Q&A: Pizza Punkers Little Seizures On Their Old Bands, Good Parties, And The Power Of Vietnamese Sandwiches

Categories: Interviews

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Little Seizures are a one-yearish-old band populated by roughly 80%, uh, wizened local punk veterans. Their howling and chutzpah heave out like a bunch of brats, though, and it's especially evident on their brand-new 7" "Pizza Punk," which bounces around with Johnny Thunders-like riffs, Angry Samoans-like snot, and don't-like-you-like moods. SOTC spoke to them about how they got together, the records they'd save in a fire, and their favorite places to party.

What thinning-out, 3:15 a.m. loft party in Bed-Stuy birthed Little Seizures, and when?

Tommy Perkins (singer): Well, there was a lineup before I joined that was playing under another name, but as for me, Bill asked me to audition a little over a year ago. We had run into each other at Don Pedro's. I was mouthing off about wanting to be in a band, or going crazy singing along to someone playing that night—I don't recall exactly. But the next show we saw each other at I was propositioned.

Bill Florio (bassist): We sat down together at the Lyric diner on Third Avenue in 2008 and decided to start a new band with the exact same people as The Shemps. This lasted a month or so, about the same amount of time it took to digest that meal. We then gained and lost people over the course of 30 odd months, which evoked a name change or two, and moved on to those Korean Delis along Eighth Avenue that let you drink beer in the front window. I think we decided we were Little Seizures in August 2011.

What previous bands did your members have to start and dissolve before Little Seizures got it right?

TP: A few years ago I sang in a band from Connecticut called Guilty Faces. We did a few tours and records, and then everybody went their separate ways. I'm in another band currently, Mutant Genes, also from New York.

David "Squeaky" Wilentz (guitar): The Shemps > The Heart Punchers > Little Seizures. The Shemps singer, Artie, offended everyone by taking off their glasses and putting them on his own face, sitting on their girlfriend's laps and serenading them, getting naked, etc. His obnoxious persona kept them coming back for more. What a charmer. There was one time when he had his arm in a cast and said something funny about Williamsburg when we played a club there. After the set a few guys came up to him mad and threatening about it, all upset that he 'dissed their hood.' He was like, 'So it's the three of you against a guy with one arm?' A few years later Artie quit the band and then said to us, 'but if you guys want to do another band I'm in.' So we decided to start over, changed the name to The Heart Punchers (as in the lethal maneuver of Ox Baker and other classic professional wrestlers), and kept only the new material we hadn't played out yet. Then Artie moved to Chicago but wanted to still be in the band. He rarely came to practice while he lived in New York, so we said fuggedaboudit. We got Joe Dirty from Detroit to sing for a few months. Then he quit, I think because he wanted to go in a different musical direction, though he never made it explicit. Bill talked to Tommy at some show. Tommy had made a name for himself on the punk rock scene from singing in The Guilty Faces, and I suppose also for his own brand of obnoxiousness, albeit more low-key than Artie's. He seemed gung ho and turned out to be a perfect fit. He's one of the biggest music fanatics I know, and that's saying something.

BF: I was in Bugout Society in the 1990s, The Shemps, Lost Locker Combo, and The Kung Fu Monkeys in the 2000s. I currently sing for the house band for the late-night public access television phenomenon The Chris Gethard Show.

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