Photograph by Connor Feimster
From Chicago, Illinois, John Siorek (Drums), Joe Taylor (Vocals), Ryan Rumchaks (Bass), Kevin Maida (Guitar), and Nick Casasanto (Guitar) are taking the pop-punk scene by storm. Featuring high energy stage shows and songs that set audiences to a fever pitch, Knuckle Puck has quickly become a favorite on the tour circuit.
Enthusiasm is catching. An hour before their performance in Cleveland, Knuckle Puck fans lined the street outside the venue. The crowd was already singing and jumping in anticipation of the show they were waiting to see. No one cared that it was raining, they were just enjoying the camaraderie of fellow Knuckle Puck fans. That same excitement is matched by the artists, who have found success in doing what they love. Maida says, “As long as anyone supports our music in any way possible, and as long as we are happy with our music, we don’t have to be the biggest band in the world to be successful. All we need is to be satisfied with ourselves”.
Watch out for the audience. Avid fans of Knuckle Puck are drawn to the spirited music and compelled to take part. In addition to singing and jumping, there is crowd surfing, moshing, and stage diving at the live shows. Maida commented, “We love that kind of stuff, but sometimes it can become problematic when people throw caution to the wind, so to speak. Sometimes people partaking in those things are a little too careless and almost disregard other people’s safety and comfort levels. We can only advise people to do those things in the safest manner possible and to be overly aware while doing them”. Though crowd surfing, moshing, and stage diving are a staple of punk music, it is essential to maintain the safety of those around you, so everyone can have a good time.
Too much information. As a society we communicate through social media, but often forget that it is a public forum. The concept is outlined in lyrics from the song, “Transparency” that reasons, “and all i want is for everyone to be aware of/their own transparency/instead of practicing modesty/you plaster your life on cell phone screens for all to see/I guess you’ll never get it/nothing’s sacred”. While it is always beneficial to speak openly and honestly about our feelings, broadcasting them to the world can diminish the importance. Some conversations are still best when they are shared privately.
So, where is the album? Since 2012, Knuckle Puck has released three EP’s, a split with Neck Deep, and singles, but no full-length album. They prefer to take enough time to write the best songs, and find that music is an ongoing learning experience. There was very little music education at Maida’s high school for a student who played guitar since he was 12 years old. As a full-time working guitarist, he believes there is still much to learn. Maida said, “I feel like I am always striving to be a better musician in general. I’m almost never satisfied with how I play guitar and I feel that there will be a consistent need for improvement in that field”. With their combined dedication to achieve the highest quality music, fans can be assured that when they do release an album—it will be top-notch Knuckle Puck rock.
It’s not a dream. But it can be a dream come true. Music as a career was elusive for Maida. He explains, “Having a career in music always seemed more so of an unattainable dream than an actual career choice for a long time though. It wasn’t until Knuckle Puck started touring more that I realized it became more of an attainable career”. What started as a part-time project, balancing live performances with regular jobs at home, is now a full-time avocation. Knuckle Puck are determined to give each audience their very best and will continue to tour non-stop while simultaneously working on new songs.