Duo continues despite injury

The Weaks retell stories of fake band names, broken jaws and missionary cops.

Punk band The Weaks practice for upcoming shows. Right now, the group says its main focus is to finish recording its latest LP. | Kristen Vanleer TTN
Punk band The Weaks practice for upcoming shows. Right now, the group says its main focus is to finish recording its latest LP. | Kristen Vanleer TTN

Chris Baglivo of The Weaks is still playing shows with his mouth wired shut after suffering from a bike accident. 

Now that’s punk.

“I was riding my bike to work, took a turn too fast, slid on a worn-out manhole lid and flipped my bike,” Baglivo said in an email. “I javelined face-first into the concrete and broke my jaw in two places and broke my nose.”

While the Philly punk rock band had to initially back out of a few shows, things quickly picked up. Despite his injuries, Baglivo still set out for a Northeast tour this week.

However, the injury did push back the band’s timeline for the release of its upcoming LP, but members said they’re not too concerned.

“Fortunately we were ahead of schedule anyway,” Baglivo said.

This isn’t the first time the group has had to get accustomed to change. Both Baglivo and Evan Bernard, the other face of The Weaks, studied in Drexel University’s music industry program.

What started as a recording project for content-overloaded musicians has now evolved into a fully operating band. The Weaks is a pop/rock duo made up of members of the former band Dangerous Ponies.

Taking backlogged songs rejected by Dangerous Ponies, Bernard and Baglivo began practicing and recording in early 2012. Various Philadelphia musicians have since collaborated with the band.

The friends’ music draws on the influences of bands including Guided by Voices and The New Pornographers.

Earlier this year, the band released an EP through Lame-O-Records called “The World Is a Terrible Place and I Hate Myself and I Want to Die.” The album title, which is parody of the punk band The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, came to reality from an inside joke.

While booking a last-minute house show in Willimantic, Conn., TWIABP’s hometown, Bernard thought it’d be comical to be a parody band for the day.

Austin Jefferson, a contributing guitarist for the band, made a T-shirt design with the spinoff name and screen-printed shirts for the show.

The shirts sold out.

“The show was a success,” Bernard said. “I liked Austin’s design so much I wanted it to be more than just a limited run fake band T-shirt. It was right around the time we were finishing up the EP, so we figured, why not?”

Band members have experienced more jokes on tour than the ones they give out, however.

“Our drummer Mikey is driving and he gets pulled over,” Baglivo said. “While we’re waiting for the cop, Mikey turns to us and says, ‘Guys, I totally forgot, my license is suspended.’ So we all exchange appropriate ‘Oh sh–, we’re f—–’ glances and the cop walks up.”

Instead of busting them, however, the cop tells them to swap seats with another driver.

Bernard volunteers and hands the cop his information. The cop returns, looks Bernard dead in the eye and says that his license is suspended as well.

The two said the officer lets the moment of disbelief linger before announcing that he was joking. The true moment of surprise came, however, when the officer handed them cross-laden pamphlets and said the reason he pulled them over was to ask, “Have y’all been saved?”

“After half a second’s careful deliberation we all grab the pamphlets and say ‘Thank you,’” Baglivo said. “He lets us drive off and we don’t look back.”

Now, the group is back home in Philly with plans of putting the pamphlets aside and tracking and mixing its latest LP.

Progressing and summer weather are in the band’s sights for this summer.

“Hopefully I go swimming a lot,” Bernard said. “I want to spend time hanging out on the Jersey Shore, but I just got a second job and I should probably pay my bills on time more often.”

“Ideally we’ll always be touring or recording,” Baglivo said.

Jared Whalen can be reached at jared.whalen@temple.edu.

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