A wildly prolific figure on the American pop-punk scene, Mikey Erg is a singer, songwriter, drummer, and guitarist who earned his punk handle from his stint with the New Jersey punk outfit the Ergs.
Erg had been playing in bands for 16 years when he made his solo debut with 2016's Tentative Decisions, where he blended personal lyrics with songs that went from spirited bash-it-out punk to more introspective pop numbers. Erg's more thoughtful side took center stage on 2019's Waxbuilt Castles, where acoustic guitars and sculpted noise played a significant role in the arrangements.
Mikey Erg, whose real name is Mike Yannich, was born on February 7, 1980, in South Amboy, New Jersey. He formed the Ergs in 2000 with fellow Old Bridge High School alumni Jeff Erg (Jeff Schroeck) and Joey Erg (Joe Keller). Known for their snarky (and often self-referential) humor and straightforward, Ramones-influenced attack, the Ergs released their first CD-R demos in 2000, and their vinyl debut, the 3 Guys, 12 Eyes EP, followed in 2001. While the Ergs released a steady stream of material over the next several years, Erg was hardly content to limit himself to one band. Erg toured and recorded with plenty of other acts, among them Dirt Bike Annie, the Unlovables, the Dopamines, Star Fucking Hipsters, House Boat, the Worriers, and For Science. The Ergs broke up in November 2008 (though they would stage occasional reunion shows), and Erg stepped up his work with other bands.
In 2011, Erg stepped out with his first solo record, a vinyl EP titled Valentine's Day in which he played all the instruments. Other vinyl EPs followed, and for a tour of Japan, Erg and Barrakuda McMurder produced a joint release on the most obsolete of all formats, the computer floppy disc. The year 2011 also marked the debut of The Chris Gethard Show, a satirical talk show starring the musician turned comedian, with Erg performing and writing songs as part of the show's house band, the LLC. After appearing on New York public access TV, the show was picked up for national broadcast by the Fusion cable network. Now a genuine TV star, Erg finally released his first proper solo album, 2016's Tentative Decisions, through Don Giovanni Records. For his second solo project, Erg went into the studio with LLC member Alex Clute and created a more thoughtful and melodic sophomore effort, 2019's Waxbuilt Castles. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi