08 Mar Just Call Them Iggy Papas: Punk Rock Group Dad Brains Keeps Genre Alive
by Alex Bloom
For those of us who remember spending our teen years wrist deep in Dep and listening to our Discman so loud we now need to activate closed captions to have the slightest prayer of hearing the evening news, the term “punk” carriers a helluva lotta weight.
But today, when you’re more likely to see a pair of Docs strutting a red carpet than a broken-down back alley, when CBGB is little more than a logo on a T-shirt, one can’t help but wonder, is punk still alive?
Well, in Southern California at least, the answer is yes. The band is Dad Brains, an Oxnard/Ventura, Calif.-based band of punk rock dads comprising former members of No Motiv (Vagrant Records), The Missing 23rd (Sessions Records), Creep Division (members of Sick Of It All, Good Riddance, and No Motiv) and The F-ing Wrath.
Just check out their latest song — and video — for “Back To School,” and you’ll be treated to the trenchant tones of frontman Patrick Pedraza as he and the rest of the band show us that the place parents need go to find that rebellious streak we so often ache for, is perhaps simply within.
We had a chance to catch up with Patrick to learn more about Dad Brains; what fuels their fire and ire.
Rockmommy: What inspired the origins of Dad Brains?
Patrick Pedraza: Back in 2017, I became a Dad for the first time. It was everything I dreamed it would be … and more. Lots, lots more; sleepless nights, breast milk on every refrigerator shelf, in-laws coming and going at all hours, and poop everywhere. Oddly enough I was inspired! I’ve been a musician my whole life (a reformed drummer turned singer) and so that inspiration manifested itself musically.
Even in my ‘Dad Brain’ haze, songs ideas and lyrics were pouring out of me. I called up my buddy Matty, who I knew from the punk scene. He’s also a father and knew exactly what I was going through and we started writing songs. We decided to recruit another new daddy, Johnny Boy Crerar and he brought in our bassist Craig, also a dad, and our band was formed and we were ready to rock!
Rockmommy: How did you originally get into the punk genre?
Patrick Pedraza: Well, I grew up in Oxnard, which at the time (and in many ways still is) SOCAL’s punk paradise. One day I picked up the Nardcore comp at a swap meet. Was all over from there on out.
Rockmommy: What does it mean to be “punk?”
Patrick Pedraza: Do whatever makes your heart on fire in a good way and never stop.
Rockmommy: What’s the most punk part of being a dad?
Patrick Pedraza: You’d think fatherhood would be the end of ‘the man’ trying to bring you down. But, not so much. Trust me, getting harassed by a 5-year-old is way worse than being harassed by the cops.
Rockmommy: So, do your kids like your music?
Patrick Pedraza: Yes to laugh at.
Rockmommy: And have you passed your passion for music down to your kids?
Patrick Pedraza: I hope so. My daughter was just hitting my cajon drum with drumsticks. I told her it’s a hand drum but she didn’t care. Punk as heck she is.
Rockmommy: Music has changed a lot since the golden days of the punk era, but the culture lives on. Why do you think that is?
Patrick Pedraza: I think because raw emotional music will always live.
Rockmommy: Your music videos are so fun! What’s your process?
Patrick Pedraza: I usually get an idea in the morning when I’m most creative. I just roll with it. I’m one of those people that tries to finish an idea, whether it sucks or it’s good. Get it done ya know?
Rockmommy: What are your secrets to balancing fatherhood and band life?
Patrick Pedraza: Breathe deeply and do the things that are most important first. Sometimes that means taking care of yourself too.
Rockmommy: Has being a father changed your outlook on life?
Patrick Pedraza: Yes, we live once. Play with your kids and love them.
Alex Bloom is a writer, creative director, musician, and producer — check out his work at alexbloom.net and rock on!