Suburban Legends are a seven piece pop/rock/third wave ska band from Orange County, California.
Influenced by artists such as Reel Big Fish
, Oingo Boingo
, and Michael Jackson
, the band was formed in 1998
as The No Tones
, and shortly after, changed their name to Bomb Squad
, under which name they released an EP. By 1999, they had become Suburban Legends. Their first album, Origin Edition
was released in 1999 as a fun demo to sell at shows. Shortly after its release, lead singer Tim Maurer
left the group and was replaced by Chris Batstone
on vocals. Chris Batstone
's only official release with the band was in 2001, when the Suburban Legends
EP was released on We The People Records. Chris Batstone
left the band in 2002 and was replaced by Tim Maurer
, who returned to the band on vocals and subsequently re-recorded the vocals on the EP to create the Suburban Legends (Tim Remix)
EP. It was around this time the band started playing at the Disneyland Resort
. In 2002, they played 962 performances at Downtown Disney
, where they gained many new fans. They would later perform there for a Disney-organized 2002 World Series Anaheim Angels
rally. They also performed on many occasions for the X Games Xperience promotion at Disney's California Adventure
in 2003, and at the Club Buzz/Tomorrowland Terrace stage in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The line-up then went on to record the bands debut album Rump Shaker
in 2003 with heavy touring to support it. Season One
was released in 2004. The DVD featured a live set from Oakland
as well as two music videos.
On May 12, 2006 the band released its first CD in 3 years since Rump Shaker. An EP, entitled Dance Like Nobody's Watching. The EP was the first release from the band to feature Vincent Walker on vocals and was supported by heavy touring over the next year. It's sound was drastically different from Rump Shaker and had a much less prominent third-wave ska sound, moving more towards a Pop/Rock sound with slight elements of Funk. Heavy touring again supported this release and in early 2007 the band announced that a new CD would be released in Japan entitled Dance Like Nobody's Watching: Tokyo Nights. It contained the original tracks from Dance Like Nobody's Watching as well as an additional five tracks which include a cover, 2 new songs and remixed songs from Rump Shaker with a new vocal tracks from Vincent Walker.
In early July 2007, the band started releasing videos on their YouTube account documenting progress recording new material in the studio. Later that month the band announced the album Infectious and confirmed it's release date at their HOB show on July 29. The album continued the change in sound heard on Dance Like Nobody's Watching, with little ska influence heard, instead featured songs with various genres. The band's second DVD Poisonous Candy Factory was released in March 2008. Similar to Season One, it featured live sets containing songs from Rump Shaker through to new, unreleased material, music videos and extra videos from the band.
Shortly after this release, the band headed back into the studio and recorded their most recent album, Let's Be Friends, released on July 10, 2008, while touring with Less Than Jake, Goldfinger, and Big D and the Kids Table on the Shout It Loud Tour 2. This album mixed elements of previous albums, featuring a return to ska on some songs as well as a continued focus on a Pop/Rock sound.
In the winter of 2008, they will be touring with The Aquabats on the Hooray for the Holidays Tour.
Suburban Legends' style of music has evolved over time and is different from that of other ska bands. While earlier material being heavily rooted in ska
, the 2006 release Dance Like Nobody's Watching
brought a different sound taking influence from disco
, and pop
containing little to no ska sound at all. The band has not abanded their earlier sound although regularly performing older material alongside their current work. The 2008 album Let's Be Friends
combined elements from all their previous releases.
Live shows involve synchronized dance moves performed by horn players (sometimes joined by the lead singer) as well as humorous banter between members.
Van fire & robberies
At around 4:30 AM CDT
on July 19
, while they were on tour and in St. Louis
, Phillip Inzerillo
woke up to notice the band's tour van was on fire. The fire destroyed the front driver's side of the van. The band's tour money had also been missing from the van. It is suspected that the fire and robbery was caused by an arsonist
On November 11, 2007, the band was robbed again, while supporting Streetlight Manifesto on their Somewhere in the Between Tour. This time, Suburban Legends' van was stolen along with approximately $80,000 worth of all their equipment and instruments. Fans were first alert of this when Dallas Kruse posted a MySpace bulletin reading:
" You all know just HOW MUCH suburban legends have been through throughout the years! .... lets all gather to HELP THEM through this!
I just got a call from my dear friend MIKEY, bassist for Suburban Legends.
They are on tour in Philly and woke up to head down to the van and trailer from the hotel room and the van and trailer were stolen.
Every piece of equipment and merchandise the band owns is gone.
Drum sets, horns, clothing, basses, guitars, amps, etc.
The value of the equipment alone is appx 40k. The value of the trailer alone is 30k. Estimated value of everything is probably close to 80k (in my estimation) including the van, trailer and gear.
They are troopers and going to try and rent another van, rent gear and finish the tour.
This is devastating. Most, if not ALL of you know just how dear and sincere these guys are and how close I am with them.
Is there ANYTHING we can do to help them?
My idea was to find someone with money who would be able to immediately front them an investment for gear and work out terms for the band to pay that person back. Or does someone here have connections to a car dealership? Instruments? SOMETHING!?!
if you have some help or ideas, PLEASE, lets help the guys out!"
Another MySpace bulletin which was posted on November 13, said that the van was recovered in a neighborhood in Philadelphia apparently after somebody saw the news story on the van theft and gave information of its whereabouts. When the van was recovered, it only required minor repairs. However, the contents of the van and trailer were missing. While insurance issues are still being resolved, the band apologised to the fans for any shows they miss and state that they will be back on the road again.
The song "Fire" from their 2008 album, Let's Be Friends, is about the van fire and robberies.
The band has had many line up changes over the years. Early drummer Jimmy Sullivan
left around 1999. He went on to help create the popular band Avenged Sevenfold
, going by the name of The Rev along with former Suburban Legends bassist Justin Meacham who left around the same time. In late 2004, bassist Chris Maurer
left the band to marry his fiancé and to focus on his education. He was replaced by Mike Hachey
. Trumpet player Vincent Walker also left the band in 2004 to focus on his education. He was not replaced and the band used only 3 horns until his return to the band on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon
(see below). Similarly, in late May 2005, trumpet player Aaron Bertram
left the band to marry his fiancé, Rachel Charest. He was replaced by trumpet player Luis Beza
. In October 2006, while on the Fall Of Ska tour, Phillip Inzerillo
was rumoured to have left the band as he was not seen playing with the band on the tour or in subsequent shows afterwards. His departure was never officially announced by the band While on the Fall Of Ska tour in late 2006, keyboardist Dallas Kruse
was seen playing with the band. While not an "official" member, not appearing on the band's website and not announced by the band, he has been performing with the band since the tour at local shows. He has also produced the bands albums Japan only CD Dance Like Nobody's Watching: Tokyo Nights
as well as Infectious
and Let's Be Friends
The band appeared on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon for the third year in a row on September 4, 2005 . It was lead singer Tim Maurer's final performance with the band, as he left (for the second time as a member of Suburban Legends) in September 2005 to spend more time with his family. He was replaced by former trumpet player Vincent Walker, who returned to the band in the same performance, oddly switching roles from horns to vocals.
Vincent Walker and Brian Robertson are the only remaining members from the band's inception as Bomb Squad (although Vince was not in the band from 2004-2005).
Ryan Dallas Cook
At 12:25 AM on October 19, 2005, trombone player Dallas Cook was killed in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident on the Costa Mesa Freeway.
A few days after the incident, a large group of Suburban Legends' fans and Dallas' friends and family gathered nearby the ESPN Zone at Disneyland Resorts Downtown Disney, where the band played their many performances in the early 2000s, to share their memories of Cook. On November 29, 2005, former and current band members performed a benefit show for the Dallas Cook Memorial Fund, which was as set up in Cook's honor to donate money to the Huntington Beach High School instrumental music program.
Accident article from Orange County Register
The band has been known to cover the song "Under the Sea
" from the Disney movie The Little Mermaid
live since 2002. More recently they have played this and other live covers of "I Just Can't Wait to Be King
" from the Disney film The Lion King
, Frankie Valli
's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You
" (with Brian Klemm
singing lead), The Foundations
' "Build Me Up Buttercup
," Kool and the Gang
," Gary Glitter
's "I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am)
," and Elvis Presley
's "Rubberneckin'." These covers are often regarded by fans as the proverbial "Coup De Grace," or a perfect finish to the show that "sells" the band to the audience. However, due to licensing issues, album releases of even live recordings of these covers are unlikely, the Disney covers in particular. However, one of the few covers the band has recorded was the theme song to Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears
. Their other recorded covers include "Rose Tint My World
" from the Rocky Horror Show
, "On the Outside" by Oingo Boingo
, and "Dancing Machine" by The Jackson 5
For the live songs that Brian Klemm sings lead on, Vincent Walker plays lead guitar.
Former members (Listed in order of departure)
All of the band's material has been self-released, with the exception of Suburban Legends EP (Red/Blue/Green Version)
(released by We The People Records) the UK version of Rump Shaker
(released by Brand New Hero Records) and the Japan-only Dance Like Nobody's Watching: Tokyo Nights
(released by Subrange Records).
- Rose Tint My World (Download Only) (Unreleased Tribute Album) (2001)
- Gimme, Gimme (CD single from Christmas 2004 shows) (2004)
- Supporting the Scene - Disc 1 Track 15, "All The Nights" (2000)
- Skratch Comp CD #6 - Track 5, "Gummi Bears" (2000)
- Fatty's Favorites - Track 14, "Waikiki" (2000)
- Because We Care: A Benefit for the Children's Hospital of Orange County - Track 11, "Gummie Bears" (2002)
- Skyboys vs Highscalers - Track 5, "Desperate", Track 19, "Alternative Is Dead" (2003)
- Dead Baby vs. Jesus - Track 22, "Zanzibar" (2003)
- Camp Ska (DVD) - Track 12, "High Fives" (2003)
- Sorry If It Isn't Cool Anymore! Vol. 1 - Track 2, "You" (2004)
- Live @ iMusicast 1.0 (DVD) - Track 13, "Up All Night" (2004)
- Casino Chips and Sunset Strips - Track 10 "Autumn in the Park", Track 11 "All the Nights", Track 12 "Bright Spring Morning" (2004)
- Of Hands and Hearts: Music for the Tsunami Disaster Fund - Disc 2 Track 4, "Blingity Bling" (2005)
- Dead Bands Party: A Tribute to Oingo Boingo - Track 10, "On the Outside" (2005)