Chatting with The Dead Milkmen's Rodney Anonymous, One of the Founding Fathers of Satirical Punk

As an original member of the pioneering Philly punk band The Dead Milkmen, Rodney Linderman, better known by his punk nickname adopted from the name of his favorite author, Rodney “Anonymous,” is exactly how you’d imagine him through his music.

The Dead Milkmen are known for their comical, to-the-point, in-your-face songs. Their music paints a picture of open-minded musicians ready to stand up for what they believe in, but who also make sure they don’t take life too seriously. And that’s exactly the man Rodney Anonymous is.

The Dead Milkmen, “Ronald Reagan Killed the Black Dahlia”

“All I have to say is, [The Dead Milkmen] is not going to be the same tomorrow as it is today because it mutates,” he says excitedly about the almost 40-year-old band. “I never got the idea of bands that were static and were always the same thing over and over again, I think The Ramones were the only band to really pull that off successfully—so yeah, we’re in a process of evolving, it’s a constantly evolving band.”

Through intermittent laughter and seriousness, he talked passionately about his many projects—writing a newsletter about the mummy of Knoxville, the Satanic Temple inspirations behind The Dead Milkmen’s newest track “Complicated Faith,” his work with his other band 7th Victim, and so much more. Anonymous even hosts his own online radio show called “Rodney Anonymous Tells You How To Live.”

The Dead Milkmen, “Big Time Operator”

Even with a full schedule, Anonymous isn’t the type of artist to let his life lull even for a second. The Dead Milkmen just released a seven-inch that includes the cover of “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang” originally by Heaven 17 and the new track “Complicated Faith”—the profits of which go to Girls Rock Philly (order it here).

Though truly the founding fathers of satirical punk, The Dead Milkmen’s music has always had a prevailing moral ethos shining through their comic relief. From their 1985 debut album Big Lizard in My Backyard to this newest seven-inch, these punks keep true to their philosophies. The seven-inch still gives you that tasty old-school Dead Milkmen punk sound, keeping things fast and to the point, but with a more socially relevant flavor.

Listen to “Complicated Faith” and several other tracks by The Dead Milkmen, along with the entire interview with Rodney Anonymous on this week’s episode of The Music Meetup.

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