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The Plumcocks Just Wanted to Do Their Thing

Punk & Perseverance

There are people who decide to make music to become famous, or to make money, but you can tell when somebody is making music for the love it; their music is genuine. This the case with the Plumcocks. They never dreamed when they started playing together when they were trying to learn covers that what they were doing would be appreciated. From Pennsylvania, the band was formed while they were studying at Northampton Community College without pretense about three years ago. I spoke with the lead singer and guitarist Jake Itterly and he explained their history, which I think can serve as an inspiration to anyone who has dismissed the notion of making music (or any other dream) because life is complicated.

Their EP 610, which is also a Pennsylvania area code, has gained a lot of grassroots attention as well as the tracks on their ReverbNation page. It is not an album that came into production with a budget and that was strategically planned; instead it is a collection of songs that were written, that sounded good and over a period of time then were compiled.

“Run to Me” is a single off 610 which, like most of their material, is very similar to Green Day and Blink 182 but with certain details that are uniquley the Plumcocks.

Their cut “Run to Me” has a hint of the Dead Boys in it, and reminds me of “Sonic Reducer” with its almost speed metal backbeat. It also made me think of “Well Paid Scientist” by the Dead Kennedys from their Plastic Surgery Disasters album.  When asked I asked Itterly if he ever heard the track he laughed and said, “That was the first album I ever bought!”

You must be doing the right thing if the first single people are making a big deal out of sounds like the first album you bought!

I spoke with Itterly about their writing, since the Plumcocks have one song that really stood out from the rest, “September Second,” which has some nice ad lib guitar work. I think this song is stepping stone to a signature sound for the Plumcocks. It has a nice metal machine sound that fits the 21st century.

‘September Second’ started with a jam,” recalled Itterly. “I like to keep my writing simple. When we started out we were trying to learn Iron Maiden covers, then when we started writing our own stuff and found it was better to keep the writing simple. In the beginning we had played as a 3 piece and a 5 piece but are intended to be a 4 piece. Bands we are influenced by are Screeching Weasel, The Dopamines, Blink 182, NOFX,  and Billy Talent, just to name a few. ”

This simplicity works; it went over well and soon the Plumcocks were playing the Pennsylvania circuit. At the time orginal Plumcocks member Dustin Murphy was playing guitar for the band. With self depreciating lyrics like ”What makes you think I’m going to sneak around, I’m not worth it! I’m not perfect,” from “Don’t Chase Me” and lines like “Everything’s my fault,” from “Slipping” the Plumcocks were soon on a Halloween bill with the Misfits in Stroudsburg, PA (I couldn’t think of anything more fun) and other bands. They even played at the renowned Dobbs in Philadelphia, which is now closed.

Drummer John M. Corsale is a fairly recent addition to the Plumcocks. Their first recordings were demos not intended for release which featured MIDI (electronic drums) in place of a live drummer. Corsale, according to Itterly, is one of these gifted people who can do anything. Even though Corsale’s main instrument is guitar, he offered to play drums to complete the rhythm section with bass player Steve Webb.

Drummers are almost impossible to find, so the Plumcocks played without a drummer for well over a year, and that’s about the average time it takes an original band to find an enthused drummer.  

When I asked Itterly about future gigs and what was in store for the Plumcocks he was honest: he didn’t know. This is because since the band left Northampton Community College, life has taken the band members in different directions. Itterly is now the father of two children and works at night leaving only the weekend to gigs; Kody Hines, the guitarist, is in law school in Vermont, and Corsale is also in school studying business.  

Itterly mentioned that the Pluckcocks might continue with just him on guitar instead of the dueling guitars that they have had thus far. You might quote their song “18 Promo” where they say “I thought this would be easy,” and make it the title of their biography. But it’s a good thing that music is malleable; it can be rearranged any way you like, especially with original material. Life changes, resources come and go, but the artist transcends and adapts.  With these would be disruptions Itterly and Corsale formed an acoustic side project called 38 Days. 38 Days does covers and are little by little adding new originals that aren’t in the Plumcocks’ canon. It is possible that 38 Days might be the butterfly that emerges from The Plumcocks’ cocoon in 2018.

“I would never have dreamed that we would come this far!”

If you enjoy what you are doing, that’s all you need, and if someone enjoys listening to you – even better. I have faith The Plumcocks as individuals will continue to make good music in one form or another, no matter where they are and what their circumstances. The music will survive. I also hope you enjoy their tracks and things will come together for the Plumcocks because there is nothing like genuine people making genuine music.

Connect with The Plumcocks

Brooklyn native, Frederick Gubitosi, is a musician, artist, songwriter, and music journalist. Alumnus of Pratt Institute and Brooklyn College, the former teacher writes as an insider to world of music and the humanities. In the '90s he had two solo painting exhibits in NYC and was involved in a performance art group which merged live music, improv theater and multimedia. In 1995 he participated in Philadelphia's first performance of John Zorn's "Cobra" as a musician. In 2005 he wrote, directed, and created the musical score for his comic play, "Love, the Happy Disease." He now participates in events for Brooklyn's Creators Collective making improvised music for modern dancers.

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