When pioneering punk band the Descendents titled their 1982 debut album Milo Goes to College, that wasn’t an ironic reference—frontman Milo Aukerman was really going to college, leaving the Southern California hardcore punk group to focus on his studies. He eventually earned a Ph.D. in biology and spent years working as a biochemistry researcher and a university professor. Even while working in the realm of science, Aukerman returned to the Descendents at various points throughout the next three decades (recording five more albums with the band from 1985 to 2004 and participating in numerous tours) before rededicating himself permanently to music in 2016, coinciding with the release of the seventh Descendents album, Hypercaffium Spazzinate.

Even with Aukerman’s spotty participation, the Descendents became one of the most influential bands on the SoCal punk scene, with a mix of speed and melody that presaged the development of pop-punk in the ’90s. Now that Aukerman is back in the band full-time, the Descendents are fully enjoying their status as punk rock elder statesman, headlining festivals and national tours and hitting their highest-ever position on the Billboard album charts. That’s the result of some pretty smart moves.

Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq, 7 p.m. Dec. 16, starting at $29.50 plus fee, 18+. 702.862.2695