By DONNA BALANCIA
The Stitches are one of the best loved and most appreciated punk bands in Southern California. The longtime punkers Michael Lohrman, Johnny Witmer, Pete “Action Man'” Archer and Craig “Skibs” Barker recently opened for The Dictators NYC at The Viper Room and stole the show. Johnny Witmer of The Stitches answered the important questions for CaliforniaRocker.com
CR: What is the best gig — or two — The Stitches ever played?
JW: So many good ones. I’d have to say in the early days (the mid-90s) at The Purple Onion in SF, and that show we did in London in 2013. The two shows we opened for Green Day were pretty interesting…
CR: Did The Stitches ever tour?
JW: Yes we did, and still do. We’ve been to Europe four times, and to to various parts of the country a many times as well.
CR: Do you have any new music being recorded?
JW: We’ve had a new LP musically written for about 10 years now, but are still waiting for lyrics to be written. We will have a our Singles Collection LP (all of our rare 7-inch recordings, 1994-2010) released on Burger Records in 2017.
CR: What are the top selling records released by The Stitches
JW: 8×12 is probably our most famous record. We released it ourselves with no distribution, but still did really well. Twelve Imaginary Inches probably sold the most when it was released as TKO records had a good team back then.
CR: Any significant band changes?
JW: Not really. We’ve been the same members since 1994 except for drummers. Our second drummer, Skibs, is now our fourth drummer, and he’s been with us this time since the 2003 or so. We recently added Jim Kaa (from The Crowd) on second guitar last year (so Mike’s not the oldest guy in the band anymore)…
CR: Who writes the music?
JW: The Action Man, or myself usually write the music. Mike usually writes the lyrics.
CR: What are the topics you discuss in your music?
JW: It used to be about drugs, and prostitutes, but now 2 guys are sober, and 4 guys are married…
CR: Any upcoming gigs?
JW: We’re booking for 2017 now. We’ll play some local gigs, plus we’ll be in the Midwest, Texas, SF and the NW. Hopefully Europe again soon as well.