#229: I Am The Spirit


In this episode, I talked with Sam Spaiser of I Am The Spirit about working with producer Kyle Black (Pierce The Veil, Paramore), his new song, how he got started, and more!

Check out I Am The Spirit’s new song Onward & Upward here: https://open.spotify.com/album/4Wvnm3pYAasHLQoeJXExwx Follow I Am The Spirit on socials: @iatspirit 

#228: Brendan B. Brown of Wheatus

Noelle talks with Brendan B. Brown of Wheatus about the backstory of “Teenage Dirtbag”, his favorite Wheatus album, new music, Wheatus’s contribution to Starstruck: A Tribute to The Kinks, and more!

#227: Big Drink


On Noelle’s first episode as the host of Pop-Punk & Pizza, she talks with Big Drink, a heavy pop-punk band from the UK, about their new EP, “It Was Supposed To Be So Easy”. (Photo credit: Big Drink)

Morning In May talk Dead Set Slander, tour with Makeout, and more

Morning In May


Jake, Andrew, John, and Joe from Morning In May, a pop-punk-fused-with-metalcore band based in Cleveland, Ohio, talked with me about their upcoming tour with Makeout, the story behind the song “Jake From State Farm Ruined My Life”, from their upcoming album Dead Set Slander, and more!

Morning In May started out as a solo project of Jake Bartolic, with the EPs Somewhere In Slumber (2020) and I Still Can’t Even (re-released 2021). The band has been signed to ManicKat Records and Needful Things Records in the past, but for this album, they decided to go independent.

When I asked about the challenges of recording this album, Jake exclaimed with a laugh, “Oh my God, all of them! There’s so many!” He went on to explain the challenges they’d had with one of their previous record labels whom he refused to name. “They don’t [deserve] any notoriety at all.” When I asked if there’s a different label they would like to be signed to in the future or if they’d rather stay independent, Jake told me, “I would probably rather stay independent.”

Joe added, “You have all the tools to be able to do everything a record label can do for you.”

Jake continued, “We can go get credit cards if we want. Thats pretty much all you need, pretty much what a label is now. It’s just, ‘Hey we can rack up this amount of money, and hope for the best, and then whether or not it succeeds, whether or not you guys break up, you still owe us money.’ But we’re more pay-as-you-go kind of people.”

From metalcore influences like Kingdom of Giants and The Amity Affliction to pop punk and The Used to Britney Spears, Dead Set Slander is an album you can headbang to as well as dance to.

“We pretty much wrote pop songs in drop tuning. We were like, what tuning does Slipknot play in? So we dropped it all the way down; [and] we were like, let’s write pop songs.”

On top of that, the song titles are great too. The band told me about the story behind “Jake From State Farm Ruined My Life.” 

“It’s stupid, first off,” Jake laughs, “Andrew and I were at a party in LA, and a lot of really cool people were there, so Ice-T from Body Count, or SVU, whatever you want to watch, New Year’s Day, I think Zakk Wylde was there, all these people were there. So we don’t like being just the people in the ‘crowd’, so Andrew and I were like, ‘Let’s take a picture!’ So our manager was there at the time, with a couple of his clients, and we were kind of all together, so we thought it would be cool to take a picture, but more vertical, so we climbed a watchtower, in the venue, that was like a support beam or whatever–it was easy to climb.”

Andrew added, “It was one of those ‘X’ things…like a truss.”

“A truss!” Jake continued, “So we were each other’s support team…in the air. So we got up there, we took a picture, and Andrew went so high that he wasn’t in the picture exactly, it’s just his shoe. So we got escorted out, I don’t like to say kicked out, cause that makes it sound weird, but we got removed, and we thought it was fun. It was cool! And I wrote it, because that’s the reality of stuff, like everybody thinks they’re cool drinkin’ and partyin’ and stuff, but the reality is, you just look like an idiot, kinda dumb, and you’re probably gonna go to the gas station afterwards and get some food. So I was like, why don’t we write a song that’s about the reality of that?”

Andrew added, “But is it not true that literally as a Jake–Jake from State Farm, that commercial– ruined your life? Like, my mom still says that. She’ll be like Jake? From State Farm?”

“Oh!” he nods, “And I wanted to have a fun little title, so whenever I say, ‘Hi, i’m Jake,’ everybody’s like,” he continues in a mocking voice, “‘From State Farm?’ So I hate that…It’s the worst.”

You can watch the full interview on YouTube or listen on Spotify!

Pre-save Dead Set Slander by Morning In May here!

Catch Morning In May on tour with Makeout here!

Noelle Matonis

Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast Intern

#226: Morning In May

Our intern Noelle had that chance to talk with Cleveland, Ohio based pop punk band, Morning In May! They are about to hit the road with Makeout are also releasing their debut LP, Dead Set Slander. The album drops October 14th and the tour with Makeout begins October 20th in Las Vegas.

Pre-save Dead Set Slander now: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/morninginmay/dead-set-slander

Buy tickets for the tour: https://ffm.live/makeout

Much Love,

Jacques LaMore

#225: Destroy Boys – Riot Fest 2022


Destroy Boys have an excellent story about Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day to share with us!


Our Riot Fest coverage today is sponsored by Chicago punk band, The Linden Method, and their new album, Grief, out now via People of Punk Rock Records. Stream the album on your favorite platform and follow @tlmchi on social media. LISTEN HERE: https://fanlink.to/TLM_grief


Much Love,

Jacques LaMore

#223: Lucky Boys Confusion – Riot Fest 2022


Stubhy and Adam of Lucky Boys Confusion join us at Riot Fest 2022 to talk 25 years of LBC and more! 


Our Riot Fest coverage today is sponsored by Chicago punk band, The Linden Method, and their new album, Grief, out now via People of Punk Rock Records. Stream the album on your favorite platform and follow @tlmchi on social media. LISTEN HERE: https://fanlink.to/TLM_grief


Much Love,

Jacques LaMore

#222: Sincere Engineer – Riot Fest 2022

Corn dog pizza with Deanna of Sincere Engineer at Riot Fest 2022! 


Our Riot Fest coverage today is sponsored by Chicago punk band, The Linden Method, and their new album, Grief, out now via People of Punk Rock Records. Stream the album on your favorite platform and follow @tlmchi on social media. LISTEN HERE: https://fanlink.to/TLM_grief


Much Love,

Jacques LaMore

#221: Treaty of Paris


Treaty of Paris rocked the Chicago pop-punk scene hard in the mid to late 2000s. Now in 2022, they are reuniting to play Riot Fest this weekend! Treaty of Paris members Dan Wade and Chris Insidioso join me on this episode of Pop-Punk & Pizza to give us a breakdown of the band’s history.

You can find Treaty of Paris on the Radicals Stage at 1pm this Sunday, September 18th at Riot Fest in Chicago.

Brush up on the band’s catalog on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6Pi99tyF4wXjcmGUvrQN7R?si=Is3PpuAWS86LNfNVGaKWIg

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/treatyofparis

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/treatyofparis_music/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/treatyofparis


In other good news, Pop-Punk & Pizza was approved to be in the press tent at Riot Fest all weekend long! I’ll be bringing you as much coverage as possible with our new intern, Noelle. Thank you to Dan Wade and everyone else at Riot Fest to making that possible!


Much Love,

Jacques LaMore

#220: Take The Reins

Chicago’s Take The Reins stopped by the Pop-Punk & Pizza studio to smash some Monical’s Pizza and talk about their new album, I’m At Your Door. The new record is out now via Flat Aht Records. This episode also includes a live acoustic performance of, “South Side Rules”.


Take The Reins have a record release show this Friday, August 5th at Gman Tavern in Chicago with The Linden Method and Guardrail. Saturday, August 6th the band will play a special set at Siren Records in McHenry, IL. Get more information on both shows on the band’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/takethereinschicago


Buy a copy of I’m At Your Door: https://www.flataht.com/product/take-the-reins-i-m-at-your-door/12?cs=true&cst=custom


Special thanks to Wave Soda for providing delicious drinks! Order yours here: https://wavesoda.com/


Much Love,

Jacques LaMore

P.S. Support the podcast for as little as $2/month: https://patron.podbean.com/poppunkpizzapod