Before he was the front man, bandleader, and namesake of a Los Angeles-based project on the Merge Records roster, Mike Krol was a Wauwatosa teen who loved ska. Recently, while in Milwaukee to play a homecoming show in support of his latest/greatest album, Power Chords, Krol met up with My First Band host Tyler Maas to talk about his very early musical endeavors.

In a studio space that was kindly offered to them by WMSE, Krol openly talked about his “checkered past” in suburban ska projects like Spazmatics and The Reactants, recording a demo at UW-Oshkosh, playing shows in churches, his short-lived Saved By The Bell tribute band called The Lark Voorhies, and the impetus of his solo venture (which he almost named “World Denominators”). Before setting out on the European leg of the Power Chords tour, Krol also sent us a few Reactants songs to play at the end of the episode, including a never-before-heard demo about his high school teacher’s hairstyle.

My First Band is sponsored by Boulevard Brewing and PrideFest Milwaukee. 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”) and The Reactants (“Mrs. Ward” and “Screw You”).