Mike Felumlee has the special distinction of being both the former and current drummer of Smoking Popes. Between stints in the seminal Chicago punk band, the percussionist spent a few years playing drums in Alkaline Trio. Along the way, he started a solo project, began a record label, and stepped away from music for a few years before getting back behind the kit and making his way behind the camera for his Live From The Rock Room music video series.

My First Band host Tyler Maas recently joined Felumlee in Rock Room version 2.0 in the veteran drummer’s new home in Milwaukee. After talking about some of his favorite pizzas and burgers in his adopted city, Felumlee went all the way back to his childhood, when his parents bought him a used drum set. Over the course of the long, interesting, and incredibly open discussion, he also touched on his pre-Popes projects, the backlash the band has faced through the years, replacing one of his friends in Alkaline Trio, what led to him being kicked out of the group shortly after the release of From Here To Infirmary, and much more. Smoking Popes will perform at The Back Room @ Colectivo on December 6, and Mike Felumlee & The Bigger Empty will play X-Ray Arcade on December 14.

My First Band is sponsored by Boulevard Brewing. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. Music used in this show comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”), The Smoking Popes (“Let’s Hear It For Love”), and Mike Felumlee (“Can’t Hardly Wait”). Mike Felumlee photo by Jaret Ferratusco.