Queers return to Billings Sunday

Joe Queer high fives members of the audience following his band's performance June 7 in Billings.

Not one for political correctness, Joe Queer returns to Billings Sunday, bringing with him his vulgar mouth and the resurgence of 80s pop punk with his band, The Queers.

The Queers, which performed Billings in June 2009, will appear at the Railyard with opening support from Kepi Ghoulie (bassist/vocalist of The Groovie Ghoulies), and Canadian punk rockers The Riptides, both on tour with the Queers. Wyoming’s female-fronted punk group The Front opens the performance.
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Q&A with Nick Miles of the Photo Atlas

Nick Miles, drummer for the Denver-based band Photo Atlas (courtesy photo)
Nick Miles, drummer for the Denver-based band Photo Atlas (courtesy photo)

Billings native Nick Miles began his musical career in the halls of a Billings high school, a path that led him to drum for the Denver-based dance punk band Photo Atlas.

Still riding the high from 2009’s successful release of “To Silently Provoke the Ghost,” The Photo Atlas has been working on new material and will hit the road in October for a national tour.

Before they head out, the band is stopping in Billings Friday night for a musical reunion with long-time friends and musical peers. With a lineup of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado bands, the concert features 1090 Club, Flowers From Her, Photo Atlas, and The Front.

Miles took some time to discuss the band and his experiences since moving to Denver to drum for the group full-time in nearly three years ago.

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Queers unapologetic, just as punk should be

Joe Queer high fives members of the audience following his band's performance June 7 in Billings.
Joe Queer high fives members of the audience following his band’s performance June 7 in Billings.

Though the attendees at Sunday’s Queers show didn’t seem to care, I feel there is a bit of explanation necessary for the general public regarding the crudely named punk rock group.

Joe Queer fronts pop punk band The Queers.
Joe Queer fronts pop punk band The Queers.

Formed in the early 1980s, the Queers named their band in punk rock style – dissing the things they didn’t like, such as the artist community in Portsmouth, NH, where the band formed.

“We wanted to piss off the art fag community that acted all high and mighty, strutting around town like they were better than everyone else there,” said Joe Queer, the band’s frontman and founder, on the band’s MySpace page.

Not one for political correctness, Joe Queer has gotten a lot of mileage out of his foul mouth. A band that is entirely unapologetic for their un-P.C. punk rock ways, The Queers are capitalizing on the novelty of pop punk from the 1980s as it comes full circle to be popular once again. Their well-attended concert at the Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co. was as pop punk should be – energetic, moshable and obnoxious.

As he introduced his band (in a tee-shirt claiming he had relations with our grandmothers, no less), Joe Queer unabashedly told the audience: “My name is Joe Queer, and I’m an alcoholic and a drug addict.” Cheers erupted as the band launched into “I Was a Teenage Bonehead.”
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