The Dares
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The Dares

Whittier, California, United States | MAJOR

Whittier, California, United States | MAJOR
Band Rock Punk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Musical Youth"

Musical Youth

Years after he launched a trio known as The Police to superstardom, Ian Copeland has big plans for another trio…of 14 year olds.

By Gene Mahoney

“I’m as excited about discovering this band as any of the bands I’ve worked with, including The Police, The Go Gos, The Bangles, Nine Inch Nails, Squeeze, Morrissey and The Smiths, The Ramones, UB40, XTC, R.E.M., The Cure, Simple Minds, B-52’s, Iggy Pop, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gang of Four, Thompson Twins, The Fixx, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Joan Jett, English Beat, No Doubt –- any band!”

That’s what Ian Copeland told me on my last visit to the Backstage Café, the chic bar in Beverly Hills he owns with his two brothers, Stewart (former drummer for The Police), and Miles (founder of IRS Records). Ian followed in his siblings’ musical footsteps years ago by forming FBI (Frontier Booking International) and launched the careers of the bands mentioned above, as well as many others -- mostly punk/new wave ones from the early ‘80s. He also played a major role in the mainstream popularization of reggae by booking Peter Tosh and Black Uhuru.

“So fantastic are they that I’ve come out of a happy, albeit short-lived retirement from the music business to manage them. I honestly believe they could be as big, or even bigger than any band I’ve ever worked with in my life!”

That’s certainly high praise given his previous track record. So what new band is he talking about?

He takes me to his office and excitedly puts in their demo CD. Thundering pop-punk blares from the speakers. It sounds really good, as good as anything by Green Day or Blink 182. Ian’s rocking out to the music, apparently very sincere about his praise for the band. So what band is this?

“They’re called The Dares! And get this –- they’re only 14 years old!”

The Dares were formed by twin brothers Matt Peterson (drums and vocals) and Ben Peterson (guitar and vocals) in ’98 when they were only 8 years old. They grew up in Burlington, Vermont and performed their original music at teen clubs and schools throughout their home state as well as New York. Recently Matt and Ben moved with their parents to Whittier and added Martin Lascano on bass. Their first concert in California was at the “Project Band Aid” battle of the bands in Long Beach where they beat eight other bands, winning First Place for “Best Overall Performance”. Since then they’ve attracted new fans by playing some of Southern California’s most popular clubs, including The Whiskey A Go Go, Hougue Barmichaels, and the Hard Rock Café. On February 19th they played The Roxy and managed to attract a large, enthusiastic crowd (including Ian’s former sweetheart Courteney Cox and her husband David Arquette) despite L.A.’s worst rainstorm in over a century.

“It was great,” Ian told me a few days later by phone. “The crowd went nuts for them! After the show we went next door to the Rainbow Room for drinks and this leather-clad rocker dude walks in and tells the bartender how disheartened he is because he just saw this great band made up of 14 year olds, and that he should hang it up now because he’ll never play music as well as them.

“These kids are only 14 and they’ve performed over 100 times and have written more than 80 songs.”

Which leads me to wonder –- what do you write about at such a young age?

“That’s just it. It’s an interesting paradox as the music has a driving sound and the lyrics about meeting girls for the first time, etc. have a much more innocent feel than the lyrics of older bands. I think they could be a great inspiration for younger teens to start bands or get involved in the arts rather than just play video games or whatever it is they do nowadays.”###

The Dares perform at iMusicast in Oakland on April 9th. Visit for info. Ask “Uncle Ian” anything you want at Oh, and get Ian’s autobiography
Wild Thing on or at the aforementioned
It’s a page-turner.

- The San Francisco Herald

"Dare To Dream"

By Brent Hallenbeck
December 3, 2005

Remember The Dares? You know, that cute little band that bopped around Burlington a few years ago playing fun pop songs about bad baby sitters and grade-school love, the band led by those hyperkinetic twins, Ben and Matt Peterson? The Dares are still around, and the Petersons still have that incandescent energy. Erase everything else you remember about The Dares, though, 'cuz they're taking a new exhilarating ride right now. The boys live with their family near Los Angeles and are playing what Ben calls "indie pop-punk" at legendary Sunset Strip clubs such as the Whisky A Go-Go and The Viper Room. They're not 9 anymore (duh!): They're 15, and their lyrics ("We gave all we had/Some things are meant to die") are rife with teen angst the elementary-school version of The Dares could barely imagine. Through a combination of hard work, a blistering sound and good luck, The Dares hooked up with a famous music-industry type named Ian Copeland, whose star-studded resume -- let's start by saying he either discovered or managed The Police, Red Hot Chili Peppers and No Doubt -- goes back way before the Peterson boys were born. All Copeland wants to do is turn The Dares into the 21st-century version of the Rolling Stones. Those days of playing jangly pop songs for their classmates in the J.J. Flynn Elementary School cafeteria and for folks during Burlington First Night are barely visible in the glare of L.A.'s sun and lights. "We were 9 years old when we did all of that stuff. Of course we had to change," Ben, the band's singer and guitarist, said this week as he and Matt, the drummer, spoke by phone from Whittier, Calif. The Dares are in California because the Petersons' father, Jim, moved two years ago from the American Red Cross office in Burlington to the Red Cross chapter in Whittier, where he's chief executive officer. The boys, who endured a few lineup changes when the band was in Vermont, had no trouble filling out their band upon arriving in California. They had been in school only about a week when Ben met Martin Lascano in physical-education class. "We were running laps and talking about music and bands we liked," Ben said. Within a month, Martin, a bass player, was the third Dare. From there, the band's career has accelerated as quickly as its propulsive songs. The Dares did their first California gig at a battle of the bands in Long Beach in April 2004. They won. The prize was recording time in a studio, where they made a demo CD that helped shop them around to local venues. The Dares were playing at a Beverly Hills rib joint in November 2004 around the corner from the Backstage Cafe, the music club Copeland opened after retiring from the recording industry eight years ago. Copeland, speaking by phone this week from California, said it was a crazy night at the Backstage Cafe with too many things going wrong. "I wanted to get out of there," he said. He went for a walk past the rib joint and stopped when he heard The Dares' sound pouring out onto the street. "I was like, 'I've got to check this out.'" What he found was three teens making a melodious racket inside a humble music club throbbing with energy from the band and its frenetic gaggle of friends who came to listen and dance. "I've never seen anything like it," Copeland said. "It felt like that shaft of light that came down from heaven. Incredible." Since he stopped booking and managing bands, Copeland has received countless requests for help from musicians -- Jim Peterson, in fact, said he's seen Copeland's lamp made from demo CDs bands had given him. The Dares, though, are the only band that made Copeland want to step back into the business. He was struck not only by the band's sound, but by the bandmates' likable personalities and maturity. "If they were just the Hansons -- not interested," Copeland said, referring to the group Hanson that's perhaps better known for its cute blond brothers than its musical chops. "They," he said of The Dares, "could be the Rolling Stones." That sounds like rampant hyperbole until you consider the Copeland family's can-do dossier. Ian's father was a CIA agent; his mother was a British intelligence officer. Younger brother Stewart was the drummer for The Police, the band that spawned Sting and was the proverbial biggest band in the world circa 1980. Older brother Miles ran I.R.S. Records, where the Go-Go's and R.E.M. issued their early discs. Ian Copeland oversaw Frontier Booking International (F.B.I.) and counted those bands as well as the Bangles, Squeeze, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, The English Beat, the Chili Peppers and Gwen Stefani's No Doubt among his clients. He even dated and helped launch the career of actress Courteney Cox. The Dares are the group he believes in now. "Once you see this band live, you're hooked," Copeland said. "On stage, they own it. They own it." They're comfortable on stage because A) two-thirds of the band is made up - Burlington Free Press

"Copeland takes on Dares to make big sound"

Polly Higgens
March 4, 2005

The Dares are like many other rock bands. They moved to the L.A. area to pursue their musical dreams, they’ve played shows at venues big (The Roxy) and small (high schools), and their songs tend to focus on the world around them.
Perhaps one difference is that the mention of “girls” as potential subject matter for those songs inspires giggles for more than a few seconds.
But we’ll give them a break. Twins Ben and Matt Peterson - on guitar and drums, respectively - turned 15 yesterday, and bassist Martin Lascano is just 14.
It’s also understandable that they wouldn’t have known who the heck Ian Copeland was when the longtime music industry player approached them after a show.
“He was congratulating us, and we were like, ‘Who is this guy?’” Martin says.
“This guy” had managed bands and booked tours for the Police and Sting for some 30 years. Four years ago, Copeland decided to get out of the music business, he recalls, “after one last Sting tour.”
Then, in October, Copeland (the middle Copeland, between the Police drummer Stewart and the older Miles, who founded I.R.S. records) happened to be walking past a barbecue joint and heard an amazing band playing.
“I poked my head in to see if there was a music video shoot going on, to see who was making this huge sound. And instead, it was these kids,” he says. “I had no intention of getting back in the music business, but when I heard them, I couldn’t believe it.”
That chance encounter has seen Copeland become The Dares’ manager, helping to position the trio so their huge sound can be heard by many. They’ve been working on an EP, and Copeland has hopes that a major will pick the band up. If not, he says, Miles may rekindle I.R.S. and put it out.
“I don’t really think that’s going to be necessary,” Copeland says. Interest, he notes, has not been lacking.
Before the screams of “Lou Perlman boy band!” begin - because, let’s face it, The Dares are incredibly marketable - it’s important to note that a lot of hard work occurred before the planets aligned and Copeland strolled by that restaurant. The Dares formed seven years ago, when Ben and Matt began playing music. They did so in Burlington, Vt., until their parents, Jim and Anne Peterson, realized exactly how serious their children were. They sold their house and moved to Whittier, Calif., 15 miles east of Los Angeles, in December 2003.
“We dedicate our lives right now to these guys,” Anne Peterson says.
Ben and Matt have always written their own music, Jim Peterson says. And, shortly after moving west, they found another collaborator in Martin.
The Peterson clan will be intact when The Dares play a show tomorrow at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Hopefully they’ll be treated as musicians, not young teens; they dont like that.
“There’s this one club we played, The Joint (in L.A.), and they treated us like little, little kids,” Lascano recalls.
“They assigned us a little corner,” Matt says.
Their youth, though, is part of their appeal, Copeland says, because they offer a perspective not often circulated in popular music, those feelings of discovery that most people can only vaguely remember.
“These kids are going to help inspire kids in the way that punk came along and inspired people,” he says. “These kids will do the same kind of thing, inspire kids who are really young. And they can stand up against older musician.”
Jim Peterson describes the entire enterprise as “a family affair,” with Copeland taking on the paternal role. Copeland concurs, recalling a nice fatherly moment after The Roxy show when he basked in their happy faces as he handed over the $100 they had made.
“I must say , my heart went out,” Copeland says.
That, perhaps, is the crux of this relationship; Three boys with the proverbial stars in their eyes and a been-there manager finding a new reason to get recharged by music and it’s potential.
Copeland: “I can’t believe my luck.”
Ben: “It’s really great having him back us up.”
It’s hard to imagine Lou Perlman feeling such love. - Tuscon Citizen


The Dares - EP

The Dares are currently in studio finishing their first full-length LP.




DARES have already generated buzz in the local music scene and performed over 200 times, including shows at such venues as Viper Room, The Roxy, The Whisky, House of Blues, The Key Club, The University of Arizona and the upcoming Bamboozle Left Festival in Irvine, California.

The Dares have been playing together for ten years and written over 100 songs. Formed in 1998 by twin brothers Ben Peterson (guitar and lead vocals) and Matt Peterson (drums and vocals), the band moved to California in December of 2003 where school buddy Martin Lascano joined on bass guitar and vocals.

Their energy, showmanship, and great songs have garnered The Dares numerous mentions in newspapers and magazines, and even two nominations at the 2006 Orange County Music Awards, including Best Punk Band. Not bad for a trio of juniors from Whittier High School.

The band is managed by In De Goot Entertainment in New York. In October 2006 the band was signed by Jive Records- a major label with plans to release The Dares first full length record in the Summer of 2009! Stay tuned...and thanks for everyone's support!