Interview: 88 Fingers Louie

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The Chicago punk scene thrived in the 1990’s with many different bands and styles of punk rock smashing together to create something unique and special. Places like The Fireside Bowl rose to prominence and became legendary, while 88 Fingers Louie stood at the forefront of the entire scene with their perfect blend of melodic hardcore and straight-ahead punk rock. The band is currently gearing up to take the stage at T1 Fest (more information on this festival is at the end of the interview) in Joliet, IL on November 9, 2019, and we had the incredible opportunity to chat with founding member/lead vocalist Denis Buckley about the fest, the Chicago punk rock scene, their longevity within it, if they’re going to be writing and/or releasing any new material soon, and much more!

Film Review: 88 Fingers Louie "Lives"

1. You'll be part of the bill for T1 Fest in Joliet, IL on Saturday November 9, 2019. What are you most looking forward to with being a part of this show?

It’s looking like this may be the last show of the year for us, and I can’t think of a better bill to be a part of. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends, see some family and make some new friends.

2. T1 Fest is all for the benefit of JDRF Illinois, whose mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent, and treat T1D and its complications. What does it personally mean to you to be able to be a part of helping with their cause?

Diabetes is prevalent in my family, primarily on Mom’s side, so I’m happy to play a small part in spreading awareness.

3. On the subject of shows; You opened up for the legendary Dead Kennedys (also on the bill, The Living End) on October 3, 2019. Tell us a little bit about that show. How did the fans take to your music, was it everything you were hoping it would be, etc.

To be honest, we were the opening band that night and started playing as the doors opened. Any band that’s had to do that before can speak to how disappointing that can be. With that said, we got a great crowd about halfway through our set. We met some great folks that night and I really can’t say enough good things about both the Dead Kennedy and The Living End - both legends in my book.

4. You also played some recent dates up in Canada and teased on your socials that you were going to learn some Avril and Alanis for this shows. Did you actually learn to play any of their songs? If so, which ones and how did they go over with the crowds?

HAHAHA, no. Never believe anything I say regarding our sets 😊. We should have learned a dang SNFU song.

5. You’ve opened for a ton of great bands over the years, but is there one band you haven’t shared a bill yet with that you would love to?

There are quite a few actually:  Bad Religion, OFF! and The Flatliners to name 3.

6. Your last album, Thank You For Being A Friend, was released back in 2017. Are you currently working on new music, and if so, when can we expect to hear some of it?

We are working on the idea of thinking about writing. Once T1 is done, we should spend the rest of 2020 working on new music, then we start the process of label shopping…again.

7. You formed in 1993, and except for some years where you disbanded, have pretty much kept everything full steam ahead. What qualities do you feel your music has that has given you this type of longevity in an industry that usually doesn’t see acts last this long?

Honesty. Everything we write – musically and lyrically – comes from a genuine place and I think that has transcended these past few decades.

8. You’ve been a huge part of building the Chicago punk rock scene. In what ways, for better or worse, have you seen it evolve over the years the most?

Just when I think things have stagnated, a whole new crop of bands start up. I know for myself and the others that I came up with in the early 90’s, there’s a tendency to get complacent and bitter about current Chicago music, but it may be more vibrant than ever.

9. Let’s plug someone; which band from today’s Chicago punk rock scene do you think people need to be keeping an eye on, and why?

Superkick and Chance and The Arrow - two bands full of folks I’ve seen and heard master their instruments beginning in high school. Chicago music is good hands with these young’uns.

10. We’re all about helping the next generation at, so we always end all our Q&A’s with this question. What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting out with their first band today?

Don’t listen to old fogies like me!


For more information on the T1 Fest, Click the photo below!


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