For eight years Mikey Erg played drums and wrote a bunch of songs for the Ergs!, a hyperactive punk band born and bred in New Jersey. Since their breakup in 2008, he has spent most of his time touring with other groups as a hired gun. It was a major switch for a musician so accustomed to generating his own material.
...title track off of Mikey Erg's new record
“I just needed a break. I wanted to turn the creative part of the brain off for a while in terms of being a songwriter. I guess the term is I got burnt out on it,” Erg explained.
“Back in the Ergs! days I would write six or seven songs in a clip and then take a few weeks off and then write a few again. That’s always been how it worked, and that’s what I was kind of waiting to happen for all this time. I didn’t want to force it, so I just wanted to wait for that magic moment to happen again.”
Lucky for Erg’s (and Ergs!) fans, the magic moment struck last year, and the fruits of his creative rebirth can be found on his solo debut, Tentative Decisions. The album is a rollicking ride of energetic pop — some may even refer to it as pop-punk. According to Erg, that assessment depends on how you define pop-punk these days.
“If you refer to it as a pop-punk record and mean Green Day, Mr. T Experience, the Teen Idols, then, yes, it’s totally a pop-punk record. I’m afraid that people would hear it be described as a pop-punk record and would say, ‘Oh, I don’t like that type of music,’ if they‘re thinking of newer school pop-punk. Even the pop-punk I just mentioned is old-school pop-punk at this point,” Erg said.
Besides his work as a hired gun, Erg has also enjoyed an interesting Max Weinberg–esque twist to the second act of his musical career. Flip on your TV to Fusion and you might spot him playing drums for the house band on The Chris Gethard Show. The low-budget call-in variety show has a cult appeal and has attracted guests from Sean Combs to ’80s professional wrestler Tito Santana.
- Friday, July 15, 2016, 8 p.m.
4079 Adams Avenue,
Erg recalls that the Ergs! couldn’t deal with L.A. during their run, which worked in San Diego’s favor.
“The Ergs would play [San Diego] over L.A. because none of the shows in L.A. were worth playing for a small band like us,” he explained. “It’s like playing New York. There’s so much shit going on that it’s hard to have a good turnout. So we’d just play San Diego, where we had a bunch of buds.”
Mikey Erg plays the Ken Club on Friday, July 15.