August Young
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August Young

Bakersfield, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007

Bakersfield, California, United States
Established on Jan, 2007
Solo Rock Southern Rock




"Aviators' August Young Is Climbing a Stairway To Success"

As rock bands go, the Aviators are seriously lacking in at least one vital area. They are entirely too responsible.

They're punctual. They avoid unnecessary drama. They don't trash their hotel rooms after shows.

"We're the most non-rock and roll band of rock and roll bands," says Aviators lead vocalist August Young. "We show up on time, we play our scheduled slot, we get off the stage."

That no-nonsense approach is, at least in Young's case, the product of a work ethic that might incapacitate the average joe. For the past decade he has been driving forklifts, dollying refrigerators and delivering restaurant food for eight, 10, 12 hours a day and then, usually on weekends, driving to L.A. or the Central Coast for a show that might last till 1 a.m.

Monday morning invariably rolls around all too soon but, hey, the rent doesn't pay itself.

"He's been a superhero," said Jon Lee, Young's boss at Emser Tile, the floor tile wholesaler where he has worked as warehouse manager for almost four years. "It's almost like he's been living a double life all these years. We work long hours here and he has still found the energy to have this other career."

This week Young's "other career" officially became a much more significant part of his life: He has joined forces with Japanese guitarist Akio "Jimmy" Sakurai and will take a hiatus from the Aviators to embark on a new direction. His last day at Emser Tile was Friday.

Young's new role: That of Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant, perhaps rock music's all-time greatest screamer. Young has the pipes to pull it off, too.

Some would call Sakurai's band, Mr. Jimmy, a Led Zeppelin cover band, but, as the Hollywood Reporter proclaimed in a recent review, Sukurai does not impersonate legendary rock guitarist Jimmy Page so much as inhabit him.

Page himself concurred after seeing Sakurai one night in 2012 in a Tokyo club. The moment of their meeting is preserved in a documentary film, "Mr. Jimmy," which is making the rounds at film festivals around the country — most recently at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, and the DocLands documentary film festival in San Rafael. (We only get a glimpse of Young near the end, since the film had all but wrapped by the time he joined the band.)

A Led Zeppelin tribute band? Hardly, says filmmaker Peter Michael Dowd, whose full-length documentary earned a 100 percent score from Rotten Tomatoes.

"I sometimes feel like I’m there seeing the best band that ever was, at their absolute peak," Dowd told Japan Times.

This is the world in which Young, Stockdale High '07, now finds himself.

He looks the part with his Foo Fighters T-shirt and shoulder-length curls but, more important, he sounds the part. Young has Plant's nuanced shriek-moan nailed down so well, the audience in a darkened club might momentarily believe Plant had somehow rediscovered his shredded vocal chords.

That makes him a great match for Sakurai, who knows the Zep catalogue of songs so well he can perform spot-on "live" versions from any era in the band's recorded history — and he looks the part, too, from Page's sunburst-finish Gibson Les Paul to his black dragon stage costume and mat of black hair.

Young, who joined Mr. Jimmy in May 2018 and played his first show with them in August 2018, had to lose 30 pounds in order to pull off Plant's trademark too-small, open shirt look. He took no shortcuts. "Running and eating right," he said. "I was a little overweight."

He also had to take time off from his day job in order to play on several road trips with Mr. Jimmy, including Tokyo, but he still managed to keep show dates with the Aviators (so named because their first gig was in a hangar in Shafter).

Good thing Young has the support of his Aviators bandmates and particularly co-founder Dan Foster Reynoso, with whom he goes way back — all the way back to Warren Junior High. They went to different high schools but attended Bakersfield College together for a while, although they spent more time making music than studying, with predictable results. Now they're 30-year-olds doing 30-year-old-type things such as, in Reynoso's case, raising a family. Reynoso's wife was in labor Tuesday.

"If it wasn't for the Aviators who've been playing all this Zeppelin stuff, I would've had a harder time learning it," Young said, acknowledging drummer Sherwin Smith, guitarist Matt Purdy, bassist Matt Reid and Reynoso. "This (job with Mr. Jimmy) helps promote the Aviators too. 'Yeah, check out August's show with Mr. Jimmy in Tokyo.'"

Mr. Jimmy, with its new lead singer, is scheduled to play a June 8 show in Los Angeles, but if you don't already have tickets, don't bother: It's already sold out. Your next chance will be Aug. 17 at Petie's Place in Tarzana, Aug. 20-26 at the Aspen Film Festival, and Dec. 16-20 in Tokyo, Japan. In between, Young is back with the Aviators.

Grueling? Sure, but Young has proven stamina for this kind of thing.

They're rooting for him back at the tile warehouse.

"It's bittersweet," says Lee. "We're going to miss him but we knew from the start he was destined for bigger and better things." - Robert Price

"The Aviators Launch Goodbye To The Rain Video"

Bakersfield, CA hard rock band THE AVIATORS has released the official music video for the single, "Goodbye to the Rain", filmed at The Canyon at The Rose, off of their latest album, Flowers and Moonshine.

Check it out now on KNAC.COM HERE

In an era when the perception that Rock N Roll is a dead art form, THE AVIATORS have eschewed the apathy towards rock n' roll and chose to release an incendiary piece of work that gives a nod to the legends of the past, but also blazes their own trail into the end of the decade.

Flowers and Moonshine is the fourth offering from THE AVIATORS, and is a body of work that authentically reflects 10 years of blood, sweat, and beers--a mature effort which showcases both their individual strengths and collective prowess, none more evident than on the single "Goodbye To The Rain".

The band has been featured on many international radio stations and have been well received from the video release of "Goodbye To The Rain", garnering over 40,000 views in the first two weeks of its release. "This album is the culmination of our years grinding it out in venues small and large, hustling gigs with national acts, and being in front of audiences that give one shot to prove your worth," says guitarist Daniel Reynoso. With the release of the new album, the band intends to expand their reach both regionally and nationally.

Track List:

"Flowers and Moonshine"
"Going Down Swinging"
"Goodbye to the Rain"
"One Last Cigarette"
"Set It Off"
"Grim Reaper"
The Band States:
"THE AVIATORS, a homage to the best that rock and roll can provide! We operate out of Bakersfield, CA, and are booking shows throughout the Western region for the upcoming year in support of our fourth album, Flowers and Moonshine. We have a significant following in Southern California and the central coast, and are known for consistent, high-quality performance, as well as engaging and entertaining live shows that have garnered us awards such as the 2018 Bakersfield Favorite, and the 2016 Cathouse Live/Hair Nation Battle of the Bands Champion.

We have previously released three albums of original material, which has been consolidated on our streaming sites to The Best Of The Aviators 1-3, with sounds influenced by AEROSMITH, LED ZEPPELIN, AC/DC, and southern rock. Locally we are known for our cover shows, where we play from a catalog of over 100 songs covering the rock classics of the 70's and early 80's. We've been successful playing in LA at venues such as the Whisky A-Go-Go, Redwood Bar, Saint Rocke, The Saban Theater, the Cave in Big Bear, and have been direct support for touring acts at the Canyon Clubs throughout the greater Los Angeles area." - Larry Petro

"The Aviators Cleared For Takeoff"

There was a buzz about this band among my rock press cohorts. I had an opportunity to see them at The Coach House in Orange County, California. They did not disappoint! I’ll get to my review in a bit. I was so impressed that I spent a good amount of time learning what I could about this band. I even did a short interview with vocalist August Young. That will come in a bit as well.

Here’s a few tidbits that I learned about The Aviators. They hail from the rock & roll capital of California, Bakersfield. OK, maybe Bakersfield isn’t the rock capital but maybe it should be now…

They have been around since 2008. They are pretty much regulars at The Whisky (Go See Them!). They have opened for the “who’s who” of rock including: Montrose, Great White, Bullet Boys, Black Oak Arkansas, Tracii Guns & Tom Keifer. They were the first band to open for California Breed in 2014. They won the Cathouse Live Battle Of The Bands in 2015.

They have 3 full length cds. Their song “Wolfman” has been featured on 106.7 and Their influences include, AC/DC, Zeppelin, The Stones, Aerosmith, ZZ Top among others. You can check out some of their work here:

As I said, I recently had the opportunity to do a short interview with vocalist August Young.

Indie Pulse: In the 8 year history of the band, there have been a few line up changes. How long has this current line up been together?

August Young: The current line up of Will-guitar, Lindsay-drums, Matt-bass, Dan-Guitar, and August-vocals, is entering our 3rd year together.

IP: What is your latest release called and where can we buy it?

AY: Our latest release is our 3rd album called Coming On Strong and it can be purchased, along with the first 2 albums, at all of our shows. We also have shirts and koozies for sale as well.

IP: You play live on the west coast on a regular basis and the crowds respond enthusiastically. Any possibility of taking the show on the road so to speak? If a national act had the balls to take you on as direct support for some U.S. dates, would you be game?

AY: Absolutely! That’s been the goal for quite some time. Go on tour with a classic rock act, open for them every night and gain new fans.

IP: You’ve opened for the “who’s who” of rock & roll including California Breed (which I loved for the whole 5 minutes they existed), are there any interesting stories you’d like to share about sharing the stage with those bands?

AY: We saw Chad Smith from The Red Hot Chili Peppers at the California Breed show. He was backstage taking pictures with everyone and talking it up. We gave him one of our CDs, but he didn’t have any pockets so he put it in his pants. He’s a solid dude.

IP: I have to say that the second I saw you (August) walk on stage, my immediate thought was, David Coverdale in 1974. With that thought in mind and knowing that you guys play some awesome covers, would you consider doing Burn by Deep Purple? I think that would blow some minds!

AY: We’ve actually done Burn before! It’s in our repertoire. We would just need to dust it off.

IP: I attended the Coach House show with two young ladies and they were intrigued with the kick pedal/cowbell apparatus. How did that unique instrument come about?

AY: Ah the cowbell! That was given to me as a gift at one of our shows. I had actually seen it before from a band called Here Come the Mummies, but when I was presented with it I knew exactly what to do with it! It’s always a crowd favorite

IP: How can we follow all the Aviators goings-on?

AY: You can keep up to date with us at our website for all of your Premium Rock needs!

IP: Thanks August for taking the time to answer some questions. We appreciate it!

So, now we all know a bit about the band and what they’re about. And their live show…

The moment they came out on stage, I thought to myself, these guys act like they belong here. They had that confident swagger and then they promptly let it rip! It was an energetic performance from start to finish. They won the crowd over quite early in the set. A few standing ovations appeared along the way. Every song was well written and played with gusto. Then there was the appearance of the kick pedal cowbell thingy…’ll have to go see them to believe this thing! At one point, Will, the lead guitarist made his way off the stage and onto one of the dinner tables in front of the stage. Will and the table both survived although I thought it might be touch & go (see what I did there?) for the table for a while! The crowd ate this up and I’m sure they gained many fans this night…I know at least three folks that became fans…myself and the two young ladies who joined me for the show! For those who are interested, the following was the set list:

1. I’m Too High (Gimme Some More) 2. Flying Planes/Hopping Trains 3. Tattoos, Whiskey and Wine 4. Heart of Stone 5. Don’t Come Around 6. Traveling Man 7. You’re So Rock And Roll 8. Set It Off 9. Wolfman 10. Highway To Hell (AC/DC cover)

You can view a full set of photos from the Coach House show here: - Indie Pulse Magazine

"Grounded? Not The Aviators"

Rarely do you get a chance to see a local band shed its skin for the better as the Aviators have.

Still rockin' the air with the loudest of ease, this daring young band on a mission to please have burned a hole through every beer-soaked bar stage in town since blazing off the launch pad five years ago.

It's a raucous atmosphere the quintet have always felt most at home in, where the girls are live and fellas high-five to lightning bolts of high- octane guitar licks 'til last call.

That style may not fit everyone's mug of beer, but for the legions of rowdies expected to pour into B Ryder's on Saturday to celebrate the release of the band's new CD, "Gotta Have 'Em to Grab 'Em," it ain't a party until someone flies off the handle.

"People going nuts at our shows are always great," said Aviators guitarist and co-founder Dan Reynoso of the band's penchant for causing audiences to let go of their inhibitions. "We've always wanted to be that rock and roll band."

That attitude -- and a desire to remain true to rock purity -- has been one of the most attractive qualities of the band.

"Everything about us has changed. We've evolved into something a lot tighter," said lead vocalist August Young. "It's just a lot more fun now."

Just two years removed from the re- lease of the group's debut, "Premium Rock and Roll," Reynoso and Young make it clear they'd rather direct the conversation to the present.

]"It's hard to move forward without bashing the old," Reynoso said.

That sits fine with the rest of the band, all being fairly new, having joined the band in the last year. There's big-guns drummer Sherwin Smith, cooled-out bassist Anthony Bradley, and bushy-haired lead guitarist Will Slikker, who together resemble a band of well-mannered misfits.

"Sherwin likes rock and roll music, but also knows what's appropriate with what the music needs," Reynoso said. "That's hard to come by. I think I've only lost touch with him onstage one time."

"And that was a scary night," said Smith, referring to one of a number of private you-had-to-be-there moments he and Reynoso have shared -- and one I'm not being allowed in on.

Young offered up his praises of Bradley.

"Anthony was originally a guitarist who switched to bass and put together effective, more defined bass lines. He also brought back vocal harmonies."

"The bass was only a couple less strings than a guitar," Bradley said with a laugh. "I knew I could do that."

Then there's Slikker, the group's secret weapon and, according to Reynoso, the ax man from another planet.

"Will is a rock and roll alien," he said.

Young concurred:

"Will brought us solos you wouldn't believe. We've sounded better because of his playing and all of his energy."

There's also Slikker's often offbeat musings, which the band affectionately refers to as "Will-isms."

Slikker reclined quietly on a couch at the Padre as the band collectively shared a random favorite:

"If Jesus played guitar, that would be pretty epic."

That type of brotherly jib-jabbing is just one of the underlying themes on the Aviators' "Gotta Have 'Em to Grab 'Em," an over-the-top collection of driving rock anthems.

Kicking off with "Wolfman," Slikker's opening riffs are an homage to the group's musical heroes, AC/DC, with a dash of Motley Crue, while "Wildfire," stomps along with catchy lyrics from Young, whose voice has never sounded stronger. Young has grown into the role of seasoned front man, showing off his commanding presence in the studio and live setting.

Along with familiar pulsating heaviness, there are those tracks with plenty of melody, such as "Evermore," plus big, classic rock productions like "Breakdown and Breakout," both of which bear the imprint of each member.

Other standout tracks are "End of the Line," "M.T.B.W" and the CD's closer, "Prop Me Up," a playful, inebriated country sing-a-long.

"We recorded that song with our pants down," said Reynoso.

Recorded and produced at Backyard Studios in Lamont and Rocketship Recordings in Bakersfield, "Gotta Have 'Em to Grab 'Em," should help the Aviators expand the reach of their fan base, although they haven't done too bad at keeping their live schedule at a minimum of six to 10 shows a month. From Hollywood's Whisky a Go Go, to Camp Nelson high up in Sequoia National Forest, to San Luis Obispo, plus every sleepy farming town through the Central Valley, there's little the Aviators will say no to, even under the most exhausted of circumstances.

"We'll sleep anywhere," said Young. "And we're pretty personable."

To ensure everyone a good time on Saturday, the band will bring out the specially designed Aviator Assault Vehicle -- a customized 1967 Kaiser Jeep, which the group has been feverishly working to prepare for the show. There also will be giveaways, special guests, plenty of American flags on display to show off red, white, and blue Aviator pride, and a specially constructed catwalk extending from the stage.

"For all the kitties in the audiences," said Reynoso.

Rock on.

Copies of "Gotta Have 'Em to Grab 'Em" will be available for sale at the show.

Saturday's showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $5. All ages. Also appearing are Truxton Mile and Crooked Folk. B Ryder's is located at 7401 White Lane. 397-7304 or visit - Matt Munoz


Premium Rock and Roll
Gotta' Have 'Em To Grab 'Em
Comin' On Strong
Flowers and Moonshine



August is a professional singer/songwriter/guitarist out of Bakersfield, CA. He has been singing and performing professionally for 10+ years. He is currently fronting the rock and roll band The Aviators, reviving the music and performance of live Led Zeppelin with Jason Bonham's guitar player Jimmy Sakurai and performing solo acoustic shows around CA.

Band Members