It has been 25 years since the iconic South Florida skate-punk band Quit released its only album, “Earlier Thoughts,” 25 years since the quartet last performed together, 25 years of lost time, lost music and lost opportunity.
But after many years of being unable to find the time and the personal and geographic space to reunite, the four members of Quit – singer-guitarist Addison Burns, guitarist Russell Mofsky, drummer Andre Serafini and bassist Tony Rocha – will perform together at Churchill's Pub in Miami on Saturday for the first time in a quarter-century.
It is a reunion borne of loss. Specifically, the death late last year of South Florida punk icon Jeff Tucci. The Load guitarist’s passing, so soon after that of bandmate Bobby “Load” Johnston and the Holy Terrors’ Dan Hosker in 2012, was a message that resonated with Quit.
“These were some of the really seminal figures in our scene, in our generation,” says Mofsky. “We played so many shows with those groups, and I think that it had an impact on Addy [Burns]. It was after Jeff passed that he called us and expressed an interest in doing some shows together while we still could.”
Quit was rogue from the get-go, with teenagers Mofsky, Serafini and Burns finding kinship at the Falls Halfpipe, a legendary off-the-grid skateboard scene near the Falls shopping center in south Miami.
“We knew each other from skateboarding and fishing,” Mofsky says. “We were brothers before we were in a band.”
In the late 1980s, the pile-driving angst of Quit (with original bassist Omar Cuellar, then Rocha) generated unique heat in South Florida punk clubs such as Flynn's, Beirut, Churchill's, the Kitchen Club, Squeeze in Fort Lauderdale and All in Lake Worth. Then came the recording of “Earlier Thoughts” at Rat Bastard's Sync studios.
But Quit, its future then looking so intensely bright, would be a meteor, a remarkable moment that faded away.
“We were good at what we did, we were motivated, and we had talent, you know? We were lucky locally, but I don’t think we really knew what it took,” says Mofsky of the kind of breakout success that came to local peers, such as Less Than Jake and Dashboard Confessional. “Being 17-18, we didn’t know to just get in a van and tour.“
Mofsky, who now fronts the retro surf-exotica outfit Gold Dust Lounge, left for the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston before “Earlier Thoughts” was released. Burns and the rest perservered, until he fell from a roof and broke his arm in 1992; the same year Hurricane Andrew blew through the studio where they were recording music for a second album, “Grazing Day,” which went unfinished.
Attempts to revive the band in various iterations over the years have been short-lived, until now.
The Churchill’s show will be recorded by a professional videographer (Sasha Rybinski of Goodtastic Films) and the band is bringing in its own sound crew. If hopeful fans interpret this kind of attention as a sign the band is planning for a future together, Mofsky has a bucket of cold water ready.
“We need to get through these shows and then evaluate what’s going to happen on the other side of that,” he says. “We’re spread out geographically, and everybody has made certain choices with their lives. So we’re trying to put on the training wheels a little bit, trying to take things slow.”
But Mofsky acknowledges that Quit has a back catalog of “great music” that’s never been released, as well as new music, which will be heard at Churchill’s and other shows in Tampa and Gainesville. He also admits that, from the first rehearsal for these shows, the old chemistry was there.
“It came back together really fast,” Mofsky says. “I mean, we’d just play a couple of notes and … it’s kind of intoxicating.”
IF YOU GO
Quit performs Saturday, July 18, on a 9 p.m. bill with Shark Valley Sisters, Hit Play, Rat Bastard and DJ Skidmark at Churchill’s Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. Tickets: $12 at door (18 and older). Call 305-757-1807, or visit ChurchillsPub.com and Facebook.com/QuitHQ.