By Noah Hubbell
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Tom Murphy
By Noah Hubbell
By Alex Distefano
By Darryl Smyers
By Jon Solomon
By Britt Chester
From 1993 until their first official split in March 1999, the members of Boss 302 were purveyors of a loose and freewheeling garage punk with soulful vocals. Many who saw them thought they were a sloppy band of hooligans doing their best to take after their heroes, the Fluid. But like that band, Boss 302 never strictly fit into the punk scene because its music colored outside the sonic boundaries of the genre with a humor and sartorial flair refreshingly not in step with the hardcore and pop punk that ruled the day. We spoke with the band about its history and upcoming dual reunion show with the GEDs.
Westword: You guys toured Europe at one point?
Rich Groskopf: Tony, Brad and I went with an augmented version of Boss 302, because we couldn't pass it up, but Cheyne and Garrett couldn't go. It was after we had dismantled, but on the merit of Whatever Happened to Fun?, I got an offer from a French promoter named François, who I'm friends with now, and he said he wanted to set up a tour with us. But it wasn't the official Boss 302. 360 Twist has good distribution over there, and people liked us back then.
Cheyne Bamford: Rock never died over in Europe.
Tony Weissenberg: It was shocking that they even knew some songs. They were calling out songs and, "Yeah...we're not really the band you're thinking of."
What prompted your breakup in 1999?
Garrett Brittenham: I was the first to quit. The scene was kind of a drag. I had to sell my Rolls.
RG: Morale was bad at the time. We did everything we could; we did a great job. We were supposed to not "make it," or whatever that means, but we were supposed to have our moment. It kept not happening, and Whatever Happened to Fun? — we worked really hard on it, and 360 Twist folded. It took forever to get out, and I didn't even get it out before the last show. The label folded in the middle of production, and we had to finish putting out the record on our own.
GB: There was nothing acrimonious about it.
What can we expect from your reunion show?
TW: What we lack in skill, we make up for in enthusiasm.
GB: A small club like the 3 Kings is the perfect place to see us, because it's guaranteed you're going to get beer spit on you and somebody's going to fall down.
TW: I'm going to have Plexiglas around me, but it's going to be black, because black is the color of rock.
What do you want to be remembered for, if anything?
RG: We put out a couple of really good records. We were unique in our time, I think. We were fun when it wasn't necessarily the thing to do then.
GB: I'd love it if in ten years someone came up to me and said, "I saw you when you fell off the stage at the Ogden."