Music » Band of the Week

Band of the Week: Archie and the Bunkers

Concert Preview



Meet the Band: Emmett (drums, vocals) and Cullen (organ, vocals)

Straight Outta the Basement: The local group, which consists of teenage brothers Emmett and Cullen O'Connor on keys and vocals, formed in 2013. "My brother Cullen was playing bass at the time and we wanted to start a band," says Emmett. "We were looking for a guitarist and went through different guitarists. It wasn't working out. Cullen wanted to start on keys. I didn't think it would work. But then we heard the Screamers, an old L.A. punk band that had no guitars or bass guitars, and we thought we could do it." The two guys began recording music in their basement and self-produced their first two EPs (Comrade X and Trade Winds). "We bought some mics and an interface and went with it," says Cullen when asked about the basement sessions. "Our computer was old that it cut out midway through recording a song so we often had to record things over and over."

A Range of Influences: Influences range from jazz organ greats like Jimmy Smith and Richard "Groove" Holmes to punk icons Dead Boys and the Stooges. "We have jazz influences like Jimmy Smith, who's a great organist," says Cullen. "We owe a lot to our parents for getting us into music. We just went into our own directions. We found tons of different bands, and it's been like a tree with all the branches going out in different directions. I don't think anyone our age knows who the Dead Boys are."

Why You Should Hear Them: This year sees the release of their first full-length album. The band sent demos to several labels, but the folks at the UK-based Dirty Water Records were the most excited about releasing the album. The guys recorded 12 songs at Ghetto Recorders in Detroit. Producer/engineer Jim Diamond captured their "HI-FI Organ Punk" sound that Emmett describes as "rock 'n' roll that's been peeled back to its raw foundation." "We've created our own genre," he says. "But we just like to play rock 'n' roll. He says recording at Ghetto Recorders was a blast. "It was really cool getting to do our record there, especially since they're tearing it down," he says. "We drove, set up and recorded pretty much everything. Then, we went back to the hotel and recorded the next day. The next day Jim played us our songs and we liked them." The band is in the process of trying to put together a European tour for 2106. "It's been crazy how quickly people got interested in the band," says Cullen.

Where You Can Hear Them:

Where You Can See Them: Archie and the Bunkers perform with Shitbox Jimmy and Ma Holos at 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25, at the Beachland Tavern.

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