Interview: The Shocktroopers are Tougher than the Rest

Micah Paisley- Bass and Vocals; Mike Burns- Drums; Tyler Samz- Guitar and Vocals  

Take I-80 west of Denver, and you’ll find yourself in craggy, southern Wyoming. Nestled between truckers and rocky bluffs,  Rock Springs is  home to punk band The Shocktroopers.

In Wyoming, bands and fans alike measure the drive to the next show in hours, not miles. Shows are far and few between, making punk a hot commodity. It’s not uncommon to drive eight hours across state lines to see a band and then turn straight back around and head home—all within the same 24 hours to make it to work the next morning. You have to go out of your way for live music that isn’t comprised strictly of banjos;  hence, punks in the wilderness hold a higher appreciation for punk, creativity, and otherness than those who can find a band in any old bar, on any random Wednesday, in the city.

What makes Rock Springs unique in the Wyoming scene is that it is the perfect pitstop for touring bands traipsing between Salt Lake City and Denver. As a result, Rock Spring punks have formed an allegiance to their hometown band, who work hard to partner with these bands and make their own contribution to the scene.

The Shocktroopers hammer away, on and off stage. Between garage band rehearsals, the men are ambling through mines, driving heavy machinery, or teaching kids music. Each member has done his own full circle journey, leaving Rock Springs, searching for broader horizons, to end up back home. Home is where it feels right. With the development of technology over the last ten years, being a band in a remote corner of the world doesn’t have to take you away from your family and sense of identity. The Shocktroopers have chosen their Hardcore County Four lifestyle with the grace and knowledge that comes with experience and hard work. 

Inspired by the likes of Screeching Weasel, The Riverdales, and fellow Wyoming band The Lillingtons, The Shocktroopers are doing their part keeping the scene alive and well in their quadrant the state with a hypersonic kick drum and lyrics that are simultaneously fuck-yous and sincere declarations of love. Just coming off a tour withTeenage Bottlerocket, Suzi Moon, and THE SHIVERZ, the band is getting ready to record a new album. The album is promised to be compiled of songs full of despair, the ups and downs of annoying our loved ones, and how living in Wyoming just makes you harder. From frontman Tyler Samz says, “It’s about life in Wyoming. The struggle, the heartbreak. You have to be tougher here.”

This summer, The Shocktroopers will be touring the Southwest starting in Oklahoma, then inviting Texas to get messy:
  • June 23 @ Whittier Bar, Tulsa, OK
  • June 24 @ Three Links, Dallas, TX
  • June 25 @ Kick Butt Coffee, Austin, TX

Check out The Shocktroopers’ latest album, “Heat Wave” for your summer soundtrack of getting shit done.

Find more about The Shocktroopers on Facebook and Instagram.

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