Laramie, Wyo., isn't particularly known for its punk scene, but that's where pop-punk band quartet Teenage Bottlerocket calls home. The band performs Saturday at 123 Pleasant Street in Morgantown with The Queers, Masked Intruder and Yellowdog Union.
WANT TO GO?Teenage Bottlerocket, The Queers, Masked Intruder and Yellowdog UnionWHEN: 8 p.m. SaturdayWHERE: 123 Pleasant Street, MorgantownCOST: Advance $12, day of show $15INFO: 304-292-0800 or www.123pleasantstreet.com.NOTE: Show is 18CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Arriving in Laramie, Wyo., in their formative pre-teen years, Teenage Bottlerocket's twin brothers Ray and Brandon Carlisle didn't find much of a punk scene. Raised on a diet of skateboarding and the Ramones in their hometown of Katy, Texas, Laramie seemed inhospitable."Skateboarding's a lot easier to do in Texas than in Wyoming because there's not ice on the sidewalk most of the year," said co-founder, co-front man, singer and guitarist Ray with a laugh.There wasn't much skating in Laramie, but the small college town, home to the University of Wyoming, did have a nascent punk scene. Getting in on the ground level and helping develop it set the Carlisles down a path that has their band approaching the level of the punk rock elite.Teenage Bottlerocket performs Saturday at 123 Pleasant Street in Morgantown with co-headliners The Queers, as well as Masked Intruder and Yellowdog Union. Speaking over the phone before a show in Jacksonville, Fla., Carlisle recalled those early, lonely punk rock days in Laramie."Growing up a punk rocker in Laramie, I can say that it was me, Brandon and this dude that we hung out with named Rob who we had a band called Homeless Wonders with back in high school."We were the only three punks in the whole high school," Carlisle said. "And, it seemed that by the time we became seniors, every single one of my friends had a copy of [NOFX's] 'I Heard They Suck Live.' Something happened, and people were in the know."We helped to develop a scene, sort of based around that. Not only The Queers, but Propagandhi, Fat Wreck Chords, NOFX, all these bands, it sort of exploded between the years of 1994 and 1997. And through that, we formed a punk scene in Laramie.
"I don't want to say we formed it completely because before I even went to punk shows in Laramie, Fugazi played there. Firehose played there. Seaweed played in Laramie. So there was some [expletive] going on."It was one particular pop-punk album, released in 1994, that turned the young Carlisles punk for life."Whenever Green Day came out with 'Dookie,' that really stoked Brandon and I on starting a punk band. If there's one thing I can point to and say 'This is why I'm into punk,' it's because of Green Day," Carlisle said.Hearing that a friend's local band opened for the Berkeley-based band in the early '90s showed the brothers that punk bands from Laramie, or, any other seemingly out-of-the way locale, can be discovered. "When we found that out -- that this local band that we're friends with opened up for Green Day -- we felt that all that kind of stuff was real attainable, that, despite the fact that we're from Laramie, let's not count ourselves out."After adding their friend, Lillingtons singer-guitarist Kody Templeman, in 2004, the band took off.
"Kody came on, and we signed to Red Scare [Industries] at about the same time. Everything just seemed to gel," Carlisle said. "The Homeless Wonders and The Lillingtons had played a few shows together. That's really the reason he joined the band, that we were all friends [from then]."So the timing was perfect, and it's been a wild ride since."Teenage Bottlerocket signed to Fat Wreck Chords in 2009. In 2012, the band released "Freak Out!,' its fifth studio effort and second full-length on the San Francisco-based punk label.Carlisle said he and his band mates are pumped about their tour with The Queers and Masked Intruder."We're all stoked," he said. "We're used to being out with bands like Dropkick Murphys and NOFX. This tour is more of a headlining tour. "We're just a little more tightly meshed as far as the genres are concerned. I mean, when you've opened for NOFX, you're kind of going to be playing for people who don't know who your band is, to a certain extent."Whether touring in support of huge punk bands or headlining their own gigs, Carlisle said each show is a chance to make new fans."The way I feel about it, there's two kinds of music out there: good music and bad music. If you give Teenage Bottlerocket the opportunity to play in front of 2,000 people who've never seen us play before, there's a chance that we're going to flop; there's a chance that people are gonna watch us and think 'Man, I'm not into it,' you know? And there's also the chance that people are gonna go, 'Man, I'm stoked! I like these guys. I wanna go buy a t-shirt.'"Given Teenage Bottlerocket's almost improbable ascendance out of Laramie into punk rock royalty, Carlisle said the band will stick to the ethos that have gotten it this far."Not taking anything for granted and having a lot of fun is the goal at this point."Reach Nick Harrah at firstname.lastname@example.org.