The Smoking Popes are an American rock group from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, formed in 1991. They play punk-influenced pop music with crooning vocals. The core of the group is composed of brothers Matt Caterer (b. 1968), Josh Caterer (b. 1972) and Eli Caterer (b. 1975).
The Caterer brothers were raised on rock 'n' roll and crooners like Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. In 1980 Matt got a guitar, Josh a bass guitar and Eli a drum set and they began to play together. Soon after, their eyes were opened to the world of the Ramones and punk rock. Other early musical influences included Mel Tormé, Tom Waits, The Replacements, The Smiths, early AC/DC, The Cars, and Dinosaur Jr.