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Posers: “The Realest Punks Don’t Look Punk at All.”

January 6, 2016
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PosersOnline01Text by Elias Morris. Images by Michael Bucher.

“Poser” is a word you hear often when growing up in a certain scene. Everyone has a different definition of what makes someone a poser but there’s a common idea that a poser is someone who pretends to represent things of which they truly have no understanding.

Posers, the band, are made up of self-proclaimed outsiders of the Philadelphia punk scene, consisting of musicians who are straightforward in discussing what being a poser means to them.

“It’s kind of a jab at the current state of the scene,” bassist Johnny Mick says of the band’s choice of name.

Mick and guitarist Rory Cain are both from southern New Jersey, growing up in the suburbs of the city but always embracing the punk scene over the bridge as their own. Singer Jade Baisa is a native of St. Louis who moved to Philadelphia in 2013. Drummer Brian Bullock has been a staple in the punk scene for years, easily spotted at countless shows, churning out plenty of music aside from Posers.

Although they have yet to release any physical albums (they do have plans for a fall release and regional tour), Posers have already garnered a reputation for being nonconformist and outspoken.

“To some people, not being from the city makes you a poser by default,” says Mick. “Everybody is content to be doing the same thing, falling under a nostalgia thing where it’s like they’re all playing the same music and most of it sounds like metal. And I’m not knocking anyone. Everyone has their thing that they’re into but I didn’t get into this because I wanted to be like everybody else.”

Their music is void of cliches and stereotypes usually associated with modern punk. The songs on their Bandcamp give a sample of the band’s sound – the self-titled online demo is full of unexpected guitar solos and intricately structured songs.

The music separates them from other punks who claim not knowing to play as a point of pride.

“You can’t be into punk without realizing that you’re doing something a little ridiculous,” Mick says. “No one is born wearing a leather jacket. It’s influence. You take it from everybody. The problem now is that people are mistaking influence with identity. You can’t just live somebody else’s life. You have to take your own individual influences and be an actual person and not just a caricature of what a punk should be.”

“If punks were genuinely all original and all creative, like they’re supposed to be, none of us would look remotely the same,” adds Cain, expanding more on the band’s poser stance. “But we come out in droves in the same thing. The punkest-looking people are the biggest posers. They’re the ones who are full of shit. Usually, the realest punks don’t look punk at all.”

PosersOnline03PosersOnline04Despite having heavy opinions on social and musical trends, the band does not rely on that to sell their tunes. They are musicians who extend their talents beyond the limited frames of punk rock, absorbing influences from proto-punk, glam, powerpop and a variety of more melodic and skillful acts gearing towards the ’77 side of punk rock without full-on imitation. They effortlessly deliver a sound that serves as both new and refreshing, and they’re quick to call their music rock ‘n’ roll before anything else.

Allowing themselves to deviate from straight punk comes with the territory their name suggests. Posers aren’t trying to gain any punk points or fall into any hierarchy.

“It’s so that we’re free musically to do whatever we want,” Mick says. “If one of our songs is too catchy or poppy or not screaming enough or not hating the government enough, then we already warned you that we’re Posers.”

2 Comments
  1. Notapunk permalink
    January 7, 2016 3:17 pm

    Barbary Punks= Posers (with a capital P)

    • January 7, 2016 7:43 pm

      Nothing says punk, like letting rules dictate where you can and cannot go. You are a fucking idiot. We’d love to chat in person about this 😉

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