(EDITOR'S NOTE — As fans of their music and with the utmost respect for the way they approach their art, we've been wanting to feature The Abruptors in this space for some time. When we learned they'd be traveling to California this month to record their third album, we figured we found our spot. We're grateful the band — which is preparing for its trip out West and just returning from their appearance as part of a two-day festival in the Hudson Valley — was so accommodating. Their busy schedule notwithstanding, lead viocalist and guitarist Mike Geraci was nice enough to speak recently with 1120 Press. We're thankful for his time. Besides Mike, The Abruptors also includes Toni LaMantia: Lead vocals, keys, saxophone; Alex Schultz: Drums, percussion; and Christian Lee: Bass ... Also, check out at the bottom of this page the band's song 'Best Wishes, Warmest Regards' from their Feb. 2023 release 'Noticeably Cheerless' — Photo Provided.)
1120PRESS: Thank you so much for speaking with us and congratulations on the upcoming new album, which you will start recording in San Jose, Calif. in early November. How’s the band feeling as you guys get ready to head out west, and how long do you guys expect to be recording out there?
MIKE GERACI: Thank you for reaching out! We are extremely excited as we haven't been back to California in seven years. On top of that, we get to record with our hero and friend Mike Park. We should be out there recording for about eight full days
1120: When do you anticipate the new album to be released, and from a creative standpoint, in what way — if any — would you say it might differ from previous material?
MG: Honestly we have no idea. After our last album (which took over 14 months just to be released after it was recorded!) we really don't even bother guessing until we get closer. The best thing about this band is each album is different. This one is no exception. We took a lot of inspiration from our label owner Mike Park and his bands (Bruce Lee Band, The Chinkees) and wanted to do a very organ heavy ska record. It's definitely faster, but lyrically it's very much The Abruptors. One of my favorite things this time was even though myself and Toni wrote all the words, everyone contributed to the music. We all wrote parts to each tune which was something new. It helped keep things fresh.
1120: You guys are recording in San Jose because that’s the location of your label — Asian Man Records. Can you talk about that relationship? It’s a small label on the other side of the country but you’ve maintained that relationship for a while now, so we’re assuming it’s pretty positive.
MG: We met Mike before we even started this band and have been with him since the beginning. We all loved his label and bands growing up, and with the way music is and has been, him being across the country is no different than him being here. He's been a huge part of almost everything we do. He's an amazing friend and mentor. Honestly, we sometimes wonder why he picked us but couldn't be happier he did and has stuck with us for this long!
1120: And you’ll be playing in San Francisco on Nov. 11 while you’re out there. That’s pretty cool. How did that gig come about?
MG: We figured since we haven't been back to California in seven years it would be a shame if we didn't play at least one show. Mike hooked us up with the gig and even called our friend Dan Potthast (MU330) and had him join the fun.
1120: Speaking of shows, after summer ended, the band expected to be done with shows until you went out west, but then agreed to play Oct. 28 in Kerhonkson with Mephistopheles and a host of other bands. What was it about that show that drew you?
MG: I think it was a mixture of things. Mephiskapheles are good friends of ours and it's hard to not want to play with them. The offer we received from the person booking the show was also too good to pass up. We also have been working so hard on this album we all really needed to play a show, get out of the practice space and have some fun with other bands… so all the stars aligned and here we are.
1120: We read an interview from 2019 (‘Reggae Steady Ska’ 2-17-19) in which you said, at the time, you weren’t sure whether a Ska scene existed in Buffalo. Fast forward four years later and now, this summer, we witnessed the first-ever Buffalo Ska Fest sell out pre-event, and a continuing popularity in bands like yours, Working Class Stiffs, Skamagotchi, Do It With Malice, Reggie Childs, etc… What do you attribute that to, and is there a definitive Ska scene here now?
MG: It's truly amazing how in just a few years everything can change, and for the better! When we did that interview we were playing with so many random bands from so many different genres. Now we really do have a ska scene, and an awesome one at that! I don't really have an answer as to what attributed to it. Some reunited, some older bands formed new ones, ska is getting popular again, could be anything. We are just happy to play with such great bands and great people.
1120: What’s on the horizon in 2024 for The Abruptors?
MG: New album, new shows, maybe another tour. We have a lot in the works but you caught us at a time when we can't mention too much yet, ha.
1120: Is there anything else you want to say that we haven’t touched on?
MG: We just want to shout out Riot Squad Media for all the awesome support and shows, Working Class Stiffs, Do It With Malice, Skamagotchi for helping us have a ska scene and working so hard. And to catch us December 15th at Timeless Babez with our friends and super rad band, On The Cinder. We will be playing a bunch of new tunes from the album and all the proceeds from the show go to the Family Justice Center.