The Nashville band’s latest single lovingly lampoons its local scene
If you have kids who play Fortnite, you can’t tell me that upon first glance The Frst’s Mikei Gray doesn’t look like an avatar ready to parachute off the Battle Bus.
In the Gen Z era, the image of punk is far more colorful than It was in its CBGB heyday, as Gray so deftly illustrates on his band’s bodacious new single “Pop Punk Song”, in where the Nashville outfit joins forces with their friends on the local punk scene Dead Bundy.
“’Pop Punk Song” is not only a humorous caricature of ourselves, but of the world at large,” Gray explains. “The lyrics speak to frustrations with dead end jobs, abusive cycles, and breaking free. It’s a cathartic call to arms for everyone!”
For Gray, the song is an endearing razz at the nature of the punk scene that exists in Music City USA.
“This was our goof-ball way of making fun of ourselves and our friends in ‘our scene,'” he says. “But the song itself was actually written in the fall of 2019, which is hard to remember a time before the pandemic: MGK was still rapping, and the Pop Punk Revival was only one Coronavirus away from becoming the next big thing.”
Yet despite the fun nature of the tune, its lyrics do, in fact, express frustration about our modern times as well. Because, honestly, it really is beginning to feel like a bizarre upside-down version of Revenge of the Nerds where Stan Gable and the jocks win over our man Gilbert and the gang.
“Our friends that had heard the song live and kept asking when that ‘Pop-Punk Song’ would be recorded because the ‘shut the f*ck up play some pop punk!’ line was stuck in their head,” he laughs. “We thought what better time than right now to have a little fun and be dorks for a minute and a half! After all, our last few songs were quite serious, and fun was the whole reason for our name.
“The angst of the lyrics was honest and came from touring through southern college towns (which btw I grew up in one), and sometimes ‘the bro’ mentality, closed mindedness could really get you to at times. It was written in a self-preservation way, as a rallying battle cry for all the outsiders, weirdos, rockers, and punks, metalheads and dorks to unite with a screaming message when they’d had enough bull sh*t – “SHUT THE F#%$ UP & PLAY SOME POP PUNK!”