10 Songs that influenced Chicago's Sludgeworth
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Wednesday, May 29, 2024 - 10:19
10 Songs that influenced Chicago's Sludgeworth

Back in late 2022, Chicago pop punk vets Sludgeworth (members of Screeching Weasel) reissued their 1995 Lookout! Records compilation ‘Losers of the Year’ via Red Scare Industries and played Riot Fest the following year as well as a hometown show with long-time friends Smoking Popes. New music wasn't in the works then, but that changed during rehearsal.

“As singer Dan [Schafer] told us, ‘It just happened organically. It felt natural, and the songs felt good," says Red Scare Founder Tobias Jeg.  Marking their first new material in over 30 years, the two-song “Together Not Together” single (b/w “Foundation”) is out now via Red Scare. 

On Together not Together, singer Dan Schafer said, “The title refers to our band. We haven’t released anything new in 32 years, then there’s also a physical distance between us. I think when you haven’t played together in that long, you can return anew. The inspiration for this album can be summed up in one word: Enthusiasm. It was there for all of us. Originally I thought the idea of new music was a terrible idea. But then the guys sent me the music they were kicking around, and words and a melody immediately popped into my head. Those few seconds changed everything. After 32 years since our last recording, I can honestly say I couldn’t be more excited about this release."

We caught up with a band to put together a short playlist with songs that inspired them to pick up an instrument and start a band.

Sludgeworth will be playing a record release party on June 22nd at Beat Kitchen in Chicago. Want to go? Too bad. It’s hopelessly sold out.


Dan: "Naked Raygun's 'Rat Patrol' was one of the first punk songs I learned on guitar and were the band that made me want to take music more seriously.  The “Woah oh oh oh oh oh” was infectious, and I still love it to this day." 





Dan:  "When I was learning guitar, I found that the D-B-A-G chord progression in Cheap Trick's 'Surrender' sparked something in me.  I put my own sense of melody and words over them and found something I thought was pretty cool."





Brian: "Bad Brains' 'I Against I' was something I never heard before: chaos, groove, NYHC 2-step break. I was blown away."





Brian: "Nomeansno's 'It’s catching Up' is the most beautiful display of musical organized chaos."





Dave: "The single note / open string guitar melodies in Dag Nasty's 'Circles' became a big influence on my playing."





Dave: "The simplicity and drive of Agent Orange's 'Bloodstains'. The root of a classic punk song."





Adam: "Slayer is the best band that ever existed.  Plus I learned how to play guitar from playing along."





Adam: "Minor Threat showed me that fast and hard could still be melodic and catchy as hell."




Mike: "The chorus of Samiam's 'No Size That Small' has an insanely catchy hook, and his vocals exude a desperation."



Mike: "As a bass player, the pretty, almost-haunting bass line in Jets To Brazil's 'Sweet Avenue' carries the song, which I found very relatable."


Tom Dumarey
Tom Dumarey

Lacking the talent to actually play in a band, Tom decided he would write about bands instead. Turns out his writing skills are mediocre at best as well.