Jeff Rosenstock is relentlessly punk. He's a DIY hero who has been touring the country for two decades, playing basements, backyards, and whatever else square footage he could plant an amp on. He's dedicated to keeping his shows and plethora of releases affordable, and throughout the years, his blend of pop-punk and ska has matured in topic, but not in energy - Rosenstock's live shows are still as invigorating and raucous as ever. The musician is currently wrapping up a North American run with Laura Stevenson.

Fresh off his recent performance at Pitchfork Music Festival, which invoked memories of Green Day's muddy performance at Woodstock, the New York Native talks live music and setlist before he heads off for a string of show down under.

Jeff Rosenstock at Pitchfork Music Festival

Setlist.fm: You’re known for playing a ton of DIY and non-traditional venues. Is your approach to putting together a set list for a house show, vs a show at like Holland Projects, vs a show at a place like the Troubador, any different? If so, how?

Jeff Rosenstock: It's hard to say because the set list changes every day, usually based on how I'm feeling, the general vibe of the city, and trying to play different songs than we played last time around. I think it's all about trying to unlock whatever will make the night feel special. Unless we have to adjust to a pared down instrumental setup, we don't really change the set because the place is bigger or smaller. Assuming that people at the big venue don't want to scream their heads off or that people at the punk house don't want to get spacey doesn't feel right to me. I've always been one to chase chaos and uncertainty instead of trusting that things that have worked well in the past.

Jeff Rosenstock – By Erica Lauren

Setlist.fm: Your songs aren’t super short or super long, but a lot of them seem to take a big burst of energy from you. What’s your ideal set length?

JR: I have no idea anymore. I feel like 45 minute sets are perfect for punk bands, but you get to a point where there's too many songs to play to fit it into 45 minutes. The amount of energy we put forth is pretty high, and the audience matches it, so I try to pace our sets a little bit so there's time to space out and everyone can catch their breath a little bit so the set doesn't feel like too much. Who knows if any of that shit matters.

Setlist.fm: What’s the most memorable show you were ever lucky (or unlucky) enough to be in attendance at?

JR: I went to see the B-52's for free in Coney Island when I lived in Forest Hills, Queens. The opener for the show was The Weather Girls who literally sang "Everybody Dance Now" and vamped on it's various parts over a track for like fifteen minutes. It went on for a while. I think they did another C & C Music Factory song and then during "It's Raining Men" a lighting storm started, the show was canceled, the B-52's never played, the streets of Coney Island were flooded and we took a 1.5-2 hour train ride back to Forest Hills, soaked head to toe, shivering in the air conditioning. Pretty funny.

Jeff Rosenstock – By Erica Lauren

Jeff Rosenstock's current tour wraps up tonight in New Jersey at Monty Hall. His string of Australian dates kicks off in mid-September.

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Last updated: 14 Dec 2017, 02:18 Etc/UTC

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