Ben Stiller's high school punk band releases first song in 36 years

Ben Stiller is best-known for his work as an actor and director, but facts are facts: the Hollywood star was once in a punk band. He spent his New York high school days as a drummer before making his big break in the entertainment industry.

Capital Punishment is the band’s name, and they just reunited with all four original members: Stiller, Kriss Roebling, Peter Swann and Peter Zusi. They just revealed plans to release a brand new EP entitled This is Capital Punishment. (It’s unclear if the title is any reference to This Is Spinal Tap, the title of a 1984 mockumentary about fictional metal band Spinal Tap.)

The first song from the EP was released on Wednesday — a blistering re-recording of their 1982 post-punk original, Confusion.

LISTEN: Confusion lands as a spacey punk track from Capital Punishment’s upcoming EP, This is Capital Punishment

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The news of Stiller’s band broke in the last few years, and rare LP formats of their only album, Roadkill (1982), began to auction on Discogs for up to $360.

An independent Brooklyn label, Captured Tracks, caught on and signed on to reissue Roadkill. It was originally scheduled for a 2015 release, however, was delayed and ultimately put out only this past September.

The reception was remarkable.

During the re-issue studio sessions, the four-piece was asked to re-record a couple of songs as bonus tracks, but it turned out that they all had so much fun and decided to keep the ball rolling by recording brand new material.

Ben Stiller on Sept. 20, 2017.

Ben Stiller on Sept. 20, 2017.

Nathan Congleton NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The Zoolander star and frontman, along with Roebling, recently sat down with Rolling Stone to share insight on the recording process of Roadkill.

“I remember being very nervous,” said Stiller, “I remember feeling like I just wanna get through this and actually be able to play something that’s usable. I wasn’t really that good at playing the drums. You don’t even have to listen that closely to get that.”

Roebling admitted KISS was one of his biggest influences and shared how Capital Punishment may have played a part in naming their Creatures of the Night (1982) album.

“There was specifically one song that we thought of as being sort of inspired by KISS, called Creatures of the Dark,” he said about having dinner with Gene Simmons. “And he said, ‘Oh, I like that, I like the name.’ And then he went on to say, ‘Well, that’s cool, you guys got cool ideas, but you just gotta get your technique together.'”

According to Ruebling, Simmons later sent him a package saying, “I thought you would like this.” It contained an advance copy of the iconic KISS album. He described it as “a powerful moment.”

Ben Stiller attends the Artists for Peace and Justice Festival Gala at AGO on Sept. 10, 2017, in Toronto, Ont.

Ben Stiller attends the Artists for Peace and Justice Festival Gala at AGO on Sept. 10, 2017, in Toronto, Ont.

Brian de Rivera Simon / WireImage

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Stiller shared his excitement in wake of the new EP.

“Being able to get together and play together again, and just reconnect is really, by far, the best part of it all. The hope is that we’ll go and play our catalogue on tour like the Eagles, and be able to retire in five years.”

This is Capital Punishment will be released under the Captured Tracks label on Nov. 23 as an exclusive Record Store Day release. The EP is limited to 1,500 copies and will be pressed on translucent blue vinyl.

Tracklisting is as follows:

1. Confusion (2018 version)
2. Drumming Out Time Inside Me
3. Hot Love
4. Grey And Illuminate
5. Shannon Rose

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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