Introducing: Ben Katzman’s DeGreaser’s “Too Old For Retail”

Stream the new track and read Katzman's and Colleen Green's musings on retail hell.

Ben Katzman

How many times have you had to close at your job only to find out you’ve been scheduled to open the next day? How many times have you stayed in the nine-to-five hustle of retail because you were too comfortable brainlessly folding the same stack of clothes in the oblivion we call our late teens and early twenties? “Too Old For Retail” is about realizing what your worth is, college degree or not. It isn’t just about working at an Urban Outfitters or a Whole Foods, but any job that makes you work too hard for too little.

One of the worst jobs I’ve ever had was at a retail store in South Beach, Miami when I was 18 years old. Endless piles of the same basic Tumblr graphics being overpriced and oversold. Endless hours stuck in the trenches with my co-workers fighting off the heaps of tourists so willingly ready to wreck the clothing racks I just fixed up for the eleventh time in the eleventh hour of my shift. Endless energy wasted because I didn’t stand up for myself about what days I needed off. Endless money wasted because I didn’t speak out about getting a raise.

“Too Old For Retail” isn’t just about hating your job, it’s about realizing your job doesn’t define who you are as a person. We can’t all try to become action heroes, comedians, or rock stars, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be the heroes of our own world and take the reigns over our day to day.

Colleen Green

I can relate to this song because I’ve had my fair share of shitty jobs as well. The thing is, I never kept a shitty job for too long. If they didn’t treat me right or if it simply sucked too bad, I wouldn’t stay for more than a day. The one shitty retail job I had that I kept for about a year was at Old Navy in Oakland, CA, and the only reasons I stayed so long were because: a.) I worked with two of my best friends, and b.) I was desperate for money and the job market at the time was bleak. It soon became clear, however, that this job was a sandbox because everyone else there was so incompetent and lazy that even if I was able to do the most menial of tasks without fucking everything up, my bosses would praise me like I was Stephen Hawking. It felt good, but it emphasized the fact that I had way too much potential and talent to be working at such a shitty job, and I was simply disrespecting myself by continuing to slave for those assholes (who thought they were better than me because they were managers, but really they were worse because they actually cared about that horseshit). So I got out and recorded an album, started doing what I really wanted to do, and it’s been paying off so far. To me, that’s what “Too Old for Retail” is all about.

Channeling 50 years of hard rock heritage, Ben Katzman’s DeGreaser deliver heavy shredding and posi vibes. Currently based out of Miami, they’re dedicated to spreading the shred worldwide.

Formed in 2014 amidst the dirt and frenzy of Boston’s electric DIY community, DeGreaser is the unruly lovechild of one Ben Katzman (previously of Guerilla Toss), a self-trained shredder with deep roots in Miami’s metal scene yielding an undying love for KISS, Van Halen and the Ramones. Playful yet earnest, DeGreaser celebrates the rock and roll ethos, but with a dedication to the core belief that you can only be cool by being yourself. Mix in an obsession with astrology, cults, soaring guitar solos, and all things John Travolta, and you have yourself a potent cocktail of rippin’ good times.

The band has toured and played shows across the U.S. with La Luz, Mannequin PussyColleen Green, Tall Juan and countless other fellow shredders. Their new album, Astrology 101, is out now on Starburns Industries Press.

(Photo Credit: Leeanne Drucker)