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After Caterer decided a reunion would be okay with God, it wasn't difficult for him to get the okay from everyone else. He had already been playing with Eli in Duvall, and Matt was happy to return to the Popes with his siblings. They recruited Duvall drummer Kellenberger instead of Felumlee, and began rehearsing.
"As we got together and started rehearsing again, we were having so much fun and it just felt so natural that probably after our second rehearsal, we knew it was something we'd want to continue with and run with," Caterer says.
Their one concern: Would anyone care they were coming back? They'd been successful in the past, but it had been years since any Popes songs had been performed live anywhere. However, when tickets went on sale for the Smoking Popes reunion show at the Metro in Chicago this past November, they sold out in about a half-hour.
"It was really encouraging to us that there was a general sense of excitement that seemed to go beyond just our small hard-core following that had followed us from the Popes to Duvall," Caterer says.
When trying to explain how the Popes stay fresh after so many years, Caterer can respond only with comments he's heard from other people. "There's something about what has been expressed through the song that hits people at a genuine gut level and makes them want to listen to it ten years later," he says. "I don't have a formula for it; I'm only really glad that's the case. I'm really glad to be doing this."