900 Pound  Gorilla
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900 Pound Gorilla

West Hills, CA | Established. Jan 01, 1998 | SELF

West Hills, CA | SELF
Established on Jan, 1998
Band Rock Metal




"Earbuzz.com review"

earBuzz Review: 900 Pound Gorilla is so tight and accomplished musically that you would have debate whether the band is parodying the metal musings of Van Halen, Poison, and the string of 80's guitar-based hair rock. The opening track, "Gutterball", is right out of Eddie's handbook as the tune depends on the single melodic rhythm crunch guitar with original guitar break ala "I'm the One" from VH's first album. The production, however, is modern in your face instead of depending on reverb to ambient things out. The introduction to the song sets the mood as a P.A. announcer rolls his r's and announces the band like a Monster Truck Boxing event. Track 3, "Monday Promises", is a poppy hard rock hooky tune with Jovi-ish chorus harmonies. "Big Fat Limo" is a speed-metal rock anthem and our favorite on the record. The Gorilla boys shout, "sex, drugs, rock, roll". Track 7, "Hyperactive" gives a They Might Be Giants feel as the tongue in cheek lyrics combine with a well-written alternative pop feel. They sing, 'hyperactive, they say my son is wild. .' and then go on to describe his need for ridalin to slow him down to a walk. The final track, "Ghostriders in the Sky", is a welcome twist of the classic cowboy tune. Our first exposure to the rock version was with R.E.O.'s Richrath, and the Gorilla's take it a tight metal step farther. . Overall the 13 tune CD is full of head banging rock with a focus on accessible song writing and great guitar. - Earbuzz


900 Pound Gorilla: 900 Pound Gorilla - Music Review

By Michael Johnson, HOT INDIE NEWS .com

Date Published: December 17, 2008

900 Pound Gorilla: 900 Pound Gorilla - Music Review They categorize themselves as “metal” – now I grew up in the era of metal and though there are qualities that could place them into this narrow genre I’m not sure if it’s the right fit – it’s like how Wal-Mart stores put Evanescence in the Christian Music section – just doesn’t seem right. I could argue hair glam metal but certainly not, say, Slayer metal.. good news though – it doesn’t suck.

“Gutterball” and “Shoot the Moon” are very catchy songs – maybe a little too much so for metal tagging. I love the guitar work and the vocals are unique enough that you can’t pigeonhole the group into a “Vince Neil” sound or whatever.

“Monday Promises” is one of those kick ass songs you’d want to hear radio play on, but not like overkill ‘cause it’s just too good to be overused – but you want to crave to hear the vocal and guitar lines. It’s fashioned in such a way that it’s hard to remain motionless and you could easily jog to this if you’re not a pop star Nazi or something. “Big Fat Limo” is a fast paced song which speaks to us about the trials and tribulations of living a big rock star life. It is solid musically and I have no complaints.

One of my favorite tracks is “Hyperactive” – it’s very fast, ballsy and I can see a lot of punk elements in the music and it’s ubercool so give that one a listen.

The album is very tight and I enjoyed most everything about musically and vocally. Lyrically it was all good. Some songs kind of melted together, but other than that I see noting remotely bad. Vocals could be tighter or more congruent with the tone of the music and hell, the “Kiss Coffin” ad is hilarious so a solid 9 out of 10.
- www.hotindienews.com

"Taxi Review"

(For the songs Gutterball, Monday Promises, and Jack La Lanne)
"These songs are well written, and confidendtly performed". 8 out of 10 on Music, Arrangement, production, engineering, musicianship, and lead vocal. - Taxi

""900 Pound Gorilla" (Self-produced; 2006)"

900 Pound Gorilla's self-titled debut is good time hard rock with lyrics that are funny and / or thoughtful, music that's jaunty but in no way too poppish and a dynamic attitude that buoys the entire CD. I think it would be impossible to listen to this CD without tapping your toes, banging your head or breaking out in a big smile ... or better yet, all three.

The CD begins with "Gutterball," a song about bowling, and goes from there with songs about lost weekends ("Monday Promises"), being too rich ("Big Fat Limo") and missives to serial killers ("Open Letter to Perspective Serial Killers"). And then, just to close things out properly, the CD ends with a faux commercial for a KISS coffin and an electrifying cover of the classic "Ghostriders in the Sky."

The music here is bright and played well by talented musicians with a keen sense of humor. The combination is an irresistible collection of punkish hard rock tunes that will find their way into your mind and are very hard to get out once there. You won't mind. Not at all.

The band that 900 Pound Gorilla remind me most of is Warner Drive who, as readers of these pages probably know, are one of my favorite bands. 900 Pound Gorilla have the potential to become another.

900 Pound Gorilla: Jeff Edwards - drums, background vocals; Donat Kazarinoff - bass, vocals; John Baker - guitar, vocals.

For more information, check out www.900poundgorilla.com or www.myspace.com/900poundgorilla. - www.roughedge.com

"All Access Magazine Review 900 Pound Gorilla (self-titled CD)"

900 Pound Gorilla (self-titled CD)

Here’s a baker’s dozen of peppy, punchy, punk-pop tunes from a tight Valley-based power trio, consisting of drummer Jeff Edwards, bassist Donat Kazarinoff, and guitarist John Baker. All three musicians sing, with gruff enthusiasm. The mailing address for 900 Pound Gorilla is in Canoga Park, the west-SFV subdivision with an indigenous name that’s home to strip malls and storage units, small-scale industry and suburban family lawns; adult films and fourth-generation pre-adult gangbangers. All these diverse influences and more are filtered through the compact compositions on this very listenable disk, which is long on momentum but refreshingly short on extended solos and pretentious posturing. Only one of the 13 tracks exceeds three minutes, the fun and frisky “Monday Promises,” which features chipper chords and vocal harmonies that almost hearken back to British Glitter glory days, à la Badfinger or Sweet.

900 Pound Gorilla is all about fun from the git-go, as the band opens with a spoken-Spanish intro (yelled-Spanish, actually) that sounds like an announcement for a Mexican wrestling match (credited to “The Great Fernando Escandon”). The fellows have a brief good time with a 54-second Primus-like piece called “AAAARRRGGHH!” – the lyrics of which consist chiefly of that expression of exasperation, followed by some Sublime-ish dialogue, after which the boys poke fun at Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons in the next track, with a mock advertisement for a “KISS Coffin.” These guys are frank enough to good-naturedly call one cut “Pop Song,” and poppy it indeed is, albeit with the expected punkish overtones. The disk closes with a feisty cover of the venerable “Ghostriders in the Sky,” in which the three members of 900 Pound Gorilla acquit themselves admirably and aggressively. 900 Pound Gorilla indeed appears to be a current local musical force to be reckoned with, yippie-ki-yay! - All Access Magazine

"900 Pound Gorilla is the First Mohawk Bomb Records Artist to Make Grammy Nomination Ballot"

Independent Record Label, Mohawk Bomb Records, has one artist on the 51st Grammy Nomination Ballot, 900 Pound Gorilla. Their song "Gutterball" is an upbeat punk song and was featured on the compilation No Lip Vol. 1.

Clearwater, FL (PRWEB) November 2, 2008 -- Los Angeles, CA-based Punk Band 900 Pound Gorilla, is the first Mohawk Bomb Records artist to make it onto the Grammy nomination ballot. The song "Gutterball" was featured on the No Lip Vol. 1 compilation. This is the first Mohawk Bomb Records artist to make an appearance on a Grammy ballot.

"Mohawk Bomb Records is very proud of John, Donat and Jeff for this accomplishment," stated Ivan Pena, CEO for Mohawk Bomb Records. "They are one of the hardest working bands we have worked with and we wish them continued success."

"Gutterball" is entry #102 (in between Nickelback and Nine Inch Nails) in Field 4 - Rock, Category 16 - Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals.

The Grammy Awards (originally called the Gramophone Awards) -- or Grammys -- are presented annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States for outstanding achievements in the record industry. The Grammys are considered the highest music honor, the U.S. record industry's equivalent to the Academy Awards (Oscars) for motion pictures.

900 Pound Gorilla is slated to be featured on the upcoming No Lip Vol. 2 compilation due out in January 2009. - Yahoo News

"All Access Magazine-Kim Thore Review"

August 7, 2008
900 Pound Gorilla
CD Review

By Kim Thore

900 Pound GorillaHailing from California is the punk primate known as 900 Pound Gorilla. Comprised of Jeff Edwards-drums/ background vocals, Donat Kazarinoff-bass/ lead vocals and John Baker-guitar/ lead vocals this trio packs a powerful punch. Having recently received the award for Punk Rock Group of the Year at the 17th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards, 900 Pound Gorilla is able to successfully master the three minute and under song with heavy riffs , fast, hard-edged composition, and stripped-down instrumentation that doesn’t pull any punches.

With a garage rock edge and nod to bands such as Green Day, and a new millennium

Ramone-ish spin, this trio has put together an impressive debut, with all the hooks needed to keep you bobbing along in anarchy. The best part? While the music is well- executed, and the vocals well done- 900 Pound Gorilla isn’t taking themselves too seriously and so the fun factor hasn’t been lost and buried in hyper driven dips into social mores and heavy lyrics.

This is good, old school punk rock with a gleam of metal to throw back a dazzling reflection of chaos.

4.5 Stars
Review by Kim Thore
- All Access Magazine

"The Run-Off Groove #142: If Only The Grammy's Were This Good..."

Mean ass punk rock is alive and well, not that weak ass bullshit that passes off as "true punk" on MTV. 900 Pound Gorilla are ruthless in their approach, and remind me of the best elements of Christ On A Crutch, The Derelicts, Operation Ivy, The Buzzcocks, Zipgun, and Coffin Break, or some of the bands that used to grace Triple XXX Records years ago.

They are a power trio in the truest sense, and they don't place themselves in one musical corner. 900 Pound Gorilla do delve into their pop tendencies, and they do it well, or sometimes they'll do something that sounds a bit like Boston or Blue Oyster Cult. The rest of the time they're cramming as much energy as possible in as little time as possible. 13 songs in 27 minutes? It rocks, and it works. My picks from the CD are "Shoot The Moon", "Big Fat Limo", "AAAARRRGGHH!", and "Kiss Coffin".

(900 Pound Gorilla's debut CD is available through CDBaby.) - http://www.musicforamerica.org/node/113568

"Rockwired.com Review"

Bands don't come together as easily as the members of 900 POUND GORILLA have. Judging by the sound of their self-titled CD you'd assume that these progenitors of punk-metal have known each other and played together forever. And according to JOHN BAKER, the band's guitarist and vocalist, that assumption would be correct. "Me and DONNIE (DONAT KAZARINOFF) probably had about two or three bands that we played in while in high school doing tours of all of the schools." says BAKER. "We both ended up going to USD together for two years and I transfered out to the BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC in Boston and when I got back we put together a number of bands in LA. Then JEFF came along, and that's where we are now."

900 POUND GORILLA is the offspring of RANDY RHOADS guitar riffs and punk rock fury provided by JEFF EDWARDS on drums and DONAT 'DONNIE" KARARINOFF on bass. This is a mixture that could only come about in Southern California. While 900 POUND GORILLA aren't exactly the sound of something new, it's definitely a sound that will have you coming back for more. "We have a good collection of tunes. The songs are really fast and agressive. It's gonna be a really big album. Really energetic." exclaims BAKER. "We're really excited."

This CD is a testament to the band's edge,wit and workmanship (if you don't believe us about the 'workmanship', just check out the snappy, orange uniforms the band sports for live shows!). Other's in the press have already taken note:

"They are a power trio in the truest sense, and they don't place themselves in one musical corner. 900 Pound Gorilla do delve into their pop tendencies, and they do it well" - THE RUN OFF GROOVE

"900 Pound Gorilla is so tight and accomplished musically that you would have debate whether the band is parodying the metal musings of Van Halen, Poison, and the string of 80's guitar-based hair rock. The opening track, "Gutterball", is right out of Eddie's handbook as the tune depends on the single melodic rhythm crunch guitar with original guitar break ala "I'm the One" from VH's first album." -EARBUZZED.COM

ROCKWIRED spoke with JOHN BAKER over the phone. Here is how it went.

How long has the CD been out now?
We played a CD release party on October 30th of last year and since then we've just been trying to do everything ourselves. We've got it on CDBABY, and we've got our own website with all of these different links to all of these different pages that are out there now. We're also starting to play more shows now.

What works and what doesn't in terms of getting the music out there on your own? What are the drawbacks, if any?
We've got a lot of friends and a good solid fanbase. We didn't even have a MYSPACE when we first released this CD. Things are really starting to pick up right now. We're working on some movie licensing for a couple of the songs and
our drummer has just moved a little closer. He was in San Diego so that was a little rough for us, but the word has been getting around and just recently we were featured in NO COVER MAGAZINE. We've been hard at work putting together a professional studio with a 24 track analog and a 48 channel mixer. I do post production for a living, so I've got connections through that. We've got 20 - 25 songs right now, and we're getting ready for a second album and we're hoping to have a good amount of songs to choose from. We've both played in bands where we've played tons of shows. DONNIE and I have been playing in bands since high school and JEFF played in a punk band called DEAD LAZLO's PLACE. We've played side by side for a while and then started this band.

It sounds like getting this band together was an easy thing to do.
Yeah. We're true friends and we've known each other forever. Really good guys.

It doesn't always seem like thats the case with a lot of bands.
We went through a phase where we tried auditioning just about every singer in LA. Just crazy people . I had one guy come in and he auditioned for us and asked us if we'd like to see the rest of his hair. He opened up this suitcase that was full of his hair. In situations like that, you get real wackos. I'm the one doing most of the singing on this album. I think DONNIE's going to sing a little more on the next album.

Who did your logo?
That's my next door neighbor VINCE RODRIGUEZ. He's an artist who is trying to launch his own thing of dolls. He's a great artist and he's done about six or seven gorillas for us so we have all different kinds of things for the CD and the website. He's a good guy.

Are you working on the new CD right now or are you just waiting for the studio to get set up?
We're actually working on it. We've got an eight hour practice on Sunday. We're getting closer. In three weeks we'll have to studio together. For a band like us, it will be a good thing. We have a good collection of tunes. The songs are really fast and agressive. It's gonna be a really big album. Really energetic. We're really excited.

Besides your respective instruments, what do you feel that each of you brings to the table that makes the project work for you?
With DON, he was a mixing engineer and producer over at FOURTH STREET RECORDING and worked on albums with INCUBUS and ALIEN ANT FARM. He's got that experience. I myself am an audio mixer and I do a lot work with TV. The company I work for does spots for FOX and WARNER BROTHERS and DREAMWORKS. JEFF has toured a bunch. DONNIE and I have toured Greenland together in bands and have played up and down the coast. JEFF was the warehouse manager of SCHECTER GUITARS for about five or six years and he's got some connections through that. Musically he's a great drummer and brings a lot of energy. We try to sound a little bigger than a three piece.

You do sound bigger than a three-piece. You'd think that there was another guitar player there.
We've played around with that idea. It's just a matter of seeing if we want to get out there and do auditions again. We're not closing ourselves up. I think having another guitar player may help at some point. Sometimes you've just got to see what kind of a person they are. They could be a great instrumentalist and a great player but you can't stand to be in the same room with them

How does a song come together for you guys and then get recorded in the studio? How does that process work?
I write songs and JEFF writes songs and the drummer writes guitar riffs and I ussually come up with melody and words over that. I've been writing a bunch and DONNIE and I have started collaborating more. We wrote CAUGHT RED-HANDED off of the last album. Hopefully I'll continue writing with DONNIE in the future. We're hoping that after this album we can open things up a bit.

What got you into wanting to pick up the guitar and do this thing?
I've been playing forever. I was really into RANDY RHOADS from OZZY OSBOURNE. That was a good place to start for me. My dad played guitar and that influenced me to play. I played in bands all throughout high school. Me and DONNIE probably had about two or three bands that we played in while in high school doing tours of all of the schools. We both ended up going to USD together for two years and I transfered out to the BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC in Boston and when I got back we put together a number of bands in LA. Then JEFF came along, and that's where we are now.

Of all the cuts that are on the CD are there any that stand out for you as favorites?
People tend to like MONDAY PROMISES alot. GUTTERBALL is another one; the song that opens up with the intro by our friend FERNANDO ESCANDON. BIG FAT LIMO has also gotten a lot of good responses.One press guy wrote that his two favorites were KISS COFFIN and AARRGGHH!!! . I think that's funny because one of those songs is only ten seconds long.

He's probably just reading the tracklisting. It happens.
My kid likes KISS COFFIN. He goes around saying it all of the time.

On stage do you guys wear those orange uniforms?
Yeah. We're just the normal guys. The workers. The guys that pick up the garbage.

I was thinking more along the lines of DEVO.
We don't have the hats though.

It's strange listening to 900 POUND GORILLA and then finding out that you were into RANDY RHOADS growing up.
We're definitely a good combination of both punk and metal. JEFF brings a real punk sensibility to the band. He's played shows with bands like NOFX so he comes from a real punk background. I've played in all sorts of bands and DONNIE has played in punk bands. With this band we've got more of the metal sound and with the next album I think it will be more metal with the speed and the fire of punk. We are punk-metal rock. It goes in and out of favor but thats where we're at.

Thinking about a video at all?
We definitely need to make a video. I work at a post production place so it's not like there's a shortage of resources there. We hope to be doing a number of videos pretty soon

And the orange uniforms look really iconic
I really appreciate that BRIAN. DONNIE is a real animated guy and I think that should help us.

What do you want someone to walk away with after hearing the music?
There 's a bunch of different viewpoints on the album. Each little song has it's viewpoint. We are a fun and eneregetic band. We are positive. I love the Seattle bands and there is this big Emo scene now and that sort of stuff but I'd say that we're a little more positive. We're not shoegazer music. We're not gonna mope around in our lyrics. We feel frustration and anger and all that stuff too but we'd like for people to have a good time. - Rockwired.com


900 POUND GORILLA self titled debut, released Oct. 30th, 2006
Mohawk Bomb Records No Lip Vol 1. compilation-Gutterball
No Cover Magazine Groupies Suck Compilation



The guys from 900 Pound Gorilla have been jamming in bands together since well, forever. They're currently playing out around The West Coast-upcoming gigs include opening for T.S.O.L. and recent gigs include playing with Oingo Boingo Former Members.  
The band has been on the ballot for the 51st Grammies in the Rock Duo/ Group w/vocal category!
900 Pound Gorilla also received the award for Punk Rock Group of the Year at the 17th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards.   They have mastered their second album and plan on hitting this years SXSW festival  playing shows and making friends.

In addition to this, they  garnered 2 nominations for the All Access Magazine Awards-Best New Group and Best Hard Rock Group. The Band continues to expand their diverse fan base through shows and through their extensive web presence including: www.900poundgorilla.com (40,000 hits plus a month), facebook, cd baby, itunes, Number1 music, MusicNation, this month in music, earbuzz.com, sonicbids, Feature sounds, cafepress.com, and many, many other sites.
They have also been featured on 97.1 KLSX Radio, in No Cover magazine and on an accompanying cd. In June, they we�re featured on www.rockwired.com with an interview and show. They are also featured with a track on K.t. Recordz Guitars of Tomorrow, with a review in Express Jets Inflight Magazine, and feature on Indieguitarists.com. They are featured on two compilation cds from Mohawk Bomb Records and have songs on a Derder Nation
Paintball cd.

Their recording/rehearsal studio is now complete, with the addition of an analog 24 track machine, a 48 channel mixing board, extensive outboard equipment, and of course pro tools. The idea is to be able to record anytime and still get that fat, analog sound along with the editing of digital technology. The band has music on network and cable tv, published through ASCAP.
John is also an audio mixer for a major post production company and Donat has recorded major artists such as Incubus, and Alien Ant Farm. Jeff was the operations manager/lifeblood of Schecter Guitars for 6 plus years and a touring musician.  New member Todd Guzman has been part of DLP, The Electric Ferrets,  For Sale and other cool bands.

John and Donat went to high school together in Fremont , California playing in various bands playing talent contests and all sorts of high school shows.They played together in bands through college and around California , such as Mad Beat Vison, and eventually started playing shows with Jeff's band at the time, Dead Lazlos Place (New Red Archives). John later joined Dead Lazlos Place for a year before things came full circle--jeff , john , and donat forming 900 Pound Gorilla.




Contact: John (818) 298-3633,  jbaker@900poundgorilla.com

Band Members