Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Sep 22nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

I’m McLovin’ It

music YoungRapscallionsSo-Cal garage rock band features ‘Superbad’ star on drums

From the moment they began playing together, there was never any question about it. "We have always been The Young Rapscallions," says Nick Chamian, guitarist for the grooving, fuzz-box-stomping, Los Angeles garage quartet, set to play The Blue Lagoon on Jan. 13. In fact, the group's moniker came so naturally that neither Chamian, nor his longtime friend and Rapscallions co-founder, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, can remember discussing it.

"I don't think there was ever a conversation," says Mintz-Plasse, the band's drummer, who started jamming with Chamian back in the summer of 2007—the same year Mintz-Plasse starred as "McLovin" in the blockbuster comedy Superbad. After the two of them mastered a few White Stripes tunes, they invited two of their fellow classmates—bassist Taylor Messersmith and singer Jonathan Sanders—to join their sessions.

Though some of the Rapscallions knew each other from elementary school, the first time the whole group was in the same room together was on the first day of their freshman year drama class at El Camino High School in Los Angeles.

Everyone in the band has a theatrical streak, Chamian says, noting that their love of performance and their interest in music, made the formation of the band almost inevitable. "We've always been creative together, so the music aspect came very freely," he says. "We're drama nerds. We need attention. We need to be on stage.”

The guys bonded over improvised comedy, their love of The Arrow—the regional FM classic rock station—and attending rock shows, Mintz-Plasse says, fondly recalling seeing the Red Hot Chili Peppers play at The Forum in Inglewood.

That's not to say that everyone in the band has uniform tastes—as evidenced by the group's early recordings, which reveal a band that is talented and a tad green.

The Young Rapscallion's debut full-length, Everything Vibrates, released in September 2011, features songs like "Tread This Water," "Walking Phoenix" and "Frankenstein's Daughter”—all of which bounce around from funk to punk to metal, mixing genres adeptly, but without ever settling on a sound that is uniquely their own.

It's a critique that Chamian, the group's main songwriter, acknowledges. "I think we're still developing what our sound is," he says, noting that the band began jamming for fun. It wasn't until early 2011 that they considered playing shows and putting out records. "We still don't know exactly what [our sound] is yet or what we're trying to do."

But perhaps Chamian is just trying to be humble. On the new Rapscallions EP, It is What it is, the guys have honed their sound—whittling away at the galloping metal riffs and changa-chang guitar scratching, and doubling down on heavier, Dead Meadow-esque garage-psych riffage, and chugging Breeders-like bass lines.

If humility is a virtue for Chamian, it is a law for Mintz-Plasse, who did his best to deflect any line of questioning having to do with his status as a hero to a generation of nerds and misfits.

Although Mintz-Plasse's nearly 82,000 followers on Twitter have heard about his band on more than one occasion, he says he would never dream of abusing his celebrity—a term he isn't all that comfortable with—to push his music.

"I'm definitely not that guy to call in favors," he says. "I just want to play music with my friends." As far as he is concerned, acting is just his day job.


The Young Rapscallions play at 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, at The Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $5. For more information, call 423-7117. 21+.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.