Californian punk legends THE DESCENDENTS grace the cover of the new issue of our sister mag Big Cheese (no. 132) this month. Here’s an excerpt from the exclusive interview with bespectacled frontman Milo Aukerman about the band’s sense of humour, nerd credentials and the iconic Milo cartoon figure…
Something that makes the Descendents special and that made them stand out from their hardcore and punk peers throughout the years has been their witty, self-deprecating humour.
“We all spent our school years as the uncool kids, having food thrown at us and being teased,” reveals Aukerman. “We not only developed a hatred of the cool kids, but also learned the strategy of self-deprecation as a defence mechanism. Events in our lives that would be embarrassing to others were a source of pride for us. Like Bill getting kicked out of chemistry class for smelling too bad (he had been out fishing). Or finishing a song and not having a single person clap or cheer (“Reverent silence,” I would sometimes say into the mic, to fill the void).”
Fitting with this sense of humour and fun is the iconic nature of frontman Milo due to the cartoon caricature of him that adorns many of the band’s releases in a simple yet striking and instantly recognisable way.
“Another schoolmate of mine, Rodger Deuerlein, used to draw comic strips for fun during school. One of them was about me (I can’t remember what I was doing in it, probably flailing or acting like a nerd). So he came up with the cartoon figure, then when Bill wanted to call our first album ‘Milo Goes to College’, he thought we could use the cartoon. We got another friend (Jeff Atkinson) to draw it, because Rodger had left L.A. to go to West Point. It’s a pretty easy cartoon to draw, and these days I see lots of tattoos of it. Thanks, Rodger and Jeff!”
To read the rest of the feature, including new and exclusive interviews with frontman Milo Aukerman and drummer Bill Stevenson, order Big Cheese by clicking HERE.