Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
May 25th
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

 

Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival