Rich Howells

‘The Future Is Cancelled’ – Scranton punk band Captain, We’re Sinking calls it quits after 12 years

‘The Future Is Cancelled’ – Scranton punk band Captain, We’re Sinking calls it quits after 12 years
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“It’s the end of days… but we’re all OK.”

After creating beautifully emotional punk rock on and off for 12 years, Captain, We’re Sinking has finally sunk, though they’re not abandoning music completely.

Formed in Scranton in 2006, the punk band released three full-length albums – “The Animals Are Out” in 2007, “The Future Is Cancelled” in 2013, and the recent “The King of No Man” in 2017 – along with several EPs and splits that were collected in a self-titled compilation in 2015 before announcing on Facebook late last night that they are breaking up. They were signed to Boston indie record label Run for Cover Records, which helped them reach international fame with their last two full-lengths, and the quartet toured the country sporadically, but maybe not as many times as they would have liked to.

Vocalist/guitarist Bobby Barnett, vocalist/guitarist Leo Vergnetti, bassist Zack Charette, and drummer Bill Orender have been based in and around Philadelphia for years now, though with full-time jobs, separate lives, conflicting schedules, and years of being spread out while working or going to school, it’s impressive that this group that started when its members were in high school has held it together this long and created such an impressive body of critically acclaimed work in that time. While often compared to fellow Scranton bands The Menzingers and Tigers Jaw, particularly because Barnett’s brother Greg is a Menzinger, they made the Scranton punk rock sound their own with personal, relatable songs that told detailed stories with all the angst and passion that comes with growing up and facing trying times and even worse relationships.

This band breakup seems much more amicable than those described in their music but, judging by the heartfelt comments of brokenhearted fans on their Facebook post, it will be no less emotional for longtime listeners. The entire message reads:

Hulloh, friends! I guess we gotta do this here and now. We are no longer a band. Bum Out City, USA. We had a great time, doh! We are still the best of friends and we aim to keep it that way. Probably about half the reason why we are no longer going to continue with this band. We can’t thank YOU ALL enough for the support, kind words, shows, conversations, floors to sleep on, food to eat and general shenanigans! We are all continuing with music with each other and without. We’re very happy with what we’ve done with these 10 plus years as Captain, We’re Sinking, but it’s time to stop.



Barnett released his debut solo album, “Little Wounds,” in 2014, and followed it up with an EP called “Showing Teeth” in 2015 and a live solo album, “Live from The Star & Garter,” after touring the United Kingdom with his brother in 2016, so they’ve already started producing music outside of Captain, We’re Sinking. Barnett also promised a new album and solo shows “soon” on his Facebook page on Jan. 30.

It’s unclear if Captain, We’re Sinking will still perform in the annual NEPA Holiday Show this December with The Menzingers, Tigers Jaw, and Three Man Cannon, as they have almost every year, but the charity concert has reunited defunct bands like The SW!MS in previous years, so it could be a possibility. This show was one of the only guaranteed ways for local fans to catch the band live, so maybe they’ll have the chance to give them a proper send-off in future years.

See NEPA Scene’s review and photos of the entire 2017 NEPA Holiday Show here, read a 2013 interview with Barnett here, and listen to Barnett talk about how he started in music, why the challenging recording of “The Future Is Cancelled” almost ended the band and what saved them, the history and importance of the annual NEPA Holiday Show, why he believes the Scranton music scene has produced so many successful bands, his work as a history teacher, the worst and most ridiculous shows he has ever played, his family’s private talent shows, touring with his brother, and more in Episode 42 of the original NEPA Scene Podcast: