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Ticket Giveaway, Interview: The Expendables

The Expendables interview, Cabin By The Sea Tour

The Expendables has been spreading its brand of reggae and punk across the country for over 15 years. The group consists of longtime friends and Santa Cruz, Calif. residents Geoff Weers, Adam Patterson, Raul Bianchi and Ryan DeMars.

The band remained completely independent for its first 10 years and three full-length releases, until signing with Stoopid Records in 2007.  The Expendables self-titled album was the label’s first release outside of its founder’s, Slightly Stoopid, music.

Although The Expendables is fresh off its headlining Life’s A Beach tour, the band joined Dirty Heads as support for its Cabin By The Sea tour this June. The summer tour brings both bands to Marquee Theatre on Saturday, July 27 and The Spec, courtesy of Lucky Man Concerts, is giving one lucky reader a pair of tickets to the show.

Read an interview with The Expendables below, and enter to win a pair of tickets to see the band along with Dirty Heads, Big B and Clairevoyant on Saturday, July 27…

How is it different headlining a tour versus being the supporting act?
As a headliner, it’s all on you. If the show does well then to the victor goes the spoils. If it bombs that’s on you too. There’s less pressure as an opener or a supporting act and you get to play in front of someone else’s fan base and try to win over new fans, which is exciting and a little scary. The downside to supporting is you usually don’t get sound checks, or as much room on stage, or the sound board as you’d like.

What made you decide to do the Gone Soft acoustic album? How was the music-making process different or similar to when you’re making a more up beat album characteristic of your signature sound?
On Warped Tour, you only get to play for 30 minutes and our die-hard fans wanted more and our new fans wanted to know more about us, so we would do acoustic sets at our merch booth after our stage set. People kept suggesting we do an acoustic album. It’s an idea we tossed around for years and when we built our own recording studio it finally gave us the opportunity to try it. We didn’t just want to take our songs and play them acoustically with no differences. We wanted to almost recreate our older music, while staying true to the core heart of the songs. So we experimented with different tempos, time signatures, musical styles and instruments.

Are you currently working on new music?
The band individually, and as a collective, is constantly writing and arranging new music. We just released a new single called “Zombies in America” that is currently only available on iTunes. We are recording a full-length studio album in between tours and have most of the album written. The album should come out early next year.

As a band, what has changed the most over the last 15 years? Has anything become easier? Harder?
As we’ve gotten older, playing music has transformed from something we did for fun to a legitimate business. While playing music is still the most fun thing in the world for the four of us, we have taken on a lot more responsibilities. And as you get older, touring takes its toll on you both physically and emotionally. Plus, touring six months out of the year makes your personal life and relationships more difficult. You have to find a balance.

As veterans of music making and touring, what advice can you offer to new musicians looking to create long-term careers?
Practice, practice,practice. And more importantly play, play, play. As many shows as you can and as far away from your home base as you can, for any amount of money. Eventually you will be rewarded for it. And play with people that you get along really well with, because if your music does eventually become your job and livelihood, then your band will become your second family and you will spend the majority of your time with them.

The first three album releases of your career were done completely independently, why did you choose to go that route?
That was the only option we had. We recorded and released our first album when we were 19-20. We had no idea what we were doing and could barely play our instruments. The next two albums showed progressions musically but without album sales, no label – independent, major, or otherwise- showed any interest.

After seven years, why did you choose to sign with Stoopid Records?
Slightly Stoopid have been friends of ours for years. And we have a mutual respect for each other as people and as musicians. They allowed us the freedom to record what we want and release what we wanted while still giving us the support of being on a label.

As a band you guys are constantly on tour or working on new music together, but when home, is it correct that you all live on the same street? Was that intentional or did it just happen? Is there ever a time when the four of you aren’t together?
Up until recently, we used to all live a stones throw from each other. There hasn’t really been a time where at least two of us didn’t live in the same house. Some of the friendships in the band go back to 1st grade so we enjoy each other’s company. After tour we do like to get a little alone time and space from each other, but we are all so close that it doesn’t last long. Plus, with our dedication to writing, recording, and performing music, even when we aren’t hanging out we are still working together.

Anything you’d like fans to know that we haven’t asked you about?
Thanks to all the fans for continuing to support us over all these years. And please go to iTunes and buy our new single “Zombies in America.” And thank you for your patience. We know it’s been a while since a new studio album, but we promise it is coming soon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Winner will be selected and contacted via email by Friday, July 26.

2 Comments

  1. I have to get there!!! This is for my son 🙂

    • Hi Nancy, please fill out the entry form at the bottom of the article to be entered to win. Good luck!

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