By Anthony J. Machcinski | Observer Correspondent
The Screaming Females, a fantasy combination of The Ramones’ sound and the vocals of Pat Benatar, hit the Kearny Irish Club on Friday, May 6, looking to please any fans who simply care about the music.
Coming out of New Brunswick, The Screaming Females started in 2006 and will play their 600th show this June.
“I just refused to let music out of my life,” said drummer Jarret Dougherty. “I had almost given up on a shot with a band until I stumbled across (King) Mike (Abbate) and Marisa (Paternoster).”
After talking to the two, who both were in the band Surgery on TV before forming Screaming Females, Dougherty joined the new group and has been along for the ride.
While most bands have an idea of their influences as they begin to produce music, Dougherty and the other members do not have a base for their music. But with both parents being musicians, Dougherty has a great appreciation for the art of music.
“I have yet to meet a fan of music who only likes that genre of music,” Dougherty said, “I grew up around (the punk scene). Punk is about people doing things themselves. I saw that through my parents.”
However, the band has several influences that took shape as it toured around the nation. These inspirations were not only music based, but also helped the band from a business standpoint. This included scheduling places to play and dealing with record labels.
“One of the things that I tell people is that we’re influenced by bands performing around us in the punk scene,” said Dougherty, who listed The Urgs and the Hunchbacks as influences.
Since 2006, the band has been able to tour the world, all while recording four full-length albums. Despite the vast number of places they have played, Dougherty does not need crowds at the bands shows to believe that the performance was successful.
“We just want to play for people who care,” Dougherty explained. “You can play for a dozen people, and if they’re into it, then it’s a great show.”
Dougherty and the band have given their fans a lot to listen to. With those four albums in the books, and the band heading to the studio next winter to do work on a fifth, the Screaming Females have all the opportunity to grow a punk fan base that has died off in the mainstream over the last couple of years.
The band’s music is a blast from times past. As noted, the main vibes that flow from two of their main tracks, “I Don’t Mind It” and “I Do,” come from a mash up of the Ramones’ background music with the vocals of Benatar.
Much like the vocals in the songs, the guitar sounds just as powerful. While the chords are not complicated, they fit into the punk genre. Abbate plays bass, and main guitarist and lead singer Paternoster keeps the guitar parts of the song simple while still managing to create tunes that stick in the mind.
Despite all the places the band has played and how successful they’ve become, Dougherty believes that it is the art behind it.
“We have always preferred playing in places where the people really are about the music,” said Dougherty, who elaborated that small bars and lounges do not bother the band, rather encourage it because of the artwork in them.
The band realizes that success has not come easy to them, but in the end, they are humble about how they got to where they are.
“We’re a hard-working band, we’ve gotten things for ourselves,” explained Dougherty. “We do it because we care about the music and it’s something we believe in.
The Screaming Females will appear at the Kearny Irish with No Pasaran, Ben Franklin, and Eula. Admission is $10 and is open to all ages. The show starts at 8 p.m.