"Did you ever hear 'Born To Quit'? It's by the Smoking Popes. I thought that album was extraordinary, the most loveable thing I'd heard in years." --Morrissey
The Smoking Popes first burst onto the scene with "Born To Quit" on Chicago indie label Johann's Face. Prior to that album's re-release on Capitol Records in the summer of 1995, their single, "Need You Around," quickly became a favorite spin on Chicago's Q101 and Los Angeles' KROQ, with both stations putting it in heavy rotation. Praise from NME, Melody Maker, SPIN, Alternative Press, Rolling Stone and Billboard arrived with the release of "Born To Quit" as the band toured with Goo Goo Dolls, Tripping Daisy, Jawbreaker, Dinosaur Jr. and Local H. Later that year, "Need You Around" was also featured in the hit movie "Clueless."
In 1997, the Smoking Popes released "Destination Failure," which many consider to be their masterpiece. Earning an 8.8 from Pitchforkmedia, the album challenged the idea of what a pop punk band could do, with songwriting that didn't always adhere to verse/chorus/verse progression and lyrics that told tales of love and longing with heartbreaking details.
"The Smoking Popes were a good band that only wrote good songs. They have always been a big influence on Alkaline Trio and are a huge reason a lot of us started bands in the first place. I can't wait to see them again...I hope they play 'Brand New Hairstyle'". --Matt Skiba, Alkaline Trio
"The group really won my heart with the cover of 'Pure Imagination' from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. How can you help but love these guys?" --Jim Derogatis