Lose the Rookie on Punk Ambition: "We Never Had Any Delusions of Grandeur"


Though a guitarist by trade, when the then-unnamed South Florida punk band Lose the Rookie held their first practice in the latter half of 1998, Paul Chase sat behind a drum kit doing his best to keep up. By all accounts, he was dreadfully bad. Joined by guitarist Tim Rohde, singer Julio Pena (the self-professed handsomest member of the group), and bassist Bryan Goldsmith, the quartet worked their way through a makeshift set consisting of numbers inspired by the Impossibles, Weezer, and a hodgepodge of other influences.

"We all came from such diverse musical backgrounds," says Rohde. "There were a few common influences, and as far as writing went, there was no single person. We all kind of brought something to the table."

It was at a table at TGI Fridays in The Falls where the four men in their early 20s decided on their name -- one that Rohde believes aptly described their attitude at the time -- by throwing every idea they could think of into a hat. They agreed to accept whatever title fate saw fit to grace them with, however that plan deteriorated not long after being set into motion.

"We sat there for a few hours and beers -- shit, even the waiter picked out a few names," recalls Pena. "After the failed process, I think the winner was 'Nevernot,' but we didn't all dig it. So Paul busted out, 'Hey, how about Lose the Rookie?' meaning, 'get rid of the new guy.' We all liked the sound of it and went with it."

"Our name could have easily been something like Goldfish Grenade," says Chase.

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Out of Focus on the Old Cheers Days: "That Was our Life Back Then"

Out of Focus came together like many high school punk bands do -- the product of idle ambition and idealistic teenage gumption. Formed in late 1994, and operating until 1997, the group's earliest roots can be traced back to a short-lived Killian High outfit called Forehead, a hodgepodge of future South Florida punk scene stalwarts which served as an early incarnation of what would become Caught Inside. The group split up when Sean Fernandez and Andy Malchiodi came to a mutual agreement resulting in Fernandez leaving with Forehead guitarist John Moore to start Out of Focus.

"We were actually best friends growing up and realized shortly that we couldn't be in a band together because we both kind of wanted to be frontmen," says Fernandez. "So he [Malchiodi] started getting guys together for Caught Inside, and me and John started getting people together for Out of Focus, vowing to each other that we would always help one another out and get each other shows. So we played a lot of shows together."

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