Mikey Erg has been in A LOT of bands. Frankly, it might be easier to list projects he hasn’t been involved with, but listeners likely know the hardworking drummer, guitarist, and vocalist from his stints in iconic punk bands like The Ergs!, Worriers, Star Fucking Hipsters, The Dopamines, Dirt Bike Annie, and from his extensive and impressive body of work as a solo artist. A few weeks removed from the release of his outstanding self-titled solo record, Mikey spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about each of those artistic endeavors and numerous other bands he was part of over the course of his roughly three decades of on-stage experience.

Over the course of the lengthy discussion, the accomplished punk purveyor talked about growing up in a small New Jersey town, formative all-ages shows and independent record stores that fostered his taste in music, high school projects, the start of The Ergs! (and the band’s unexpected rise to pop-punk prominence). Along the way, Erg talked about his solo turn, joining up with bands like Worriers and Off With Their Heads, and some amazing behind the scenes experience he had as a member of The LLC—the backing band for The Chris Gethard Showduring the public access program-turned-basic cable darling’s memorable run. And of course Erg and Maas talked about their mutual love of Norm Macdonald’s classic 1998 film Dirty Work!

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 Mikey Erg (“Can’t Be Too Careless”).