INTERVIEW: Joe Doherty of Jughead’s Revenge, pit master

INTERVIEW: Joe Doherty of Jughead’s Revenge, pit master

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Joe Doherty (left) and Jughead's Revenge

LOS ANGELES, January 20, 2014 — Joe Doherty is the lead singer of the Los Angeles area punk band, Jughead’s Revenge. While there have been some changes as far the lineup goes over the years, Joe has remained the constant. Wells On Music spoke with Joe Doherty last June about the history of Jughead’s Revenge, their current happenings and new Jughead’s Revenge music in the future.

Scroll below the video to read the interview.
Kevin Wells: What bands made you want to start your own band?

Joe Doherty: Poison Idea, The Germs, Circle Jerks, definitely. I grew up in the same neighborhood as Bad Religion and they took me to my first shows when I was really young. That really turned me on to the actual experience of being at punk shows in the 80s. I’d say they played a huge hand in it.

KW: How did Jughead’s revenge form?

JD: I met Joey through a band called Cholos On Acid, who I went to high school with. I was friends with them before that band started. Later on, after they had been together for a year, they got this guitar player, Joey. Me and him kind of got along and his friend Brian could play bass. We just got the idea of jamming together and doing some covers in a rehearsal studio, like Black Flag covers and Circle Jerks and the Germs and stuff. From that, we started writing original stuff. That turned into Jughead’s Revenge.

KW: It is not often you hear a punk band do a surf song that sounds like a surf song, not a punk sounding cover of a surf song. What made you guys want to play surf songs?

JD: We’re into all different kinds of music. I think that’s what really helped us find a formula where we kind of mix some metal stuff with punk stuff and with surf and rock and whatever. The surf stuff, that was one thing we all agreed on as far as doing covers. We all had to agree on whatever band we were covering, whether it was Devo or Rod Stewart or whatever. The Jon and the Nightriders record was something we all really loved and we thought doing Rumble At Waikiki was a good idea. We also did the Go-Go’s and The Ventures. Charlotte Caffey from The Go-Go’s wrote a song, Surfin’ and Spyin’, that The Ventures did and then we covered it on Elimination, I think.

That was something we all liked and we knew we could do it. So, we just went ahead and said, “F**k it.” You know, the funny thing about the surf stuff is that the first time we went to Europe, we were doing these songs because we had to play for two hours and we didn’t have that much material. We were doing a lot of covers. We were doing surf songs and everybody thought that we were totally out of our minds. And then Pulp Fiction came out and we went back [to Europe] the following spring and everybody was like the biggest Dick Dale fan on planet Earth.

KW: Why did Jughead’s Revenge break up originally?

JD: Well, we didn’t officially really break up. We just went on an undetermined hiatus. After the Pearly Gates record came out, we that knew we wanted to tour a lot less. We did, I think, one tour for that in the U.S. and Canada with the Offspring, which was even more bizarre. We just needed a break. Joey and Brian were getting married and then we had the lawsuit thing going on with Archie Comics. We needed a break. So then, we figured we’ll start playing again when the time seems right. For the twentieth anniversary of Unstuck In Time, that was when the time was right.

KW: How did that Archie Comics lawsuit finally work out?

JD: I don’t know, I can’t get too into that. Both us and Nitro [Records] got gouged pretty good.

KW: What sparked the band to get back together?

JD: It was just the time was right to start playing again. We only planned on doing two or three shows for the anniversary of the first record. Those were just small little bar shows around LA. From that, Bad Religion offered for us to play with them for one of their anniversary shows and then other shows came up. Then we went ahead and said, “Okay, let’s start playing until we should stop playing.” We haven’t played for a little bit, anyway. Now the Australian thing came up and it’s time to start playing again.

KW: What is going on with this Australian tour?

JD: It’s a festival tour. I know Less Than Jake and Snuff and Pulley and Off With Their Heads and the Ataris and a lot of other bands are on it. It seems pretty cool. That’s going on at the end of November. We’ll probably end up doing a couple of warm up shows in October.

KW: Can fans in the U.S. look forward to seeing Jughead’s Revenge live this year?

JD: Probably not. I mean, I don’t know. It’s really hard to say. Every time I say that we’re not gonna do something, something happens and we wind up doing it. I say nothing outside of the realm of possibility.

KW: Are there any plans to release any new Jughead’s Revenge songs, perhaps an E.P. or more?

JD: Yeah, we started working on some stuff about a year ago, we haven’t really done anything with that because everybody has just been busy with their bands. I’m the only who is not in like five other bands. It’s hard to wrangle everybody together. Who knows? Maybe next year, probably a 7”.

KW: I hear you cook up a mean brisket. Where can people get some?

JD: Yeah, Smoke City Market in Sherman Oaks. Monday through Thursday, I am there for dinner. Yeah, I barbeque. I’m the pit master there. I do a lot of barbequing.

KW: What else have you been doing to fill your days in the absence of Jughead’s Revenge?

JD: I got into promoting shows with my partner in crime, DJ Organ Donor. We do some metal and punk DJ stuff around LA. We started promoting shows at places like Los Globos and the Five Star and the Down and Out in downtown [Los Angeles]. We’ve been promoting a lot of punk and underground metal shows. In LA with the underground metal thing, there’s something interesting happening with that.

It kind of reminds me of 1992 in LA when being in a punk band wasn’t exactly the coolest thing in the world. There was an underground scene that was really exciting and interesting and that’s kind of what’s going on. So, Organ Donor and I are promoting five shows a month doing that stuff.

KW: Is there anything else you would like people to know about either you or Jughead’s Revenge?

JD: People have been asking about where to find our music because after the lawsuit, a lot of it got shelved. So, what we did was we took all the full length records and uploaded them on the website, which you can download for free. So, basically, you can download all our records for free at All the information about the band is on there, but most importantly, is that we gave away the store three years ago. We can [still sell it], it’s just that we haven’t received a check from record companies in over a decade. We’d rather have the music out there than holding on and waiting for them to send some pennies to us or whatever. So, yeah, all of our stuff is downloadable for free.

Kevin J. Wells is the Sports Editor for Communities Digital News and also writes about Major League Baseball, punk rock music, and food. Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball

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