Flogging Molly Bassist Calls Egoista the "Ramones of Denver"

Denver punk trio Egoista is living life in the fast lane.
Denver punk trio Egoista is living life in the fast lane. Courtesy Egoista
Egoista does everything fast. The band formed in 2021, and anybody with two properly functioning ears can hear the breakneck speed with which the Denver punk trio plays, but the group has also been busy banging out new music at a similar pace, with one album per year. Becoming a local favorite through its even faster live shows, Egoista was dubbed “the Ramones of Denver” by Flogging Molly bassist and Monument-based musician Nathen Maxwell after the band opened for Maxwell's new project, Volores, earlier this year. That’s some high praise.

“Marco [Contreras, vocals and guitar] basically started the band in early 2021 and had recorded a record. He had Sam [Stearman] on drums, and they were searching for a bass player. I found them through mutual friends, and as soon as I got down there, everything just clicked. It was like we were playing together for years,” says bassist Todd Daigle.

Records HEYDEY (2021) and Having Fun Is the Gateway Drug (2022) are both great examples of Egoista’s preference for writing short bursts of unadulterated punk rock. For example, the latest release comprises thirteen songs but clocks in at just under nineteen minutes. Yeah, that’s Ramones fast. Both albums will be available on vinyl this year, too.

“It’s kind of cool, because our songs are Ramones-y at times and are fairly short, so we’re able to fit them all on one record,” Daigle says.

Plus, Egoista is hard at work on its third album. Though no release date has been announced yet, it would be cool to put out records in three consecutive years, the bassist adds. At this point, the band has seemed to find its formula for success. He explains that being in a three-piece is “more challenging,” but there are no plans to add another member anytime soon — not that the band needs a fourth musician to round out its sound.

“You can do a lot more melodies and backing vocals with just three people. It makes it more exciting,” Daigle says.

Egoista played 28 live shows in its first year, and has only been playing out more and more since then, including out-of-state concerts. This year, the band is part of the Punk Rock Bowling bill in Los Angeles in May.

“We really hit the ground running hard," Daigle says. "Now we’re concentrating on writing the third record and getting more shows."

For those in Denver, the next chance to catch Egoista live and in the flesh is Thursday, March 9, at The Crypt. Hotel Bar and Your Fine Day are providing support. If it’s your first introduction to the band, prepare to have a good time.

“We are a super live band. We rehearse exactly like we play live. That’s what we truly enjoy,” Daigle explains, adding that the three bandmates are always thinking about the live experience when coming up with new songs, and have “a few longer” offerings on the set list, too. “That’s a huge part of it. ... We like to mix it up and have diversity in our music. We have a couple that tease three minutes.”

Daigle laughs at the mention of lengthier songs. The idea all along, he adds, has been to go out there and figuratively punch audiences in the face with some fun punk rock.

“The thought in the beginning was a lot of people have really long songs and it gets repetitive and kind of boring. People are going to just get a beer and not pay attention after a while,” Daigle says. “We wanted to just be exciting. We were just like, ‘Let’s just write a bunch of short, fun songs.’ That’s kind of how all that started.”

But don’t get it twisted: Shorter songs aren’t necessarily easier to write or perform. Daigle says it’s actually quite the opposite.

“I think it’s definitely incredibly challenging to have originality, as well as if a song is in the same key and has a slow progression, it’s easy to get mixed up," he explains. "For us, I think it's challenging because in our set, we’ll play anywhere from fourteen to eighteen songs. Even though they’re short, it’s a lot to rehearse and learn. Just the order we play songs, as well."

With influences ranging from Motörhead (that’s where the speed comes from) to Rancid, Egoista’s writing process starts with Contreras, who typically brings the bones of a song to his bandmates during practice.

“We’ll start with an idea. Marco is an amazing songwriter, so he’ll bring things to practice, and then we make them fresh every time. We come up with our own parts or changes, or make them so each song is unique,” Daigle says. “That’s just how it’s happening, and we just enjoy it. We enjoy the whole process and just growing and how the songs progress in the studio.”

If fun is a gateway drug to enjoying oneself, then Egoista is peddling some pure, uncut product.

“Our big thing is we like to write catchy, fun songs. When we play live, we want people to have a good time. We always have a good time, and we hope that it translates. The best compliment that we ever get is when people say, ‘You guys look like you’re having an amazing time up there.’ I hope that means you’re having fun as well,” Daigle says. “The world is too serious, so let’s have some fun, play some music, hang out with friends and not make things over-complicated."

Egoista, 8 p.m. Thursday, March 9, The Crypt, 1618 East 17th Avenue. Tickets are $10.
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