http://standing-room-only.info/feature/joe-milliken/peasants-rise-peasants-return-new-outlook-and-new-cd-big-sunny-day

More Than You Need To Know,
By Pete Cassani.

Upon graduation from a State University in New York I made my way to Boston with the great ambition of playing in the subway. I started writing songs and going to open mikes. At a “blues jam” in Allston I met a chain smoking saxophone player named Bob Starker. We were booted from the “jam” after a very punk version of Tush. We adjorned to my apartment with a case of beer to compare notes. That night we decided to form a band.

As there was already a band called The Peasants we added Velcro. I’m still not sure why. I was playing the subways and streets constantly, through rain and snow, stumbling street people and roaring trains. I got pretty good at it.

Our first show was Tuesday, August 31, 1988 at TT The Bears. There were over 90 people there. Pretty good for a first show. This was followed by many appearances at The Rat, The Channel, Necco Place, Club 3Bunratty’s, O’Brien’s, The Cave, Johnny D’s, The Middle East and many other clubs that no longer exist.

Now it’s 1989. I was selling hundreds of cassettes on the street.  CDs were taking over so we put one out ourselves called All The Rage (1990). Over 250 College Radio stations started playing it but by then I had crashed and burned with Mr Booze and was too broken to do anything about the airplay.

Bobby Starker came and left a few times. He finally had enough and moved “back to Ohio” with the love of his life, a cute punk rock girl from Revere. He settled in Columbus as the resident Punk Rock Saxophone guy. He plays in everyone’s band.

Meanwhile at a TOAD gig March ’94 I could no longer ignore the excruciating pain in my arms. Tendonitis!! All those crap jobs laying carpet and moving furniture had destroyed my body. I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to play guitar again. It took two years, two shoulder operations and lots of physical therapy but I came back. I was to get a second chance.

It started one summer night on Lansdowne Street when I found myself in an auto parts truck with a very drunk but happy Steve Hart. He was cranking Alice In Chains and telling me how much he loved the Velcro Peasants. He wanted in. We started playing a bit.

By 1997 we had Bill Close (The Freeze) on bass. We dropped the “Velcro”, recorded Out On the Street and hit the road in a very corroded 1986 Ford Econoline Van. For the next three years we toured all over the South and Midwestern United States going as far as Nebraska.

In 2000 we were introduced to a very DIY Dutch booking agent who put us on a few small tours. We ended up playing France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Poland & Austria over the course of over a dozen years. Even released an album there in 2002 called Welcome To My Country. Suburban (NL) and Cargo Records (DE) did distribution.

When 9/11 happened I started doing solo acoustic tours around the US. Did two massive ones across the country and back. One time I drove 900 miles in a single day to get to a coffeehouse gig. It was brutal. This culminated with the release of Love Your Enemy in 2005.

Right around this time the jumping and running caught up with me. Between 2006 and 2012 I had two hip replacements and a broken leg! Needless to say this slowed me down a bit but finally, after 3 years, Steve Hart and I have reunited with the help of Paul Kochanski (Swingin’ Steaks) to write and record a new 12 song album we call Big Sunny Day!

Pop, Punk, Garage, Stoner, Country, even a Spaghetti Western Instrumental are represented on this one. We are very excited about it. The mighty Paul Kolderie (Radiohead, Pixies, Warren Zevon) stepped up to mix it when he heard the songs! I think it’s the best thing we’ve ever done.

Right now I working on shows in the Northeastern United States but am willing to go just about anywhere. We’re also booking a return tour to Holland, Germany and Poland in Feb/March 2016.  You can buy the new album on Bandcamp and CDBaby.com. Thanks for reading! Thanks for listening! Now go buy Big Sunny Day! You’re gonna LOVE it!