Joe Occhiuti of Ice Nine Kills is a busy, busy man. In addition to playing bass for INK (and formerly playing keyboards for The Venetia Fair), Joe contributes keys to Nova Charisma, and hosts the fantastic (synonym for awesome) That’s Awesome with Joe podcast. Joe currently resides in LA, but his heart is in Boston. Here are eight underrated bands from the Northeast that tickle Joe’s hemorrhoid:
Big D and the Kids Table
SW: Big O and the INK Table! JO: Hey! I saw Big D at the legendary Hatch Memorial Shell along the Charles River in Boston open for Less Than Jake. SW: I’ve never heard anything more Boston in my life, and we’re just getting staHted. JO: It’s true. Watching Big D play to a hometown crowd outside on a beautiful summer day for FREE was one of the most memorable live shows that I’ve ever seen. SW: I’m a ska-punk diehard, so I wish that I was there with you. Not fuckin’ around. JO: When The Venetia Fair got to perform on select dates of Warped Tour 2011, I made sure that I caught their set every chance that I could, and they NEVER disappointed.
SW: The fact that Antenna didn’t rise to multi-platinum status still disappoints me. JO: I’m more of a Jupiter guy, but I feel you. SW: Jupiter was my gateway drug, but Antenna is one of my favorite LPs from this century. JO: Cave In was one of those bands that all of my friends liked, and I never thought that I was cool enough to be into. SW: You’re onto something here. (pauses) I kid, I kid. JO: (laughs) In college I truly opened up to the band’s discography and listened to their catalog beyond the songs that were mainstays. Not getting into this band during their heyday is a huge regret for me.
The Color And Sound
SW: Wow. Joey Downer. Anyway, I am not as familiar with The Color And Sound as you, so I’ll shut up for a minute. JO: The Color And Sound is one of those bands that I became a big fan of instantly. SW: I feel you. That’s how I was with New England Clam Chowder. JO: I’m not a seafood guy. (pauses) The Color And Sound deserve more notoriety. Don’t sleep on this band. SW: The band may be bruised and battered, but I agree. JO: Such infectious melodies. Such an incredible show.
SW: Speaking of live performances, I heard that this band puts on a set that’s legendary. JO: I concur. And how can you have a list of bands from Massachusetts and NOT include Converge? SW: Hell to pay. JO: Now I know that many people will argue that this band isn’t underrated in any way given its iconic status, but I feel that Converge contributed far more than most people give them credit for. SW: Honestly, you’re right. And all of their fans are superfans. JO: One of the highlights of my music career is playing a show with Converge in Manchester, New Hampshire at Rockos.
SW: I’m glad that New Hampshire didn’t Defeater your spirit. (pauses) Hey yo. JO: Funny. Cringey. Cringey is always funny to me. I love that stuff. SW: I do too, son. Like Converge, people LOVE this band. JO: One of the very first shows that I ever played was with a hardcore band called SLUTS. Sluts eventually became Defeater. SW: #themoreyouknow JO: Travels is still one of my favorite hardcore records to date.
The Dresden Dolls
SW: Speaking of good records, The Dresden Dolls’ self-titled debut is a front-to-back masterpiece. JO: I don’t disagree. If you’ve heard The Venetia Fair at all, it’s probably no surprise that I put The Dresden Dolls on this list. SW: The perfect fit. JO: It would have been perfect if I had the chance to catch the group live more than once. SW: I can two up you. Missed them, missed them. JO: (hums melody)
Therefore I Am
SW: Catchy, eh? The band Therefore I Am is to energy what The Dresden Dolls are to catchiness. JO: These guys were always kings of the scene when I was growing up. SW: It’s no wonder why… (pauses) Get it? JO: Yes. (pauses) Every member of TIA went 110% all of the time. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen them, or how many times I’ve played with them, but their live energy remains a stand out in my book a decade later. SW: Well said. I wish that I had a chance to catch ‘em. JO: Me too!
SW: Now we’re at the end of the piece. JO: Sad! And speaking of sad, RIP Tim Landers. SW: I loved Misser too. Very sad. Anyway, I’ve seen Transit a bunch of times and their fans LOVED them. JO: This band certainly holds a special place in my heart. SW: And now we’re done! JO: Fine by me! (pauses) Get it?