Tony Peachka

Tony Peachka is what happens when teenage angst hits drinking age. The group — singer/guitarist Melissa Jones, guitarist Stephanie Jo Murck, bassist Danielle Cusack, and drummer Hayley Briasco — stand on the stoop of their northeast Minneapolis practice space, roaring and laughing well above the music permeating the building. They burst into the echoey room and collapse onto secondhand sofas, immediately spilling into self-deprecation and innuendo.

Tony Peachka have endeared themselves to the local scene with their giddy ennui. Though they bill themselves as a band that makes “angry pop songs,” Peachka balance all that post-grad indignation with a sneering, instantly recognizable sense of humor. They’re a pogo-dancing portrait of just how clumsy and hilarious your early 20s can be. “It’s about being upset with your situation, but not that upset,” Jones says. As she’s the band’s lyricist, it’s usually her awkwardness on display. Their debut album, October’s Dirty Knees, is honest to the point of mortification. “Don’t wanna go out to bars in the evening / Gonna stay inside and eat all my feelings,” she squeals on “Idle Hands.”

“I’m never that embarrassed about the songs, because I know everyone feels that way,” Jones adds. “If you’re judging me for that, then you’re the one with the problem.” The original incarnation of Tony Peachka was twee and cutesy. Their 2015 demo, Hello Tony, had that unabashed honesty, but it didn’t fit the band’s vision. “Our first EP was super light and soft,” Briasco reluctantly admits. “There’s tambourine.” It didn’t feel right for a band whose music was designed as a literal confrontation with adulthood, so they trashed the tambourine, trading in the coos and melodies for Murck’s tight licks and Briasco’s viking drums. In 2016, they added Cusack, the ass-kicking Cherry Cola/Bruise Violet drummer, on bass and notched up the rock ’n’ roll adrenaline.

The first song they wrote as a unit was “Dirt,” their album’s howling final track. It’s about asserting a sense of self in a time when people gradually lose their individuality, and it’s the truest expression of an aesthetic the musicians have anthropomorphized as “Tony.” After solidifying their sound, Peachka bleached Hello Tony from the internet. They’re not making apologies for the missteps they’ve made — that’d be antithetical to the mission — but they’re not letting them define the group, either. Instead of collapsing into the messiness of trial and error, Tony Peachka brandish immaturity as a shield and keep it from being too much of a bummer. “We all make mistakes, and we have experiences with people that we realize afterwards was a mistake, but that’s all part of it,” Jones says with a self-conscious laugh. “You can’t always do it perfectly.”

[Jerard Fagerberg, City Pages: Picked to Click 2016 - #2]

Past Shows


Jul
18
th
2018
7th St Entry
Jul
18
th
2018
7th St Entry

Tony Peachka

with City Counselor and the Florists
May
11
th
2017
7th St Entry
May
11
th
2017
7th St Entry

Skating Polly

with Kitten Forever and Tony Peachka
Mar
17
th
2017
7th St Entry
Mar
17
th
2017
7th St Entry

WELLNESS

with The Shackletons and Tony Peachka
Feb
26
th
2017
7th St Entry
Feb
26
th
2017
7th St Entry

4th Curtis

with Lydia Liza, Tony Peachka and ahem
Jan
18
th
2017
Mainroom
Jan
18
th
2017
Mainroom

FIRST AVENUE’S BEST NEW BANDS OF 2016

with The Shackletons, Fraea, Lady Midnight and more!
Dec
17
th
2016
Turf Club
Jul
23
rd
2016
Mainroom
Jul
23
rd
2016
Mainroom

Kitten Forever

with Condominium, Candace, ROYAL BRAT and more!
May
24
th
2016
Turf Club
May
24
th
2016
Turf Club

Peach Kelli Pop

with Tony Peachka and Lunch Duchess
Mar
4
th
2016
Turf Club

More Shows

Apr
17
th
The Cedar Cultural Center

TENNIS

with Molly Burch
Feb
15
th
First Avenue

Apocalyptica

with Lacuna Coil
Apr
12
th
The Fitzgerald Theater
postponed

Sibling Rivalry

with Bob The Drag Queen and Monét X Change
Feb
18
th
Fine Line

Pokey LaFarge

with Esther Rose