Jared Stinson (Sic Waiting) leads the musical journey of a lifetime
August 02, 2018
A dark cloud looms over America. The bitter divide runs deeper than ever. On the surface, we’re lacking in empathy, stable leadership and civil discourse. In the underground, the punk scene thrives from sea to shining sea. Within this scene lives a sense of empowerment, kindness, and community. My name is Lauren and I’m your acting punk rock spirit guide. I’m here to take you through 10 U.S. bands that are keeping the scene alive.
What does skate punk mean to you? Most people think of the speedy, melodic style popularized by industry staples like Epitaph and Fat Wreck Chords. The elder sect of my peer group was raised on compilations like Punk-O-Rama and Fat Music For Fat People. Through their recommendations and the eclectic soundtrack of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, a brand-new world opened up to me and an entire generation of kids. I was whisked away from my sheltered suburban life into the angry, overtly political yet welcoming world of punk rock.
Rooted in sunny California, Sic Waiting comes from a similar lineage. For nearly two decades, they’ve been rocking sweaty dive bars. The project is the brainchild of rambunctious front man, Jared Stinson, a gifted songwriter with a propensity for powerful, raw lyrics.
“Lyrics and songs are the only times I am honest, in person I’m not really that way. It’s easier for me to put it into art and release it to everyone than it is to say it in person to anyone.”
They have everything you could want from soaring harmonies, lyrical depth, and tasteful guitar solos. Dictated by the tour, location, time, and availability: the line-up is a collective of passionate musicians at the top of their game.
“I write the songs and then bring them to the recording dudes. They’re pretty average when they get written but the emotion and idea is there. Once the dudes get them they become something special, or they don’t and we scrap them.”
They proudly pay homage to bands like Strung Out, No Use for A Name and Lagwagon, while adding their own special twist. I was lucky enough to witness this firsthand when the band wowed an anxious crowd with their fervent No Use For A Name cover set at Fest 16. In fact, they contributed a cover of NUFAN’s “Best Regards” to the 2015 compilation Best Regards: An Acoustic Tribute To Tony Sly. All the proceeds generated from the compilation are donated to the Tony Sly Music Foundation For Kids, a charitable organization that supports music education through projects dedicated in his honor.
“I know that No Use, Strung Out, Lagwagon etc were huge influences on me and my writing. Sic Waiting actually did some of the last No Use shows in the US before Tony passed away. That was crazy because it was one of the the first times we got to play with a band we looked up to, and they were so cool and nice every day, it fulfilled what you hope for when you’re dreaming about it. I miss that band greatly.”
When a full band line-up is unavailable to play, he forges ahead as an acoustic troubadour under the moniker Dead Frets. Jared is eager to take on different duties within the music industry. He has served in a management role for other scene veterans such as Angelic Upstarts and Conflict. With an open heart, mind, and listening ear, he makes the most out of life’s give and take.
Punk is known for its unstructured nature. This approach is a double-edged sword. On one hand, our celebration of imperfection creates a sense of security. There’s no barrier to entry, which leaves the door open for inclusion among people who experience ostracization from the outside world. On the other hand, this informality can cause a myriad of problems. This ranges from miscommunication and lack of quality to unreliability. He is determined to avoid these common trappings.
“To be successful in this business you need to be valuable and reliable, I think. So, I’m always watching and always trying to figure out how to be more valuable and more reliable.”
Sic Waiting last released Derailer in 2015 via Felony Records. This full-length album saw ex-Rise Against guitarist Chris Chasse handling the production. Every detail was gone over with a fine-tooth comb. It received a positive response from fans and critics alike. If you’re pining for new material, you’ll be pleased to know that a new album is in the pipeline. Get ready.
Dead Frets self released his latest album True South on March 10, 2017.