhelmed with remorse when his parents showed up, so I hid in his room with the bottle until it was gone.
Rodg: We were on the road. The gig that night was in Arcada, CA. I decided to wash down dinner with double Jack and Cokes. I got up to relieve myself, and passed out standing up. Note: always check the free brownies for pot before you call them dinner.

Surefire Hangover Cure
Mick: Twenty-four hours of sleep. Or, if I didn’t happen to see the sun come up, I slam a shot of Beam and a beer.
Matt: Four Ibuprofen, two Tylenol and a Bloody Mary made with gin.
Rodg: A good strong Bloody Mary. Gin, no vodka.

Favorite Bar
Mick: Old Ironsides in Sacramento. That’s why I moved in with Rodg. Now I’m just two blocks away.
Matt: I’m real keen on this Denver scene. Lots of cool bartenders. 3 King’s Tavern is definitely one of my favorites. After that I’d have to say the Distillery in Sacramento.
Rodg: Monte Carlo’s in Sacramento. They get it when you order gin in a Bloody Mary rather than vodka.

Ever been 86’d?
Mick: We went to a Bad Brains show and I got kicked out for enjoying myself too much. I passed out in the overhead sleeper in our old tour van. After the show they piled about 17 or 18 other people in there to head home. We got pulled over. Just as the authorities slid open the side door I accidentally let it all go. It was literally raining down on all these poor people as the cops shook flashlights into their wet drunk little faces. My nickname has three letters and rhymes with “see.” I’ll never live that one down.
Matt: I’m like the Matt Foley of drunks. I fall down. I break shit. But, I’m likable enough to have never been kicked out.
Rodg: Not yet, but tonight I’m working on it.

Can you trust someone who doesn’t drink?
Mick: Fuck no. They’re probably trying to sell you bunk acid.
Matt: Absolutely. My wife doesn’t drink and she’s my best friend in the world. Guys like me need someone steady to help them up.
Rodg: Only if you need someone sober to drive you home.

Final comments
Matt: My mom once got drunk with Johnny Cash. She lived in Utah at the time. There was a rumor that he was hiding out somewhere up in the hills hunting deer. She and a friend decided to investigate and found the cabin. There was a party going on. She got to witness the Man in Black blacked out first hand. He got in a fistfight with one of his hunting buddies and passed out on the pool table. Thankfully that rules out the possibility that I’m his bastard son.

—Interview by Luke Schmaltz

Drunkard Gear