As the drummer of Kali Masi, John Garrison has performed all around the United States, toured Europe, played Riot Fest and FEST, shared the stage with the likes of The Lawrence Arms and Titus Andronicus, and released one of our favorite albums of last year (the altogether outstanding [laughs] via Take This To Heart Records). Years before he was keeping the beat for the accomplished Chicago punk quartet, Garrison was growing up in a Windy City suburb and practicing percussion in a bunch of short-lived projects that landed all over the map stylistically.

Prior to Kali Masi’s April 9 concert at Cobra Lounge and upcoming European tour with Spanish Love Songs, Garrison spoke with My First Band host Tyler Maas about getting back on stage after an extended pandemic-related pause, the band’s new Patreon page, and his musical start in basements and garages in Naperville, Illinois. Over the course of the conversation, Garrison talked about the influence his older brother had on his music taste, playing songs by Megadeth and The Hives in his middle school talent show, and finally finding musical kinship when he met his eventual Kali Masi bandmate Sam Porter in high school.

My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Kali Masi (“Guilt Like A Gun”).