“20 Questions” with Josh Caterer of Smoking Popes

October 22, 2012


My 90’s music loving heart is pretty excited about this post. Josh Caterer leads the band, Smoking Popes. I remember loving their album Destination Failure in High School, but sadly lost touch with them after high school. It wasn’t until a friend put a Smoking Popes song on a mix for me that my love for the band rekindled, and I am so happy that it did. Josh, still working with the band, also now leads a worship band in his church and that’s so amazing. I am proud and honored to present to you, “2o Questions” with Josh Caterer.


Name: Josh Caterer

Current Location: Milwaukee WI

Hometown: Elgin IL

Website(s): joshcaterer.com




1.When did you first fall in love with music?

Our Dad had a great record collection. We grew up listening to the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, the Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Muddy Waters, Ray Charles…all the greatest rock bands and blues singers. I was in love with music before I even knew how to read.


2.What inspires you to make music?

Music is a gift from God. Inspiration comes from Him. I make music because He put music in me and it’s got to come out. Even when I’m just singing love songs in the Popes, I believe God is glorified in the very act of making music. He invented it and I’m just glad to be able to participate.


3.What are the Top 5 Albums in your life right now?

1. The Byrds – Sweetheart of the Rodeo

2. Willie Nelson – The Sound in Your Mind

3. Patsy Cline – The Patsy Cline Collection

4. Stevie Wonder – Talking Book

5. Ramones – Pleasant Dreams


4.Who has been your favorite band to tour with?

That’s a hard question to answer. We’ve toured with some great people and I have fond memories of all of them. But the two that stand out for me are the Alkaline Trio tour last year and the Bayside tour in 2006. Those were especially great tours.


5.Which Smoking Popes song would you call your favorite?

My favorite Popes tune is I Know You Love Me.


6.My good friend Kris Roe  of  The Ataris did a great cover of your song “Pretty Pathetic.” What is one of your favorite songs that you have covered?

One time we opened for Cheap Trick and we did a cover of their song “Voices” and Rick Nielsen came out onstage with us and played guitar and sang backup. That’s pretty close to the top of the list for me.


7.You currently lead worship  at a church, which is rad! How did you get into that and how long have you been singing worship songs?

I became a follower of Christ in 1998. I’ve been singing worship songs ever since. In fact, I just released an EP called “The Light of Christ” which is a collection of worship songs I wrote for church.


8.When you are not playing music, what can you be found doing with your life?

Playing games with my kids, watching movies with my wife, petting my dog.


9.What advice would you give anyone looking to make a career in the music industry?

I would tell them to find another line of work. It’s a really hard business to make a living in. If you’re looking for a career, I’d advise you to go to dental school.


10.What can we expect next from the Smoking Popes?

We don’t have anything planned right now. When we get done touring for the Born To Quit re-issue, we’ll probably take a little time off to regroup and figure out what we’re gonna do next.



Begin randomness….

11.If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would play the part as YOU?

Paul Reubens


12.If you could have any super power, what power would you choose? What would you do with that power?

I would have the power to control other people’s thoughts. I would use that power to order drinks at Starbucks without saying a word.


13.What was the last movie you saw in the theater? How was it?

I saw Bernie starring Jack Black. Loved it.


14.Do you have a guilty pleasure? If so, what would that be?

There’s an album by the Gaither Vocal Band called “God is Good” which I absolutely love in spite of its cheesiness. Sometimes I blast their song “Child You’re Forgiven” and it brings me to tears.


15.If you were on the front page of the tabloids, what would it say about you?

It would be an exposé about how boring I am.


16.Which song would describe your life at this moment?

You’ll Never Walk Alone


17.What is a T.V. show that you hope never ever goes off the air?

Columbo. Oh wait…


18.If you had to dress in a costume EVERY SINGLE DAY for the rest of your life, what would you dress as and why?

I’d dress as a Roman emperor. It seems like the robe would be comfortable.


19.What is one thing you HAVE to do before you get old?

I need to do something about the storage area in my basement. It’s a mess.


20.What makes you come alive?

In all seriousness, the longer I know Jesus, the more passionate I become about following Him, worshiping Him, living for Him, and looking forward to the joy of being His presence for all eternity. That’s what really makes me come alive.

Thank you Josh for being a part of “20 Questions.”  You are beyond radical and I am so very thankful. Can’t wait to catch you and the Popes on tour soon!