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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The Weird return

    Rebecca Marie Sasnett
    Rebecca Marie Sasnett/ The Daily Wildcat Members of Weird Womb (from left to right), Johnny Saczko, guitarist, Eric Parisi, drummer, and Dakota Pollock, vocalist and guitarist, visit Hotel Congress Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. Weird Womb is playing at Club Congress Friday at 6p.m.

    The Tucson natives who make up Weird Womb might live in New York now, but sometimes it’s hard for them to forget they ever left the Old Pueblo.

    “We’re surrounded by [Tucson] people all the time,” said lead singer and guitarist Dakota Pollock between sips of beer on the patio outside Hotel Congress. Eric Parisi, the band’s drummer, and guitarist Johnny Saczko sat nearby with drinks of their own. Bassist Eric Reeves was expected to fly into Tucson International Airport the following day.

    “Even the people I didn’t like here, I have to run into,” Pollock said.

    The band is one of several scheduled to play at Friday night’s All Souls Procession/Night of the Living Fest Kickoff Party at Hotel Congress. Although the show is free, the band is accepting donations to help offset the cost of the van it recently purchased to take back to New York. This weekend will mark the band’s first time playing Tucson since leaving the state. The members of the punk four-piece grew up as friends in Tucson, but headed out east separately.

    As a punk band that likes to associate itself with influences like Richard Hell & the Voidoids and The Replacements, it might have seemed fitting for Weird Womb to end up in New York, a city credited as a place of origin for classic punk rock. But as far as the members are concerned, the results would’ve been the same no matter where they were based.

    “We would’ve played the same shit here,” Parisi said, adding that some of the band’s songs — which can be found on its latest 7-inch Ruined By The 90s — were written in Tucson. “If anything, it’s sloppier because we don’t get to practice as often, so we aren’t as tight as we would be in Tucson.”

    The move to New York did come with changes, the most apparent being the struggle the members faced to get booked for a decent show. Just six months ago, Pollock said, the band was playing 3 a.m. slots for local bars. But its luck turned around almost overnight after booking a gig with New York’s Cake Shop, a venue and record store. Weird Womb was given the store’s “new favorite band” designation almost immediately after.

    Although the Southwest isn’t necessarily associated with traditional punk rock, the members said their sound comes from their upbringing in Tucson, pointing to local venues who influenced their creative process, like Phoenix’s Meat Puppets Their style, they added, hasn’t changed since they left.

    “We don’t feel the need to adjust the sound because of where we are geographically,” Parisi said. “If anything, that’s probably going to benefit us more in the end, because no one wants to hear the same sound from every band.”

    Having grown up together and played music together during their teenage years, the members added that they’ve developed a certain level of comfort that remains evident even during shows. That aspect of their relationship will help them as a band in the long run, they said.

    “We talk shit to each other onstage — we tell each other to shut up, and it’s no problem calling each other out because we’re friends, so it’s not a weird thing,” Parisi said. “We don’t have to worry about not being friends.”

    The band is happy to make a trip back to Tucson, and those who brought it here didn’t mince words about what it means to see Weird Womb return.

    “To me, personally, it means a lot because this is the crew who was ahead of me growing up in the music scene here,” said Matt Baquet, the booker at Hotel Congress who booked the band’s performance and the drummer for local band Dream Sick, which will share the stage on Friday.

    “I’ve just seen how special the thing they have going on is and I know they haven’t played Tucson,” Baquet added, “and I would love to have these dudes show us what they’ve been doing for the past few years.”

    With friends in nearly every other band scheduled to play, the members of Weird Womb said it’ll be more than an average show.

    “It’s going to be like a family reunion,” Parisi said.

    Follow Kyle Mittan @KyleMittan

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