Some bands can seemingly slag it out forever (take the Stones, for
example), while others call it quits, only to later embark on reunion tours (do
we have to name names?). Then there's the Descendents, who have chosen both
routes. The southern California punk band had released four albums when singer
Milo Aukerman took a sabbatical in 1987 to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry.
While Milo was behind the microscope, the three remaining members (former Black
Flag drummer Bill Stevenson, Karl Alvarez, and Stephen Egerton) kept slagging
it with various singers out under the name All. Now Milo's back and the band
has dusted off the Descendents moniker. They've also just released an excellent
pop punk platter called Everything Sucks.
"There's always been an
open door for Milo," says drummer Stevenson. "We never really
unconnected--I mean Milo and me have been best buddies since we were
little kids." He and Aukerman were the band's core members during its heydays
of '81 to '82, and then 1985 up until Milo's exit. During those years, the
Descendents laid much of the ground work for what would eventually be called
pop punk. At the time, Milo's nerdy appearance, his bookish ways (the band's
first album is called Milo Goes to College), and the band's mushy songs
about girls set to punk rock shredding, all combined to earn them the label
"geekcore." After Milo traded in his leather jacket on a lab coat, he stayed in
close contact with the band. "I played some sort of consulting role with the
All guys. They'd send me tapes of their new stuff, and I'd give them input on
it. And also I did backups on Breaking Things, and I've subbed in for
[All vocalist] Chad [Price]."
Earlier this year, Milo was once again bitten
by the punk rock bug...
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