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There are few governing principles that rule debauched rock outfit Cheeseburger. They’re a New York City rock band who have broken rank, prioritizing a fun live show over a cool image. They’re serious students of music, wearing their influences on their sleeves, and yet they cleverly rework many of the conventions that rock music has lazily leaned on, innovating within the genre. The adhesive of Cheeseburger is that whether they were playing in a band together or not, they’d likely be spending just as much time together. “We’re not a traditional rock and roll band. We’re good friends, and that’s what’s always been most important,” explains guitarist and founding member Christy Karacas. These facts, coupled with the searing rock opus to sad sackitude and having fun that is their follow-up, ANOTHER BIG NIGHT DOWN THE DRAIN, that have made Cheeseburger a profoundly beloved band.
In the interceding four years since their full-length debut, the band has undergone shifts in personnel and sound that have left them a stronger band. But to conceive of Cheeseburger in the traditional mold of a band is unhelpful. When founding members Joe Bradley, Christy Karacas and drummer Luke Crotty first came together at the Rhode Island School of Design in the late ‘90s, they found themselves in the minority of the art-rock scene. “Our best friends were in these totally different bands,” explains Karacas. “We’re anti-art rock,” new addition Christian Gordy clarifies. “We’re a ‘fuck you’ to the pretentious.” After moving to New York, the band were embraced as a band’s band, and known for putting on obscenely fun shows, which they’ve done consistently for the past decade. With the help of Karacas’ Adult Swim show Superjail! (which features a Cheeseburger song as its popular theme song), they built up a rabid fan base – a cross-section of rock lovers with senses of humor.