In The Basement With Code 22


Code 22 is a pop punk band from Oklahoma City. According to, they have held a spot in top three bands in Oklahoma for more than two years. They have even been in the top ten for the nation and ranked at number seven for two months in the nation. Their nerd-like, pop style of punk rock has been the focal point of the Oklahoma punk rock scene for the past two years. Code 22 recently held a release show for their album “Say What!” Their recently released music video, Zombies, surpassed 37,000 views since its debut in early December. This success has not slowed the their progress. A new CD is about to be released and they will go on tour. The band is donating the proceeds of this CD to charity.

When I first met up with the four members of Code 22, I asked them to briefly describe themselves as a band. Chris McKinnis is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist. Skyler Tuter is the lead guitarist and back-up vocals. Rob Malmberg is the bassist and does back-up vocals as well. Sam McCool is the drummer.

Chris: I was able to spread the work load this time around with “Say What!” I would say the key to our success so far has been every member putting 110% into the project. When one person needs to pull back then the rest will pick up the slack or we all pull back. It’s a living, breathing machine now.

DB: How has being in this band changed you? Is there anyone particular person that gets hazed the most of you?

Sam: Yo, hands down.

Chris: Easily.

Rob: Hell yeah. I give him hell 95% of the time, but I love that kid like he was my own. Probably because he’s young enough to be mine.

Sam: Aww, you’re making me blush old man. Yeah, I was probably the most introverted guy I’ve ever met. For the first six months or so I just sat behind the drum set and didn’t say anything. Now they can’t get me to shut up.

Chris: Or play quieter.

DB: The next album is being called “Nerdzilla.” Why and what made you guys want to record it?

Rob: It’s a lot of things that we have in common through out building Code 22. We thought it would be a cool idea to get that out there for people to see where we come from.

Chris: We talked about doing the theme from Teletubbies [for Sam], but it was denied.

Rob: Sam wanted to do some Hannah Montana, but we figured we would stick to the good stuff.

DB: So one of you actually built a guitar to look like the Millennium Falcon. Is that true?

Chris: I made the Falcon to showcase my obsession with Star Wars to folks coming out to see us play live.

DB: How long did it take you build the guitar?

Chris: About two weeks. I ignored everyone for that period of time.

DB: What is the next video for Code 22?

Chris: Blindness, off our album “Say What!” We are also compiling ideas for a nerdy cover EP slated for summer release.

DB: I have heard that you guys are putting together a comp album of Oklahoma bands. Can you tell me about it?

Chris: We are putting it together to showcase all of the punk acts in Oklahoma. The primary purpose is to help promote the scene. There may not be a huge rally for the stuff, but there is a some pretty good stuff out here. Depending on how many submissions we get we may go with the ten best or so.

Rob: it also showcases to the rest of the nation that Oklahoma does have a very talented scene and that we are more than just a country state.

DB: The entire proceeds go to charity right?

Chris: They do. We will be giving all the proceeds to the Whitefields Foundation. It’s an organization that helps raise unplaced foster children…keeps them out of trouble. There are opportunities to mentor the kids if anyone has the time.

Rob: Primarily young males that have shuffled through the system.

DB: Finally, with Oklahoma being such a conservative state, and not being well known for alternative music styles, much less punk rock music, how does Code 22 keep getting shows in an area that is primarily country and pop music inspired?

Skyler: Rob plays a big factor there. He’s got excellent contacts. It’s a matter of going to other band’s shows, networking, and making good with venue owners.

Sam: I’d say that is mostly Rob’s doing. The man practically knows everyone in the biz, and just keeps booking us excellent shows.

Chris: Once Rob joined the band, I left the responsibility to him. That’s his sworn duty! A soldier! He has done a great job with that responsibility and continues to make shit happen.

Rob: First off, we are self-managed. I spend a lot of time researching venues and the people who have played there. I also spend a lot of time researching bands around Oklahoma City. We are very picky about where we play. I have made it a point to get to know everyone that we have had some good luck [with] along the way. We love what we are doing and it comes across on stage.

Code 22’s Promo Photo

I learned this was more than an average band. They are friends, brothers as they called themselves, and would see each other outside of just being in the band. Look for Code 22 playing at VZD’s February 22nd, and keep track of the bands upcoming summer tour on Reverbnation, Code 22’s website and their Facebook Fan page, or any other major band site you can think of, or your friend can think of. This band already has a page set up there, I promise. They also have music to download at Spotify.