Originally created in 2018, the punk rock band Obstructionists has become increasingly more active within the last few months. Re-emerging with a brand-new lineup, Obstructionists went from a four-piece band to a five-piece band as a member of their original line-up moved on and two new members filled in the ranks. With an EP and an album already out for public consumption, Andy Campion, one of the original founders of the band, talked about the band’s origins and their plans moving forward.
Campion is a University of Wisconsin-Stout Senior within the professional communication and emerging media degree with a concentration in technical writing. Around 2018, he and his friends created the band Obstructionists, aiming to create a punk rock sound with a little metal flare mixed in. The original line-up included Zach Tate, who played bass and was lead vocalist of the band before moving away; Erik Herman on Drums; Eric Kilpela on lead guitar/vocals; and Andy Campion on rhythm guitar/vocals. This line-up released an EP called “Disbelief” before going on hiatus due to line-up issues and pandemic related restrictions.
Now, Obstructionists is back with a new line-up including Campion, Herman and Kilpela with the addition of Pat Barrows as lead vocalist and Zach Harder on bass.
The band takes much of its inspiration from songs from other 90’s melodic punk rock style bands, such as NOFX and Propagandhi, and mixes in a little metal to make it their own.
Aside from releasing a full-length album on Spotify on Sept. 16, Obstructionists has been playing more and more gigs with one of their latest being Oct. 2, at a live concert at MCN6 TV station in Minneapolis, being one of their biggest shows yet.
“It was our first show back since 2019, before the pandemic happened,” Campion said. “I was going into the show thinking like, ‘I don’t know any of the other bands on the bill for the show… no one’s gonna show up,’ but it turned out to be our biggest show yet with around 80-100 people there. It ended up being an awesome comeback show and went way better than I expected it to be.”
Campion also created the logos and album art for the band, taking inspiration from Raymond Pettibon’s 50’s comic book abstract style.
“I try to make the artwork pertain more to what the lyrical themes of the music are like,” Campion said. “For example, the album we just put out. A lot of it is about perseverance and making the most out of your life while you still can. So, the album art reflects that through the imagery of this guy who’s got a half-drunk bottle of whiskey, leaning on the counter all depressed, with the grim reaper next to him and a robot handing the man his happy face mask as if to say, ‘Put this on. It’ll do you good.’ All of which is trying to say that even though life’s a struggle, you gotta put on your game face and keep moving forward.”
Obstructionists post most of their gig details online on the social media platforms listed below. So, if you’re a punk rock fan and need a new band to listen to, here’s a band for you. Check them out on:
Spotify & Bandcamp