By: M.J. Smith
According to Wikipedia, â€œSome characteristics of the development of an expert have been found to includeâ€¦At a minimum usually 10 years of consistent practice, sometimes more for certain fields.â€
The Expendables are definitely experts in California surf rock. They started out in high school, circa 1997, playing house parties and clubs all over Santa Cruz becoming local legends. 13 years later, after constant touring, playing hundreds of show with bands like NoFX, Slightly Stoopid, Pepper, 311 and many more, they have built a fan base all over the world and are finally hitting the top, deservedly so! Their new album released in May 2010, â€œProve It,â€ is by far their most cohesive, mature, and refined album yet.
Their sound has been described as reggae-rock, surf rock, and even metal reggae, but they explain it best. â€œReggae had sex with metal, Punk got in the mix, and Ska videotaped it all, and out pooped The Expendables.â€Â These guys are young at heart and have a great stage presence. They are best known for their amazing live performances and jack-ass style antics on the road. They have had their own radio show on The Santa Cruz X 103. 9 FM and were in the 2005 film XXX Rated: A Year in the Life of a Santa Cruz Phenomenon, which documentedÂ some of their touring.
The band is well respected by other artists. After touring with Slightly Stoopid, the band signed them to their label, Slightly Stoopid Records, for its first non Stoopid release. They recorded â€œProve Itâ€ under the expert guidance of Paul Leary, producer of artists such as Sublime and NOFX guitarist El Hefe at the Big Fish Studios in Encinitas. The new album features 17 original tracks with guest appearances by G. Love and various members of Slightly Stoopid.
Currently, they are stoking out a new generation of listeners, mostly opting to play in college towns. Lucky for us, SDSU is next on their itinerary. Having missed them when they played in February at the Ladera Winter Blackout 2010 Tour and at Harrahâ€™s Rincon in July in Valley Center, I am super excited to see them live for the first time! If there is a single show you do not want to miss this year, this is it! October 1st at the SDSU Open Air Theatre @ 7pm. Come join NUG and check out this amazing band for yourself!
Now itâ€™s time to meet Geoff Weers (Guitars and Vocals), Adam Patterson (Drums and Vocals), Raul Bianchi (Lead Guitar) and Ryan DeMars (Bass), The Expendables.
NUG: Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for our readers. Are you looking forward to coming back to SD for the third time this year?
Ryan D: Yea! SD is one of my favorite places to play for many reasons. SD has the beach town vibe that reminds me of Santa Cruz and some of my other favorite California communities. I think our music is a product of the beach vibe/lifestyle, so we fit well in SD. We have a lot of friends that live down there and it’s always good to see them. Oh and the weed is good.
NUG: What are some of your favorite hangout spots when you come to San Diego? Any must have food spots?
Ryan D: My favorite spot down there is probably House of Blues or going to Ocean Beachâ€¦ I don’t know, we never have a bad time down there.
NUG: What is your pre-show routine? Any special rituals or dressing room requests?
Ryan D: Nothing too special. We usually just kind of chill out with a shmocktail, so weâ€™re calm before the storm.
NUG: You guys have been playing and traveling together for 13 years now. How do you all get along on the road? Do any of you bring your families?
Ryan D: No families yet…weâ€™reÂ our own family in our own weird distorted way. We’re all BFF and have grown together, so it all works out.
NUG: You guys started out playing cover songs back in high school and now you are on some of the biggest concert lineups around. Do you have any advice for newbies trying to break in to the music business today?
Ryan D: Put everything you’ve got into making the band work. Never stop playing. And becoming friends with other bands that can help your band is key.
NUG: How was working with Slightly Stoopid, G. Love, Paul Leary, and El Hefe on this newest release? How did you like recording at Big Fish Studios in Encinitas?
Ryan D: Recording at Big Fish was awesome.Â ThereÂ was a house and pool next to the studio with a great view of the Encinitas area. Paul Leary and El Hefe are great producers who believed in the project and seemed to get the best results out of us. The Stoopid boys are great players and DeLa, OG, Rymo, and C-Money, among other musicians, put some nice textures on the album.
NUG: What is your ultimate location to play at and/or band to play with?
Ryan D: I think Red Rocks Colorado is one of the coolest places to play. The ultimate band would be Red Hot Chili Peppers or The Police.
NUG: Our personal favorite songs are your stoner anthems like â€œBowl for Twoâ€ and â€œCome Get Highâ€. How has cannabis been a part of your lives and music?
Ryan D: For me, marijuana helps the creative process in song writing. I stopped smoking for a few months last year and I suffered the worst writers block ever.
NUG: What is the cannabis community like in Santa Cruz?
Ryan D: Santa Cruz is one of those towns where everyone you know either grows, sells or smokes. It’s pretty stoney up here.
NUG: How do you guys feel about Prop 19, the initiative to legalize marijuana in California.
Ryan D: I think marijuana should be legal because hemp is a good natural resource.Â There is also a lot of money that can help the state get out of debt if it is controlled and regulated.Â Watch the movie “The Union”.
NUG: Ok, we have to askâ€¦ Indica or Sativa? And what are your personal favorite strains?
Ryan D: If itâ€™s green and smells like the shit, just smoke it! Nobody cares if you got the “triple hulk lighting skunk demon semen,” just smoke it.
The Expendables have five original full-length albums to their credit:
â€œNo Time to Worryâ€ (2001), â€œOpen Containerâ€ (2002), â€œGettinâ€™ Filthyâ€ (2006), the polished result of a two-month recording stint at Herbie Herbertâ€™s SyKlopps Studios in San Francisco, â€œThe Expendablesâ€ (2007), and their most recent in May 2010, â€œProve Itâ€.
You can find out more about them online: