About the Mess

About the Mess doesn’t have time for the rock star bullshit, they’re too busy writing killer songs.

Their pop-influenced, hard rocking brand of punk rock reflects a no-nonsense attitude from three guys who would rather write great music and put on high-energy shows than deal with the needless trappings of fashion punk and the Hot Topic crowd. Besides, when they all hit 30, they realized they were too old for that shit.

For the grizzled, 30-something veterans of the Chicago music scene, it’s all about making their records sound great and their live shows rock your balls — or whatever you have — off.

The trio (they are currently looking for a permanent bass player) has been rocking your finer Chicagoland dive bars and punk clubs since 2009.

When a band calls on influences as diverse as old school Chicago punk bands Pegboy and Screeching Weasel to video game soundtrack composer Nobuo Uematsu and house DJs Sneak and Mark Farina, one doesn’t expect the kind of straight-forward, no bullshit rock and roll that About the Mess delivers.

Although they came together through a shared love of punk rock, About the Mess is  much more than three chords and a snotty chorus. The band blends elements of late ’90s pop punk with some straight-up rock and roll, churning out a melodic yet hard driving sound that could only be described as some Frankensteinian (did we just invent a word?) bastard child of the Foo Fighters and Face to Face.

Joe Mizzi (guitars, lead vocals) belts out his often very personal and nostalgic lyrics with distinctive grit. Drummer Mark Gustafson, who founded the band with a friend from his home town, provides a solid backbeat to Mizzi and fellow guitarist Adam Instefjord’s melodies.

Before joining About the Mess, Mizzi led Detroit punk trio Ten Ninety and contributed backing vocals and guitars to Common Rider’s 2002 album This is Unity Music and joined the band on the subsequent tour.

Gustafson and Instefjord also have a wealth of experience in the Chicago music scene. Instefjord previously played in Chicago punk outfit Searching for Sunlight and is currently in alt/rock band Lights Alive.

About the Mess released their first EP, Anthem of Imperfection, in 2010. They will release a split 7″ with Detroit’s Seized Up in June.

WHOA! Releases:


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