Jeff Rosenstock returned to his ska roots on this year's SKA DREAM -- a ska reworking of 2020's excellent NO DREAM -- and he's been doing some entire SKA DREAM sets on tour. Now, he's written the first entirely new ska song for his solo project since "Rainbow" from 2014's WORRY. (not counting 2020's dubby Bandcamp dump "Collapse!" or Jeff's contributions to The Bruce Lee Band). It's called "NO U," and it appears on the recently announced compilation by the great modern-day ska-punk label Bad Time Records, The Shape of Ska Punk To Come: Volume 2. It's a super fun, catchy, no-frills ska-punk song that should appeal to fans of Jeff's recent solo work as much as fans of his classic ska-punk band The Arrogant Sons of Bitches. Listen below.

Ahead of this song's release, we caught up with Jeff to discuss revisiting his ska roots, why the Bad Time Records family is so important for the modern ska scene, his own views on ska's latest resurgence, and more. Read on for our chat.

Tape Girl and Glory Hunters' songs from The Shape of Ska Punk To Come: Volume 2 are also streaming now, and the remaining 17 will be released one each day until they're all out. You can hear all three in the Bandcamp embed below. Pick up a physical copy of the comp at the BTR webstore. All proceeds benefit the ACLU and West Oakland Punks With Lunch.

We also spoke to Bad Time Records founder Mike Sosinski about the comp, and you can read that here.

"NO U" is I believe the first entirely new ska song outside of SKA DREAM by your solo band since "Rainbow" on WORRY. Does that sound right?

Ummmm... yes, if you don't count "Collapse."

Yeah and I was like, "is 'Collapse' dub or is it ska'...

I mean, you know [laughs]. If you're doing any of that stuff, it counts.

Right, right. Alright so my question is, how did this song come to be and what inspired you to write a ska song again?

Well, first of all I've written songs on Bruce Lee Band records and stuff, so this wasn't the first ska song that I'd written in a while or anything like that, but I don't write them too much. But Mike [Sosinski] reached out to me and asked me about being the comp, and was like "we need an original ska song," and I was like, "Okay, cool!" And then I just kind of waited... I didn't really know, maybe I'd try to write something at the last second, but it just kinda came to me after SKA DREAM happened. I think once SKA DREAM came out, I had a little bit of time before Craig [of the Creek] started up again, and it was just exciting talking to my friends about going on tour -- it was a positive little time, like in late spring, and I think just a handful of songs were popping in there, and this was one of them.

The whole Bad Time Records family is of course doing a lot for ska and ska-punk right now. In your opinion, what makes Bad Time so important? Why did you want to be on this comp?

I think it's great that they're doing it! I don't know, it's not rocket science to me, it's like a lot of the ska bands got together and they're like "let's lift each other up," and I think that's great. And Bad Time seems to be the hub for a lot of that, and they're very supportive of all the bands in the ska scene. And there was definitely a moment there, when there just weren't that many ska bands doing it, and the world didn't seem particularly supportive of it, so it's cool that the whole Bad Time Records family is just outwardly like, "Nah fuck that, ska's good!" I'm way into that.

When you started to see that there were all these people who were excited about ska again -- not just within the community, but like with all these articles coming out -- what did you make of all that and why do you think it's happening now?

I did this interview with Anthony Fantano on The Needle Drop and he asked me something about ska, and I was just like "oh yeah, I don't know," I think I mentioned like, a band or something like that, like "ska rocks, why don't you cover more ska in your thing or whatever," and a bunch of people commented like, "Yo why didn't you talk about any of these fucking new ska bands?!" And I was like, "Hey, that's fair!" I kinda didn't realize... like I knew all the bands were kinda doing shit, but I didn't realize that it felt like such a strong, supportive thing until that moment. And I was like, "Oh that's cool!" Like it's not just me being like, "stop shitting on ska!" -- other people were like "Hey, come on! Support ska!" And I thought that was cool. So that's kind of what got me aware of the Bad Time scene, and also that Ska Against Racism comp that they did with Asian Man got me kind of aware of it too. And yeah, this year when people started writing about ska, it's just, it's really fun to see. It's funny, like trying to wrap your head -- as someone who kinda came up in the 2000s hipster indie dance-punk world -- to see those same kind of publications be like, "Hey I think it's time we critically re-evaluated ska-punk" is just like hilarious to me [laughs]. I think it's great, I think it's awesome, I think that everybody should write about every kind of music without any of it being like immediately roasted because whatever the genre choice was. And it's cool to see that people are writing about ska like it's real music, because it very much is.

I think one of the things that helped people re-evaluate it was SKA DREAM. Like, that album came out, and people received it like, "Oh, it's not like a joke or an ironic thing or like a nostalgia thing, it's kinda just as good as NO DREAM." How have you been feeling about the reaction to it, and did you expect it to have the kind of impact that it's had?

I definitely didn't expect it to have any sort of impact like that [laughs], but I mean that's kind of like, a bit of the root of why a lot of us in our band were in ska bands to begin with, like, "Oh, it would just to be fun to make this thing." So that's been cool. [The positive reaction to it] is neat! It's cool! It makes me wish -- I hate to go somewhere kind of negative first -- but it makes me wish that we put NO DREAM out, were able to tour on NO DREAM, we put SKA DREAM out, were able to tour on SKA DREAM, and like were able to do, straight up, a whole bunch of ska shows. It'd be really fun to do that, instead of just kind of sneaking 'em in where we can.

[The reaction to the album] was just really expected. I knew some people would get it, and some people would like it, and I know that we tried to make something that was good. But you always try to make something that's good, you know? And when it's a ska covers version of your record, you don't really expect that it's gonna resonate. And if it did? I don't know. We tried to make it good, we all like ska, and we all know that it's inherently funny to tell people on April Fool's Day that you're dropping a ska version of your record on 4/20. We know that that is a silly idea [laughs]. It's certainly unexpected and it's really fun to see it. We had a lot of fun making it, and we're all very, very stoked on it. It was truly surprising.

And I think that's a thing in ska-punk; it's okay to be inherently silly but also genuine and great, like at once.

Yeah! I mean I think a lot of bands lean into that. Fuckin' Fishbone leans into silliness sometimes, and they're like one of the most respected who do it. I get it because it's only so long before you're talking about Weird Al songs or whatever, or Adam Sandler songs or whatever, but I think people get scared to have any sort of sense of humor when they're approaching music. And I think that if you're trying to capture the full gamut of the human experience, to leave humor out entirely, is just like, you're leaving out one of the best fuckin' parts, you know? So, yeah, I think that that something that I've always liked about certain ska bands is that it could be fun, it could be a little silly. And I think with SKA DREAM, we didn't want to poke fun, but we wanted it to be fun.

By the time this interview runs, the New York show will have passed, but how are you feeling about the upcoming SKA DREAM shows?

I'm stoked. I'm excited we get to it, I hope we do a good job [laughs]. We're practicing [for the New York show] the morning of our Boston show, and we are just gonna do our best and hope that it all comes together. I'm really excited about it. It's gonna fun to do that for sure.

Are you doing anything besides SKA DREAM songs?

Yeah, there's a few things we're gonna do, we have a handful of ska-leaning things that will also make their way in there.

You've probably been asked this a million times, but what initially attracted you to ska? What were some of the artists who made you decide that you wanted to pursue this music?

For me I guess it started with hearing Mr. Bungle. When I was a kid, I liked metal. My brother had a friend who was a metalhead, who I thought was really cool; me and my brother really liked Guns N' Roses; we had babysitters who gave us, like, Anthrax tapes; I would sneak out of my room at night and watch Headbangers Ball sometimes... and I really liked Faith No More a lot. And I went to a friend's house, and his brother had a CD of Mr. Bungle, which was the guy from Faith No More, and I was like, "Oh, okay, let me check this out!" And I really liked it, and that had some ska on it, and I was like, "This is cool, these people play horns, like what I play in concert band in school and stuff." And I was kind of getting into Fishbone at that time too, but those were also their metal days -- like "Unyielding Conditioning" was out then, which is probably their best song, if not the best song, but [Give a Monkey a Brain and He'll Swear He's the Center of the Universe] was still kind of a metal record. And then I heard The Mighty Mighty Bosstones' Question The Answers, which is also like a hardcore record in a lot of ways, with horns, and then slowly I was just kind of like, "What is this other thing that's happening here?" And then eventually it all was like, "Oh, yeah, this is ska." And I think right around then I heard Operation Ivy and Less Than Jake and stuff, and Reel Big Fish and all those bands, and I was like, "Oh, I love this." I very vividly remember sitting with that Operation Ivy CD in my friend's basement, while I think all my other friends were in a different room, like watching Faces of Death or some shit, like 12 or 13 year olds do [laughs], and just reading the lyrics and being like "Ahhh, fuck! This is the shit! This is what I've been looking for!"

Anything else you'd like to add or shout out?

It's really important that everyone votes!

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