“We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” says Andy Social, frontman of The Sheckies, a pogo punk band from Cape May who will play at Skato with Kato, a skateboarding-themed benefit for the Humane Society of Ocean City at the O.C. Skatepark 4 p.m. Saturday, June 4. “I mean, look at us.”
Social is the funny, hefty, self-deprecating guy who makes up one-third of a band that prides itself on being the Abbott and Costello of the pop-punk crowd.
“There’s a lot of living in my songs,” Social says, explaining the inspiration behind some fan favorites like “I Need Xanax.”
While neither the topic nor the lyrics are comical — about a guy who needs Xanax to cope with his life — the
medium with which the story is told masks that negativity with humor and fun. Lots of “sha-na-nas” are weaved in — a blend of an old doo-wop style, but thrown into a punk sound.
The Sheckies don’t really do covers. On the rare occasion they do, they’re paying tribute to other bands that have inspired them — bands like Guitar Wolf or The Ramones. Instead, they have a ton of original material, written by Social with his trademark wry humor. From songs like “Then She Got Married” and “Girls with Boyfriends” to “I’m a Slug” and “Cutmarks,” their likeability comes from their ability to mash semi-devastating topics with a distinctive, upbeat and almost-comical sound.
“If I’m not writing about a horror movie or something that’s cool, it’s about the pain that people go through, about being frustrated,” Social explains, adding, “But it has humor to it … writing songs is a good positive for the negative.”
In the pop-punk world, The Sheckies — who’ve been around since 2004 — have a larger audience base internationally than they do right here in their own country.
“We’re probably bigger in Germany, Austria and Italy than we are here,” Social says.
While their sound is anything but mainstream, they still have a deeply devoted group of ever-growing fans here in the U.S. Part of that is a testament to their performances.
“Usually, people want me to strip down to my tighty whiteys,” Social laughs. “People who come to our shows can expect a lot of not much talking and a lot of fast, fun music being played. We’ll play at least 18 songs that will all run into each other.”
“We don’t care if we play for two people or 40 people. We do have love (from our fans) and we give love — if there’s 2,000 or 200 people, we love it,” Social says.
As a kid who was frequently told not to be a musician, Social especially loves what he’s doing.
“We like to bring the music and keep hitting them hard,” Social says of their shows, laughing, “Like a train. Over and over.”
Who they are: Andy Social: guitar, vocals, backing vocals; The King: drums, backing vocals; Geo Suicide: bass, backing vocals.
Contact: The Sheckies on Facebook; TheSheckies1.bandcamp.com/
Coming up: Skato with Kato, a skateboarding-themed benefit for the Humane Society of Ocean City; 4 p.m. Saturday, June 4, Ocean City Skatepark, 5th Street and West Avenue, Ocean City. Free admission with donation to HSOC. There is a $10 registration fee for skaters who wish to compete.