As the singer of Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, Spike Slawson has toured the world, shared the stage and studio with some of punk rock’s most legendary names, and helped to breathe new and unexpected life into some of pop music’s greatest hits. Long before he was fronting one of the world’s most accomplished cover acts and playing originals in bands like Swingin’ Utters and Re-Volts, Slawson was a regular at early-’80s punk and hardcore shows in his hometown of Pittsburgh.

Earlier this week, Slawson found some time during his tour with Violent Femmes and Flogging Molly (including an October 22 show at Miller High Life Theatre in Milwaukee) to speak with My First Band host Tyler Maas about getting to hit the road with the Gimmes again, his recent work with Los Nuevos Bajos and Uke Hunt, and some of the formative musical experiences from his past. Over the course of the conversation, Slawson talked about some of the first concerts he attended, moving to a small California city called Davis at 16, winding up in San Francisco after high school, working in the shipping department at Fat Wreck Chords, and some of his favorite moments from his many years in Me First And The Gimmie Gimmies and Swingin’ Utters.

My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering, Lakefront Brewery, and Music Go Round Greenfield. 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 Los Nuevos Bajos (“Gema”).