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The Pietasters

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Biography

(1990 – present)

In 1990, a bunch of , , and skinhead-types, among them Stephen Jackson, Chris Watt, Ben Gauslin, and Tom Goodin, were attending college in central Virginia. They soon discovered they shared the same love for punk, , , and music. They decided to form a punk rock cover band, The Slugs, whose initial forays were disappointing.

Soon after, a mutual friend, Tal Bayer moved in. He was very much into ska and reggae and suggested that the band play some of the catchy songs that they loved to drink to. It proved to be the direction they needed, as well as an easier style to cover. Soon, The Slugs were skipping classes and practicing for hours to learn songs by Madness, The Specials, Bad Manners, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Skatalites, The Business, and others. Unfortunately, the name The Slugs was already taken and the band needed a new name. Some British neighbors used to refer to the heftier guys in the band as Pietasters, which is British slang for “fat guys”. The name stuck and The Pietasters were born.

A few months later, a similar band from the DC area, The Skunks asked The Pietasters to play a local ska night at a bar in Georgetown. The Pietasters were still rough around the edges, but when you’re in college, quality stage performances take second place to getting free beer. Soon, The Pietasters were playing every dive bar in DC. The manager of one such bar befriended the band and helped them record their first record, The Pietasters, more commonly known as Piestomp.

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