Here To Make You Dance, Sing and Cry

Rev. Norb and The Onions. Submitted image.

Fox Valley-based band Rev. Norb and The Onions will bring their unique garage punk rock sound to Waterfront Mary’s in Sturgeon Bay during a late-night concert on Friday night.

Originally founded in 2009, The Onions welcomed Rev. Norb’s (Norb Rozek) more than three decades of punk rock experience to their band just a couple years ago. At the time, he had been sitting idle without a band, though his resume included playing hardcore punk in the early 80s with his high school band Suburban Mutilation, joining on with Depo-Provera in the mid-80s to the 90s, and then serving as frontman (vocalist, keytar, guitar and harmonica player) for Boris the Sprinkler from 1992 until 2003.

During that time, he met The Onions’ guitarist and vocalist “Brad X” (Norb had put out the first record Brad Daugs was on, having owned a small record label in the 90s.) But it wasn’t until mid-2012 that the two came together in the musical sense, when Norb was asked to sing guest vocals on an album The Onions were releasing, in which they recorded two songs that Norb’s previous bands had played.

“They wanted to know if I would sing guest vocals on them so I said, ‘Sure!’ and went down and I recorded vocals with them,” Norb recalled.

Shorty after, Brad proposed the idea of The Onions (also including Nick Erdmann on bass and Jesse Hartlaub on drums) performing a cover set of Los Angeles-based punk rock band The Dickies for Halloween. With Norb’s known love of The Dickies, who themselves were known for their catchy melodies and comical style, Brad invited him to perform with them.

“They wanted me along to sing it and I was like, ‘Sure, why the heck not?’ So we did that and that was fun and then they were like, ‘Well why don’t we just be a band?’ and then I said, ‘Ok, why don’t we just be a band.’ So here we are, a band,” Norb said.

Rev. Norb and The Onions was born and in the time since, they have introduced Northeastern Wisconsin to their original fast-paced, tongue-in-cheek comical songs and energetic performances that pay tribute to the do-it-yourself ethic of many punk bands.

“We’re not going to bowl anybody over with a great impression of our professionalism and/or attention to detail, but we kind of try to bring the energy and throw whatever against the fan and see who salutes,” Norb says.

With that in mind, Norb said that if you like their first song, you’ll likely enjoy all the rest that follow, whether that’s “Teenage Tantrum,” “(She Got) Thoughtcrime,” or “Where Zombies Chill.”

As for what to expect from their performance? Rev. Norb says it best himself.

“It’s sort of a blend of influences,” Norb said. “We’ve listened to a lot of punk rock all our lives and we’ve listened to all manner of other music too so we sort of like to think that it all gets synthesized into one big happy glob, and away we go.

“Usually you just want to take the stage, kind of decimate the place, lay waste to it and leave it a smoking blasted out crater,” he added. “Sometimes it doesn’t always work that way but we do what we can.”

Rev. Norb and The Onions will start their performance at 10pm on Friday, Feb. 6 at Waterfront Mary’s, 3662 N. Duluth Ave. in Sturgeon Bay.