Published on May 24th, 2022


For all the quirks, highly manipulated lore, identity crises, moniker predicaments and constant defiance of norms, Long Beach’s T.S.O.L. (True Sounds of Liberty) remain one of the brightest and most engaging bands from the early waves of punk rock. Thanks in part to charismatic founder and singer Jack Grisham, T.S.O.L.’s communal creative spark — a foundation of the band’s genre experimentalism — has cemented their spot in history.

Speaking to PureHoney, Grisham jokes, “Were we important? I don’t know. There’s a shitload of bands that said we influenced them, but maybe it’s just because it’s cool to say you were raised by anarchists.”

Jokes aside, the band’s debut album, 1981’s “Dance with Me,” is a milestone in American punk. The mix of hardcore and nascent gothic rock with touches of horror certainly paved the way for acclaimed outfits like Christian Death, The Lords of the New Church and even mainstream success stories like Offspring.

The band has gone through its share of issues, including an era marked by dueling lineups and naming rights, but overall, T.S.O.L. has forged along, following the summated sonic interests of its parts. Along with Grisham, founding members Ron Emory (guitar) and Mike Roche (bass) continue the racket along with longtime keyboardist Greg Kuehn and drummer Antonio Val Hernandez.

Grisham, whose career arc has taken him from music into politics, writing, photography and film, recently directed “Ignore Heroes,” a crowdfunded documentary on the “inception, destruction and reformation” of the band. After exceeding the pledge ask of $60K, Grisham says the film should be out within the next couple of months.

Reminiscing on previous Florida appearances, he promises fans “an extremely tight, fun, shit-talking, Southern California, punk-type rock experience.” That’s no vague promise; it’s a pact from a band that is still collectively hungry 40 years later, still ready to challenge norms and do everything on its own terms.

T.S.O.L. with 1983, Hellfire Hooch and Killed by Florida perform 8pm Thursday, June 9 at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach. facebook.com/TsolOfficial ~ Abel Folgar