By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
Miami ska-punk stalwarts Going Nowhere are doing just that, calling it quits after five years and one CD.Thousands of bands (you'll find at least one in any college town) have paired basic punk with ska rhythms, creating a sound no less enjoyable for its predictability; Going Nowhere was as dependable a purveyor of the style as any, showcasing fast-paced, funny songs and covers (the Cars' "Just What I Needed" and Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama") on their 2000 eponymous CD and countless shows in South Florida.
While the CD cover features a mohawked lad going nowhere on a stationary bike, the band members are far from gutterpunks. All four have undergrad degrees from the University of Miami, and one reason for the band's breakup is the drummer's quest for a Ph.D.
Another reason, according to singer Dan (band members, in true punk-rock fashion, requested that New Times refer to them by first name only), is his desire to abandon the ska-punk formula and take the show on the road.
"I'm writing totally different songs now," Dan says. "And we want to try and do it for real -- to tour and do the whole band thing. Two of us are willing to do that."
Dan and guitarist Bryan have already formed a new band, FrontRowCenter, and recorded a six-song EP, oddly enough, with their Going Nowhere bandmates.
Surf and rockabilly stylings pop up occasionally on Going Nowhere's CD, showcasing the band's ability to think outside the ska-punk box, but Dan and Bryan say FrontRowCenter won't pick up on either of those genres.
"The sound is definitely headed in more of a rock direction," says Bryan. "It's melodic punk sort of like NOFX, where the two guitars actually play two different things."
Dan plans for FrontRowCenter to be Miami-based, at least initially. "There's a surprisingly good scene here, although venues can be a problem. But we'll go wherever we can make a living doing this."
The band has no record deal -- Going Nowhere's CD was self-produced -- and no real funding other than members' day jobs (insert your own "going nowhere" joke here), but Dan says it's now or never.
"Going Nowhere toured the Northeast last summer and we loved it. I can live that life."
After five years of shows in Miami and Fort Lauderdale -- including gigs with ska and punk luminaries like New Found Glory and the Nobodys -- Dan hopes Going Nowhere fans are devoted enough to check out FrontRowCenter.
"It's gonna be sad finishing it," Dan says. "We have a lot of fans in Miami that like Going Nowhere."