For a band called Quit, they aren’t very good at living up to their name. But Quit isn't just a band, it's a brotherhood of guys who, for lack of a better term, can’t quit each other. The band has tried to separate in the past, only to find themselves pulled back together by circumstance and an undeniable urge to play music together.
At one point Russell Mofsky, Quit’s lead guitarist and purveyor of mod exotica in the Gold Dust Lounge, high-tailed it to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston to sharpen his skills. But, even all those miles couldn’t separate this musical fraternity. Addison Burns, Quit’s rhythm guitarist and singer, moved up to Boston to try and re-start Quit.
In the late '80’s, early '90’s, Quit pioneered the kind of skate punk that would later be made famous by bands like Pennywise and NOFX. But, Quit was ahead of the game and never really fit snugly into the genre that’s making some of its contemporaries some serious Hot Topic money. Earlier Thoughts is the band's only true record to date and it owes as much to the Replacements as it does to Quit's skate punk roots.
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Quit's second effort, Grazing Days, would prove to be what Smile was to the Beach Boys. The group recorded some of it, lost it in Hurricane Andrew, then tried to re-record it in Boston to no avail and eventually the whole idea was scrapped. In 2002, there were rumors of Grazing Days finally being released through Purple Skunk Records, but those proved to be just that: rumors. “There’s so much more than one album. There’s so much material in one form or another," Burns says. "After so much time, though, how do you reconcile songs we don’t relate to anymore? I’m going to be 44 singing about I’m almost 18, you know?”
It’s been a rough few years for us down here in Miami. In 2012 we lost local punk icon Bobby Load and Dan Hosker of the Holy Terrors, and last November Jeff Tucci, Load’s master of guitar duties, passed away. This was a shock to the system for many of us in the community, but it was a call to arms for Quit.
“Recently, we lost a bunch of friends," says Burns. "We're kind of like the only group of guys that are still capable of getting together from back then. This reunion was spawned out of losing Bobby, Jeff and Dan. For those bands to not be able to play together anymore, it was an eye opener. Like, wow, that shit's for real. There’s never going to be another Holy Terrors. There’s never going to be another Load. It’s just not possible. We can still do it — let’s do it. Let’s have fun.”
This re-united Quit will be comprised of the Earlier Thoughts line-up — Andre Serafini, Russell Mofsky, Addison Burns, and Tony Rocha on bass — and the comeback shows, as the band is referring to them, are being split up between three shows in Tampa, Gainesville and Miami; all are being recorded for posterity and a potential live album. Quit's Miami show will take place at Churchill's on Saturday, July 18.
The band is jokingly and unofficially referring to the sets as: Earlier Thoughts, Later Thoughts and After Thoughts, seeing as the music spans from the '80’s all the way to, yes, new material!
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Russell explains: “We’re videoing the shows so we can document the whole thing and figure out what we want to do with it later.” Addison adds, “I don’t think anyone is opposed to hopping in [to the studio] and recording some new stuff. Who knows? We just don’t want to record anything that sounds bad. We’ve never really had a good representation of what we do, other than the first record.”
Tony Rocha, bassist, also chimed in. “Now a days it’s a lot easier to record and sound good than when we were younger.” It shouldn’t be too hard to get a decent recording considering drummer Andre Serafini owns Beach Sound & Light, a studio in North Miami that's reminiscent of the warehouse housing the Ark of the Covenant at the end of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Obviously, these guys are optimistic about the future of Quit. They’ve tried many times to walk away and each time they find themselves back at square one, ready to go for another ride into the maelstrom that is their legacy. Quit, we can’t quit you. And apparently you guys can’t either.
Quit with Shark Valley Sisters and Hit Play. 9 p.m. Saturday, July 18, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE 2nd Ave, Miami; 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com. Tickets cost $12 at the door. Ages 18 and up.