Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Mar 04th
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

 

Green Swell

Local surfboard company greens up the industry with an eco-conscious business model

 

Two Fish Bound by a Golden Cord

Until March 20, (Spring Equinox), Earth and her kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human) experience the influence of Pisces, sign of the World Savior. Whereas the task of Aquarius is as world server, the Pisces task is saving the world—tasks given to the two fishes. Pisces never really enters matter, and as the last sign of the zodiac includes all the signs. During Pisces, having gathered all the gifts of the previous 11 signs, it is a good time to prepare for new initiating plans when Aries (sign of beginnings) begins. No wonder Pisces, like Scorpio, is so difficult (both are ruled by Pluto, planet of death, new life, regeneration, transformations). Both signs (with Scorpio drowning in dark and deep waters) find life on Earth a hardship, disorienting (from the spiritual perspective), at times feeling betrayed. Life is a paradox, especially for Pisces. Each zodiacal sign represents and distributes a different phase and facet (12) of the Soul’s diamond light, Pisces is the “Light of Life itself, ending forever the darkness of matter.” It takes two fish to complete this work (creating eventually an extraordinary human being). One fish turned toward the material world (in order to understand matter), the other fish toward the heavenly world. Around the two fish is a silvery cord binding them together. The two fish are forever bound until all of humanity is redeemed (lifted up into the Light). This is the dedication of all world saviors (Buddha, Christ, the NGWS). Thus the sacrifice and suffering experienced by Pisces. Knowing these things about Pisces, let us help them all we can. Sometimes all of humanity is Pisces.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Seal Change

Celtic selkie lore comes alive in dazzling ‘Song of the Sea’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Teresa’s Gourmet Foods

New owners for Santa Cruz’s leading local salsa company

 

What defines a good dive bar?

It’s slightly dirty, and they serve cheap drinks. Stella Celeste, Santa Cruz, Barrista

 

Picchetti Winery

After enjoying its contents, I couldn’t throw away the empty bottle of Picchetti Winery’s Red Table Wine.

 

Happy Birthday, Manny

Manuel’s turns 50, farmers market steel head pairs with Pinot, and a Birichino Malvasia