To many hardcore punk fans Timmy Chunks is best known as the lead singer for Token Entry. He sang on all 3 of their full lengths that started with 1987’s “From Beneath The Streets”, ‘88’s “Jaybird” and 1990’s “The Weight Of The World”. Tim would later move out west but still was connected to the hardcore punk scene being a part of bands like Redemption 87, and Felix, was a touring technician with Green Day and these days handles guitar and vocal duties for Let Rage! We reached out to Tim to see if he would want to be a part of our “20 Questions With” series and he was game. Check out what he had to say in this August 24th interview. Shout out to those who helped put this together including Mike Not Like You, Myk Rudnick, Ken Salerno, Danny Darella and John Franko for the graphic work.
WAY BACK IN THE DAY WITH TIM & TOKEN ENTRY @ TRENTON, NJ'S CITY GARDENS.
PHOTO BY: KEN SALERNO
1. Hey Tim, where are you right now and what do you think you would be doing if you weren't answering these questions?
Tim: I’m sitting in my apartment contemplating what shirt I should wear to Carlos’ (from No Echo) band T-shirt BBQ. If I wasn’t answering these questions I’m pretty sure I would be doing nothing productive at all!
2. How did you get the name "Chunks"? Who gave it to you and is there any kind of story behind it?
Tim: Well of course there is a story behind it. However I do not tell anyone the story but if you guess how I got the name I will not deny it. I only ask that if you do guess it you don’t go telling everyone.
3. From coming up in the NYHC scene what were some of your favorite nicknames for other people you either knew or knew of from going to shows?
Tim: Wow, that’s a good question. You know there were so many… Billy Psycho, Todd Youth, Batmite, Andy Scum, Mike Nihilistic, Jaybird, Joe Stix, Frenchie Da Skin, Bags, Ditto, Johnny Feedback… the list goes on and on.
4. On the cover of Token Entry’s “From Beneath The Streets” album cover your cartoon character looks a little angry. What are your thoughts on how Ernie drew you on that classic cover?
Tim: I never really noticed that I looked angry. I was always just amazed that Ernie made my ears so big! Why did he do that?
5. Recently Bi-Focal Media put out a new Token Entry shirt that looks to be drawn by Ernie, this time with you on a skateboard outside CB’s. Can we get your “review” on this one and would you say that you lead the NYHC scene in overall cartoon character renditions?
Tim: Well the great thing about the shirt (available at Bi-Focal Media) is even though it was based on Ernie’s caricature of me it was actually drawn by the very talented Chris Shary. If you don’t know who Chris is I guarantee that you have seen his artwork before! He has done some art for people you have most likely heard of. So yeah, it is based on Ernie’s drawing of me and a photo I have of me skating in front of CBGB’s. Do I have the most character renditions? I doubt it very much. I mean hell, look at Jimmy Gestapo from Murphy’s Law! He has probably more renditions than anyone else I can think of off the top of my head.
TO THE LEFT... THE CHRIS SHARY TOKEN ENTRY SHIRT DESIGN MENTIONED ABOVE & TO THE RIGHT IS THE PHOTO OF TIM SKATING OUTSIDE OF CBGB'S WHICH INSPIRED THE T-SHIRT DESIGN
6. What are some thoughts or memories that immediately jump out at you from those Token Entry days? There were so many positives, good shows and vibes that could get overshadowed by a bunch of “what ifs” when looking over the bands history.
Tim: Man, we had the best times. We always used to go everywhere together. Skating the pyramids in Astoria, traveling to Philly or DC or Boston or Connecticut… just hanging out with your best friends and having fun.
7. How did you feel when “The Weight Of The World” came out and it was received as poorly as it was? After making two amazing all-time great NYHC records can you take us back to when this album came out? Did you deep down believe in the album when you were writing and recording it or were you just sort of hoping for the best with it?
Tim: Hmmm… I believe when it came out we definitely believed in it. The scene was changing a bit at this time and we were just changing in a way we thought we wanted to go. In hindsight there are some really good songs on that record but it wasn’t anywhere near as strong as “Jaybird” or “From Beneath The Streets”.
8. (Past or present) Your 3 all-time favorite TV shows?
Tim: That’s easy… 1: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 2:Angel, 3: American Horror Story (1st season).
9. If you had to be trapped inside a TV show for a month which show would you pick and why?
Tim: Oh definitely Buffy! The season that had the episode HUSH in it. That episode was so freaky.
10. Worst job you ever had?
Tim: Ernie and I went to a job that was telemarketing of some sort. Honestly I don’t remember for what, but we went in and worked like four hours and then went out for lunch. When we got outside we both looked at each other and said ‘You going back?” we were both like “NOPE”… never went back, never got a paycheck, never cared!
11. Were you or are you still a hardcore punk memorabilia collector? Stuff like records, shirts, or other… If so what are some of the things that you have that are really important to you? Not necessarily in a monetary way either.
Tim: I don’t know if I would say I am a collector but I definitely have things that I will never get rid of. A Token Entry patch for the back of a vest, a Crippled Youth sticker that came in their first 7”, a Bouncing Souls t-shirt that is older than most of the people I work with, my copy of “Let Them Eat Jellybeans” on red vinyl, the Reagan Youth record with its crazy poster fold out cover.
12. These days you sing and play guitar in Let Rage! who we covered on this site 2 years back. Besides having a new EP out what can you tell us about the band and your approach to the band which seems more about having fun and not really going all out with playing shows/tours etc.
Tim: Well we started the band in a car ride to Punk Rock Bowling a few years ago. The band started as a way to hang out with my friends and have some fun. The reception was better than I expected and it turns out that I needed to play music to stay sane so we keep plugging along.
13. One of the Let Rage! songs is “Teenage Altar Boy” which is a song you wrote about your time as an altar boy in your early teens. Is religion a part of your life?
Tim: I do go to church every once and a while. I don’t know if religion is a big part of my life but I do believe I am a spiritual person. This conversation could go on for hours but I’ll just leave it at that.
Listen to "Teenage Altar Boy" HERE.
14. When we did the interview two years back your Let Rage! band mates told stories about how you are more old-school in regards get too involved with social media and would rather straight up call a friend over sending a text message. Your latest EP has a track called “Digital Choice” which touches on this topic as well. Can you explain more about your feelings on this?
Tim: Oh man… technology and social media are killing our kids and the overall sensibility of people as a whole. I try to not to stay on the platforms too much but I, like so many others fall into that wormhole so easily.
(Listen to "Digital Choice" HERE. Click on the "Stay Safe, Stay Strong" EP cover to the left to find out how to buy it from Not Like You Records).
15. How do you think bowling and punk rock got so intermingled? Let Rage! members are part of an LA Gutter Punks bowling league and obviously the Punk Rock Bowling Fest is a big thing these days as well. I thought we were all supposed to hate sports?
Tim: Haha! Well, think about it. When you were a kid did you think bowling was a sport? Probably not! But let’s be honest, the Sterns are the whole reason Punk and Bowling became so intermingled.
16. How long have you been living on the West Coast for and what are some of the best things about living out there as compared to life as you remember it here in NY?
Tim: I moved to L.A. in 1993 so I have been living in L.A. longer than I lived in N.Y. Life isn’t better or worse, it’s just different. I mean not having to deal with snow is a plus.
17. What are some things that you miss about living in NYC?
Tim: Friends, family, bodegas, and breakfast sandwiches.
18. You are the father of two daughters. Have they shown any interest in “dads music” whether it be your current or past bands or just the hardcore punk thing in general?
Tim: It’s weird. They don’t seem to have any interest in any of the bands I have been in or am currently in. With that being said, occasionally they will surprise me with songs or bands that I like. It’s hard to explain. I wish they enjoyed the punk/hardcore scene more, obviously. It gave me so much and lifelong friends and I wish they had that same opportunity.
19. Outside of music what are some things you like to do in your spare time? Do you still skate?
Tim: Well I do enjoy skating still but I find it harder to motivate myself to do it. Lately I have been making more of a conscious effort to get out and skate. I also like to fish whenever I can. Bowling is always fun too!
20. You have traveled the world as a tour tech (or manager) with bands like Green Day, Bouncing Souls and (I assume) many more. What do you miss the most from those days?
Tim: The simple matter of traveling is what I miss the most. Waking up in a new city or country… all the amazing people I have met from all over the world.
21. Most famous person/persons you have met and were they cool?
Tim: Well it all depends on who you consider famous? I have met some people that are well known for sure and I can’t say that I have ever met anyone who after meeting them I said to myself “they were dicks, I wish I never met them”. I have met The Who and got their autographs. I met Blondie and got their autographs. I met the Go-Go’s. I met Neil Young. I have met Run-DMC and Jam Master Jay. I have met Mick Jones. I have been very lucky to have met people that mean a lot to me and am so grateful for all the opportunities that I have had and have never been disappointed.
22. What type of work are you involved in these days, what is your occupation? Do you like it?
Tim: Currently I am a union electrician in Los Angeles… Local Union 11. I like it just fine but I miss touring and still occasionally work for bands.
23. Do you like to stay up on newer punk and hardcore bands and if so who are some that you may like?
Tim: I do try to stay up on newer bands but it is harder these days. Lately I have been really into Shiners Club from Long Beach CA… also Skullcrack from Southern Cali. Tonight I am going to see a band called Total Massacre from L.A. I really like these bands a lot.
24. Do you consider yourself lucky or fortunate for discovering hardcore punk music?
Tim: The long and short of this question is YES and VERY. Thanks for having me and remember errybuddy… Stay Safe Stay Strong.
TIM WITH TOKEN ENTRY @ TOMPKINS SQUARE PARK, NYC JULY 23, 2016.
PHOTO BY: DANIEL P. DERELLA
RELATED READING... JUNE 2017 INTERVIEW WITH LET RAGE!
AUGUST 2016 INTERVIEW WITH TOKEN ENTRY'S JOHNNY STEIGERWALD