By Carlee Griffin
All through the month of March, Indie Jones is celebrating National Women’s History Month with our local women in music. In our “Girls to the Front” series, we are asking local female musicians about what inspires them to contribute to our live music scene in the Bradenton + SRQ area.
Jodi Sorrentino is the bassist in one of our favorite local punk bands, Long Lost Enemies. A pioneer in the DIY punk scene of Bradenton, Florida, Jodi shares her thoughts on punk rock, local bands, and why it’s so important to have music venues in your hometown.
Independent Jones: Hey, Jodi. Thanks for interviewing with us. Currently, you can be spotted as the bassist for Long Lost Enemies. How long have you played for?
Jodi: Just about ten years. I started playing about 10 years ago as a hobby, then about 4 years ago I met Aaron Olmsted and we started a pop-punk band that eventually broke up then reformed as Long Lost Enemies around 2016. I had just finished vet school and, after giving up playing guitar when I was about 13, I just wanted to get back into it. I figured you’re never too old to try again, so I just started taking lessons. I didn’t start playing in a band till I moved back to Florida from Long Island probably 4 years ago? I’m from here, though.
What music acts or artists inspire or excite you?
I love folk punk right now - like Mischief Brew, Days n Daze, My Pizza My World... but my favorite record this year would have to be The Interrupters “Fight the Good Fight”. As far as local bands go, I’ve been listening to a lot of 430 Steps, Dial Drive, and I can’t forget that newly released Green Bastard record.
How are things going with your band “Long Lost Enemies”?
Our comp just came out, “Live Your Gimmick” and we’ve got a couple shows coming up. The songs on our comp are a little funnier, sillier - and a little more on the punk side, a little less Pop-y… but it’s pretty similar to “Bearshark” and “I Am The Liquor.” It’s the first time we’ve done a compilation album, so that’s cool. As with any artist's progression of their craft, we should want to go in and improve over our last work we did and recording situations are no different. We were not concerned with rehashing either of the previous EPs. It was more like a natural progression of what we do; fast, sarcastic blasts of fun. We went to our secret 6th member Matt Desear's laboratory (Burnt Orange Sound Studios) and recorded the band live with minimum overdubs as before. We had less than a 2 month time frame for recording and submitting the songs and PR kits to make the release deadline - we had never had to deal with deadlines before. Brian from Tuna For Sushi Records wanted specific content from us and the other three bands involved in the project (The Runz - The Supermen and Never Say Die) I think we achieved a good balance of something new and something familiar for our fans.
What was the first album that you owned?
A New Kids on the Block cassette tape when I was five. My first punk record was Guttermouth’s “Teri Yakimoto.”
That’s a great album, too. How does specifically being a woman affect you in the music scene?
I have insecurities about my playing but being around a lot of male and female musicians that are so talented has made it easier. They have all been so nice and complimentary of my playing and people seem to like seeing female musicians nowadays. It’s always been kind of a male-dominated industry. There’s not a lot of us and it’s almost kind of like a novelty.
How does it make you feel to go out and see your girlfriend play music?
I think it’s awesome. Take Julia from Dealbreaker, for example. She is crazy talented. She can play multiple instruments and she’s better than most of the guys around (a lot of them anyway.) So that cool, and it makes me want to be better. I always enjoy being on shows with other women like Julia Simms, Kim Varrasso of The Frenzied Passions, or Kari Frankenstein of The Prople. Some of the women in the international scene that I look up to would be Linh Le of Bad Cop/Bad Cop, Amy Interrupter of The Interrupters, Whitney Flynn of Days n Daze, and Brody Dalle of The Distillers. There are a lot of great Southwest Florida bands we have played with like Frenzied Passions, The Antidont’s, Abortion Twins, The Jim Parsons Project, 430 Steps, and Mosquito Teeth to name a few... but unfortunately, the venues are really few and far between.
Talk to me about some of your feelings about the SRQ/Bradenton music scene.
We no longer have the venues and it’s frustrating we don’t have hardly any places to play. We need those kinds of places here.
Why do you think it’s important to have those kinds of venues in your neighborhood?
It makes it easier for performers to work on music. It’s hard to want to continue without a place to perform and it’s tough to maintain the desire to do it if no one can actually take part in it. Just attending whatever local shows you can makes a difference. It’s the most important thing... without that local support, we will never be able to move towards having more venues.
I would really love to see the resurgence of the house show.
Yeah, there have been more house shows with the death of 600 Block in St. Petersburg. People seem to be doing it more, and I've even seen more shows being booked at local VWFs coming up soon, so people are finding a way. Our next show is at Cage Brewing in St. Petersburg.
Yeah, I just went and saw the Antidont's and Rutterkin up there not too long ago. You guys will like it there. The punk scene gets a bad rap which is a bummer. There's something really special about the totally DIY scene. What inspires you to play punk music?
Since I was 13, it’s really been the only music I've been interested in playing. There’s something about it. The fast rhythms, the energy. It brings everyone together in such a special way when you’re all kind of part of that close-knit community. Makes it feel like home.
Listen to Long Lost Enemies on Spotify here.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.