P-Nuckle
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P-Nuckle

| SELF | AFM

| SELF | AFM
Band Rock Punk

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P-Nuckle is Awesome. Just ask Chris LaPlante. This summer, the frontman made a bold proclamation at the Westword Music Showcase awards ceremony that stirred the ire of a few fellow nominees. When P-Nuckle was announced as the winner in the reggae/ska category, the frontman held up the award and zealously declared, "We deserve this." That moment was captured in my column published later that week, complete with a photo of LaPlante holding the trophy and offering up a single-digit salute. This audacious gesture incensed Lion SoulJahs' Kathryn Harris, and the keyboardist promptly fired off a missive taking LaPlante to task for his brazen demeanor that night.

"I would never say that P-Nuckle didn't deserve to win it," she wrote, "but I can hardly imagine an image more antithetical to what we hold the values of reggae to be -- respect for all people -- than the picture of the P-Nuckle guitarist holding the award while flipping the bird. What really matters most is that the vibe is being carried forward, and that reggae -- gospel music for the masses -- continues to penetrate the culture with healing, solution-focused lyrics and opportunities for community unity."

Thing is, LaPlante is all about community. Perched on a bar stool at 3 Kings Tavern and surrounded by his bandmates -- guitarist/vocalist Dave Jackson, bassist John "Chaka" Bohannon and drummer Cliff Pfeifer -- he gushes about how great it is to be part of Denver's tight-knit scene and asserts that Lion SoulJahs is among his favorite local bands.

"They should've won reggae," LaPlante insists. "It was a joke that we won. We're four white kids. I got no hair, man. Do I look like some reggae man who should've won the best reggae?"

Ultimately, LaPlante is not so much arrogant as he is confident. But if folks have a hard time making the distinction, it's certainly understandable. "A lot of people in this town are scared to admit that their shit is good," he says. "I don't think there's anybody in this town who can hold a torch to us.

"If you don't believe in your shit, nobody else is going to," he explains. "That's the bottom line. If you're not out there 100 percent selling what you got and being that salesman, saying, 'I believe in this. This is my shit. This is dope. Check it out. If you're not there, you're a bitch, 'cause you're girlfriend's going to be there' -- you know, something like that. That's kind of how it's always been with us. Nobody else is going to do us any favors, so we gotta represent ourselves in the highest accord and be like, 'Yes, we are the fucking shit.' If somebody doubts it, come to a show. If we can't back up what we say, tell me now. But I honestly think we can -- and we have. We've always been kind of in-your-face, ready to fucking take you out back and show what kind of a bitch you are. I never backed down from that. That's how we've always rolled."

LaPlante has been stirring things up since he was a kid in Littleton. He was suspended from elementary school close to forty times before being expelled -- and was so disruptive, in fact, that Jefferson County Public Schools put him through private therapy in an effort to set him straight. LaPlante's folks split when he was seven, and he ended up living with his father, a Jehovah's Witness who ruled with an iron fist. At thirteen, he moved in with his mom, a free spirit with whom he could discuss anything. And that's when the real trouble began. By seventh grade, LaPlante was dealing drugs as a member of the notorious Bloods gang. The following year, he got one last chance: Narrowly avoiding a six-month sentence at a detention center, he came across an educator who gave him the ultimatum that changed his life.

"I finally realized that education was a good thing after a teacher told me there's a million ways you can go," LaPlante recalls. "It's about whether you want to be working at the end or at the top."

From that point on, LaPlante excelled academically -- even if he persisted in his illicit extracurricular activities. At Columbine High School, he continued to deal drugs and partied with wild abandon. During his sophomore year, he moved with his mother to Prescott, Arizona, and immersed himself in music. And then his life took another turn: Shuttling between Prescott and San Diego, he met Ryan Immagart from Volcom Entertainment and was subsequently exposed to the burgeoning SoCal dub scene, a movement led by Sublime and followed by such acts as Slightly Stoopid and Bargain Music -- kindred spirits with whom P-Nuckle would regularly share bills down the road.

LaPlante returned to Colorado for his senior year, graduating from Columbine in 1998. After that, he attended Arapahoe Community College before transferring to Metro State, where he earned a degree in computer science. Around that time, the guitarist began playing with DJ Justin Spahlinger in Cornerstone, an outfit that later evolved into P-Nuckle. Amid the personnel shifts, LaPlante took - Denver Westword Magazine


Discography

Colfax Satisfaction - 2004 - LP
Resident 303 - 2006 - LP

Singles from both albums have been featured in:
Surf Roots Vol2 Compilation - Resin Music 2006
Vans Triple Crown Surf Video 2007

Photos

Bio

P-Nuckle comes straight from the urban streets of Denver, Colorado. With years of hardened experience and dedication, P-Nuckle has blazed a trail in the alternative scene by combining solid grooves, fat bass lines and memorable hooks with a multitude of reggae, dub, ska and punk rock styles. Live shows can be described as high energy, intense non-stop dance parties that leave the packed house begging for more. Their legion of fans, known as the “Nuckleheads", loyally follow and support the group throughout the country, making each show better than the last.

P-Nuckle has toured extensively throughout the country, hitting both coasts and everything in between. Well respected in the music community, they are selected over and over again to support some of the biggest names in the industry. Their well crafted music and energetic live shows are generating buzz from several entertainment, management and production companies across the world. P-Nuckle is currently considering various touring and recording opportunities and plans to launch a national tour very soon to support their recent CD release. They are continually moving forward and there is no end in sight to the infamous legacy of the Nuckleheads.

P-Nuckle has played with the following national acts:

Slightly Stoopid, FISHBONE
Pepper, Bargain Music
Streetlight Manifesto
Long Beach Dub All Stars
Long Beach Short Bus
Bad Brains, Chronic Future
Kottonmouth Kings
Phunk Junkeez
OPM, Eek A Mouse
Mix Mob, Capitol Eye
Andrew Tosh, Black Sheep
Mission, The Wailers
Zebrahead, B-Side Players
Voodoo Glow Skulls
Authority Zero, Sprung Monkey
Warsaw, RX Bandits
The Expendables, Lola Ray
Mishka, The Beautiful Girls
The Samples, The Supervillains
Flogging Molly, Reel Big Fish