The Quahogs: Homegrown rock & roll

The Quahogs are one of the best bands to come out of Rhode Island in recent years, producing an instantly relatable, resonant sound. They’re the type of band that, as soon as you hear them, you know instantly it’s them. The Quahogs are real. Their music, their lyrics, and their band members are always authentic, which is an artform itself in these times of disposable art and forgettable pop music.


Their music runs the gamut of human emotion, deriving inspiration from their own lives and experiences. They know what joy and pain are, and they know how to tell their story. From the passing of their legendary drummer Nick Iddon, to their struggle to release their new album, The Quahogs are proven survivors.

I recently spoke with vocalist and rhythm guitar player Steve DelMonico, to find out what led up to their new album and the subsequent sold-out album release party at The Parlour.

Brian Shovelton (Motif): How did the band begin and where did you get your name?

Steve DelMonico: At this point, I’m not exactly sure why I named the band The Quahogs. I used to go quahoging in my youth and I like to eat them. The project started 13 years ago. I had enough songs for an album and I booked time at Machines with Magnets and assembled a band. The band has gone through a few incarnations. The current band members are Mike Murdock on drums, Ashish Vyas on bass, Steve Donovan on lead guitar, and myself on rhythm and vocals.

BS: Do you write songs together, or does one person do the majority of the writing?

SD: I usually come up with the songs, at least the skeletal structure of the song. On the past album, Donovan helped with the break on “Blaze” and Nick Iddon helped with the structure on “I Lost Myself.”

BS: The music video of “For What Reason” was super popular. Where was it shot?

SD: The video of “For What Reason” was a combination of film from a handful of live shows that Nick filmed (he filmed every show) and shots from a tour way back from our buddy Charlie Weber. Charlie put the music video together. He’s also been in the band.

BS: How did Nick’s passing affect the band?

SD: The passing of Nick was one of the hardest things I’ve been through. He was like a big brother to me and many others. He had a tremendous impact on PVD and beyond. When he was preparing for chemo, he told me he wanted Mike Murdoch to drum for us. He handpicked drummers for every band he was in. He put others before himself and was one of the most loyal people I’ve come across.

BS: Tell me about the new album. How many recordings is this for the band?

SD: Tasteless is our third full-length record. The recording started in 2018 and took until now to come out. Looking back at the songs, it’s pretty reflective of where I was in the final chapters of my 20s.

BS: The album release party for Tasteless sold out. How did that feel?

SD: The album release was such a special moment. To finally play all of those songs in front of people meant a lot. To have it at one of my second homes, The Parlour, made it even more special. Getting out of the car to load in and seeing the mural of Nick, thinking about how I’d joke with him that the album won’t come out, or that it would come out in 2025. I guess I was one year early.

BS: What’s next for the band? I heard you might be going on a short tour. Where are you headed?

SD: I’ve been writing again and planning to book some shows around New England for the next few months and then planning a bigger tour for the end of the year.

The Quahogs are an honest band playing real rock & roll. Check out their new album Tasteless, their other two albums and music videos. And whenever possible, do yourself a favor and see them live — they are among a handful of artists producing authentic music that’s well worth the price of admission.