Interviews Spazmatics(JRGetches)**

Published on October 4th, 2013 | by Ballard Lesemann


The Punch List with Tim Brennan of the Spazmatics

Metronome Charleston‘s Punch List series puts local musicians on the spot with a questionnaire that touches on music, venues, gear, records, vices, and more. This week, rock bassist and music blogger Tim Brennan (of ’80s party band the Spazmatics) responds to the list.

1. What is your favorite local hang and why?

“Madra Rua for its true Irish feel. They pour the most authentic Guinness in town. The bar is constantly dark, and they serve good food. I always end up in an interesting conversation there. The runner up is Seanachai Social Club on Johns Island, but it’s too far away for me to get there often. Gerry, the owner, is great. In a pinch, the Zoo on Ben Sawyer Boulevard; more characters than in a Tom Waits box set.

To see bands, it’s a toss up between Pour House and Windjammer. The Pour House gets more bands I like, but both venues give me an out. When a band really bores me at either, I can walk outside or to another part of the bar and get away. Both have good sound.

2. You know you’ve played an excellent show when…

“I’m tired. My fingers hurt. My shoulder is sore. My legs are wobbly. I’m half drunk. And laughing my ass off with the rest of the band.”


Timmy of the Spazmatics (photo by J.R. Getches)

3. What was the last show you attended that really got you fired up in a good or bad way?

“This summer’s three shows with Rambler 454 [Brennan’s longtime, Cleveland-based rock band]. We played four hours straight one night, burned in the hot sun the next day, and watched a boat get set on fire the next show during out set. Then we made plans to record our fourth CD.

Oh wait. You wrote ‘attended.’ not played. Flogging Molly at the Music Farm was the last show to fire me up in a real good way. Hung out with the Guinness rep before, lived in the mosh pit during, and cruised King Street with the guitarist and bassist for a long time after. It’s been the best loud, raucous show I’ve seen in town.”

4. Define your musical style in exactly 10 words.

“Full body foundation-laying bass, letting singers and guitarists soar.”

5. What’s your theme song?

“Good question. Guess I don’t have one by someone else that I say is for me. I can take bits of songs and say one part or another is something I can relate to. But a song by somebody is theirs, not mine. So I’ve written hundreds in search of personal expression. I’d list some of mine, but you’d never have heard of them. Though, a new one called “(I’ll Never Be) As Young As I Am Today” is one that may get released this year by a friend and is my most recent theme song. It’s about … aw, forget it. You already stopped reading.”

6. Gear-wise, what’s is your irreplaceable baby?

“Three: my 1978 Fender P-bass, 1937 steel body piano-finish Triolean [resonator guitar], and $50 Yamaha acoustic guitar.”

7. What’s the most overplayed album in your collection?

“Chris Whitley’s Living With the Law. It beats out Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and half my Irish punk collection because like Coltrane, that album has a world of hidden mysteries I’ll never understand. And like my Irish punk faves, it has an energy that builds me up. I’ve also seen him a dozen times in his short life and each show was religion.”

8. When was the last time you were genuinely star-struck? 

“The last time was when Flogging Molly came to town, and the bass player recognized me from a previous show. We ended up having way too much to drink on King Street. I appreciated cabs that night. If I could, I’d be in a Flogging Molly tribute band. I was star-struck at first, and like almost every one else famous I’ve spent time with, he ended up just being a great guy … except Björk on the Sugarcubes’ first tour; she was something else.”

9. What’s your poison?

“Good beer. And excellent scotch.”

10. In 10 years, I will be…

“That’s a scary thought. Alive? Hope so. Watching my kids play gigs? Still searching for another band? If I’m benevolent, managing, or in some ways helping young bands avoid the huge mistakes I’ve made. Or living on a sailboat.”

When he’s not selling or servicing small aircrafts at his day job or bouncing around the music clubs at night, Tim Brennan plays bass with guitarist Bryn Wilson, drummer Kyle Gawloski, and lead singer/guitarist Spenser Hooks in the newly formed nerd-rock ’80s-themed party band the Spazmatics.

As alter-ego “Timmy,” he obsesses over the College of Charleston observatory, the sun-tanned girls of Marion Square, the legendary flux capacitor, classic Duran Duran video, and the direct correlation between electromagnetic sound waves and carnal love.

Assembled under the Perfect World Entertainment umbrella as bespectacled, geeky, goofy, tight, quartet, the Spazmatics handle a variety of classic pop, New Wave, hair metal, and early-era MTV hits — from Def Leppard and Bon Jovi to the Buggles and INXS.

The Spazmatics headline the Windjammer on Sat. Oct. 5 at 9 p.m. Admission is $5. Visit and for more.

The band performs at K.C. Mulligan’s in North Charleston on Fri. Nov. 1 as well.

Top photo by J.R. Getches.


The Spazmatics (L to R): Bryn Wilson, Kyle Gawloski, Spenser Hooks, and Tim Brennan (photo by J.R. Getches)



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About the Author

Ballard Lesemann

is a musician and writer. Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., he spent years playing in bands and working for Flagpole Magazine in the bustling music town of Athens, Ga. He returned to his hometown and served more than seven years as the Charleston City Paper's music editor. He's better at drumming than he is at playing guitar.

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