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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dads' Paternalistic Pop-Punk

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The founding fathers of Dads—Matt Chic, Tab Man and Jim Zajackowski—are active members of a specific scene composed of local punk bands. These bands play a circuit of basement shows and bars and are more devoted to parties, pizza and fun than political agendas.

“We try not to take ourselves too seriously, and that comes across in our music, too,” Tab Man says.

Tab Man, named for his love of Tab soda, has been in the lineup of several of the scene's bands. He plays drums in Dads and sings in the band Holy Shit!, famous for thrashing through entire sets in less than 10 minutes. He also led Tabman W.K., a tribute to party-starter Andrew W.K. (W.K. gives the band a thumbs up and occasionally chats with Tab Man on the phone).

Matt Chic, on guitar, is a musician and cartoonist. His distinct drawing style on fliers and band merch has helped to define the scene visually. He previously collaborated with Tab Man in a band named Dinosaur Pills. Chic is a dinosaur aficionado, and these animals appear regularly in his art and songwriting. After Dinosaur Pills disbanded, Chic and Tab Man decided to start something new.

Rounding out the trio on bass is Jim Zajackowski, who also plays in the band Uh-Oh. He is a former member of Quest for Fire and Louis Tully. Zajackowski is also somewhat obsessed with the city of New York—he talks about it frequently—and he and Chic have talked about transplanting Dads to the Big Apple sometime in the future.

The band was originally going to be named after the band members' fathers, Ralph, Ted and Greg, but they decided to condense the tribute to simply “Dads.” Influenced by pop-punk and garage rock, the band celebrates simple revelry. Song material is often gathered by sitting around on the couch.

“A lot of our songs come from watching stupid movies,” Chic says. One song, “Secret Window,” is about the film of the same name starring Johnny Depp and John Turturro. The band says the movie “sucks.”

“All the lyrics for that are direct quotes from the movie,” Chic says. “We watched it and wrote down lines we thought were funny.”

Another song, “ID4,” is a CliffsNotes version of Will Smith and mankind's struggle with invading aliens in the movie Independence Day. Other, non-movie-based songs include one describing a unique culinary weapon the band has imagined, titled “Food Gun.” “Change Your Pants (Or You're Not Going Out)” simply chants the song title's dad-like command.

“The only stipulation I gave myself when writing for this band was to not write about girls,” Chic says.

The band is planning a possible East Coast tour in the summer, and maybe a song about the movie Street Kings.

“Aaron Rodgers tweeted once about Street Kings,” Chic says. “He said, 'If you like sweet movies, you'll like Street Kings; it's playing on USA right now.' So we watched it—and it totally sucked.”

“Then we realized Aaron Rodgers is a better quarterback than he is a movie critic,” Tab Man adds.

Dads play Quarters Rock N Roll Palace on March 19 with Nude Beach and Rich People.