Led by the sneering vocals of lead singer Daryl, The Bollweevils are direct inheritors of a Chicago hardcore tradition handed down from acts such as Naked Raygun and The Effigies.
Undisputed as one the finest Chicago punk outfits during the 1990’s, The Bollweevils were, and still are, defined by their spirited live performances and a song catalogue that demonstrates both their roots and creative ability as a band.
Known for their connection with fans, The Bollweevils began their recording career on Underdog Records, but soon were noticed by Dr. Strange Records. And shortly thereafter, the band released the punk staple “Stick Your Neck Out,” which featured favorites such as, “Dehumanize,” “Bottomless Pit,” and “John Doe.” The album defined The Bollweevils sound, which is laced with high-paced drumming, aggressive guitar and bass workings, and witty and sometimes tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Because of this, The Bollweevils soon garnered one of the largest local audiences and became one of the preeminent bands during the 1990s Midwest punk scene.
During this time, the band began playing more shows throughout the United States and shared the stage with bands that were both influences and contemporaries, including Naked Raygun, Rancid, AFI, Pegboy, Down By Law and Youth Brigade—many of which who later appeared on the band’s album liner notes. The Bollweevils’ second album, The History of the Bollweevils, Part One, collects previously released material from EPs and compilations. 1995’s new studio effort Heavyweight boasted a more mature approach, with increasingly complex arrangements and backing vocals.
And although the band went through several lineup changes, The Bollweevils never lost focus on creating an everlasting effect on the Chicago punk scene. Perhaps, one of the best representations of this is their release “Weevil Live.” To see The Bollweevils live is not only an experience, but an assault on the senses and the album surely captures that spirit. The band gels on stage like very few bands can—with Daryl flying around stage and jumping on the audience, Ken and Bob shredding guitars and the fans just eating it all up.
However, like all good things, things had to come to an end and the band officially disbanded in 1996 when they announced, on the legendary Fireside Bowl stage, that they would be playing their last show. To put it simply, fans were not only stunned, but very disappointed as well. At that time, it appeared that The Bollweevils were destined only to become folklore to a new generation of punks.
But in 2003, The Bollweevils reunited for a one-off sold-out show for WLUW at The Metro with a new drummer, Pete. The show, at that time, was considered as the best Bollweevils’ performance to date and whole new generation of Chicago kids were now even more intrigued by the band.
So when the band officially reunited once again in 2006 which included Naked Raygun, The Blue Meanies and 7Seconds, there was a resounding “Hell Yes” by the punk community because unlike many bands who have come and gone, The Bollweevils’ music is as relevant today as it was when it was first written.
The Bollweevils have continued to dazzle the masses, and with new bass player Miguel have been infused with a new energy. Jeff Pezzati of Naked Raygun has said “They are one of the best bands in Chicago right now”. Many fans have remarked that The Bollweevils have not only continued to be great but have gotten better and better. A new 7” will be released in 2015 called Attack Scene with songs Honesty Isn’t so Simple and the anthem The Bollweevil(s).
Since the reformation of The Bollweevils, they have played with the likes of Rise Against, D.I., Pegboy, Youth Brigade, Agent Orange, 88 Fingers Louie, Reagan Youth, Cockney Rejects, Guttermouth, Bad Brains, The Bomb and many more.
- Partly written by Erik Hage, All Music Guide