Rollicking Punk Rockers

The Chugs inject their high-energy music with a jolt of fun

Have you ever gone to a concert and wanted to jump onstage with the band, who’s shirtless and covered in sweat? Have you ever wanted to thrash to songs about Hamm’s beer set to charismatic surf punk music? Do you enjoy things that seem silly in concept but are performance juggernauts in execution? If you answered no, do you hate fun?

If you answered yes, meet The Chugs, a punk rock trio from Evansville that has taken over the region because of its catchy melodies, tenacity, and genuineness that connect emotionally – and sometimes physically – with the audience.

“I think it legitimately is just like we’re friends with everyone,” says drummer Sam Kuban, explaining the band’s connection with the audience.

“Yeah, honestly, the music is second,” agrees guitarist Scott Wambach.

“If we weren’t doing this, we’d be doing something else,” says bassist Brian Harding. “What?” Wambach asks. “Wrestling!” Harding answers immediately, to which they all loudly agree.

That’s The Chugs: equal parts talent, energy, a classic Midwest beer, and The Three Stooges. The affectionate, sometimes boyish bond the trio shares with one another is infectious. And yes, sometimes they end up shirtless on stage. But that’s all part of the fun.

The band rehearses their Hamm’s-centric songs in the Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse. That’s where they also record their music, including their “six pack” EPs, “The Cancept Album” and “Hey Neighbor!” The band is working on another “six pack” with local punk band Sluice. The project will be called “Slugs.”

The band opened for comedian and actor Chris Gethard at Arcademie in early July. It’s not the first time the band has warmed u an audience for a comedy show. They also opened for “Kids in the Hall” star Kevin McDonald in February.

“It feels like it fits for us, though, right?” Kuban says.

With multiple shows coming up this summer, what does the band want the audience to take away?

“A lot of sweat. A couple of bruises,” Wambach says.

“Well, that they had fun at a punk show, honestly,” Kuban adds. “And also a couple hundred dollars’ worth of merch.”

Upcoming shows
July 26 – North End Pub, Lafayette, Indiana
Aug. 17 – Damsel Brew Pub, Evansville
Aug. 31 – Hammsfest, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Sept. 7 – Front Porch Fest, Evansville

Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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