Screeching Weasel - Chicago, Illinois, USA

Formed: Prospect Heights, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Great melodic hardcore band active between 1986 and 1989, 1991 and 1994, 1996 and 2001, and 2009-Present.

The band's bio on their own site is pretty succinct. Just one line, and here it is: Saw the Ramones, started a band, pissed off a whole lot of scenesters.

Screeching Weasel - Chicago, Illinois, USA

ABOVE: Screeching Weasel in 2000

The Screeching Weasel Timeline. (You can Skip this and go straight to the discography if you like.)

Part 1: 1986-1989

Screeching Weasel - Chicago, Illinois, USA
ABOVE: All-Night Garage Sale in 1986
1986 Band forms all All-Night Garage Sale (above), a few weeks after singer Ben Weasel sees the Ramones. Jughead plays guitar, Steve Cheese drums, and there is no permanent bassist until November. Songs from a practice tape are played on WNUR's Fast and Loud show.
November/December 1986 (accounts vary) Their first permanent bassist Vinnie Boviner joins. Changes name to Screeching Weasel. According to Ben Weasel, the name is adapted from the legend on a frat boy's t-shirt that read "I'VE GOT A SCREAMING OTTER IN MY PANTS!"
Late 1986/Early 1987 Records first demo, at Solid Sound in Hoffman Estate. Bem Weasel: "We did 28 songs and put 27 of them on the demo tape Screeching Weasel, which we sold through ads in the infamous Berkeley punkzine, Maximum Rock'N'Roll (the song we didn't put on was a really lame cover of some Brady Bunch tune). The rest of the songs were primarily moronic little ditties I'd conjured up during my two year stay at a Maine drug rehab from age 15-17...or else cheesy rip-offs of tunes by the popular bands of the day like the Circle Jerks, Angry Samoans, Black Flag and our favourite, Adrenalin O.D. We wanted to fucking BE Adrenalin O.D.; SUBURBANCORE, that was our motto. No kidding, when it came down to choosing band names, the two that were left were Screeching Weasel and Suburban Vermin. In retrospect, they both sucked".
Early 1987 Plays first show "in Matt Nelson's parents' basement"
June 1987

Record debut album Screeching Weasel.

August 1987

Record If You Can't Have Fun...Why Bother Living?, a split EP with The Ozzfish Experience. It was not released, because the pressing plant went bust.

September 1987 Debut album Screeching Weasel is finally released on Russ Forster's record company, Underdog Records. A thousand copies are pressed, and it is licensed to UK label What Goes On. NME give it 10 of out 10.
1988 Vinnie Bovine is kicked out of band. Ben Weasel: "[His] personal problems had made the band a living hell. To this day, Vinnie expresses his hatred for me, even though his sacking was a group decision (hey, he set a precedent; to this day, anytime anyone has a problem with Screeching Weasel, it's always my fault, even though we always came to personnel decisions as a group)". Warren from The Ozzfish replaces him. Vinnie took his saking like he took everything else - he flew into a petulant rage".
Screeching Weasel - Chicago, Illinois, USA
Summer 1988 The band makes its first "real" road trip to California, and plays at Gilman Street, one of the shows supporting Operation Ivy. Ben Weasel: "While in California, we made the acquaintance of the guys from Crimpshrine as well as the Lookout Records guys. At the time, things were still pretty exciting out there and we were heavily inspired by what we saw. Later in the summer, after I'd moved into Jughead's mother's house, Crimpshrine came through town and ended up staying with us for two weeks. We played them the four song demo tape we'd just recorded (yep, it's long gone) and their guitarist/singer, Jeff, taught me how to take my three stringed chord and move it up toe the second, third and fourth strings. No more sliding up and down the guitar neck! To this day, I still use the guitar strap Jeff gave me and I still haven't learned one single new thing about playing guitar (including the names of the second, third and fourth strings)".
Screeching Weasel - Chicago, Illinois, USA
ABOVE: Live 1988. Photo by Pauline Poisonous
October/November 1988 Brian Vermin replaces Steve Cheese on drums. Releases Boogadoboogadaboogada LP on the band's own label, Roadkill Records. Embarks on the "NO SHOWERS 'TILL GAINESVILLE" tour with Spongetunnel. Ben Weasel: "The two bands fought constantly, and by our last show, there was plenty of tension in Screeching Weasel. We had a blow out argument on the way home and within two weeks of returning, Warren had simultaneously quit and been kicked out (it's not as bad as it sounds; we discovered that he and I were able to be friends once we weren't in a band together). For a replacement, we got Danny Vapid, a local punk who seemed to attend all our shows and had been the singer in quite a few local hardcore bands (including the Igor Skulls and Generation Waste). He wasn't the world's greatest bass player, but John handed him over the Yamaha and he fit right in. We called him Sewercap at first, but the name didn't stick. He was finally christened Vapid in 1991 and the name dogs him to this day".
Spring 1989 Record the Punkhouse EP, produced by fanzine editor Mike Potential Ben Weasel: "As you can tell from the recording, he was a terrible engineer. We recorded the basic tracks without Juggy, who had gotten stranded in downstate Illinois. I had been up all night delivering newspapers and was not in the best frame of mind. When Juggy finally showed up, we had finished everything and were getting impatient. Perhaps we should have cut him some slack, as his guitar is noticeably out of tune with the other guitars on the record... The terrible recording quality combined with the fact that I wrote most of the lyrics while I was drunk make it my least favourite SW record".
 Screeching Weasel Flyers
Spring 1989 Records three songs at Sergay's Recording Emporium: 'I Wanna Be Homosexual' and 'Kamala's Too Nice' (later re-recorded for My Brain Hurts with slightly different lyrics) for Very Small Records' What Are You Pointing At? 10" compilation and 'Slogans' for an all-Chicago bands 7" compilation entitled There's A Fungus Amongus.
  Vapid and Vermin form side-project called Sludgeworth. Screeching Weasel record 'Teenage Slumber Party' for the Achtung Chicago compilation LP and 'This Bud's for Me' for the They Don't Get Paid, They Don't Get Laid, But Boy, Do They Work Hard comp LP. Soon after, Vermin and Vapid quit, and the band splits.
  Vapid and Vermin form side-project called Sludgeworth

Part 2 (1991-1994):

 
Early 1991 Screeching Weasel reforms, after Weasel's band The Gore Gore Girls splits. The new lineup is Weasel (vocals/guitar), Jughead (guutar), Vapid (second guitar), Dave Naked (from The Gore Gore Girls) (bass), and Dan Panic (drums, ex-Ivy League).
1991 Band releases third LP, My Brain Hurts, and a single, Pervo-Devo. The LP is first of the "proper" Screeching Weasel LPs in that it is the first to feature their adrenalised pop-punk sound. It is also excellent. The group begin getting genuinely popular.
Screeching Weasel Flyers
1992 Dave Naked leaves. He is replacd by Gub (then singer of Gauge, and former bandmate with Panic in Ivy League).
1992 Two crappy live EP's are released, Snappy Answers For Stupid Questions and Happy, Horny, Gay And Sassy.
 Screeching Weasel Flyers
ABIOVE: The Wiggle lineup
Early 1992 Johnny Personality (from The Vindictives) replaces Gub on bass. Band records five song demo with Steve Albini recording and Eric Spicer of Naked Raygun producing.
Summer 1992 Album #4 Wiggle is recorded at Sonic Iguana in Lafayette, Indiana. Johnny Personality subsequently leaves. Vapid moves back to bass.
Screeching Weasel Flyers
August 1992 Album #5 Ramones is recorded. Ben Weasel: "Todd from Selfless called during our party for the end of the Wiggle recording session and asked us if we'd like to cover our favourite Ramones album for his label. It was a completely stupid idea, so of course we did it. My favourite Ramones album is actually Leave Home, but we all agreed we could do a halfway decent job with their first album, Ramones. We recorded it at Sonic Iguana in something silly like fifteen hours and mixed it to sound like the first Ramones album (bass outta one speaker, guitar outta the other). It was stupid, but a lot of fun and it marks the only Screeching Weasel album on which Vapid sang lead on a song ('Let's Dance').
Early 1993 Screeching Weasel / Pink Lincolns split EP released on VML, and Radio Blast 7" released on Underdog.
Screeching Weasel - Radio BlastScreeching Weasel - Ramones
1993 Band tours with The Queers, after which they release You Broke My Fucking Heart.
1993 Another split single, Screeching Weasel / Born Against, is released
1993

Album #6 Anthem For A New Tomorrow is released. Ben Weasel: "It's a themed album, modelled largely after Wire's Pink Flag and to a lesser extent, Hüsker Dü's Zen Arcade. But while 'Zen Arcade' told a story, we were trying to show a frame of mind".

Screeching Weasel - Chicago, Illinois, USA
November 1993 Band plays last show (for now). Ben Weasel: "It was a fiasco from the get go. It was in a suburban heavy metal club staffed by uptight mooks who stood in front of the band to make sure nobody danced while we played. The sound was terrible and we got paid a fraction of what we had gotten used to making locally (which was still a good amount of dough...)." By this time Ben has also acquired bad reputation. According to Kill From The Heart: "By now, Ben had become something of a notorious figure in the punk community, not only for his music but his columns in Maximum Rock'n'Roll, which were ranged from funny to outright nasty. Locally, Ben had become an unpopular figure. Many complained that Ben showed no support for local bands. Fall-outs with friends in the scene as well as what's now known as the "Dummyroom Incident", a truly retarded event that happened at the opening of the Dummyroom (a punk rock record store owned by Vindictive's frontman Joey Vindictive and his wife) only served to damage Ben's reputation further. Following a dismal performance at a local heavy metal club in the fall of 1993, Ben and company decided to call it quits a year from that date. This started rumors that Ben planned on turning Screeching Weasel into a studio act, drawing more criticism locally".
Screeching Weasel - Chicago, Illinois, USA
October 1994 After Vapid quits, Mike Dirnt from Green Day plays bass on Album #7 How To Make Enemies And Irritate People. Dirnt also plays bass on one side of the single Suzanne Is Getting Married, with producer Mass Giorgini playing bass on the flip.
1994 Band splits. Weasel, Panic and Vapid form The Riverdales, while Jughead works as a playweight, stage actor and stage director.
Screeching Weasel: How To Make Enemies lineup.
Above: How To Make Enemies lineup. L-R: Ben Weasel, Jughead, Mike Dirnt, Dan Panic

 

Part 3 (1995-2001):

1995 Ben loses job as Maximum Rocknroll scribe after fibe years. Why? Because The Riverdales went on tour with Green Day.
1995 After recording the second Riverdales LP, Jughead and Weasel reform Screeching Weasel.
Early 1996 Ben Weasel marries his girlfriend.
November 1996

Band leaves Lookout! Records and release album #8 Bark Like A Dog on Fat Wreck Chords. The LP was funded by Weasel and Jughead and released prior to signing with Fat Wreck Chords. Lookout! Records instigates lawsuit against SW after SW demands unpaid royalties from the label.

1996 Lookout! Records drops lawsuit against SW when the label changes hands.
1997 Formula 27 EP is released
1998 Vapid and Panic leave. They are replaced by the band's long-time prducer Mass Gioirgini and Dan Lumley from Squirtgun, and guitarist/vocalist Zac Damon (ex-Zoinks) makes the band a quintet.
1998 Band releases Major Label Debut on Panic Button Records, a label formed by Ben and John with assisatnce from Lookout!
August 1998 Band releases album #9 Television City Dream, on Fat Wreck Chords, a harder and faster beast than 'Brak Like A Dog'. The band continue to stay away from the stage.
Screeching Weasel - Chicago, Illinois, USA
November 1998 Beat Is On The Brat, a compilation of previously released material, is released.
May 1999 Album #10 Emo released with same lineup minus Zac, who couldn't record because of school committments. It ios Ben's 'Blood On The Tracks', a breakup album that is much more serious than the usual SW fare. Still, no tour.
Autumn 1999 Another single - Jesus Hates You - is released, containing outtakes from 'Emo'.
2000 Phillip Hill (the Teen Idols) joins a second guitarist and band records Album #11 'Teen Punks In Heat'
2000 Band plays its first live show since 1993, at Chicago's House of Blues.
2001 Band splits for the third time because of Jughead wants to tour and Weasel doesn't. Jughead forms Even In Blackouts and Weasel releases his first solo LP, Fidatevii. Ben and Jughead sell Panic Button to Lookout!

 

Part 4 - Hiatus (2001 - 2009):

2001 Ben Weasel publsihes a novel, Like Hell, about a fictional punk band called Pagan Icons
2001 Jughead publishes Weasels In A Box, a fictionalized account of Screeching Weasel's history.
2002 Ben publishes Punk Is a Four-Letter Word: Columns, Articles and Essays 1991-2002. It is a collection of essays he wrote for MRR.
2003 Ben releases a new Riverdales LP.
2004 Weasel aquires the rights to the band's Lookout! material and licenses it to Asian Man Records.
2004 Ben Weasel, Jughead, Dan Vapid, Mass Giorgini and Dan Lumley play a one-off gig as SW at The Fireside Bowl in Chicago.
2007 Ben Weasel releases second solo LP, 'These Ones Are Bitter'
   

Part 5 (2009-Present):

2009 Ben and Dan Vapid reform SW with new members Simon Lamb (The Ritalins), Justin Perkins (Yesterday's Kids) and Adam Cargin (Blueheels). Jughead is not present. He says (quoted from Wikipedia): "This band playing isn’t Screeching Weasel, because I don’t recall having kicked myself out of the band. So it seems logical that this is not Screeching Weasel".
November 2010 Wikipedia: "Ben appears on Last Call with Carson Daly to talk about his personal problems with anxiety disorders and agoraphobia".
March 2011 SW releases Album #12 'First World Manifesto' on Fat Wreck Chords
March 2011 Wikipedia: "On March 18, 2011, during Screeching Weasel's South by Southwest Festival performance at the Scoot Inn in Austin, Texas, Foster punched the face of a female audience member who had thrown a beer and ice cubes at him, and also spit in his face. As a result a woman on the stage, believed to be the club's owner, grabbed him from behind, and Ben mistaking her for an attacking fan turned around and punched her twice in the scuffle. Foster was then restrained by security and left the venue.[23] On March 22, Foster apologized.[24] On March 23, Punknews.org posted a statement from the four other members of Screeching Weasel, Dan Schafer, Adam Cargin, Justin Perkins and Drew Fredrichsen, announcing their resignation from the band."
March 2011 Wikipedia: "On March 31, Weasel announced the cancellation of "Weasel Fest", a 3-day event in honor of Screeching Weasel's 25th anniversary that had been scheduled to take place at Reggie's Rock Club in Chicago, after many of the other acts on the bill dropped out in the wake of the SXSW incident. In an interview published in July 2011, Fat Mike, owner of Fat Wreck Chords, stated that he had no interest in releasing another Screeching Weasel record, although the label might still reissue the band's back catalog.
March 2011 Joe Queer: "This whole Weasel thing is way out of hand. I mean come on and let's put this in perspective. The chick deserved a punch-unfortunately Ben gave it to her and not some other girl who would have been called a hero-but Ben's a monster. He doesn't advocate hitting chicks. I don't either. But as a lead singer in a punk band I know as well as anyone that sometimes you just fucking lose it with assholes onstage bugging you and causing trouble. This isn't Mother Teresa we're talking about here folks-it's a little troublemaker acting like she's a victim.Yeah I wish Ben had handled it differently-hell I'm sure he does. But everyone knows Ben isn't a guy who beats on chicks. Come the fuck on. You'd think he was throwing Jews in the oven at Aushcwitz the way these people are talking". - as told to The L Magazine
October 2011 A new lineup of SW plays at Reggie's Rock Club in Chicago with The Queers: Ben Weasel, Zac Damon (guitar), (rhythm guitar), Dave Klein (bass) and Pierre Marche (drums)
November 2011 The 'Carnival Of Schadenfreude EP ', recorded in July, is released.
March 2013 Dave Klein splits and joins Black Flag. He is replaced by Zach Brandner.

DISCOGRAPHY

Singles / Albums

Screeching Weasel - Screeching Weasel Screeching Weasel - Boogadaboogadaboogada! Screeching Weasel - Punkhouse Screeching Weasel - My Brain Hurts Screeching Weasel - Pervo-Devo
Screeching Weasel
(LP, 1987)
Boogadaboogada-boogada! (LP, 1988) Punkhouse (7", 1989) My Brain Hurts
(LP/CD, 1991)
Pervo-Devo
(7", 1992)
Screeching Weasel - Snappy Answers For Stupid Questions Screeching Weasel - Happy, Horny, Gay And Sassy Screeching Weasel - Wiggle Screeching Weasel - Ramones Screeching Weasel - Screeching Weasel / Pink Lincolns
Snappy Answers For Stupid Questions
(7", 1992)
Happy, Horny, Gay And Sassy
(2x7", 1992)
Wiggle
(LP/CD, 1993)
Ramones (LP, 1993) Screeching Weasel / Pink Lincolns
(7", split, 1993)
Screeching Weasel - Radio Blast Screeching Weasel - You Broke My Fucking Heart Screeching Weasel - Anthem For A New Tomorrow Screeching Weasel - Screeching Weasel / Born Against Screeching Weasel - Suzanne Is Getting Married
Radio Blast
(7", 1993)
You Broke My Fucking Heart (7", 1993) Anthem For A New Tomorrow
(LP/CD, 1993)
Screeching Weasel / Born Against
(7", split, 1993)
Suzanne Is Getting Married (7", 1994)
Screeching Weasel - How To Make Enemies And Irritate People Screeching Weasel - Bark Like A Dog Screeching Weasel - Formula 27 Screeching Weasel - Bark Like A Dog Screeching Weasel - Television City Dream
How To Make Enemies And Irritate People (LP/CD, 1994) Bark Like A Dog (LP/CD, 1996) Formula 27
(7", 1997)
Major Label Debut (12"/CDS, 1998) Television City Dream (LP/CD, 1998)
Screeching Weasel - Emo Screeching Weasel - Jesus Hates You Screeching Weasel - Teen Punks In Heat Screeching Weasel - First World Manifesto Screeching Weasel - Carnival Of Schadenfreude
Emo (LP/CD, 1999) Jesus Hates You
(7", 1999)
Teen Punks In Heat (LP/CD, 2000) First World Manifesto (LP/CD, 2011) Carnival Of Schadenfreude
(12", 2011)

Extraneous Releases

Screeching Weasel / The Ozzfish Experience - If You Can't Have Fun...Why Bother Living? Screeching Weasel - Kill The Musicians Screeching Weasel - Beat Is On The Brat Screeching Weasel - Thank You Very Little Screeching Weasel - Weasel Mania
If You Can't Have Fun...Why Bother Living? (7", split with The Ozzfish Experience, unreleased, 1987) Kill The Musicians
(CD, 1995)
Beat Is On The Brat (CD, 1998) Thank You Very Little (2xCD, 2000) Weasel Mania
(2xLP/CD, 2005)

Demos / Tapes

Screeching Weasel - 27 Song Demo        
Screeching Weasel
(Tape, 1986)
       

Promos

Moving Targets / Screeching Weasel - Promo 7"        
Moving Targets / Screeching Weasel
(7", split, 1988)
       

Bootlegs

Screeching Weasel - Punk Rock Super Heroes Screeching Weasel - A Screaming Otter! In My Pants! Screeching Weasel / The Queers - Ramones Tribute    
Punk Rock Super Heroes (CD) A Screaming Otter! In My Pants! (CD, 1993) Ramones Tribute
(CD, split with The Queers, 1997)
   

Various Artists

Free Ourselves US Tape 1987 (Folklore Tapes): In The Hospital

What Are You Pointing At? US 10" 1989 (Very Small Records): I Wanna Be A Homosexual / Kamala's Too Nice

What The Fuck? Presents: There's A Fungus Among Us US 7" 1989 (What The Fuck?): Slogans

MRR Presents They Don’t Get Paid, They Don’t Get Laid, But Boy Do They Work Hard! US LP 1989 (Maximum Rocknroll): This Bud's For Me

Achtung Chicago! US LP 1990 (Underdog): Teenage Slumber Party

Blame And Burn US 7" 1992 (Flush): In The Hospital

Achtung Chicago! Zwei US CD 1993 (Underdog): Teenage Slumber Party

It's A Punk Thing, You Wouldn't Understand US LP 1993 (Shakefork): Celena

Chairman Of The Board - Interpretations Of Songs Made Famous By Frank Sinatra US 2xLP/2xCD 1993 (Grass): Chicago

They Came, They Played, They Blocked The Driveway US 2xCD 1993 (WFMU): What We Hate

Punk USA US LP/CD 1994 (Lookout!) My Friends Are Getting Famous

Short Music For Short People US CD 1999 (Fat Wreck Chords): Dirty Needles

Fallen Upon Deaf Ears US 1§0" 1994 (Skull Duggery): Soap Opera

Four On The Floor US LP/CD 1999 (Panic Button/Lookout!): Shut The Hell Up / Punk Rock Explained / Video / Crybaby

God Save The Queers: A Tribute To The Queers US CD 2007 (Asian Man): Danny Is A Wimp

Jennifer's Body (Music From The Motion Picture) US CD 2009 (Fueled By Ramen): I Can See Clearly Now

Wrecktrospective US 3xCD 2009 (Fat Wreck Chords): Cool Kids

Authorities Tribute E.P. US 7" 2012 (Get Hip): Achtung!

Links

SCREECHING WEASEL - Official website

FACEBOOK

WIKIPEDIA

FAT WRECK CHORDS

KILL FROM THE HEART

 

 

You can add stuff and make comments/corrections by emailing me at:

jane@punkygibbon.co.uk

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