The Fayette Citizen-Weekend Page
Wednesday, August 19, 1998
Whippersnapper to perform

Staff Writer

Whippersnapper, the Peachtree City-based punk band with a CD and European tour to their credit, will perform live Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Last Fling. The group is currently on tour with Humble Beginnings, a "Jersey" band also scheduled to play.

During a break from the road, drummer and arranger Pat Kerr and spokesman and lyricist Andy Munn talked about their CD, America's Favorite Pastime, touring and the punk movement.

The group concluded their tour through Germany, Switzerland, Holland and England in late June and pronounced it a successs. "Most of the shows were really good, some weren'tWorld Cup was going on," Kerr said, recalling the mega soccer competition in France. "We went over there to have fun."

"The main point was exposure and distribution," said Munn. The members bought their own plane tickets and shared a rented bus with Strung Out a band from Los Angeles, CA.

"We had a really good show , a lot of people, in London," Munn recalled. "Our label representatives and our distribution representatives were there." Whippersnapper is under contract with Lobster Records out of Santa Barbara, CA. They were picked up by Lobster following a cross-country tour self-designed to showcase their music which began in the southern half of the country and rambled west to California, up to Lake Tahoe and back down to Los Angeles.

Despite a contract, a CD in international distribution and almost non-stop touring, Whippersnapper has not reached its intended level of success. "A lot of kids have a misconception, like we talk to kids in Peachtree City who think we're making a lot of money. We might make $20 after expenses on tours and we're barely able to eat," Munn said. "The big misconception is that if band is touring and has a record out that they've made it. But, with us if we're doing a lot of trench touring, like eating ramen noodles, camping, and we had an opportunity to go out with a few bigger bands in the punk scene, we'd get to a level we'd like to be at. We don't really want to be would be better to be a well-drawing band."

"Things are going really well in one sense, financially it's not going really well, but we call people and they already know who we are, and the name is growing," Munn noted.

Collectively, the band members figure they'll give themselves a five-year window of opportunity to see how far they can go in the music industry. "We want to be able to live off our music," Kerr said. Their genre is decidely different from the trailblazing punk bands like the Class and Sex Pistols.

Munn describes their sound as melodic post punk. "There's more percussion and it's more aggressive."

He said the punk movement "grew out of people who had something different to say with music, than typical messages and they didn't want to just make money. They wanted to make some sort of social change through their message or an artistic statement through their music, so it's a little different."

Autograph seekers and groupies are generally frowned upon by punkers. Munn explained that it's supposed to be "people working together," and "keeping a positive message." Punk bands true to the movement keep ticket prices low and album prices affordable. For instance, America's Favorite Pastime sells for $10 at Backstage Records in Peachtreee City. "We want to keep it low for the kids, especially in this town," Munn said. The album is being distributed to independent record stores internationally.

The songs on America's Favorite Pastime are loud and fast and clean. No four letter words or sexual innuendos appear. "There's no actual profanity on the record. When I write songs, it's (profanity) so oversused , it doesn't have any dramatic effect anymore. I think I can emphasise things better with music or better word structure...I don't always pick the strongest words to say. I don't comment on the political or the personal," Munn said. Instead he prefers social commentary.

"...What I see people doing, things that I know, things that I've gone through with people."

"Most of the songs are general," continued Munn," except for two" Silent Crime deals with rape and molestation in a suburban neighborhood where atrocities occurr and everyone looks the other way. "It's a known injustice, it's silent crime/ that everyone pretends that they can't see/ She's already locked away the memories inside/ and lives in a prison while he walks free./"

Another song entitled Swing Shift examines feelings of frustration felt by Munn when he was working a night shift at a convenience store in Peachtree City. Anxious to get on with his life he writes, "I'm so tired of waiting of waiting, it's somehow frustrating to get it together, get out of this town. "metaphorically speaking, to get out of this state of mind," explained Munn. Ironically, he hopes to work a little at the

store between tours to make a few extra bucks. "I'm running out of shoes," he joked.

Some of the band's members, like Munn and Kerr have been playing together since their student days at Booth Middle School. "We used to play at the dances at Booth," Munn recalls, "back when we were a totally different screaming garage rock band. It was fun. It was a really great thing. I know kids who still remember all that and they'll hear the record and say, 'I thought it was going to be like the stuff you did in eighth grade.'"

They continued playing through their four years at McIntosh High School in one form or another, and now have a some new members and some highly regarded alumni.

The current lineup includes Andy Munn, vocals, Jason Joseph, guitar, Ben Allington, guitar, Andy Bilot, bass and Pat Kerr, drums.

Together they make up Whippersnapper. The name? "It works," Munn said. It's like a little kid. You think of a little smart aleck, talking back kind of kid who grew up in the south... a little whippersnapper.&qu

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