Doc Rotten: A punk-rock band that doesn’t take itself too seriously

DOC ROTTEN

“We’re 100 percent mediocre,” says Doc Rotten guitarist/vocalist Wes Dzurkoc with a loud laugh. “I’d say we are punk rock but more melodic.”

Born from the remnants of past projects, these Hamilton rockers are a great combination of humble, talented personalities, and attitude. “We were in a band called Too Far Gone,” says drummer AJ Martinez. “When that ceased to exist, me, Wes and Mike (bassist/vocalist Romanowsky) started this band just about a year ago.”

Influenced by a variety of musical genres, styles and players, this four-piece unit has caught the attention of their fans, their families and people all across the country, including Joel Spielman of BlankTV in Oregon, who stumbled upon a video of theirs and instantly took a liking to the band.

“Joel saw our video for ‘Brass Tacks’ and we exchanged some messages and then somehow I wound up calling him,” says Martinez. “I’m really not sure why (laughs) but we had this great personal conversation and we took a liking to him. The best part was that he believed in us and offered us help and wasn’t asking for money for what he was doing.

“One of our main influences are The Bouncing Souls and two days before one of their shows, Joel somehow managed to get us press passes and so we got to hang out with those guys and it was great! The thing was, though: We were supposed to do an interview and get some footage and I totally botched it.”

Romanowsky, Dzurkoc and Martinez say The Bouncing Souls are a major influence on the group. However, they also cite Green Day, Nirvana, Steppenwolf, Social Distortion, the Dropkick Murphys and even Elvis Costello (as a lyricist), as well.

The band’s newest member, guitarist Andrew Kerris, lends a totally different feel to the lineup, bringing a more traditional path to the unit.

“First off,” says a laughing Kerris, “I would like to say that we are actually wildly mediocre and not just mediocre. Let’s get that out there, right away. I listened and still listen to Tom Morello, Freddie King, Segovia and even classical music but then I also really like Bruce Springsteen, too. We have a great mix of influences and Mike and Wes are great songwriters so it all comes together really well.”

As stated, Kerris is the newest member of the band but was very familiar with the group and had no trouble sliding right into the material. The group as a whole never seems to take themselves too seriously and rehearsals are kept light by their unique personas and outlooks.

“Andrew is new to the band but he was very familiar with our material so he picked it up really quickly,” says Romanowsky. “Rehearsals overall though can be pretty hard, especially when two-fourths of us aren’t drunk (laughs)!”

Kerris echoes those sentiments, adding: “There’s more jokes than music and a lot of laughter, which obviously reflects in our performance and contributes to our wild mediocrity. But seriously, come stage time, we buckle down and get it done.”

They have just completed a five-song EP, Fallout, which is available now but they have a release party scheduled for March 30 at the Millhill Basement in Trenton with supporting acts Lamplighters and Cryptkeeper 5.

“We had a six-song EP and this one is going to be five,” said Martinez. “We worked with Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls before and he was really good to us. We just recorded a music video for our song ‘Better Days,’ which was a lot of fun and insane in my house, but we are happy with it.”

The band recently purchased a van and will be hitting the road for a few dates in Delaware, Detroit and Indianapolis before heading home to concentrate on the EP release.

Doc Rotten is a driving, hard-rockin’, fun combination of punk, metal, classic rock, comedy and more, with a twinge of grunge. They are interactive with their fans as well as approachable and likable. All ingredients, when combined, go a long way to creating a successful rock band.

For more about Doc Rotten, visit Facebook.com/DocRottenMusic.

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