Punk rock still hard, fast and loud in Skowhegan
By Doug Harlow July 4, 2017
SKOWHEGAN — Scott Cole, Tyler Voter and Michael Spaulding aren’t punks in the classic sense of the word —
they don’t have spiked Mohawk haircuts or wear safety pins in their ears.
But make no mistake, the boys in the band Uncle Spudd are punk rockers, making original music that is loud, fast and hard.
The band, which has had gigs in Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina,
released its first full-length CD this month, titled “Spudd Light” after two earlier extended play, or EP, releases,
including “Meat The Robinson,” a five-song hardcore release.
Cole, 22, on lead vocals and lead guitar, graduated from Skowhegan Area High School. Voter, 22, on drums, went to
Carrabec High School in North Anson; and Spaulding, 21, on bass guitar, graduated from Madison Area Memorial
High School. Spaulding is a theater major at the University of Southern Maine. Voter is a car salesman at Charlie’s
Motor Mall in Augusta. Cole is a substitute teacher who recently quit his job busing tables at Ken’s Restaurant in
Cole said when the band formed in January 2014, they played a mix of “traditional” late ’70s and early ’80s punk
rock — the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Clash. Some audiences in Maine, however, wanted “the more aggressive
stuff” as was seen in the late 1980s in hard-core punk bands such as Minor Threat, Black Flag and the Dead
“We started doing aggressive music and we built quite a following on that, but I didn’t have too many creative places to go with it and didn’t want to keep making the same album over and over again, so we just decided to write whatever happens; and that’s what we did,” Cole said during a recent interview in The Loft, their performance venue above his garage on North Avenue in Skowhegan. “It’s a lot more well rounded now. The sound has more variety.” The band has played at P.U.N.K. fests in Maine and is scheduled to perform at Anson/Madison Days and at Skowhegan’s Moonlight Madness, both this summer. They have scheduled gigs July 13 at Geno’s Rock Club on Congress Street in Portland and in September at the Midway Cafe on Washington Street in Boston.
Spaulding, the bass player, said he isn’t a punk until he gets on stage with Uncle Spudd. He said he has his other
persona — a laid back, solo acoustic guitar player he calls Frankie Moon. “I like a lot of folky music, like the Mountain Goats, Jeffrey Lewis — he plays anti-folk, closer to folk punk, and he’s Coming to Portland,” he said. “I don’t consider myself a punk rocker. I just like to play punk. I’m really like just a gentle person. I’m very fragile. I don’t have that punk rock edge that people are supposed to have. “I’m like granola boy at best, but I listen to a lot of hardcore. The only place I am willing to get punched in the face is at a show.”
Spaulding said he also likes what is called “power violence” music, which pushes the extreme of hardcore punk even further, harder and faster.
Voter said the band that got him interested in punk was Green Day, along with Bad Religion, NOFX and the Dropkick Murphys. Cole, whose father, Tom Cole, does an Elvis Presley impersonation act, said he has had a lot of influences, including his favorite band of all — The Beatles, tied with the Clash.