Interviewed by RAS MIKE-NUG MUSIC EDITOR
Itâ€™s not too often that you encounter a band that has both the musicianship and the mindset to really make an impact on the music scene; not just locally, but nationally on a mainstream level. WithOut Papers is just that kind of band. NUG Mag recently sat down with them to hear their story.
Their determination to make really good music for the masses immediately shines through in a positive light. The foundation of WithOut Papers is four East County guys, making music that has a message, while combining all of their musical styles.
NUG: How did WithOut Papers come about?
WithOut Papers: Sha-T Shane and I (Jarrod) met in 7th grade and started 4-DUB. Years later, we hooked up with old friends Rem and Bongo, formed an instant connection and started WithOut Papers in 2008. After some complications, we had to find a new drummer the night of our first show. Luckily, Sha-T Shane knew a drummer, Jonathan â€œJ-Sticksâ€, who played metal music. He came in that night, killed it on the drums, and WithOut Papers was born.
NUG: What are some of the groupâ€™s influences?
WithOut Papers: Queen, Bob Marley, Journey, Sublime, Sprung Monkey, Jack Johnson and KRS-ONE. Just good music, music with a meaning, that really makes you feel. Itâ€™s hard to say because we all come from different musical backgrounds. J-Sticks is into gospel and blues, Rem and Sha-T Shane are into rock and metal, and I like reggae and hip-hop. So, we really canâ€™t say one style specifically defines us. Each one of us has a wide diversity of musicianship styles and respect for the art.
NUG: I noticed that your sound is very comparable to Sublime and the Long Beach Dub Allstars, both So-Cal groups that have made huge impacts on the local music scene. Was that by design, or is that just how it worked out? How do you respond to those who say you are trying to sound like Bradley Nowell?
WithOut Papers: Our sound is just that, our sound. When I was a kid, the Sublime CDâ€™s were like the Holy Grail, you know what I mean? I didnâ€™t know I had a voice besides Bradley’s, and that was the way I sang for a long time, just like Brad. It took me some time to find my own voice, but no doubt he played a huge part in my vocal delivery.
NUG: What are some of the shows you have done?
WithOut Papers: The two shows that come to mind are the KROQ Halos â€˜N Horns Fest with KoRn and Shwayze in Orange County, and performing with the legendary singer Junior Reid. Easily the best two shows outside of Laurapalooza.
NUG: With over 105,000 plays on your MySpace page, tell me about the song â€œAngry Soliderâ€.
WithOut Papers: Nice! Rem wrote that song. We have a really close friend whose 18 year old boyfriend joined the Army and was sent to Iraq, where he served and died. Also, an old family friend went crazy from Agent Orange. I just wanted to remember them.
NUG: As you may know, I have a 13 year old daughter named Sabrina who helps me pick music on MySpace and such, and she would kill me if I didnâ€™t ask one of her questions. So, what kind of cake do you like?
WithOut Papers: Carrot cake or chocolate ice cream cake.
NUG: Whatâ€™s the one thing that NUG readers should know about WithOut Papers?
WithOut Papers: Not to blow our own horn but, originality and listenability. Weâ€™re music fans who have sat through some really shitty bands, and we donâ€™t ever want to ruin it for anyone. We try to make everyone feel good at our shows.
Known for their rock-reggae-pop sound that can only be found in their hometown of San Diego, WithOut Papers will rock your socks off and then dip your toes in the sand. They can make you dance and fall in love in a single jam.
You can find the band on www.redination.com, www.myspace.com/sdwithoutpapers and other social networking sites.
Jarrod Pellegrini – Vocals
Remington Ross – Bass
Jonathan â€œJ-Sticksâ€ Rolfson – Drums
Sha-T Shane – Guitar