Josh Caterer“I love old movies. I work full time as a worship leader at my church. My daughter and I have the same birthday. I hate cats.” All little known facts about Josh Caterer, the singer and guitarist of the Chicago punk band Smoking Popes.

“Several years ago, my wife and I went to see Willie Nelson in concert at the House of Blues in Chicago. After the show, we went around to the back of the venue and waited by his bus for him to come out and greet people. When he finally did come out, we got to meet him, and I said to him, ‘You’re my musical hero,” and he said ‘Thank you,’ and then I burst into tears and walked away,” he said over e-mail of his favorite singers. “I love so many different kinds of music, it’s hard for me to pinpoint specific artists who influence me more than others. But I am constantly inspired by the following people: Iggy Pop, Willie Nelson, Elvis Costello, Judy Garland, and George Gershwin.”

“The sound of my Christmas EP is different from anything else I’ve done. I’ve never played all the instruments on a recording before. There’s a brightness to these recordings that is new to my music. I usually write songs alone. I write the music first and then the lyrics. It takes me about two weeks to write a song. When recording, we usually track the drums first, then guitars and bass, maybe keyboards, and finally vocals. When I was younger, I wrote mostly about my own relationships with girls I was dating. That’s what I was thinking about all the time so it’s all I could write about. As I got older, I started writing about other things, and I even started creating other characters and writing from their point of view. I think it’s because I find myself less interesting as time goes on. I started playing piano when I was 6, switched to bass when I was 9, guitar when I was 10, and wrote my first song when I was 11. There’s nothing else I’ve ever wanted to do with my life, so being in a band was really the only choice for me.”

For more information, visit the band’s website at SmokingPopes.net.