Pioneers of the late 90’s pop-punk and geek rock movements, Nerf Herder are perhaps best known for their powerful theme to the iconic Joss Whedon TV show, Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Formed in Santa Barbara, California in 1994, Nerf Herder was signed to major label Arista Records soon after their ironic tribute “Van Halen” stormed the Modern Rock charts in 1996. The video for their follow-up single, “Sorry”, featured Mark Hamill and Miguel Ferrer, and played regularly on MTV. Following years saw the band touring the world multiple times, and releasing a number of albums on various labels, including esteemed indie punk label Fat Wreck Chords and novelty powerhouse Oglio Records.
The current band features founding members Parry Gripp and Steve Sherlock, with Linus Dotson and Ben Pringle. Nerf Herder’s 5th album Rockingham is an explosion of geekiness with songs like “At The Con,” a song written after a performance at Atlanta’s DragonCon, “Ghostbusters III,” a lamenting tune about how the sequel will never be released, and “I’m The Droid (You’re Looking For),” which is made entirely of lines from Star Wars and was recorded at Skywalker Ranch. Other standout tracks include “We Opened for Weezer”, a song reminiscing Nerf Herder’s ’97 tour with Weezer, and “The Girl Who Listened to Rush”.
Direct Hit! is a Midwestern punk band influenced in equal measure by The Ramones, The Thermals, Blink 182, and Andrew WK. Founded in 2007, the group has undergone many lineup shifts in its existence while touring the world and recording music ranging from vein-popping hardcore to fist-pumping electronic-tinged pop punk anthems. Signed to Fat Wreck Chords in 2015, Direct Hit’s newest iteration features long-time singers/guitarists Nick Woods and Devon Kay, along with Maura Weaver, Logan Stang on drums, and Joram Zbichorski on bass.
Tightwire formerly named “Drones” started as an acoustic project in 2015 by Paul Kettler. Through playing basement shows and opening for bands at The Triple Rock Social Club and Hexagon Kettler had met Parker Thompson and Tane Graves who joined in late 2016 to complete the three piece idea Kettler had intended all along. From 2016 – early 2018 the three had released two EPs on Bloated Kat Records under the name Drones.
In August of 2018 Toby Jeg (Red Scare Industries) had caught wind of the bands latest demos and offered to put out their first full length later that year. Due to a UK band already having the name “Drones” the band was asked by the label to think of a new name for the band which they did not do. Days before announcing the release of their record and the joining of Red Scare the band decided to start thinking of names most of which were rightfully rejected. Finally deciding on Tightwire after a day of listening to Tiltwheel. In an interview they express their dislike for the name stating “we just needed something that wasn’t already taken. Tightwire is a fine name, I guess. Whatever. If bands like Kiss and pull off a shitty band name, we can too.”
In late 2020, Kettler, decided to leave the band to pursue his masters degree, leaving Thompson and Graves to put off finding a new guitar player for at least a year. Procrastination seems to be a Tightwire tradition.
Finally in July of 2021 the band booked and announced shows with a new line-up. Graves taking over lead vocals and bass, Mullaney and Stolp on guitars, and Thompson still on drums.
In a podcast (They Come To America) Graves announces the band would be releasing their second full length album in early 2023 through Redscare featuring himself and Stolp on lead vocals.
Zoanoids are a Punk band from Kalamazoo Michigan that formed in Spring of 2019. They released their debut album on vinyl in December 2020 through Hey Pizza! Records to critical acclaim. They won the “Best New Band” award in 2020 from the popular Dummy Room Punk Rock podcast.
Punk rock & roll from Athens, GA