With the recent news of Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only agreeing to reunite the Misfits last week, it’s left a slew of aging punks wondering who will be next aboard the reunion train. One name that has been talked about (and salivated over) for years is Jawbreaker, the Bay Area punk trio fronted by Blake Schwarzenbach who broke up 20 years ago and has never publicly performed together since. Now, drummer Adam Pfahler says, the chances are better than ever.
“We did get together and we played when we were doing those interviews,” Pfahler says during a recent public appearance at Giant Robot in Los Angeles, discussing the ongoing production of the Jawbreaker documentary. “Then a couple years ago, I went to New York and Chris [Bauermeister, bass] was in New York seeing his dad, and we all got together and we played. We just went to Blake’s practice space and played a couple of songs just to see if we could still do it. We weren’t sure if we could still do it. We could still do it.”
“I have a recording of it,” Pfahler continues. When I got the recording, I dropped it into iTunes, and I looked at the timing of [each song], and it was exact, almost down to the second, of the recorded versions. I thought it was so insane.I just wanted to see how off we were—like, ‘I was probably rushing the whole time’—but no, it was perfect. That was a real trip.”
All three members of Jawbreaker have stayed musically active in the intervening years, with Pfahler’s new band, California, releasing their debut 7-inch last year. Plus, Jawbreaker songs themselves have been appearing back in the members’ repertoire, with Schwarzenbach playing some chestnuts solo last year and Pfahler recently joining Beach Slang onstage to perform “Boxcar.” So it’s clear the band members still appreciate their catalog—but does that mean they’re willing to take the stage again?
“People always ask me, ‘Are you gonna get back together and play?’ and I don’t know the answer to that,” Pfahler admits. “But they keep asking us, and now at least I know that if we decide to do it, it would be good.”
In recent years, Substream can confirm that Jawbreaker has fielded reunion offers from a number of festivals, including alleged seven-figure offers from Coachella and Riot Fest, but thus far nothing has materialized. Pfahler didn’t hold back when discussing the ongoing reunion rumors, remarking, “[When we got together in New York], we were testing the waters to see, ‘Can we hang out together? Could it be cool? Could it sound good?’ [A reunion] got close, and then something happened. We were really close to doing it in 2015, I think, or 2014. A couple of years back it got real close. There was a bigger band they were waiting on an answer to headline one of those festivals, and sure enough they did it, they took their slot, and it kind of relegated us to the following year, and then the timing wasn’t right the following year.”
“We’ve totally talked about it, and everyone [in the band] is excited about it, but it’s gotta be right,” Pfahler concludes. “It’s gotta be cool. It’s gotta be just right. All the money in the world isn’t gonna make that happen. Everyone’s just gotta be right there with it.”
You can watch the entire Q&A with Pfahler below; the reunion talk starts around the 41:30 mark.