Vinyl Music Hall Presents
Bunny Gang, The Attack
Wed, March 1, 2017
Vinyl Music Hall
$25.00 - $30.00
This event is all ages
General Admission * Standing Room Only * All Ages * Additional $5 Cash Surcharge At The Door For Under 21 * Attendees Under 16 Must Be Accompanied By A Ticketed, Adult Guardian * Posted Times Are Door Times- Events Generally Begin 30-60 Minutes After Doors Openhttp://www.vinylmusichall.com/event/1385752/
The trio, who formed in 1997 and moved to the mainland from their hometown of Kailua Kona, Hawaii in 1999, pressed pause after the release of their fifth album, Pink Crustaceans and Good Vibrations, in 2008. There was a sense of fatigue and disunity amongst the three musicians, who took some time off from music both apart and together before rejoining to create an EP, Stiches, in late 2010. The songs on that release re-energized the group, revealing an urgent desire to make a new album that reflected where they are in their lives and career now. After some tour dates in support of the EP, Pepper sat down and focused on their sixth album, a self-titled released that swings open the door on this new chapter.
The musicians went into the studio with Matt Wallace, a producer known for his work with Maroon 5, O.A.R. and Faith No More, in early 2012. Matt helped focus the group's vision and expand their musical knowledge base, an experience the band members compare to being in their own version of college. The album was recorded in various studios over the course of a year, honing in on Pepper's re-defined self-identity and how that focus was reflected in the songs.
"We learned so much," Yesod says. "Matt help us really focus on the art of songwriting. He sat in the room with the three of us with a fine-tooth comb and went over every word, every melody, every sound. He showed us that it's important what you do play as well as what you don't play, creating both spaces in the songs. We learned how powerful simplicity can be. Plus, we had such a good time recording this album and I think that shows."
The resulting album, self-titled to accentuate where the band feels they are presently, broadens Pepper's style, veering into new sonic territory while still retaining all the fun elements that make the band so beloved by their fans. The ever-present sense of life surges through the tracks, bolstering the sense of optimism throughout. The party anthems, the beach hang melodies, and the boisterous rhythms are all there, each song carefully crafted to best express these sunny moments by the ocean.
"This album is basically 12 snapshots of where we are," vocalist/bassist Bret Bollinger says. "There are songs that will remind you of your favorite Pepper songs, but by the end you'll hear some unexpected things. You'll realize that the songwriting is so much more refined. And there's laughter in the background of the songs. That's how good the vibe is on the record."
Pepper has toured extensively with groups like 311, Slightly Stoopid, Flogging Molly and Sublime With Rome, and spent several summers on Warped Tour – and this live sensibility shows. You can almost feel the sand in your toes and the sun on your back as the album progresses, the musician's amiable personalities palpable beneath the island rhythms and mellow tones. The band's music – both live and on their releases – is really about enjoying life and being grateful for each experience, a sensibility that's very familiar to the three musicians currently in their career. From their 1999 debut Give'n It to their 2006 standout album No Shame, which was recorded with 311's Nick Hexum, No Doubt's Tony Kanal and Butthole Surfers' Paul Leary, Pepper has embodied not only a style of music but a lifestyle, one that's most easily found on beaches across the world, but also one that's relatable to anyone anywhere.
Released via their own label LAW Records, their universal appeal has led their music being placed in various movies and TV shows, including Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Good Luck Chuck, as well as several video game soundtracks. The band's story to date has been a prolific one. But as Pepper turns the page into a fresh chapter with this new album, it's clear that the band's passion for music and life will continue on for years to come.
"We're so blessed to be in this position," Kaleo says. "We want to do the best we can with it. We had humble beginnings in our small town in Hawaii and we're still that same humble band. We don't take any of this lightly. Every day I wake up and think about how I have the best job in the world. The level of gratitude and happiness I have that we're able to do this is incredible and I hope people can hear that when they listen to our new songs."
VIP UPGRADES AVAILABLE BY VISITING...
VIP packages are limited to 50 and include:
• One Meet and Greet with Pepper
• One Photo Opportunity with Pepper
• Admission To Pepper's Pre-Show Acoustic Set
• Pre-Show Set Songs Determined by VIP Buyers' Votes
• One VIP Poster, Autographed by Pepper
• One Commemorative VIP Laminate
** Please visit PepperLive.com for more information regarding tickets, VIP offers and more!
The tracks on White Rabbit were written over the past ten years spanning from when Flogging Molly were playing weekend gigs until more recent days that have seen the act play over two hundred shows a year. However when the group collectively decided that they'd be relaxing their grueling tour schedule in 2009, Maxwell knew that this would be the perfect time to put these tracks to tape. "All I've got is music: I've got no plan B, no wealthy family members and no savings," he explains. "But I have these songs and this music I've been wanting to do for a decade—and now just seemed like the right time to do it, whereas the last five years haven't been." To capture the true spirit of these songs, Maxwell hooked up with his father, who he not only refers to as "his favorite drummer," but who is also responsible for introducing Nathen to Flogging Molly. "It's comes full circle musically for my dad and I, and I couldn't be happier or more proud in returning the favor to him.
In the studio, Maxwell teamed up with long time Flogging Molly producer Ted Hutt (The Gaslight Anthem, Chuck Ragan, Lucero, Bouncing Souls, Street Dogs). "I wanted to record these songs in the most simple and effective way possible," Maxwell explains, "my guitar playing is very limited to rhythm and my rhythms are really limited to certain strumming patterns and a reggae skank, but aside from that it was really about whatever came naturally." The result is a refreshingly stripped-down album that fully reconciles Maxwell's love of rock, reggae and folk music into an honest collection of songs that will appeal as much to fans of Jack Johnson, Manu Chao, and Bob Marley as it will Flogging Molly and the Pogues. "I was a little anxious and stressed out when we went into the studio because it was my first time doing something like this," he admits, "but in the end it was just an amazing experience."
This adventurous spirit clearly comes across on White Rabbit from the authentic reggae-feel of "By Your Side" to tender acoustic ballads like "Salt And Sand" and upbeat acoustically driven tracks like "Love Outlaw." When asked how he was able to reconcile all of his influences into one cohesive collection of songs, Maxwell asserts, "art in my opinion should send a message on behalf of the people - to me that's what the best art does and that is a common thread throughout this record. That common thread is more important than the scene or style of music," he continues, adding that discovering Bob Marley—who's portrait he has inked on his arm—was a huge turning point in his life. "That feeling of solidarity is bigger than punk rock and it's bigger than reggae and it's bigger than everything; that's it for me." While Maxwell doesn't like to beat the listener over the head when it comes to his lyrics, he does concede that this project is also a vehicle for him to get his positive message across without risking alienation. "I come from a pretty hardcore punk background and I found that when I put on a hardcore punk record people didn't want to hear it unless they were already into it—but you put on a reggae record and whether they're listening to the lyrics or not, people seem to be more open to the music because the approach is a little softer. Maxwell has tried to apply that approach to his own writing over the years, as evidenced on songs like "Walk Humbly Now" and "Working For The Man," which seem straightforward on the surface, but are bubbling with empowering subtleties. "I just wanted to write some songs that have the message of solidarity without sounding too preachy."
Ultimately Maxwell would never do anything to take away from playing bass in Flogging Molly—a gig he considers "the best job in the world"—however he couldn't be more excited to get these songs out into the world and finally allow an audience outside of his immediate family and bandmates to hear them. "I really see this project as limitless," he explains. "I have this music inside me that is not Flogging Molly music and it was just time get it out into the world," he summarizes. "Let's get it out in the universe and see what it does… because I'm up for anything."
Vinyl Music Hall
2 S. Palafox St.
Pensacola, FL, 35202