Simon The Leper
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Simon The Leper

Olympia, Washington, United States

Olympia, Washington, United States
Band Rock Punk




"Weekly Volcano-Better Living Through Music-Music Critics' Picks"

"All three of us are peeing our panties about our show with Listener and Poor Folks Live Well at the Urban Onion," says Jared Bugg, drummer for Simon the Leper. "We've known Poor Folks since the first incarnation of Simon the Leper, but this is the first time we've had an opportunity to play together. Both bands have been huge Listener fans for years, they have a way of cutting right to the heart of you in an overwhelmingly positive, reassuring way, and the raw honesty of the lyrics and performances have been very influential to us." It's true, Listener does have a raw honesty that's as sweet and salty as the South Sound, spewed in the form of grisly rhymes and resonating, dreamy instrumentals, spiked by outbursts of blissful confusion and clarity. Simon the Leper complements Listener, bringing its own honest outbursts, but much louder and much fuzzier, with a nod to northwest garage, edged by an unusual energy that can be distracting at points, but welcoming in a side show attraction kind of way. Catch them Friday and see what I mean. - Nikki McCoy - Weekly Volcano

"Olympia Power & Light - Simon the Leper"

by Kristina Mageau

"Simon The Leper consists of drummer Jared Bugg, vocalist and guitarist Jeremiah Steele, and bassist Esa Hakkarainen. The sound is similar to the Pixies with more dissonance and angst in the vocals. The first two members mentioned of this indie punk band are from Wenatchee, and the band itself has only been in Olympia for a year. That being said, Simon The Leper is already rated #7 on for indie/punk bands in Olympia.

How did the name come about? In 2010, when the band first started in a different form in Wenatchee, the guys wanted to illustrate how music was a gift to them. Jeremiah explained, “Jesus went and healed the colony of lepers, and the only person to thank him was a man named Simon. It has nothing to do with Jesus specifically; it’s just the gratitude that goes with something that is given to you.”

In describing where they’re from and how they came to be, during the interview in the beloved Mud Bay Coffee shop, a fellow coffee patron overheard the discussion of Wenatchee. The band is so nice and so not stereotypically punk that they considerately responded and happily conversed with the coffee patron about their shared background of Wenatchee before rejoining the interview. They’re also completely punk in the DIY fashion that they are all self-taught musicians who just recently learned to play the instruments that they currently play in the band. Esa is the only member who engaged in formal training, albeit limited. As he said, “I’ve taken theory classes at a couple of colleges, and that’s all very nice.”

Listening to their newest EP and comparing it to their older songs, I hear that their vocalist is becoming more refined and their guitar riffs and bass lines are progressing in abstraction and sophistication. Their gritty vocals are only for the punk lovers, while the instrumental aspects leave room for a wider variety of rock enthusiasts to get behind them. Simon The Leper makes music by coming together and seeing what happens, usually after Jeremiah has written a little something to get them started. As far as outside forces are concerned, Esa clarified, “There aren’t any conscious influences. The things that we are all agree on are the weirdest things… mostly shitty movies.”

In order to continue the path of making music, Simon The Leper created a Kickstarter project at that will allow them to record a full length album. Kickstarter contributors also will assist Simon The Leper in their mini west coast tour.

Being in Olympia in general is big for the band, as they all love this town. Jeremiah ecstatically elaborated, “Here, you have people that… actually see music for more than just a way to get laid. And that’s such a refreshing thing to be a part of… And here it seems like everyone plays a fucking instrument.”

Esa added that they loved the Voyeur in particular because “they let you do your own thing… Free shows. Those are always nice and they let you do those at The Voyeur.” Esa does the promotional work and some of the sound for the band, so he appreciates the opportunity to do the sound in venues like the Voyeur as well.

Jeremiah expressed how they like to play shows, “We tried to break down the barrier of the stage. [The audience is] just as much a part of the show as we are, and we just want the opportunity to do what we want.”

To give you a better idea of what the band does during a performance, Jared described one of their favorite shows: “At one point I just took one of my drum sticks, threw it into the crowd, and said, ‘Keep the beat.’ We had people beating on the drums. We like to get in there.”

Esa agreed and added, “Any show that we play, if we have a rowdy crowd that wants to get up and shout some lyrics with us, that’s my ideal show… It’s not necessarily the quantity… It’s how much can you connect with the people that are there.”

Just be aware that after shows, they are sweaty because Jared said, “I like giving out free hugs after shows.”

See Simon the Leper February 1st at the Urban Onion! " - Olympia Power & Light


Still working on that hot first release.



Simon the Leper formed in 2010 in Wenatchee, WA and after changes in line-up and sonic direction re-surfaced in Olympia in February 2012 in order to share an intimate, honest, intensely emotional, and intensely positive experience. Simon the Leper play high-volume, high-energy indie-rock infused with the infectious qualities of pop music, the abrasiveness of punk, and aspects of sludge, doom, drone, and folk. After playing sixteen shows since April 2012, the new line-up released their debut, the You Are OK E.P. on December 7th, 2012 and a live album on December 31st, 2012.

Band Members