In the fall of 2005, punk-rock favorites Rocket From the Crypt called it quits after a 16-year run comprised of highs and lows. The DIY troupe had countless shows under their belt, a major label deal, some MTV play and opening slots for major acts like Soundgarden and Rancid. But a music career still wasn’t sustainable for the long-term.
“Interest in the band was waining,” says the band’s charismatic frontman John Reis. “Although we’d come out with new and fresh takes on our rock & roll assault, we weren’t really able to escape our sound, nor did we really want to. Trying to not go broke playing in a band that is seven people playing punk rock that very few people are interested in became hard. It wasn’t something that you could really contribute to raising a family doing.”
Nine years later, the band members are in different places with their lives. They’ve reconvened and will kickoff their first proper U.S. tour tonight at the Casbah in San Diego. After they disbanded, Reis noticed that interest started to pick back up when reunion offers started to come in. “It seemed like people were interested again because we went away,” he admits.
It wasn’t until they reunited in 2011 for an appearance on the popular kids’ show Yo Gabba Gabba, did they really start to take the idea seriously. Reis had a gig as one of the characters, “Super Music Swami,” and the creators finally were able to convince the band to play on the show – they debuted a new, original song “He’s the Chef.”
“We did that and it was fun and we just started talking,” he says. “It snowballed from there.”
Last year, the band played Europe as well as dates on the Riot Fest tour alongside Dinosaur Jr., the Replacements and Iggy and the Stooges. Although there’s not a slew of U.S. dates on the books, the next few months will bring them to both coasts with shows in Boston, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles – and they’re already sold out, months in advance.
“It’s one of those things, the whole time you are in a band you want people to like you and want people to buy your records,” Reis says. “This is what we wanted, even if it’s coming a bit later.”
Still, Reis isn’t ruling out new music sometime in the near future. “We could probably make a pretty decent record, maybe an EP,” Reis says. “[But] it’s not like were in a hurry.”