We have a New Jersey double-header this episode, featuring Mikey Erg and Brian Fallon!
After years of playing in nearly every pop-punk band there is, Mikey Erg has finally released his first full-length album of original material since Upstairs Downstairs with The Ergs! back in 2007. It’s been a long-time coming, and Tentative Decisions (Don Giovanni Records) does not disappoint. The album is still steeped in anthemic pop-punk, but Erg (real name Mike Yannich), has pushed himself into a number of new directions on his solo debut, from the dark “Scenic Turnout,” to the shimmering 90’s pop of “Song for New Britain.”
Backed by a full band, including Jeff Rosenstock (who also produced the album), and Lou Hanman (Worriers), the 11-tracks that make up this album show the breadth of Erg’s influences, from the jangly pop of Elvis Costello to the energetic buzz-pop of Superchunk. Erg is still writing “Broken hearted love song[s],” but on Tentative Decisions he’s found a number of exciting new ways to channel that heartbreak.
We catch up with Mikey Erg to talk about his great new LP, The Ergs! reunion, how he conquered his long bout of writer’s block, and much more.
We then catch up with The Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon, who has also just released his first solo LP, Painkillers. With The Gaslight Anthem on hiatus, Fallon has returned to his roots, producing an album that owes as much to country and folk as it does to the anthemic punk rock The Gaslight Anthem is known for.
In a fun and self-aware interview, Fallon discusses getting back to basics, moving on from the critical drubbing of The Gaslight Anthem’s last release, Get Hurt, and how Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever inspired the recording of Painkillers.
Mikey Erg’s Tentative Decisions is out now via Don Giovanni Records. For all tour dates, visit facebook.com/Mikey-Erg.
Brain Fallon’s Painkillers is available now. He plays Montreal’s Theatre Fairmount on July 9, with Chris Farren. Tickets are available here. For all upcoming tour dates, visit facebook.com/thebrianfallon.