And now, Special Guest! The psych-funk-rock band that’s been making a splash on the underground scene in 2018 gives us our take on the Central Coast’s evolving music experience and their journey so far. Check out their new EP below!
What’s up fellas? How’s the summer treating you so far?
Summer has been good man! Everyone right now is either at home or in SLO just hanging out and practicing their craft. Very relaxing so far.
How did Special Guest come to be?
Casey, our bass player, had been jamming around with a couple of groups but was searching for something more. Brad, our singer, responded to a local ad Casey placed for a singer and the two instantly shared a creative spark. Kyle was a friend of Casey’s from the dorms that he reached out to to play saxophone, who then introduced everyone to Justin (an accomplished drummer as well as bass player, becoming the drummer of our group from the first rehearsal) and Drake, the bass player and guitarist of Cal Poly’s Jazz 1 band. After we played our first couple shows, Drake invited his friend Zack to fill out the sound on Keys. We quickly began making music together in February and haven’t really stopped since!
You’ve got quite the eclectic mix of genres embodied in your music, calling it “funk/rock/punk/reggae/groove fusion.” Who are some artists that have helped shape your sound?
We probably would say we are a Psychedelic Funk Rock band, but we definitely have a multitude of influences that have shaped us today. From our forthcoming EP, there are songs like “Foggy Mind” that have more of a Sublime reggae feel while “Another Lover” parallels certain elements and characteristics of Vulfpeck. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are also a huge influence for the entire band as well as the psychedelic stylings of the great Hendrix.
How about locally? What bands on the Central Coast inspire you?
We haven’t been in the local scene too long so we have only seen a few bands. Mannequins by Day are super rad with their setlist and sound. The Bogeys are also another cool band we’ve enjoyed playing with.
What it was like playing alongside them at SloCup?
Our SloCup experience was unforgettable and we are very blessed to have had that opportunity. There was an outdoor stage set up by our friends at Subsessions, and various local artists played live music for the event. It’s always cool playing with other talented performers who have had more experience, and we have to hand it to the Bogeys and Mannequins, they put on amazing shows. You can always pick up new stuff from watching how others do it, ya know? We are always trying to get better, and the more people we play with and can learn from the better. Props to those guys; they really nailed the impromptu collaboration with our set. Definitely go check them out as well!
You guys put on a wonderful late night performance at Life’s a Peach. What were some of your favorite memories from the event?
Thanks! It was a new experience playing at a festival. The people at Subsessions really helped us out making sure we got to do our set after there had been some noise complaint issues. Getting moved to another stage made us kind of re-evaluate our set and instruments. Since we had to move all the equipment, we just had Brad sing without rhythm guitar. We were going to start with an extremely “hyped” high energy set, but with the change of stage we decided to start more mellow and then get hyped which really worked well. It was amazing to see people singing our songs with us and dancing long into the night. We all kinda realized that this kind of stuff is what we’d been dreaming about since we were kids, and having the opportunity to actually do it just made us hungry for more.
You’ve played at three SubSessions events now. How has SubSessions, in your mind, shaped the underground scene? What kind of events do you want to see in 6 months from them?
SubSessions has a lot of smart and driven people who have a genuine interest in music. They are giving local artists of all mediums a platform to express their creativity and work which is great in the face of SLO’s noise violation laws. We already know SubSessions will be instrumental to the local scene’s future success. In 6 months, we’d like to see another festival, live music social events, jam sessions, and a battle of the bands.
What deep symbolism lies behind the colored pants?
Wouldn’t you like to know 😉
Tell me about your new EP!
We’re pumped on the EP. It features a nice variety of what we have to offer as a band, and we think it covers a lot of ground stylistically.
What’s it been like recording at the SaucePot? Do you have a release date in mind?
We did one recording session at the Sauce Pot studios; they have an amazing facility there. We just finished up vocals and a couple other tracks down in Manhattan Beach this week. Check out the EP here!
When’s the next show? Where can I get a Special Guest sticker?
We’ll definitely have a couple shows in SLO this summer and will be trying to be playing as much as possible once the school year starts up again. Look for free Special Guest stickers and merch on our Instagram or Facebook. We’ll also be periodically releasing EPs throughout the year so stay on the lookout for those!