When he was young, Jake Wittig figured that growing up in Birmingham, Alabama meant he was destined to be a country musician. But once puberty hit, angst took the reins.
BTRtoday called Wittig, frontman of psych punk band The Burning Peppermints, while he was enjoying a cup of coffee on the porch of his Birmingham abode. “I feel like being in Alabama hasn’t affected [my] music as much as being specifically in Birmingham,” he says, adding that it wasn’t until he was around 15 or 16 years old that he discovered the local music scene he’d eventually break into. “I also figured being in Alabama, ‘oh nothing cool happens here’—then I started to go see local bands and it was like, ‘oh, there are psychedelic rock bands here and punk bands and all this music that I love.’”
Eventually, his dad chaperoned Wittig to his first DIY punk rock show and his life has since never been the same.
The Burning Peppermints “Don’t Try To Lie To Me”
Now, older and wiser and able to attend shows without a chaperone, Wittig formed The Burning Peppermints with friends Ryan Colebeck on drums and Ahmad Farzad on bass. Their debut album Dirty Rainbow!! is a thrasher hit, filled with short and sweet fuzzed-out punk songs that make you want to lose your mind. Wittig says his main goal with that album was to make people want to “go crazy and mosh and jump back and forth.”
Their sophomore LP, Glittervomit, retains the high energy of punk rock while also adding a drop of tenderness. Released earlier this month, the album is punk through-and-through, but the catchy melodies and hypnotic lyrics put it entirely in a class of its own—call it psych punk.
Wittig says Glittervomit grew out of his desire to explore songwriting.
“I hated when I’d see bands play acoustic versions of their songs and I would be like, ‘that’s so cool,’ but I can’t do acoustic versions of Dirty Rainbow!! songs ‘cause it’s just guitar riffs,” Wittig says. “I wanted to write some songs that I could do acoustic versions to just on the merit that they were [quality] songs rather than [just] loud jams.”
Wittig explains that along with the high energy explosions of mosh pits, stage dives and pink suits, the new songs give the entire live experience more “texture.”
“We just get out there and thrash and it’s loud as fuck,” Wittig says. The pastel suits the trio wear on the cover of Glittervomit have been worn for every live performance for the past five years of The Burning Peppermints. And for certain songs they’ve added a keyboardist to amp up the melodies or have a friend take over lead guitar so Wittig can focus on losing his shit while performing on stage.
The Burning Peppermints are currently waiting on new orange colored suits in the mail, but are writing new material and intend on setting up a west and east coast tour for this year. Hear the entire interview with Wittig and all of Glittervomit on this week’s The Music Meetup.