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Punk-rock stable Milo Aukerman

Descendents frontman chucks the UCSD science degree and rejoins the band

UCSD-trained scientist Milo Aukerman (glasses) says he got it backward “because music was [my] stable fall-back position.”
UCSD-trained scientist Milo Aukerman (glasses) says he got it backward “because music was [my] stable fall-back position.”

When most people go to college it’s not a huge deal. When Milo went to college it changed the world of punk rock forever. His institution of choice was our own UCSD. Besides hitting the books through his graduate years, Milo Aukerman dabbled in the music scene there as well.

Video:

"Victim of Me"

...by the Descendents

...by the Descendents

“I was hanging around with this band way back, dating back to around ’82. They were called the Insolents. The main singer was this guy named Todd Jacobsen. They were a UCSD band who would play at parties. I became his roommate and I occasionally would sit in on the keyboards,” Aukerman said. “That was me as a freshman in college just wanting to maintain some sort of contact with a music scene.”

Aukerman’s original gig as singer for the Descendents reignited in 1985, before the band once again called it quits in 1987. After that he played in another local outfit, Milestone, while continuing his studies at UCSD — where he met his future wife and received a doctorate in biology. The doctorate led to a career in science that concluded when he was laid off in January.

“I think I had everything in reverse,” Aukerman explained. “When I was growing up, people were saying, ‘Go ahead and do your music thing, but you really need to have a job to fall back on that’s really stable.’ I had it all backwards because music was the stable fall-back position, and science was this unstable thing that I was never going to be able to do long-term.”

Past Event

Descendents and Law

  • Thursday, September 22, 2016, 8 p.m.
  • Soma, 3350 Sports Arena Boulevard, San Diego
  • $28.50

Now that he has traded the instability of science for the stability of punk rock, Aukerman and his fellow Descendents are ready to sell out phone booths worldwide. Their new album, Hypercaffium Spazzinate, is perhaps the angriest record that band has released since Milo Goes to College. Lyrically, the group still seems to harness the high level of frustration that fueled early anthems such as “Bikeage” and “Hope.” This is a new anger, though, one that has aged like wine.

“It’s a particular type of anger, a bitter anger. You just can’t have that bitter anger when you’re younger because you have nothing to be bitter about. You have something to rail against, but you can rail against it in some sort of idealistic way. It’s harder to be idealistic at our age.” Aukerman said.

The Descendents play SOMA on Thursday, September 22.

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UCSD-trained scientist Milo Aukerman (glasses) says he got it backward “because music was [my] stable fall-back position.”
UCSD-trained scientist Milo Aukerman (glasses) says he got it backward “because music was [my] stable fall-back position.”

When most people go to college it’s not a huge deal. When Milo went to college it changed the world of punk rock forever. His institution of choice was our own UCSD. Besides hitting the books through his graduate years, Milo Aukerman dabbled in the music scene there as well.

Video:

"Victim of Me"

...by the Descendents

...by the Descendents

“I was hanging around with this band way back, dating back to around ’82. They were called the Insolents. The main singer was this guy named Todd Jacobsen. They were a UCSD band who would play at parties. I became his roommate and I occasionally would sit in on the keyboards,” Aukerman said. “That was me as a freshman in college just wanting to maintain some sort of contact with a music scene.”

Aukerman’s original gig as singer for the Descendents reignited in 1985, before the band once again called it quits in 1987. After that he played in another local outfit, Milestone, while continuing his studies at UCSD — where he met his future wife and received a doctorate in biology. The doctorate led to a career in science that concluded when he was laid off in January.

“I think I had everything in reverse,” Aukerman explained. “When I was growing up, people were saying, ‘Go ahead and do your music thing, but you really need to have a job to fall back on that’s really stable.’ I had it all backwards because music was the stable fall-back position, and science was this unstable thing that I was never going to be able to do long-term.”

Past Event

Descendents and Law

  • Thursday, September 22, 2016, 8 p.m.
  • Soma, 3350 Sports Arena Boulevard, San Diego
  • $28.50

Now that he has traded the instability of science for the stability of punk rock, Aukerman and his fellow Descendents are ready to sell out phone booths worldwide. Their new album, Hypercaffium Spazzinate, is perhaps the angriest record that band has released since Milo Goes to College. Lyrically, the group still seems to harness the high level of frustration that fueled early anthems such as “Bikeage” and “Hope.” This is a new anger, though, one that has aged like wine.

“It’s a particular type of anger, a bitter anger. You just can’t have that bitter anger when you’re younger because you have nothing to be bitter about. You have something to rail against, but you can rail against it in some sort of idealistic way. It’s harder to be idealistic at our age.” Aukerman said.

The Descendents play SOMA on Thursday, September 22.

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