The Reaganomics

The Reaganomics - Nick Mclenighan

  • March 18th, 2011
  • The Beat Kitchen - Chicago, IL

An evening with the Reaganomics will likely consist of talk of the Exorcist’s Regan, Robocop, whiskey, and maybe Scott Stapp – if they’re drunk enough. They also always play with really good bands. I mean shit, their next show is with the Dead Milkmen and the Lawrence Arms, followed with an opening slot with The Copyrights and The Bouncing Souls. I attempted an interview after a late night Cobra Skulls set, and successfully got a lot of laughs, but not necessarily the most informative and clear interview. Bassist and vocalist, Nick Mclenighan, was kind enough to sit down a second time at their headlining show at the Beat Kitchen in Chicago on March 18.


Amy: What ever did happen to Ryan’s Hope?

Nick: Nothing, we’re going to play a show in July, it’s actually booked. I don’t know what’s going to come after that, but we’re going to play a show in July and hopefully have a lot of fun with that. Other than that, nothing immediately planned. 

Amy: No more records?

Nick: That would be fun, a lot of fun, but I’m not really sure what would happen, so nothing planned as of yet.

Amy: What made you decide to go down the more goofy route?

 The ReaganomicsNick: It’s easy. One of the main reasons was we’re huge fans of that genre, tons of bands we’ve been into for a long time.

Amy: Like who?

Nick: I was just getting to that, it’s like you could read my mind.  It’s going to sound goofy, but one of the biggest bands is the Lillingtons that inspired us to start writing songs that we just love the melody to so much, and obviously through them Teenage Bottlerocket; It’s the same thing, real driving, melodic. I’m doing a poor job explaining it, but it’s such a good time that you can just kind of free yourself and strum along, it’s a lot of fun. Bands like the Queers we idolized for a long time, Mr. T Experience, Groovie Ghoulies, Teen Idols; all those bands that revolve around a really good melody that draws you in and gets you caught up in the music. That’s what we wanted to do, have fun and explore a different angle on stuff. The big side benefit for us is we get to be pretty drunk when we play and not have to worry about much, that’s a positive.

Amy: With you guys being such big Lillington fan boys, how did you get Cody involved on this record?

Nick: We begged, pretty much. We begged Toby to put out a Lillingtons tribute album, and we were like we’ll do 5 songs if you let us! That’s pretty much what it was. We’re just huge fans of him and we just lucked out with everything that’s happened to us thus far. The fact that Toby is fairly close with those guys and convinced him to do it, it came together really nicely. We played a show with Teenage Bottlerocket and he did the vocals right after the show was over, I was weeping afterwards tears of joy.

Amy: The album just came out a few weeks ago, sell me on it. What am I going to like about this?

Nick: It’s a fun time; I will sell it to you right now! 

Amy: But I don’t live in Chicago and don’t go to the Ren Faire.

Nick: I guess there are a lot of you could say specific, local references, but I think the music transcends that; the beat, the chords, the melody, and fun behind the music. Plus, most of our lyrics are so stupid anyway. You don’t need to know what the lyrics are about to have fun with the songs and get into the groove of the melodies; which is what we want people to get into. We don’t really care so much if people relate to the lyrics, which sounds kind of bad, but they’re more for us than anyone else. Again, it’s just a really fun time, you turn it on, turn it up, and rock out; it’s only 28 minutes long.

Amy: What’s your favorite song on the record?

Nick: They’re all so short, they kind of come in clumps for me. It’s funny because some of my favorite songs are on the digital-only release, I really like Beer Snob.  

Amy: Wait, there’s different songs on the digital release?

Nick: Yeah, there are three more songs you can get on the digital release. 

Amy: Why did you do that?

Nick: I don’t know it was Toby’s decision. 

Amy: Toby told us to!

Nick: Yea, pretty much. We’re slaves to the man. I really like FGA, Future Grandfathers of America, because it’s about being a cantankerous old man and having everybody have to deal with that and living the rest of your life like that. I really like Robocop because it’s a lot of fun to play. Chireland is a lot of fun because I’m actually very, very Irish. It’s kind of funny because yesterday, which was St. Patrick’s Day, I spent most of the day explaining to people why I don’t wear green on the holiday. Even though I didn’t write that song, Terry did. R.I.Peter is funny, that song is about Peter Steele.

Amy: Are there any songs in there about Joliet, what’s there to do in Joliet?

Nick: What do we do? Obviously we do this stupid shit, that’s all there is to do. I know what one’s about Joliet, Nice Life is specifically about the Walmart on Route 59 and Theodore, which is full of a bunch of yuppies all the time. Terry wrote it about how frustrated he is when he sees these people. 

 The ReaganomicsAmy: So now that you’ve sold me on the CD, what do you have to offer me live? It sounds to me like you’re going to be drunk. 

Nick: We will be drunk! It’s so awkward to talk about ourselves like this, I hope everybody knows that. We try to get everyone to have a good time because we are usually kind of drunk and want everyone to pay attention to us. We just want everyone to have a good time so we try to keep it real loose, we do some talking, intermediate comedians I guess you could say. We try to have as good of a time as we can and hope everybody else has a good time too.

Amy: Why did you go with the Reaganomics? It’s a bit hard to google the name.

Nick: We didn’t even know that, we didn’t even care. We have a tenor when it comes to picking band names, like Ryan’s Hope. We didn’t know Ryan’s Hope was a soap opera, we named it after a friend of ours. Reaganomics is funny because, I made this explanation up after we named ourselves the Reaganomics for interviews and such, because Reaganomics sucked, that economic system, and we suck. We named it after, you know Linda Blair from Exorcist, and her name was Regan. So funny story, I had a landlord, her mom looked exactly like her (Linda Blair), and her mom would come in and start yelling about stuff and we would call it Reaganomics when we were drunk. We named it after some weird stuff, it is kind of odd. 

Amy: Would you like to add anything that I didn’t cover that you want the people to know?

Nick: Buy our product.

Amy: But all you have on this merch table is the new album

Nick: Yep

Amy: Will you have t-shirts available?

Nick: Yeah, actually, we’re working on that. We gotta get approval from legal, ya know our legal department. We’re just hoping that people have a good time with it because it’s stupid, it’s silly, it’s fun, and we just want people to have a really good time with it, that’s what it’s for.