How much do streaming services pay bands?

How much do music-streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music actually pay artists?

Spotify doesn't pay artists enough

By Sofija Matonis

With intro by Noelle Matonis

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This time of year, with many people posting and sharing their Spotify Wrapped on social media, (stats of their most streamed artists, songs, etc.), many artists and musicians are spreading the word that Spotify and other music- streaming services do not actually pay them a living wage, especially for smaller bands and artists.


Jawbreaker is among the many bands who are taking a stand against music-streaming services like Spotify when it comes to revenue. They recommend listening on their bandcamp page or purchasing physical copies from music stores or their website. The image is a twist on a promotional tactic Spotify used where users can create a fake festival lineup made up of their favorite artists.

To get the most up-to-date data on this topic, I conducted a survey to see what bands and artists had to say about how streaming services affect their revenue. See the results here.

One of our guest writers, Sofija, did some research as well.


Sofija Matonis, Guest Writer:

According to the New York Times, 83% of recorded music revenue is generated through streaming services, yet, we wonder how much our listens account for in artists’ paychecks. Typically, they accumulate less than a living wage.


Bands and musicians make most of their money at gigs, according to, but many have suffered income losses due to the pandemic preventing concerts for over a year. With online performances, many musicians did not have ways of marketing their performance for money, and hence, royalties from streaming services persist.


Even immensely popular bands such as U2 and Metallica make most of their earnings from tours, and only a fraction is squeezed from streaming. According to Business Insider, only 4% of U2’s income (the largest grossing musical act in 2017) came from streaming, whereas 52 million dollars were earned through touring. Streaming services are not considerable money earners for  star musicians, and those local bands trying to make their start are not about to experience a financial boom for those twenty listeners on their first single.


Spotify’s terms and conditions state it will not generate any money directly from artists’ music.

Spotify does not claim any ownership rights in the User Content you post to Spotify for Artists,” says the streaming services terms and conditions. There are no fees to post User Content, nor are deals offered based upon the artist. Although it claims monetary gains belong to the rights holders for the music, no mention of payment is anywhere promised in the agreement.


Though hazy in its promises to pay artists for their music, Spotify is the most popular streaming service in the world, with 350 million users, according to CNN. The service amassed more revenue in 2021 than it had in all the combined previous years of its existence, according to Spotify’s rate does not pay artists directly, but the music’s rights holders, who themselves distribute the earnings after Spotify takes their own share.


SoundCloud’s streaming agreement is far more clear in its conditions and its promise to artists’ rights.


You receive a pro rata share of 55% of net revenue,” states SoundCloud’s terms of agreement. “You are paid for each calendar month within 45 days of the end of that month, regardless of how much you earn.”


“Your money goes to the exact artists you listen to,” says Soundcloud’s website.


However, to receive “fan-powered royalties,” an artist must subscribe to Next Pro. The only free option on Next Pro limits track uploads to three hours, and the paid subscriptions range from $2.50 to $8 and up. Hypothetically, if an artist had less than three hours uploaded on the free Next Pro service, they could make profit for every listen. However, if they want to upload more music, and they do not receive enough streams to cover the subscription bill, the artist has to pick up the tab.


According to the New York Times, the money machine works like this: all revenue from subscribers or ads is held in one “pot,” regardless of who listened to what and when, and this said “pot” is then divided by total number streams for the entire month. One artist receiving 10% of all streams for one month means 10% earned for that artist. One artist receiving 0.000000000000001% of all listens for that month earns 0.000000000000001% of Spotify’s monthly intake. Hence, many artists feel this machine favors trending or popular artists and leaves niche ones in the dust.


The system has another major flaw. Song length and time listened have no traction here. A 17-minute masterpiece equals a three-minute pop hit under this system. The only thing that counts is listens-to-artist ratio. Hypothetically then, assuming each fan runs through each track on an album the same number of times, album A of 60 one-minute songs can gain more percentage points in Spotify’s “pot” than the five twelve-minute songs on album B. For aspiring artists on Spotify, the hopes of breaking big lie in either achieving massive popularity cranking out songs fans are willing to submit themselves to on repeat, or hoping Spotify attains more subscription funds through price hikes, advertisements, or otherwise. But for those with trust in the dedication of their cult fanbases, there is Tidal.


The lesser known streaming service, Tidal, pays artists directly using funds from subscribers to its “Hi-Fi Plus Tier,” where subscribers’ highest listened artist of the month receives all of your subscription funds, according to Tidal provides the number of listens comparative to your most listened artist in case subscribers feel sympathy for other bands. This subscription, however, costs just $2, according to Tidal’s website.


By no means does Tidal’s direct payment provide a salary for musicians based on streaming alone. Assuming a constant number one position on listeners accounts, small-time acts have no hope of subsisting on Tidal for wages.


America’s average rent is $1,326, according to, while the UK’s London average is $1017.45 in US dollars, according to Averaging these to $1171.73, Tidal’s monthly $2 contribution won’t mean much split between the average four band members, assuming each lives in a separate apartment, unless you are one of 2,343 or so superfans hoping to help their favorite American or London artist make rent.


Apple music averages their payments to rights holders to one cent per listen. With 468,692 listens, they too can afford the same rent–that is, if the band themselves are the sole rights owners and are not under obligation to pay off major label companies, producers, etcetera.


According to Pitchfork, Last year, the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) organized protests at Spotify offices around the world. UMAW’s “Justice at Spotify” campaign was launched in reaction to the economic hardship of the pandemic, as Spotify’s company value has tripled, while payouts to artists haven’t changed. Musicians want a penny per stream payout format, but Spotify’s director of economics argued such a model would not provide the company revenue from less-popular artists.


It is no surprise then, that artists typically make most of their earnings from physical copies, merch, or gigs. 



Average Rent by State 2022

Average Rent in London

Bands and Musicians: Making Money from Music in 2022

Coe, Dan

How do musicians make money

Delfino, Devon

Best music streaming services in 2022

Garrett, Ural,users%20and%20150%20million%20subscribers.

Which music streaming service pays artists the most?

May, Steve

Musicians Organize Global Protests at Spotify Offices

Ruiz, Matthew Ismael

Musicians Say Streaming Doesn’t Pay. Can the Industry Change?

Sisario, Ben

Clarifying the SoundCloud Premier agreement





Spotify for Artists Terms and Conditions


Jacques LaMore steps down from Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast

Noelle Matonis takes over as host and producer


Jacques LaMore

Jacques LaMore, the creator of Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast and Kankakee Podcast, has decided to step down as host and pass the torch to Noelle Matonis, previously an intern at LaMore Media. 

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce I’m stepping down as the host and producer of Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast. I’m not sure at the moment if this will be temporary or permanent. What I do know is that I currently, at this time, do not have the time and energy to give Pop-Punk & Pizza listeners and guests what they truly deserve. The truth is, Kankakee Podcast, the other podcast that I host and produce under LaMore Media L.L.C., has become front and center and demands more of my attention. I did not come to this decision lightly. I’ve spent the past several months thinking about it and the only conclusion I can come up with at this moment is to step aside. I can’t express how hard it is to make this decision,” says Jacques LaMore.

Jacques LaMore

“The good news is that Pop-Punk & Pizza will live on with a new host and producer, Noelle Matonis. When I first met Noelle back in September, I noticed right away just how passionate she was about not only the pop punk scene but the alternative scene as a whole. I could just feel her positivity and excitement when she became our intern. The first assignment for Noelle was helping us cover Riot Fest in Chicago and she did a tremendous job. When I expressed to her that I could no longer carry on being the host of Pop-Punk & Pizza, she quickly spoke up and said, ‘I can host the show for you!’ Noelle is a go-getter and that’s one of her best qualities. I didn’t hesitate with my response to her. I told her yes right away.”

Jacques LaMore

“While I’m sad I won’t be with you while talking with some of the best bands in the world over pizza, I feel comforted to know Pop-Punk & Pizza will be carried on into the next generation with Noelle as its guide. As of now, I will still be around in some fashion. I still own the rights to the podcast. Noelle has just become the new face of it and I’m excited to see what she will do with it.”

“No matter what the future holds, Pop-Punk & Pizza will always be my heart and soul. I’m so grateful for all the opportunities and chances it brought me. I’ve learned so much from hosting and producing this show. Thank you to all the bands, publicists, managers, venues, and most importantly to you, the listeners, for your neverending support. You will forever have a place in my heart. I’m now asking you to support Noelle as she becomes the new face behind Pop-Punk & Pizza. Please, give her a chance, just as you gave me a chance when I started six years ago.”

Jacques LaMore

About Noelle Matonis: Noelle has worked as a DJ and the Assistant Promotions Director at North Central College’s radio station, WONC FM 89.1 in Naperville, as well as created and hosted her own specialty show from the ground up, called Vocal Distortion, on which she played many different heavy genres with screaming vocals, such as heavy metal, screamo, and metalcore, had theme nights, and interviewed bands and artists with a few different co-hosts. She also ran the social media for this specialty show. 

Noelle stated, “I am very excited to be the new host of the Pop Punk & Pizza Podcast, and I’m looking forward to new experiences and connections! I am interested in many other subgenres of rock as well as pop punk, such as alternative, metal, screamo, and more, so I will be incorporating more of that into our content going forward.”

From this moment on, all Pop-Punk & Pizza inquiries can be directed to Noelle Matonis:

Also feel free to follow her on social media: 

Instagram: @noelleturtlez16

Twitter: @noellewiththe_e


Riot Fest 2022 Preview with Kevin Andrew of Guardrail

Hello. I’m Kevin Andrew. I sing in the Chicago-based pop-punk (or “diet punk”) band Guardrail. This is my first write-up for the Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast, and what better topic than this upcoming weekend’s Riot Fest


I’ve been going to this fest since 2012. It’s always been an absolute blast, and this year is looking like no exception. In this presentation, I’ll be giving my artist recommendations for this year. Well, a rundown of the artists I’m trying to catch at least. I’ll tell you why I like them, and give a song I like as well. Before you start yelling at me like “What about *band name*?!” just know that the lineup is absolutely fucking stacked, and I’m only one boy. There are definitely some bands I’m gonna have to skip out on, and I’ll be crying by myself in the shower about it, okay? Here we go.




Sincere Engineer – Roots Stage 12:15

This will be my first time seeing Sincere Engineer since the pandemic. Between the long wait and the fact that the newest album Bless My Psyche absolutely rips, I’m incredibly stoked to kick off my weekend with their set and I suggest you do the same.

Track to check out: “Trust Me”


LS Dunes – Rise Stage 1:00

When the lineup was first announced, this name was a mystery. No music on streaming services, brand new social media accounts. People began speculating online, tracking down clues, and it was finally officially confirmed within the last couple weeks who this band is. They’re a post-hardcore supergroup consisting of members of My Chemical Romance, Circa Survive, Coheed & Cambria, and Thursday. Their only single so far was just released, and it’s definitely cool enough to peak my interest.

Track to check out: “Permanent Rebellion”


Lucky Boys Confusion – Roots Stage 1:25

It’s about time LBC hopped on Riot Fest. Such a Chicago staple, I’m surprised they haven’t played it. When singer Stubhy was on PP&P, he mentioned that they always do the street festivals here, which makes sense given their draw (I’ve actually seen them at Do Division Fest before, so that checks out). Happy to see them on Riot this time around. If you’re coming in from out of town, LBC is the band to see for a fun Chicago experience.

Track to check out: “Fred Astaire”


Foxy Shazam – Rise Stage 2:00

This is one of those bands that, even if their music isn’t your thing, you need to experience live at least once. Known for their wild stage antics (most notably vocalist Eric Nally eating lit cigarettes) and their unique sound (think a modern twist on Queen), they’re definitely a sight to see. I personally haven’t seen them before so I’m making the effort to at least catch half their set before I run to the next band on my list.

Track to check out: “Killin’ It”


Wargasm – Rebel Stage 2:15

This is one of the bands I’m looking forward to most this weekend. Wargasm is a duo from the UK who blend punk, industrial, nu-metal, and electronic genres in a style that makes you want to bang your head one minute and dance your ass off the next. If you’re looking to have an afternoon rager, be sure to catch their set.

Track to check out: “Spit.”


Aviva – Riot Stage 2:30

Shameless self-promotion alert. Aviva is currently on tour with Enter Shikari. My band Guardrail is actually opening the Chicago date on the 24th at Concord. I don’t really know much about Aviva, but I will definitely catch the end of her set to see what she’s about. Her music gives me a Meg Myers or Halsey vibe. Poppy, yet kind of creepy. 

Track to check out: “GRRRLS”


Lagwagon – Roots Stage 3:05

What can I say about Lagwagon? If you’re a fan of skatepunk and hot riffs, then you’re a fan of Lagwagon.

Track to check out: “E Dagger”


Anberlin – Rise Stage 3:15

Anberlin has been a huge influence on me as a songwriter, and was bummed to see them call it quits back in 2014. I went to the farewell tour, only cried a little bit, I swear. Singer Stephen Christian said in interviews that they weren’t gonna be one of those bands who breaks up then gets back together 4 or 5 years later. But lo and behold, they reunited 4 or 5 years later. They just released their new EP Silverline, which to me is a good precursor to this next chapter of the band. I’m also going to their aftershow that night at Reggies, which will be the smallest room I’ve seen them in, so that will be a blast. 

Track to check out: “Dismantle. Repair.”


Destroy Boys – Rebel Stage 5:15

Last summer I was picking up some wings from my favorite wing place Wing Boss (now closed, RIP) and there was a rad song playing in the store. I Shazam’ed it, it was Destroy Boys, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Such a cool raw punk rock sound with in-your-face lyrics. I’m unfortunately gonna have to skip the beginning of Descendents to check them out.

Track to check out: “Honey, I’m Home”


Descendents – Roots Stage 5:15

The first time I ever saw Descendents was 10 years ago at Riot Fest 2012. They didn’t play much back then so getting to see them was a treat, and it was basically a religious experience. I was a skinny little dork back in the day (let’s be honest, I still am), and they were a band that showed me that you didn’t have to be a “cool guy” to be a musician. I related to them in a way that was different to every other band I listened to, and they’ve become absolute legends. I may come out of crowdsurfing retirement for them this year, we’ll see.

Track to check out: “Hope”


The Wonder Years – Radical Stage 5:45

I was really only into this band for a couple albums. Their last few releases haven’t really been my thing. But I’m still gonna be catching the end of their set because they’re a blast to see. A friend of mine recently mentioned that she really enjoys when a band you’re watching is clearly THE favorite band of most of the people in the room. The energy and emotion in a crowd like that is impossible to really describe. The Wonder Years was one of her examples, and I definitely agree.

Track to check out: “Don’t Let Me Cave In”


Alkaline Trio – Roots Stage 7:25

Alkaline Trio in their hometown is just a no-brainer really. One of my all-time’s.

Track to check out: “Demon & Division”


Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg – Rebel Stage 8:00

If I could bring back one band from the dead, it would be The Ramones. So of course I’m gonna sprint over to this stage after Trio to watch as much of this as I can. I have no idea who’s even in the band besides Marky on the drums, but according to their set is just full of Ramones hits, so I am fucking there.

Track to check out: the whole Ramones Mania compilation


My Chemical Romance – Riot Stage 8:30

MCR is one of those bands that I don’t really listen to that much but really enjoy their live set. I’ve seen them twice (on Linkin Park’s Projekt Revolution ‘07 and on the Honda Civic Tour with blink-182 in 2011) and had the best time, so I’m looking forward to experiencing that again. They’re such an iconic band in this alternative scene, and being their first show in Chicago since 2011 means that shit is going to pop off.

Track to check out: “Helena”




Skating Polly – Rise Stage 12:00

I hope I’m not too exhausted and/or hungover to get there by noon, but if I make it I’ll be checking Skating Polly out. Dirty guitars and vocals that are sweet one moment then raspy & screechy the next. 

Track to check out: “They’re Cheap (I’m Free)”


No Trigger – Rebel Stage 1:00

These guys just put out their first full-length album in about a decade. No Trigger has that classic early 2000’s skatepunk sound with lyrics that are zany enough to make me constantly chuckle. Jono Diener of The Swellers drums for them now, and they recorded their new album with his brother Nick during the peak of the pandemic lockdowns while camping on his property, recording guitars outside with long cables going through a window. What a wild last couple years it’s been, right?

Track to check out: “Take Your Time”


Bully – Radical Stage 1:45

There are 4 artists playing at the exact same time that I don’t really know much about but am interested in. Bully is the first I’ll be running to since they start at 1:45. Solid indie-punk sound, singer Alicia Bognanno has a great raspy voice that reminds me of Dead Sara or L7.

Track to check out: “Trying”


The Joy Formidable – Roots Stage 2:00

This band has been around a long time, so I want to see what they’re about. Cool alternative rock sound that wouldn’t be out of place on a bill with bands like Jimmy Eat World or Silversun Pickups.

Track to check out: “Little Blimp”


Charlotte Sands – Rise Stage 2:00

Charlotte Sands is an up & coming artist with a unique voice who I feel could be the next big thing. I’ve been seeing her name everywhere lately (mostly as vocal features on songs by Taking Back Sunday, The Maine, Sleeping With Sirens, and Underoath), so I’m curious to see her do her thing.

Track to check out: “Bad Day”


THICK – Rebel Stage 2:00

I literally just found out about this band a few weeks ago, so I’m stoked to check them out since they’re so fresh in my brain. Solid indie-punk for fans of Sincere Engineer and Cayetana.

Track to check out: “Love You Forever”


Bridge City Sinners – Rebel Stage 4:00

Another band that’s fresh on my radar. Folky Americana crust punk with banjos, upright bass, violins, & washboards that reminds me of bands like Days N Daze, Harley Poe, Larry & His Flask, etc. Definitely a unique band to check out.

Track to check out: “The Devil’s Swing”


Alexisonfire – Radical Stage 4:30

After just releasing their first album since 2009, Alexisonfire fans are gonna be on another level of stoked for this set. Another example of a band I don’t really listen to but love to see live. Frontman George Pettit usually tears away at his shirt throughout their set until it’s ripped into pieces. I wish I had the confidence to do that shit. Maybe someday.

Track to check out: “Conditional Love”


War On Women – Rebel Stage 5:00

I first saw War On Women at Warped Tour a few years ago. I was walking by the stage and had to stop because they drew me in. Singer Shawna Potter’s lyrics about politics, human rights, & feminism are so bluntly straightforward that I remember a venue employee rolling a garbage can past me stopped for a second as well and went “god DAMN!” before continuing his trash journey. I highly recommend checking them out while on your own trash journey.

Track to check out: “White Lies”


Yungblud – Roots Stage 5:15

Yungblud to me is basically the much-better UK version of MGK. I actually watched his livestream show over the pandemic and I was so entertained by his personality. You can find him featured on tracks by Bring Me The Horizon, Demi Lovato, & more. Definitely gonna check out at least the beginning of his set before running to the next band.

Track to check out: “The Funeral”


The Menzingers – Rise Stage 5:15

A friend of mine referred to The Menzingers as “punk rock for your 30s”. I saw them about a week after I turned 30 and was like, “Oh. Yep. I get it.” And I’ve been in love with them ever since. They’ll be playing their album On The Impossible Past in full, which will be a wonderful treat.

Track to check out: “The Obituaries”


Bad Religion – Riot Stage 6:20

I mean, it’s fucking Bad Religion. Need I say more?

Track to check out: “Sorrow”


GWAR – Rebel Stage 7:30

I mean, it’s fucking GWAR. Need I say more?

Track to check out: “Sick Of You”


Yellowcard – Rise Stage 8:30

I was into Yellowcard before they were cool. Yeah I’m definitely being ‘that guy’ right now, deal with it. When “Ocean Avenue” hit MTV and blew up, I loaned my copy of the album to so many kids at school to burn their own copies (remember burning CDs? Fuck we’re old). Wild to see them get back together for a night to play Ocean Avenue in its entirety.

Track to check out: “Breathing”


The Original Misfits – Riot Stage 8:30

I personally never really got into the Misfits. Probably because all the people I grew up with who wore their shirts all the time were assholes. But as a much more open-minded adult, I appreciate their legacy & impact on our scene, and a bunch of their songs have grown on me. So I’m definitely heading over there to check them out once Yellowcard wraps up. They’re playing Walk Among Us in full too, hell yeah.

Track to check out: “Astro Zombies”




The Bombpops – Roots Stage 12:00

I’m pretty sure the first time I saw The Bombpops was at a free Riot Fest pre-show in 2018 with Direct Hit! in a random store in Wicker Park. I waited in line for an hour or two, made some international friends while in line, and right when we all got to the front of the line they said they were at capacity. But once a few people left they let us in, and I had the best time. I’ve been a fan of theirs ever since, and it’ll be great to kick off my last Riot day with them. They have that classic Fat Wreck punk sound that still sounds fresh.

Track to check out: “Can’t Come Clean”


Night Spice – Radical Stage 12:00

Synthwave from right here in Chicago. If dancing is your vibe, start your sunday off with Night Spice. They just dropped a new single this week too, check out the video.

Track to check out: “Plums”


The Linda Lindas – Roots Stage 1:00

This band went viral in early 2021 with the video for their song “Racist, Sexist Boy”, shortly after which they signed to Epitaph Records and performed on Jimmy Kimmel. I feel like they’re this generation’s Bikini Kill (they actually have a cover of “Rebel Girl”) or Lunachicks (who play later in the day). 

Track to check out: “Growing Up”


Joey Valence & Brae – Rise Stage 1:00

There are 3 bands playing the 1:00 slot that I’m interested in, so I’m hoping to at least catch a song or two of Joey Valence & Brae. This is a brand new name for me, and while checking out all the artists I was unfamiliar with, this one stuck out. There’s a huge Beastie Boys influence here, which definitely caught my ear. 

Track to check out: “Underground Sound”


Treaty Of Paris – Radical Stage 1:00

The third band in my 1:00-time-slot-adventure, they play 10 minutes longer so I’ll catch the end of their set. I was into Treaty Of Paris in high school in the Purevolume days, and never got the chance to see them. This one is for teenage me.

Track to check out: “Rollerskates”


Less Than Jake – Radical Stage 3:20

My first real rock show was Warped Tour 2006, where I saw Less Than Jake. I was a teenager wanting to start a band, and no idea what I was doing. Seeing LTJ’s wildly fun set, I was blown away and promised myself that I’d always have as much fun as I possibly can at every show I play. I’ve since seen them play at least a dozen more times (most recently a couple months ago) and they’re always a blast.

Track to check out: “Look What Happened”


Lunachicks – Roots Stage 3:25

This band of rad women started before I was born, and have been pretty much inactive since 2001 (according to the last time they played in Chicago was 1999) until they recently started playing festivals. So it’s an absolute honor to be able to catch Lunachicks this year. 

Track to check out: “Bad Ass Bitch”


Coolio – Rise Stage 4:00

I’ll be honest, I only really know Coolio because of the Weird Al parody “Amish Paradise”. In all seriousness though, Coolio is a hip-hop legend that you should absolutely check out.

Track to check out: “Gangsta’s Paradise”


PVRIS – Radical Stage 4:35

This set will be my late afternoon dance break. PVRIS put out a fantastic album Use Me in 2020, so I’m looking forward to hearing some of those tracks live.

Track to check out: “Hallucinations”


Jimmy Eat World – Roots Stage 5:00

One of the first songs I ever illegally downloaded (ALLEGEDLY) was “Sweetness”. They’re one of those classic bands that never really misses and continues to put out music that holds up over time. Excited for all the singalongs from my teenage years. IT JUST TAKES SOME TIME!

Track to check out: “Work”


Midtown – Radical Stage 5:50

I never ever thought I’d get the opportunity to see Midtown live. They split up before I even went to my first real show, and Cobra Starship was so huge for awhile. Bummed to leave Jimmy Eat World a little early, but I MUST catch Midtown’s whole set. A true staple of the early-00’s emo scene and a bucket-lister for sure.

Track to check out: “Like A Movie”


Sleater-Kinney – Riot Stage 6:05

Sleater-Kinney is a legendary riot grrrl band at this point. Their first record was released in 1995, and they’ve been going strong ever since (with the exception of a few-years hiatus). I started listening to them a lot over the pandemic, since I had more time to deep dive into bands’ discographies, and fuck I have been missing out. Gonna catch the end of their set.

Track to check out: “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone”


renforshort – Rebel Stage 6:15

A renforshort song was randomly on my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist about a year ago. I really dug the vibe of her songs and her voice. She has some really cool, chill, catchy songs in the realm of Billie Eilish. There’s been quite an uptick of solo female pop-rock artists lately like LØLØ, Maggie Lindemann, Charlotte Sands, etc. that are all wonderful and I am fucking here for it. I probably won’t have time but I’m gonna try my hardest to catch a song or two between Midtown and S-K. I’ll run real real fast.

Track to check out: “i drive me mad”


The Maine – Radical Stage 7:05

There’s no other way to put it, The Maine is one of the best bands around. Their songs are so catchy and danceable that their live shows are always a great time with such a positive energy. I’m actually surprised they haven’t played Riot Fest yet, it’s about damn time!

Track to check out: “How Do You Feel?”


Nine Inch Nails – Riot Stage 8:15

I finally saw NIN the last time they played Riot and they were one of the tightest live acts I’ve ever seen. Whether you’re a die-hard, a casual listener, or don’t listen at all, they’re worth watching as you won’t see a more solid band all weekend. I’ll be watching the beginning and ending of their set this year.

Track to check out: “The Hand That Feeds”


The Academy Is… – Radical Stage 8:30

The hometown heroes are back for Riot Fest. While so many local Chicago scene bands blew up (Fall Out Boy & Rise Against for starters), The Academy Is… always felt like ‘the local band who made it’ to me. They grew up in the northwest suburbs where I did; I’m pretty sure their drummer went to my high school (I remember seeing footage of them playing my high school’s battle of the bands the year before I started there). If you’re gonna see TAI, Chicago is the place to do it.

Track to check out: “Slow Down”


This weekend is going to be exhausting (my 33-year-old ass is tired just from writing this), but will be the best weekend of the year. If you see me at all this weekend, be sure to tell me “Guardrail sucks” and give me a high five. See you at the show!


Also, checkout the Spotify playlist I made:


Kevin Andrew

Lead Vocalist of Guardrail/Pop-Punk & Pizza Contributor

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO PREMIERE: Weatherworn “Last Rites”

Weatherworn’s “Last Rites” Official Music Video is the first release of a three-part video series directed by Rory McAllister. It was scripted in collaboration of Weatherworn and McAllister to support the band’s 2021 album Postcards. Weatherworn’Postcards is a tale of grievance, reflection, and acceptance; a continuation of life after death within both matter and memories. The journey begins here.

Follow Weatherworn on social media:

FB/IG/Twitter/TikTok: @weatherwornband

For merch and upcoming tour dates visit:

New Found Glory Announces “Sticks And Stones” 20th Anniversary Tour

New Found Glory have announced they will be celebrating 20 years of their pop punk masterpiece, “Sticks and Stones”, with a U.S. tour featuring Four Year Strong and Be Well! The tour kicks off on May 26th in Franklin, TN with a festival that NFG created a few years back called, BreakFest.

“Sticks and Stones” features some of New Found Glory’s biggest hits such as, “My Friends Over You” and “Head on Collision”. While the album isn’t their major label debut, many consider it to be the record that officially propelled them into the mainstream. “Sticks and Stones” was released on June 11th, 2002 via Drive-Thru Records and MCA.

Pre-sale tickets and VIP packages for the tour are available now at! See you in Chicago?


Much Love,

Jacques LaMore

Host of Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast

When We Were Young Festival Announces Dream-Like Lineup

In case you have been living under a rock and haven’t noticed any of the social media pop-punk and emo excitement, all of our favorite 2000’s alternative icons are banding together for the world’s raddest – and most emo – music festival. The When We Were Young Fest (which, as an elder emo, I feel is perfectly named) is making it’s way to Las Vegas, Nevada on October 22nd, 2022. Headliners for the event include emo-pop royalties Paramore and My Chemical Romance. Additionally, other classic favorites like The Used, Taking Back Sunday, AFI, Avril Lavigne, Bright Eyes, and Jimmy Eat World – just to name a few – are also making their way to the stage.

It should come as no surprise that all of our favorite emo and pop-punk pioneers are emerging from millennial past. From My Chemical Romance beginning their reunion tour in 2019, to Paramore announcing their return to the recording studio this past week, to Travis Barker sprinkling his pop-punk magic over literally anything and everything, it is safe to say (or in this case, scream) that pop-punk and emo are back. 

So, dust off your studded belts and heat up your liner pencils and let us all rejoice for the rawring 20s. 

Presale begins this Friday, January 21st at 10am PST. Go to to learn more.


Lizzie Yolich
Administrative Assistant
Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast

10 Most Listened to Episodes of 2021

Leanor Ortega Till of Five Iron Frenzy, Scooter Smith of Big Smile, Fat Mike of NOFX, and Alfie Roberts of Vampire Money.

10 Most Listened to Episodes of 2021

2021 has been another incredible year for Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast and I have YOU to thank for it. When I say you, I mean all of our sponsors, guests, managers, publicists, labels and most importantly, our listeners! I’m incredibly thankful for all of your love and support this past year.

Here’s a list of the 10 most listened to episodes of Pop-Punk & Pizza in 2021. Just to be clear, these are NOT episodes I hand picked as my favorites. These 10 episodes have had the highest download numbers this year. Some of them happen to be my favorites though!

10. Luc Gaffwood of Calling All Captains – #166

Photo by, Alex Bemis.

Coming in at number 10 is a great conversation I had with Luc Gaffwood of Calling All Captains about his First Nations heritage in Canada. It wasn’t long after this episode came out that Calling All Captains released their first full length album, Slowly Getting Better, through Equal Vision Records.

9. Alfie Roberts of Vampire Money – #163

Alfie Roberts of Vampire Money was the last episode we recorded in March of this year. Right before we started to livestream every episode. I remembered we dived into Alfie’s obsession with the Halloween season and the bands newest EP, Outcast Club.

8. 20 Years of Sugarcult’s “Start Static” with Marko DeSantis – #183

Having a guest who likes to talk a lot is usually a good thing for a podcast host. I was grateful that Marko DeSantis, lead guitarist of Sugarcult, was one of those people who isn’t shy to tell his story. We talked in length for two hours about Sugarcult’s debut album, Start Static, turning 20 years old and several other stories. I remember one of the memories he shared about the album was that some of the recording sessions were done in the nude! Doesn’t get more pop punk than that, Haha.

7. Chris DeMakes of Less Than Jake along with Wring Out – #173

At this point in the year, I was squeezing two artists onto one episode. I did this because the demand was so high for guests being on the show that I wanted to get as many on as I could each week. So, I would give each guest about 2o to 30 minutes each. Sometimes it worked well, other times it didn’t. This was the second time Chris DeMakes of Less Than Jake was on Pop-Punk & Pizza. I was grateful to have him as a guest again. Especially since he is now the voice you hear singing our theme each episode. The main reason Chris came back on the show as to talk about his first batch of solo songs that he had released along with this book, Blast From The Past, via SmartPunk Records. Wring Out is a heavy handed pop punk band from Virginia Beach. They had just released a new single called, “I Tap 2 and Cast Counterspell“.

6. Scooter & John of Big Smile – #146

Scooter Smith of Big Smile

I was really happy to see that episode 146 with Scooter and John of Big Smile made that top 1o. In my opinion, Big Smile is one of the hardest working bands in pop punk right now. When I think back on this conversation, I remember learning that Scooter and I had actually corresponded years ago with each other when we were in different bands. I was trying to book my band, The Projection, in Ohio, and he was trying to get his band, The Sweet Addiction, in Illinois. What a small world! Big Smile is also signed to Anchor Eighty Four Records, which has had some really killer bands on it in recent years.

5. Ruthcrest and Virginity – #175



Just like Big Smile, Ruthcrest is signed to Anchor Eighty Four Records. When Adam and Charlie were on this episode, they were promoting the acoustic version of their song, “If You Were Here”. It’s a very infectious song that name drops, Blink-182. It was either the day before or the day we recorded this episode that Mark Hoppus was diagnosed with cancer.

The second guests on this episode were Casey, Jim, and Jordan of Florida band, Virginity. I had lots of laughs with them talking about their latest single, “Nosferattitude (The Vampire Song)”. The band released their sophomore album this year via SmartPunk Records.

4. Mike Herrera & Kalie Wolf talk new MxPx single “Say Yes” Ft. RIVALS – #179

Mike Herrera

Kalie Wolfe

Every since I started Pop-Punk & Pizza in 2016, Mike Herrera, has been on my list of dream guests. My dream came true this year thanks for WTF Publicity. Getting to have Kalie Wolfe of RIVALS on the same episode was surely a pleasant bonus! MxPx and RIVALS put out a song together back in July of this year entitled, “Say Yes”. It was an honor to talk to both Kalie and Mike about it. The song surely didn’t disappoint. It still gets stuck in my head for hours on end.

3. Drives The Common Man – #167

Drives The Common Man. Photo by, Tom Hortiz.

This is yet another episode that I’m very happy made it into the top 10 this year. Drives The Common Man is one of the many talented artists that signed with Lost Music Collective this year. I really think he deserves all the success in the world. I truly believe he has the potential to become one of the new faces of pop punk in the mainstream one day.

2. Fat Mike of NOFX – #155

Mike Burkett “Fat Mike” of NOFX.

I never thought in a million years that Fat Mike would be a guest on Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast. I have Melanie Kaye PR to thank for setting up this conversation up for me. Earlier this year, NOFX released their newest record, Single Album, and Mike came onto the show to talk about it. We also ended up talking about his sobriety and the Punk Rock Museum that’s opening soon in Las Vegans, Nevada. I still can’t believe this episode happen. I’ll always be extremely grateful to both Mike and Melanie for this moment.

1. Leanor Ortega Till of Five Iron Frenzy – #148

And now the number 1 most listened to episode of Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast in 2021………Leanor Ortega Till of Five Iron Frenzy! Leanor hands down was one of my personal favorites to talk with this year on the podcast. When Mike Cubillos of Earshot Media sent me an email asking me if I’d be interested in having Five Iron Frenzy on the podcast, I was extremely flattered. I replied to Mike right away and requested Leanor for the interview. I knew she would be fun to talk with and we also needed more females on our roster of guests. The main purpose of the conversation was to talk about Five Iron Frenzy’s new album, Until This Shakes Apart. I do remember we somehow ended up talking about chickens though. I think Leanor had just bought some baby chicks or was about to. A huge thank you to Mike and Leanor for making this episode possible!


As we head into 2022, I’d like to wish you and your family a Happy New Year! Thank you for making 2021 an incredible year for Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast. I hope you know just how grateful I am for your love and support.


Much Love,

Jacques LaMore


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