Playing City Winery Boston on Feb 2 (with Willie Nile)
What others are saying about ‘Monsters + Angels’
“When it comes to the history of punk rock in Boston, the Nervous Eaters are legit pioneers. A welcome return for the legendary act with the songwriting being at very high level. A major powerpop vibe going on along with a classic feel within the instrumentation and arrangements,”- Dig Boston
“The brand new album by Nervous Eaters, “Monsters + Angels,” includes songs that are sure to immediately rank alongside favorites of fans who remember them as The Rat’s house band.”- Boston Globe
“40 years in, punk rock band Nervous Eaters are as rowdy as ever”- NPR/WBUR
“A mean mix of garage rock, with grizzled bravado and energy. ‘Monsters + Angels’ is a superb showcase for songwriter Steve Cataldo’s thoughts on aging and other reactions to a world in crisis. A terrific comeback for a band that never should have left. Highly Recommended.”- Power Popaholic
“Boston punk legends The Nervous Eaters somehow keep making great new music.”- If It’s Too Loud
“(an) inspirational rock anthem”- Folk ‘N Rock
Photo: Carissa Johnson
Pioneering Boston rockers Nervous Eaters— contemporaries of bands like the Ramones, The Police, Iggy Pop, and The Pretenders— have released their critically-lauded 2022 return full-length, ‘Monsters + Angels,’ on vinyl via Stevie Van Zandt’sWicked Cool Records.
Buy ‘Monsters + Angels’ Vinyl/Stream on DSPs here:
Video directed by Vincent Straggas; Production services by Flagday Productions.
The album, released digitally and on CD in November, marks a welcome return for the 4-piece, who are proving they are as relevant as ever.
Formed in the mid-70’s, the Nervous Eaters would eventually become the house band for the legendary Boston punk rock club The Rat, where they established themselves as a leading punk rock band in the Northeast, playing with a who’s who of punk and new wave luminaries, including The Police, The Ramones, The Cars, Patti Smith, Dead Boys, Iggy Pop, The Stranglers, Go-Go’s and many others.
The Cars’ Ric Ocasek produced the band’s original demos, which got the band signed to Elektra Records, and they went on to tour around the world. However, after a series of poor decisions on the part of the label, their major label debut album failed to deliver on the promise of their legendary live shows.
After dissolving the band, Nervous Eaters returned in the mid-80’s and has been revived over the years with various lineups.
The current version of the Nervous Eaters formed in 2018 and includes three other Boston rock vets, bassist Brad Hallen (of Ministry, Ric Ocasek and The Joneses), drummer David McLean (of Willie Alexander’s Boom Boom Band) and guitarist/vocalist Adam Sherman (of Private Lightning), and between them, they have recorded and/or toured with such artists as Ministry, Iggy Pop, Aimee Mann, Jane Wiedlin, Susan Tedeschi, Jimmie Vaughan, Lenny Kaye and many others.
Feb 2- Boston, MA @ City Winery Boston (with Willie Nile) Tickets
“What can a poor boy do? Except to sing for a rock ‘n’ roll band?”
Mick Jagger posed that question back in 1968 and he’s certainly answered it over the years by steadily touring with the Rolling Stones: Keep singing for a rock ‘n’ roll band. It’s still a pretty fun job. Maybe an essential job. Retirement is not an option.
The same goes for Steve Cataldo, whose band, the Nervous Eaters, has delivered this new 10-track album – MONSTERS & ANGELS and it’s released on Stevie Van Zandt’s label, Wicked Cool Records.
“Where would many bands be today without Mick Jagger and his guitar-slinging partner Keith Richards?” says Cataldo, singer, guitarist, songwriter, producer. Jagger has a few years on Cataldo, but both grew up with the same Rock, Blues and R&B roots, Cataldo continues to ply the rock ‘n’ roll trade. He must ply the trade.
“It’s what I know,” Cataldo says, simply. “I’ve been doing it since I was 12. I started out on the drums, but didn’t have enough control so I moved to guitar and started singing and writing. You get out there and do it. It doesn’t matter what vein of rock ‘n’ roll you’re in. If you’re creating art, it’s just in your system and that’s what you do.”
“I’m not a physicist or doctor – you know, the things your parents would like you to grow up to be,’ Cataldo adds. “I’m like a little grasshopper that fiddled his summer away in the Nervous Eaters”.
BEGINNING: Cataldo’s lifetime of summer fiddling began on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where he was born and once again lives. Cataldo was in lots of bands, on the Cape and on Boston’s North Shore and the one that stuck around – in various incarnations over the years – that raves on – is the Nervous Eaters.
BAND NAME: The band’s original drummer, the late Jeff Wilkinson, and the band rehearsed in his family’s basement. “His mother, Florence, was a great lady and she fed the band a lot,” Cataldo explains. “We’d come up from the basement at different times to grab something to eat and she said, ‘Why don’t you all come up and sit down and have a meal? You’re such a bunch of nervous eaters.’ So, it stuck. It wasn’t the coolest name to hit the town, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. We had a good laugh over it and we loved Florence. We are the Nervous Eaters.”
STARTING OUT: The early Eaters were just a bunch of insane kids. “In our youth, the Nervous Easters spent a lot of time driving old cars held together by duct tape and speaker wire,” says Cataldo. “Gear in the back and on the roof. We played everywhere. We were just too young and stupid to know fear and too jazzed up on the life of rock ‘n’ roll to worry about anything. We just had to play. You didn’t have bills, just balls. The next song, next gig, next record, next guitar, next girlfriend, THE NEXT LIFE.”
THE EARLY DAYS – The band launched in the mid 1970’s and were a leading punk rock band in the Northeast. Home base: The black-walled, sticky-floored, basement club in Boston’s Kenmore Square – The Rat. The Eaters played snarling, self-deprecating lust-for-life blasts like Shit for Brains, Get Stuffed, Last Chance, Just Head, and I’m a Degenerate. Their first release a 45, on Rat Records, 1976, which gained local and national college airplay for their classic single – Loretta.
“Loretta was irresistible,” says Oedipus, former program director and legendary DJ at Boston rock powerhouse, WBCN. “You jumped around the dance floor when they played it live or when you heard it on the radio. Live, they were great and Steve was such an energizing front man.”
The buzz built and their popularity grew. The Cars’ Ric Ocasek produced a demo tape which got the band signed to Elektra Records. They toured around the world – but the album stalled, going astray from the start with the wrong assigned label producer and a lack of follow-through. As Cataldo says, “Mistakes were made. To quote Shakespeare ‘It is not in the Stars to hold our Destiny but in ourselves. (That’s Julius Caesar in Julius Caesar.)”
The original Eaters dissolved but came back in the mid- ‘80s with a new lineup. The reborn Eaters launched a salvo called HOT STEEL AND ACID in 1986, a far better disc (that sounded like the band), on the indie label Ace of Hearts. Producer Rick Harte captured the Eaters vicious, vintage punk sound and it went as far as a Boston indie could take it.
Cataldo’s passion and drive never waned. He needed to keep seeking, playing, writing, couldn’t stop, didn’t know how or why to stop.
THE NEXT LIFE: The current version of the Nervous Eaters formed in 2018 and includes three other Boston rock vets, bassist Brad Hallen (of Ministry, Ric Ocasek and The Joneses), drummer David McLean (of Willie Alexander’s Boom Boom Band) and guitarist/vocalist Adam Sherman (of Private Lightning).
The Nervous Eaters are
Steve Cataldo Lead vocals, lead guitars, keyboards and percussion
Brad Hallen bass, vocals and percussion
Adam Sherman guitars and vocals
David McLean drums and percussion
Brooks Milgate Piano and Organ
Jack Gauthier Vocals
Lou Cataldo Vocals
Murray Keyboards and vocals
More Praise For Nervous Eaters
“It was always a bit of misnomer to call The Nervous Eaters a punk band, since the quartet’s style was more classic garage rock – scruffy and unpretentious, to be sure, but also far more melodic and musically adept than the majority of punk acts.”- Patriot Ledger
“Steve Cataldo’s voice and guitar licks remain some of the most vicious of the late-‘70s punk cycle.”- Please Kill Me
“Opening for the likes of The Police, The Ramones, The Pretenders, and Iggy Pop, Nervous Eaters made quite a memorable ruckus with their mix of old-school R & B and Stones-esque swagger, with a punchy punk sensibility thrown into the mix. Listening to them now conjures up a semi-lost world of Nuggets-like irresistibly primal garage rock and the raw but tuneful celebration of teenage kicks.”- The Arts Fuse
“Nervous Eaters are considered one of the first and more influential Boston punk bands, forming in the late-’70s and fostering a new era of the city’s music scene.”- Vanyaland
“The most striking impression was how potent a musical force they still are.”- Patriot Ledger