The Aquabats formed in 1994 in Huntington Beach, California. The band's original recording lineup consisted of Christian Jacobs (the Caped Commander) on vocals, Courtney Pollock (Chainsaw) and Ben Bergeson (Ben the Brain) on guitars, Chad Larson (Crash McLarson) on bass, Boyd Terry (Catboy) and [[Prince Adam|Adam Deibert] (Prince Adam) on trumpets, Chad Parkin (Nacho) on organ, and Rod Arellano (Roddy B.) on drums. They were also often joined by third guitarist Charles Gray (Ultra Kyu). Their music was heavily rooted in surf rock, punk rock, pop, and ska, and influenced by groups such as Devo, Oingo Boingo, Madness, and The Skatalites. Shortly after forming, the band began to establish their mythos, taking the above-mentioned stage names and claiming that they were superheroes from an island called Aquabania. One of the members worked for Aleeda making wetsuits, and using spare rashguards and pieces of neoprene fashioned matching costumes for the group. They recorded and released 2 demo tapes,"The Revenge of the Midget Punchers" and "Bat Boy" and began to build a local following through their energetic and eclectic live performances.
In 1995 the band recorded their first album. It was originally intended to be another demo, but due to increased demand they released it as an album through Horchata Records under the tongue-in-cheek title The Return of the Aquabats. It contained songs such as "Playdough," "Martian Girl," "Idiot Box," and "CD Repo Man" which would become standards in their live set over the next several years. They embarked on tours and established themselves in a prolific southern California ska movement that also included bands such as Reel Big Fish, The Hippos, Buck-O-Nine, No Doubt, and Save Ferris.
1997-2000: Goldenvoice years
By 1997 Arellano had left the group and been replaced by Travis Barker (The Baron von Tito) on drums. Bergeson left the band to focus on his new marriage and children (although he would continue to assist the band in a studio capacity), and Gray became a full-time member on guitar. Parkin also left and was replaced by James Briggs (Jaime the Robot), who brought additional horn instrumentation to the group as well as playing keyboards. Some of the existing members also altered their pseudonyms, with Jacobs now going by "The Bat Commander" and Pollock as "Chainsaw the Prince of Karate." The new lineup signed to Goldenvoice and recorded the album The Fury of the Aquabats! In addition to several re-recorded versions of popular songs from Return, Fury contained songs such as "Cat with 2 Heads!" and "Super Rad!" which would become anthems for the band and expand their fan base. "Super Rad!" became a minor hit and was promoted with a music video. The success of Fury and its supporting tours brought the band to their highest level of recognition and popularity yet.
The following year Barker left the Aquabats to join Blink-182. He was replaced by drummer Gabe Palmer (Doctor Rock) and this lineup recorded The Aquabats! vs. The Floating Eye of Death!, released in 1999. At this time Jacobs added "MC" to his stage name and began drawing a mustache on his face and blacking out his front teeth, aspects of his stage costume that he continues to use to this day. Stylistically the album was a departure for the band, relying heavily on synthesizers and pop melodies. Its somewhat experimental and unconventional sound distanced the band from the southern California ska movement with which they had been associated, and isolated both their record label and portions of their fan base. The somewhat cool reception to Floating Eye, along with the departure of Palmer the following year (who later joined Innaway) and the collapse of Goldenvoice soon after left the band's future uncertain. After releasing a collection of outtakes in 2000 entitled Myths, Legends, and Other Amazing Adventures, Vol. 2, the band slipped into a period of relative inactivity for several years.
From 2000-2003 the future of the Aquabats was uncertain. The loss of their drummer and record label, soon followed by the departure of trumpeter Terry, left the group unsure of whether or not they would continue recording and performing. During this time news updates from the band were infrequent, and those that did appear hinted at the possibility of a breakup. Eventually the group decided to continue on, relocating to San Diego and bringing in new drummer Ricky Falomir (Ricky Fitness), formerly of the Assorted Jelly Beans, in 2002. In 2003 the band released their first DVD, Serious Awesomeness!, followed the next year by the self-released Yo! Check Out This Ride! EP. This would be Deibert's last recording with the group (though he would occasionally join them for onstage performances in southern California over the next few years), and his departure completed the loss of the band's horn section and their transition to synthesizer-structured songwriting.
In 2005 the band signed to Nitro Records and released the album Charge!! It found the band with a rejuvenated sense of energy and marked their recommitment to touring and recording. The album was supported by numerous tours and a music video for the song "Fashion Zombies!" They also performed on the television program Attack of the Show on September 23, 2005. In June of 2006 the album was re-released as a special one year anniversary edition with additional songs. Guitarist Pollock left the band at this time and was replaced by Ian Fowles (Eagle "Bones" Falconhawk), formerly of Death by Stereo. The band continued touring in support of Charge!! until January 2007.
Following touring in late 2006 and early 2007, The Aquabats began recording a follow-up to Charge!!. Recording began in July 2007 and the band performed some dates that month and in August in the western United States, the east coast, and England. Although their recording and touring schedule continue, the band often joke that each performance or album might be their last.
The band has also started production on another pilot for a television show, tentatively titled "The Aquabats Supershow." On January 12, 2008, fans were invited to take part in some filming at the El Rey Theatre.
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|
The Plight of The Aquabats! (1999)Edit
Six years ago, in the midst of a musical explosion that erupted out of the same Southern Californian suburban wasteland that spawned such high-powered acts as the The No Doubts, The Offsprings, The Sublimes, The Sugar Rays and many more. A group of 8 (or 9) Superdudes formed their own Rock'n'Roll assault team and unleashed the name of The Aquabats! Quickly gaining fame across the Southland for their heroic costumes, super-charged music and action-packed live show, these men began building a loyal fan base. So loyal in fact, many even left home to join the Aquabats in secret underground caverns, refining crude oil in preparation for the great and final land war on this American continent.
In late 1997 The Aquabats' anthemic song, "Super Rad" finally broke the band on Los Angeles' tremendously influential radio station, the world-famous KROQ! unexpectedly propelling them into the strange world of the music industry and miraculously securing them a spot in modern rock history ... and then, their 90 days of air play were up.
In 1998, the Aquabats, were forced go underground for a crime they did not commit. After being discredited by the same Industry that simultaneously embraced them, the Aquabats knew music was their business, but apparently didn't know the music business. Stripped of their good names and their code names, and their stripper names, betrayed by their so called 'pals' in the so called 'rock world', forsaken by fellow team members, mauled by lions, run over by a motorcycle gang, the Aquabats became a complete laughing stock to a world so insensitive, that they would laugh at a band being mauled by a lion. You jerk.
Which leads us to...1999. After selling hundreds of thousands of records, thousands of fan club memberships, tens of thousands of t-shirts on the road, ones of hundreds of patches, baby shampoos, fake tattoos and monkey wallets, everyone made enough money to buy their own homes and range rovers ... except for The Aquabats. Now completely broke, with nothing to show for their amazing success, the Aquabats broke up, and broke out. And then it happened. Mysteriously, out of the center of the earth, came a hideous flying eyeball, reeking of havoc and destruction, on a killing spree that would surely total over six billion casualties if it wasn't stopped. The world knew that the only ones that could put an end to this ocular terror, was The Aquabats. Isn't it ironic? Heeding the call, our heroes gathered their remaining troops, and with the aid of legendary producer Thom Wilson (T.S.O.L., Dead Kennedys, New Edition), recorded the soundtrack to this heroic battle at the end of this century. This genius collaboration of music and land to air missiles, submerged the Aquabats to a new level. Who will save the world? The same ones you're laughing at. Now, nobody's gonna breaka their stride, no body's gonna slow them down. No no. They've got to keep on movin'... THE AQUABATS VS. THE FLOATING EYE OF DEATH! Buy it today. It just might save your life.