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Cruiserweight Returns


By Hana Frenette

Pop punk band Cruiserweight is returning to Pensacola yet again. The Austin-based group has named Pensacola their second home since the early 2000s and after dozens of shows here over the years, is making a stop in town on their two show reunion tour. Cruiserweight called it quits in 2010 and after playing a farewell show here in Pensacola, has been off the radar and the road since, just enjoying time outside of the band. Guitarist Urny Maxwell caught up with the IN to discuss life on the road and the new project the band has put together.

IN: You’ll be playing two reunion shows—one in your hometown of Austin and one here in Pensacola. What made you decide to come back to Pensacola?
UM: Pensacola has always kind of been like a second home for us, since early 2000. We’ve made lots of friends there. And we’ve played at so many different places, like End of the Line Café, The Ready Room, the old Sluggo’s, and the Handlebar, where we actually played our very first show in Pensacola.

IN: What was that first show at the Handlebar like?
UM: It was terrible! We got to town and the show had actually been cancelled, but the owner Jimmy, I believe, was kind enough to let us play anyway, and he even ended up putting us up for the night in a house that he was renovating. The only person that came to see us that night was this handicapped guy in a wheelchair, while we were playing in the very back smaller inside room that used to be there at the time.

IN: Before the band decided to take a break in 2010, you guys toured with The Get Up Kids and Saves the Day, as well as a handful of other popular bands at the time. What was it like for you guys on those tours?
UM: It’s always fun and it’s always exciting when you’re playing with bands that you really like or respect, but you’re broke all the time and it’s a big blur. You drive all day and you drive all night, sometimes maybe like 500 miles just to get to a place, play a show and then get back on the road. It’s not all fun and games—it’s definitely a lot of work. But when you have shows you can look forward to, like the ones in Pensacola, it makes it a lot easier.

IN: Do you think the energy will be different when you play Pensacola this time, compared to the shows from ten years ago?
UM: Yeah, there’s a different kind of energy for sure. The youthful exuberance has changed a bit. We can put everything into it and enjoy it, and it’s not like we’re trying to make it big anymore. We’re excited though. There are a lot of people who were 16 back in 2001 and so we’re excited to maybe see some of those people come out.

IN: What are your plans after these two reunion shows this month?
UM: Nothing really yet as far as shows, but we have made a kids rock musical book called “Adam and the Bull Shark.” It started out as a story that Stella (vocalist) would tell to the kids she watched. Then it became a screenplay she wrote. We recorded a whole album and have an illustrated book that goes along with it. The last track on the record is actually Stella reading the book, so you can follow along in the book while the record plays.

IN: Where will the book be available to buy?
UM: We are currently trying to get it picked up by some publishers but it should be coming out fairly shortly. We will be bringing some copies of it with us to Pensacola though.

Come see Cruiserweight at what could be their very last Pensacola show, providing they don’t get homesick again.

CRUISERWEIGHT REUNION SHOW
WHAT: Cruiserweight with Gotham City Troubadour, Operation Hennessey, Pioneers! O Pioneers! and Hotel Oscar
WHERE: Vinyl Music Hall, 2 S. Palafox
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23
COST: $10 General Admission; $50 Limited VIP Tickets
DETAILS: vinylmusichall.com