Mom Jeans are no longer to be confused with a fashionable booty lift. The band is now becoming a staple in the emo/punk/rock industry and have recently made its way Syracuse, New York. Mom Jeans does not travel alone; they brought their punk friends to perform on your friendly neighborhood Westcott Theater, including Mover Shaker, and Prince Daddy & the Hyena. Syracuse’s very own Closure performed as an opener for the three touring bands.
Natives of California, Mom Jeans formed gradually as each member played individual shows in various places in the Berkeley area. Eventually, they fused together and maintained a network of connections with producers and managers from their early days as endeavoring musicians.
This year has been a wild ride for the band as they continue to tour all over the United States as well as Europe, Mexico, and Australia. Despite their broad range of travels, they displayed a soft spot for Syracuse. The band drew a surprisingly large crowd for the venue.
“This town is sick,” said guitarist, Bart Starr. “I’ve been to Syracuse a bunch of times, they kill it.”
When it comes to influencers, Starr showed interest in My Chemical Romance, which is definitely evident in his performance. His hardcore strumming patterns and passion while playing certainly echo the classic emo band. Joel Kirschenbaum, merch designer and tour manager for the group, credits other managers he has taken notes from such as Jeff Rosenstock’s, or Touché Amoré’s, both emo/rock bands similar to Mom Jeans.
While Eric Butler, lead singer of Mom Jeans, wrote most of the lyrics for their newest album Puppy Love, it was evidently a collaborative project.
“We all worked hard on it, I like how it came out,” said Starr. The band also said that they have more fun playing their newer songs than the older ones; the new album is “way more engaging, high-energy.”
Mom Jeans was not the only act with new material. Closure’s newest album was released this January, supposedly recorded “on a whim,” as to help the band find their sound. Closure was created by lead singer Collins Van Gorden and guitarist Liam MacPherson. The pair have been playing guitar together here in Syracuse for as long as they can remember. Van Gorden was prompt in discovering his passion for music and was forced to give MacPherson a bit of a nudge to recognize his talent so they could form a band.
Influencers for Closure include emo bands such as Marietta, My Chemical Romance, and Mom Jeans (of course). Their main goal, Van Gorden says, was to be an obscure band that “no one listens to, but then if you listen to it, you’re like, ‘Yo, this is sick.’”
Though they have definitely found their place here in Syracuse, touring from venue to venue, Closure is making its way all around the Northeast this upcoming summer. MacPherson credits all the bands that they’ve ever performed with for the things he has learned as an up-and-coming artist.
“We played with these bands to rooms of like, ten people, and now everything is blowing up. We didn’t expect this to last more than three months.”
When asked what both Mom Jeans and Closure would say to an aspiring musician of a similar genre, they unanimously agree that everything they have accomplished is due to performing whenever and wherever they could, and maintaining connections wherever they perform.
According to Kirschenbaum, you really just have to say to yourself: “I’m gonna do this, with no plan at all.” Van Gorden and MacPherson agree. “Just do it. No one is gonna hand it to you. Play a show once a month, write, and record.”