Ballyhoo! has embarked on tour to promote their fourth and latest album “Daydreams” and will be stopping in Corpus Christi to perform for fans at the House of Rock with band Tin Can Phone. Doors will open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12.
Ballyhoo!’s influences include lead singer Howi Spangler’s favorite band Green Day, punk rock, reggae, pop, and other bands such as Sublime and Goldfinger
The South Texan recently had a phone interview with Spangler while on tour in New Mexico to talk about Ballyhoo!’s. new album “Daydreams,” which according to Spangler,“has all the best elements of what we’ve done in the past and any kind of new influences that we have.”
What are some of your inspirations and influences?
“Green Day is my favorite band, like still, since I was 13 years old, so I pretty much just listened to them. Then I got into some punk rock, reggae, stuff like Sublime, Goldfinger. Then I kind of went backwards and listened to old reggae. Then I’ve always had like a pop thing. I really liked to listen to the radio as a kid. It comes our real melodic when we play and when I write songs. Being on the road and seeing people singing our songs, that’s an inspiration right there. It keeps us going.”
Do you write all of the songs?
“I write a lot of them but over the years the band has gotten more to where we’ll jam songs out in a practice space and, until it becomes something, everyone has their input until it becomes a Ballyhoo song. Whereas, before, it was me bringing the band songs and they were learning their parts. I mean everyone always has their own flare. Even if I wrote the song, everyone still has their part in it. But it’s nice to have the guys throwing in their own ideas.”
Tell me a little more about that, your chemistry with the band,
“It’s funny because we’ve played together so much that we kind of know what’s going to happen a lot of times, which is great, especially being on stage when we feel like improv(ing) a little bit. Just working with dynamics and stuff getting soft, getting loud, like for this record we just put out, it’s called Daydreams, I didn’t have a whole lot of songs when we went in. We were able to lock ourselves in the studio for three weeks and kind of jam. It wasn’t really a spoken thing but I think we all kind of decided that we wanted to really rock out on this record. It’s definitely the hardest record we’ve ever done. I’ve been hearing that from some fans like ‘Man there’s a lot of rock songs on here,’ because we’re known for doing a lot of bouncy like reggae stuff. I have a lot of fun doing that too but just this time around we kind of decided we just wanted to rock out and put out a heavier record. And that’s just from everyone kind of thinking the same thing all along, which is pretty funny.”
That’s cool. How long have you all been together? Is everyone in the band the founding members?
“My brother and I, my brother is the drummer, Donald. He and I started the band when we were kids, like 12 and 13 years old. We found a guy, a friend of ours that played bass; he was with us a couple of years then he left. Then we found another friend that played bass really well and invited him in, and then he decided he didn’t want to play anymore. So we found another friend, that’s J.R., who’s been in the band since 2003. We formed in the summer of ’95. Then we found Scott, we’ve all known each other since middle school, and we pulled him in to do cuts on turntables back in 2000. He did a couple of songs on the first record, and kind of stuck around. So we’re the same core members since 2003.
Tell me how you all came up with the band name.
Well there’s nothing really special behind it. It’s just that a friend of ours knew we were looking for a band name and we had no idea what we were going to call it. She just kind of came over and she pitched it, ‘You guys should call your band Ballyhoo.’ I had no idea what it meant, I just thought it sounded cool and different and it was one word. It actually means loud noise, crazy event, like debauchery. I was like, ‘Okay, well that’s kind of what we are we’re like a loud noise in my mom’s basement. It just stuck. It just felt real big and colorful in my head. So on the first flyers for our first shows ever I started putting an exclamation mark at the end and I just kept doing it right to this day.
I’ve heard stories of band that come up their band name like that. It’s like, out of nowhere, it just hits them.
One of the toughest things ever as a band is coming up with a band. It sucks coming up with a band name.
So how are the sales going?
Sales are going really well. We’ve sold more already with this record than we have the other ones over their lifetime. It’s been awesome. Everyone keeps buying it on iTunes and we sell a lot at the shows. The label is really proud and excited for us. So everyone is really happy.
I see you guys are going on tour for this album. How long have you guys been on the road?
Pretty much, we’ve been on the road since September. We come home for a little while, for a couple weeks at a time, but then we go back out. We went out with Pepper and were on the road for about five weeks in September and October then came home and did a big Halloween show to promote it, took a couple of weeks off for the holidays and got right back to it in January. We just started the second leg a couple of weeks ago. Now we’re in New Mexico on our way to California and then we should start circling around making our way back by mid-March. So when we get back home it should be spring.
Tell me about this 311 Caribbean Cruise. I bet you guys are excited.
Yeah, that’s going to be a super awesome amazing experience. We’ve never done anything like that before and we were really stoked when they called us to do it. I mean no matter what we’re doing obviously if 311 is like, ‘Come play,” we’re going to go do it. We’ve been doing shows with them for about 4 years. And they keep calling. And their fans really love us too so that’s been awesome. I’ve been meeting a ton of 311 fans over the years that come to our shows. They wear our shirts to 311 concerts.
And you guys are going to do the Bamboozled Festival too?
Yeah, that’s May 19, up in Jersey. That’s going to be ridiculous. I just want to go so I can see the Foo Fighters, that why I really wanted to play it. Blink (182), Jimmy Eat World, there’s going to be a ton of bands so it’s going to be a great show.
And you all are doing the Warped Tour this summer. That’s crazy. You all have such a crazy year ahead of you.
It feels like it hasn’t even begun. We’re in February already and there’s so much to do this year.
That’s good. If people are keeping you busy it means people are responding to your music.
People keep coming to our shows and buying our records you know that’s what keeps us going. At the end of the day, we do it for ourselves but it’s awesome to see people picking up on it and making it their own. We like to have a good time at the shows. We want everybody to come have fun with us, buy a t-shirt, get our music everywhere, iTunes, and obviously get our CD’s at the show.