The Gift from Pockets


Douglas Hopper aka “Pockets”  joined King Rat in 2006.

After numerous run-ins with the guy at arbitrary shopping locations such as Target, PetsMart, Wal Mart and elsewhere -- I had a feeling.

I just kept inadvertently running into the dude. Once, I was searching up and down the aisles for my soon-to-be ex-wife, I turned the corner from linens to housewares and was startled by  “Hey fucker! How you doing?”

I was in the throes of ‘I-hate-shopping-hell,’ so i was happy to see a friend.

“Doug! What’s up man?”

“Oh, you know …. Just looking around for the shit we need.”

“Right on dude. I’m just trying to keep the peace.”  

Another time, I dropped a bag of mutt treats in doggy yum yum land. I stood up, looked to the right and saw Doug halfway down the lane shopping for mutt food. This time I didn’t say anything because I was pussywhipped by the fact that my wife at the time convinced me to get a Chihuahua.

Once again -- near hardware I believe -- our shopping baskets almost crashed into one another and wherever it was didn’t matter. He had a feeling too.

“Yo fucker. I keep running into you.”

“Yeah, what’s up asshole. Shopping our lives away, eh? Ha ha “   

This beast of a man, a clock of a drummer and an all-around stand-up guy kept appearing in my path. Not on purpose, but for a purpose. He himself said to his sweet wife Stephanie on the last encounter: “I’m going to join King Rat.”

Two weeks later King Rat’s drummer left for personal reasons and I, having toured with Pocket’s previous band St. James Gate, had Doug’s number.

We had a show in one week. Doug learned a dozen songs in two practices and we played the show and killed it. It was a douchy lineup with a bunch of hack bands that are not together to this day, but what is forged in my mind are Doug’s words: “What the fuck are we doing here?”

That question has echoed in the caterwauling cavern of my mind since then. And I believe Doug has helped me manufacture some answers.

Since Pockets joined the band we have released six recordings, namely Duct Tape and Dreams, Everything Burns, Sacred Things, Buy the Ticket Take the Ride, 20 Years A Million Beers and our newest -- No Apologies No Regrets.

Without Pockets, none of these projects were possible due to the fact that he defies labels. The stigma is that drummers are irresponsible and sketchy. Not Douglas Hopper ... this man delivers and does so “on time.”

The guy has not only a job, but a professional career. Yet, he keeps time for the kind of music he loves and participates in the tedious mire of album art, layout, liner notes and finance. Yeah … he manages the money.

King Rat was at a crossroads, Doug stepped in and helped me keep alive the notion that independent ideas thrive without mainstream influence. With his attack we shall continue.  

And for his sins, I wrote a song for him about his best friend, Dakota. R.I.P.

Nothing for Nothing

Everybody wants something for nothing

I want nothing for nothing

It’s a life of hi and bye the end is nigh I know that for one thing

I’ll pay the price for knowing you but I got something I wouldn’t trade for nothing

It’s better to choose and then to lose

Good times with you were so damn worth the blues

I want nothing for nothing

Life it flies on by and you left your mark on me for a long time

I’ll never erase your memory I bear the sign of when you were in your prime

We worked hard to bring you in to earn your trust to show that we were tender

In return you were a friend and to boot a ruthless home defender

The constance of impermanence it’s a short ride the ending ain’t a fun thing

But I got my money’s worth I got something I wouldn’t trade for nothing


You can access the this song and the rest of the jams here: www.unablerecords.com/kingrat



How Two Unlikely Friends Discovered ‘Punk Rock Gold’


How Two Unlikely Friends Discovered ‘Punk Rock Gold’

Mike Makkay plays lead guitar in King Rat and has for the last 17 years. We first crossed paths in 1997. He was working as a DJ for 93.3 KTCL -- “Denver’s Rock Alternative.”

I soon discovered that Mike was anything but typical. Instead of the two-dimensional tongue-in cheek run-of-the-mill radio guy smarminess, Mike’s interview questions were poised, intelligent, and obviously planned out in advance.



Issue 1, Volume 1 of The Rodent Reader - King Rat Newsletter

News From the Denver Punk Rock Music Front

Hi King Rat Friend/Fan


The numbers have aligned and we have decided to get with the times.


The first song we ever wrote back in 1994 was entitled "21". 


We just rocked through our 21st year as a band. 


Someone recently said, "Hey, you morons should get with the 21st Century."


Since we often abide by the rule of threes, this trifecta became the perfect reason to reach out and connect with friends and fans via newsletter.


In order not to bore you I will keep things to the point, and in order not to insult you I will keep the shameless hawking of wares to a minimum. 



Another Denver Punk Rocker Bites the Dust

February 2016 found us in paradise, playing an acoustic set on the beach. The King Rat crew and extended friends and family went to the Dominican Republic to celebrate our beloved bass player Anthony Delilli's marital union with longtime sweetheart Gina Crow. That's right mofos - we played a show in another country, so now we are officially an internationally gigging band. Insert image of smug posturing here. 


On the Road Again

We will be setting out for a jaunt through the midwest in August, 2016 - playing shows in Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Missouri. Stay tuned for details.


Song of the Month

I live by the busiest hospital in Denver, and since I stay up most nights writing I often see the EMTs trudging to their cars in the early am after a rough night of ugly human reality. 'EMT' is our tribute to first responders who continually stick their necks out for the unlucky, the unfortunate and the very stupid. All of us fringe dwellers, margin walkers and thrill seekers need to say thank you. If you know someone who works to help others in need, please feel free to forward them this video link. Who knows, it just might make their day!




If You Dig This and Want More Punk Rock Music and Other Cool Stuff

You can quickly and cheaply download plenty of King Rat music for your personal enjoyment on our Bandcamp page.


Represent the music with some damn fine fashions designed by our drummer Doug "Pockets" Hopper by checking out our merch page on Big Cartel.


Denver, Colorado people -- you can check us out live on April 9th at the Marquis Theater with Unwritten Law and Fenix, TX - and - on April 23rd at Goosetown Tavern with Luna Sol, Grind Cat Grind and Johnny Got Rocks


Meanwhile, lead guitarist Mike Makkay and I will be melding our psyches to craft the next crop of King Rat songs ... coming soon to an MP3 file near you!


Explicitly yours,

Luke "The Word Man" Schmaltz

singer & contributing songwriter - King Rat



King Rat collects email addresses at live shows, on the King Rat website, through our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and on the MusicXray and Reverbnation platforms -- so in case you're wondering why you received this, it is because you signed up to do so. To quote Daniel Tosh " ... and for that we thank you ..."


Denver Punk Rock Band King Rat Finally Reaches Legal Drinking Age


Denver Punk Rock Band King Rat Finally Reaches Legal Drinking Age

After numerous years of cranking out original rock and roll with a particularly rapid bent, King Rat has officially crossed the threshold into grownup-ness. That's right, the band was founded in 1994 by Luke Schmaltz -- 21 years ago. Schmaltz has systematically been forcing beer into the faces of his band mates for what could be considered two decades of contributing to the delinquency of a musical minor.

Never mind the actual age of the band members. We are talking about the age of the band itself as an entity here. It would seem that this is a little-policed sector of illegal consumption that has somehow been overlooked by the law and swept under the rickety back porch of society's haphazard gaze.  What this means is that there are thousands -- if not hundreds of thousands of bands getting blackout blotto between gigs in a fringe practice that is clearly occurring outside the confines of the law.

As most bands never clear the two-year mark much less the two-decade mark, this is an issue that has yet to come to the forefront of public attention. In a unanimous online vote, all currently active punk rock musicians have agreed to ignore the actual age of the band they are in and operate strictly as free agents, taking full and sole responsibility for the brunt of their drinking practices. Although bands like NOFX, Pennywise, Bad Religion and yes, King Rat can legally drink all they want by way of legal concession, all bands under age will have to consume at their own risk and resist the temptation to blame their bad behavior on the booze.  

Legal infractions, citations and jail time notwithstanding, King Rat has vowed to encourage the practice that has stood them in good stead for their entire existence. They will actively encourage all bands in their circle of influence, regardless of age, to engage in imbibing band behavior. This liberating albeit illegal tradition serves to bring band mates closer together, make otherwise horrific gigs tolerable and to provide ample lubrication during the song-birthing process.

The foursome will even loiter around the proverbial liquor store of rock'n'roll,  secretly offering to buy suds and swill for fellow bands who are not yet 21. As more bands mature to legal drinking age, society's anti-fun watchdogs will sooner or later pick up on the scent of stale beer and raw music -- looking to shut down one of the last remaining wellsprings of pure unadulterated art born of boundless energy. Yet for every underage band they pursue, behind their backs two will be coming of age ... waving the torch at burgeoning bands and keeping the fire alive.

Would you like a taste? Here's Don't Blame it on the Booze by King Rat ... it's song 8 on this free playlist!