From L to R: Mike Leverence, Kyle Lewis, Scott Murphy, Tim Rogner
|Phineas Gage (1994-1997)|
Pheanus Peenus (1997-1999)
|Origin||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|Genres||Pop punk, skate punk (early)|
|Labels||Drive-Thru, Universal J|
Allister is an American pop punk band from Chicago, Illinois. The four-piece formed in 1994 when the original band members were still in high school, and was originally named Phineas Gage. In 1998 Allister became one of the first bands to sign to Drive-Thru Records. They went on hiatus in 2007, then reunited in 2010, and have been touring and recording again since. They have released six studio albums: Dead Ends and Girlfriends (1999), Last Stop Suburbia (2002), Before the Blackout (2005), Countdown to Nowhere (2010), Life Behind Machines (2012), and 20 Years and Counting (2019). The band also made a cameo appearance in the 2004 film Sleepover.
Allister was formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1994 under their original name Phineas Gage by James B. Conant High School classmates Tim Rogner (vocals, drums) and John "Johnny" Hamada (guitar, vocals), with Eric "Skippy" Mueller (bass) joining in 1996. The following year, they changed their name to Allister, paying homage to Alasdair Gillis from the Canadian TV show You Can't Do That on Television. Upon being submitted a short demo tape, Drive-Thru Records decided to put out their debut release: a 7-inch vinyl record containing four songs, titled You Can't Do that on Vinyl (1998). Before the end of the year, Allister added another guitarist to the band, so Mueller took over guitar duties while Scott Murphy joined on bass.
In 1999, Drive-Thru Records released the band's full-length CD Dead Ends and Girlfriends with that very line-up. The 28-minute album, which was recorded with a production budget of a mere $700, featured fourteen pop punk tunes, along with covers of the Fraggle Rock theme song and the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way". Within the following years, Mueller quit Allister, and has been writing an MP3 blog called Can You See The Sunset From the Southside. Rogner replaced Mueller on rhythm guitar, and David "Dave" Rossi joined on drums in April 2000; Rossi commonly performed without a shirt. Hamada eventually quit as well around 2002, after tracking some songs for the group's follow-up record. Rogner's younger brother Chris took Hamada's spot on lead guitar.
With the aid of producer Chris Fudurich, the band recorded their second full-length album Last Stop Suburbia in 2002, showcasing a certain degree of growth in the songwriting of Rogner and Murphy. The album featured several fan-favorites, such as "Radio Player", "Overrated", and "Somewhere on Fullerton" (an ode to the legendary Chicago punk venue, Fireside Bowl), though the band had to part ways with both Rossi and Chris Rogner, who would concentrate on his own band August Premier. The following year, the band added Kyle Lewis (guitar) -- formerly of Showoff, Now She's Gone, and The Fold -- and Mike Leverence (drums), formerly of PARR5. Last Stop Suburbia reached No. 9 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. The song "Somewhere On Fullerton" was featured in Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure
In 2004, Allister toured the world (including Europe and Japan) and scored a small guest appearance on the big screen in the film Sleepover, before releasing their third album Before The Blackout (2005) and supporting it by co-headlining the "Before the Blackout, after the Breakup Tour" with Fenix*TX.
In 2006, the group was invited to a two and a half-month tour of Japan with Japanese band Ellegarden, with whom they had become friends while playing together at the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. The tour consisted of 40 sold out shows all over Japan. At this time, the group released a cover EP titled Guilty Pleasures, on which Murphy sang half of the songs in Japanese. Before the departure, Rogner learned that he was becoming a father and made the decision to take a job where he was more available to his family. As such, Allister decided to go on hiatus following one final Japanese tour that the band had already committed to in the spring of 2007 -- for which former Allister member Chris Rogner took his brother's place - and a final farewell show in Chicago at The Metro on July 20, 2007, at which Tim Rogner returned to perform. Former member John "Johnny" Hamada returned to sing backing vocals on the final song, "Somewhere on Fullerton", as well as other members of support bands Punchline and The Fold.
Soon after, Murphy and Lewis went on to start the band The Get Go with friends and former members of bands Home Grown and Mest. The Get Go released 2 records and toured the UK and Japan, but due to conflicting schedules has since ceased activity.
In 2008, Scott Murphy signed as a solo artist to the label Universal Music in Japan, recording his debut solo album, Guilty Pleasures II, as a continuation of the band's past work. The album contains a number of Japanese and English songs. On the album's release date, "Scott Murphy" was the number 1 searched word on Google in Japan. Murphy released another follow-up EP, Guilty Pleasures 3, on 3 December 2008. Guilty Pleasures 3 was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for shipment of 100,000 copies on 10 September 2009 and Guilty Pleasures II was also certified Gold by RIAJ on 10 December 2009. Throughout the following years, he released several more albums in the "Guilty Pleasures" series, including: Guilty Pleasures Love, Guilty Pleasures 4, Guilty Pleasures Animation, Guilty Pleasures Christmas and Guilty Pleasures Thriller, a track for track rock cover of the Michael Jackson album Thriller.
In 2010, Murphy began working on a project with alternative rock band Weezer's frontman Rivers Cuomo entitled Scott & Rivers. The pair met in Los Angeles in 2010, and soon began writing and recording an album of original songs sung in Japanese. They share lead vocal duties and play guitar in the group. They played their first show at the Countdown Japan Festival in Chiba on 31 December 2012, as the first non-Japanese act to perform at the 10-year-old festival. They released a full-length album, Scott & Rivers, in 2013.
In 2012, Rogner recorded and released a solo acoustic EP entitled "The Ravenswood Sessions."
Allister announced their intention to reunite in the spring of 2010, and the band broke their hiatus at the Bamboozle Festival in Chicago on 2010 May 15 at the Charter One Pavilion. They recorded and released their 4th full-length album Countdown to Nowhere on Universal Music Japan on 16 July 2010. In 2012, Allister recorded and released their 5th full-length album entitled Life Behind Machines, and promoted its release with a tour of Japan and their first ever tour of China. In 2014, Allister toured the United States playing dates with MxPx and Showoff. Former Allister members Chris Rogner and Eric "Skippy" Mueller have both been playing in new bands, Rogner in Hey Einstein and Mueller in We've Got Ours.
On 19 December 2018, Tim Rogner announced that the band would release a new record to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the release of You Can't Do that on Vinyl. The record, called 20 Years and Counting, is a "20 song compilation that features songs from previous records as well as four brand new tracks." Since Allister did not own the recording licenses for songs on its first three records, but owned the rights to the songs themselves, the band re-recorded and "re-imagined" some of them. A video for the re-recording of "Somewhere On Fullerton" was released on YouTube the same day as Rogner's announcement. The new record was officially released through Universal Japan on 30 January 2019, available digitally via iTunes and Google Play.
|Somewhere on Fullerton||2002|
|A Lotta Nerve||2005|