The UnRuly Bangs
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The UnRuly Bangs

San Diego, California, United States

San Diego, California, United States
Band Rock Punk

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Unruly Bangs’ extra-sassy frontwoman, Jacquie, so frequently recalls the ’tude-heavy vocals of Exene Cervenka and Belinda Carlisle that one might question whether she’s actually a Los Angeles transplant. However, Unruly Bangs don’t play Sunset Strip punk rock so much as blues-inflected indie-pop sprinkled with odd vocal refrains like, “I wanna turn you into shrubbery.” That is, until final track, “New Body,” launches into outer space with Teutonic 1970s-style synth waves. OK then! Highly, highly confusing, but Unruly Bangs have the potential to tap into something impressive were they afforded the luxuries of better recording technology and focus. myspace.com/unrulybangs
—Jeff Terich - San Diego City Beat


Think early Imperial Teen with a dash of The B-52’s, a hint of Blonde Redhead and a heaping scoop of Sleater-Kinney and you’ll have The Unruly Bangs in your head. Grungy rock, girl vocals and the occasional overwhelming urge to drink cheap beer and get into fights—sounds like a good time to me. MS/unrulybangs.
—Justin Roberts - San Diego City Beat


“Derby girls skate hard, fall hard, and the ones who party, party hard! They take their sport very seriously but love to let loose at the after-parties,” writes San Diego Derby Doll Shiva Mi Timbers, otherwise known as Jacquie Bazinet.

Bazinet is the lead singer and founding member of punk band the Unruly Bangs. On July 28, the Bangs will drive to Las Vegas for a gig during RollerCon, a worldwide roller derby convention that takes place July 28 through August 1.

Bazinet and the other four members of the Stooges/New York Dolls–influenced rock band will roll down to Vegas to play a gig at gritty punk bar the Double Down Saloon, “Home of the fabled Ass Juice,” as stated on its website, and the music venue for RollerCon.

“It’s the perfect venue, the perfect fit for us. I’m going to rewrite lyrics to one of our songs, ‘Italian Girls,’ to ‘Derby Girls’ or something like that. Have it all tie in,” reports Bazinet, who works as a freelance videographer and lives in Normal Heights.

Despite being unable to lace up her skates since she fractured her ankle and had a rod implanted in her leg after a skating accident sidelined her this past February, Bazinet continues to be involved in the Derby Dolls and the sport by volunteering in the public relations department. This year, as she planned her trip to RollerCon, she enticed guitarists Neil Revenga and Carl Froelich, bass player Eric Sangre, and drummer Victor Penalosa to pack up their gear from their East County practice space and drive to Vegas for RollerCon.

“I’m mainly there to enjoy RollerCon, but I knew the Double Down has bands every year. So, I got us the gig.”

After returning from the five-day desert trek, the Unruly Bangs plan to record their first full-length and play more shows at Lestat’s Coffee House in Normal Heights, the band’s favorite venue in town. Bazinet hopes her leg will be healed enough to transform back into Shiva Mi Timber in September.
By Dorian Hargrove | Published Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - San Diego Reader


Sometimes you just need some good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. Nothing tortured, tragic, whiny or weird – just straight up, uncomplicated, no-nonsense rock. Really, what ever happened to that kind of music? When bands had thumping drums, melodic hooks and, well, balls?. Have no fear music fans. San Diego’s Unruly Bangs rock a sound that calls back to those glory days before music was castrated. The band, consisting of friends Neil Revenga (guitar), Darla Tucker (drums), Jacquie Bazinet (lead vocals), Hector Penalosa (bass) and Carl Froelich (guitar), doesn’t take itself too seriously, but they are serious about one thing – rock ‘n’ roll.

How did you guys come together to form the band?
Carl: It’s been sort of an evolution. In the beginning it was mostly a few songs that Neil wrote, combined with some covers. And then we just sort of got into more original stuff. And I’ve actually been able to do some more writing which has been kind of cool. It’s collaborative definitely. Darla and Jacquie and Neil were playing together and Neil and I had been playing together. Then it just sort of evolved into this group. It just kind of happened.
Jacquie, how is it being the lead singer?
Jacquie: I’ve always wanted to sing in a band but … every time I’ve tried to force it just didn’t meld. This has been different. It’s really felt more natural and really fun and not bullshit egos and that’s what I like. It’s just, like, for the love of music and playing music.
What is the songwriting process like?

Bassist Hector Penalosa at O'Connell's on March 22. photo by Heather Quinn
Neil: Right now a lot of the stuff kind of started from a lot of old guitar riffs that I had from other bands where it’s like … we only played a couple shows and it was like ‘why waste these riffs just because that band doesn’t exist (anymore)?’ So I’ll pull out the riffs and Darla or Jacquie will write lyrics. Carl’s also written a couple songs. It’s pretty much collaborative. And then Hector will help restructure the song. He’s got some songs too; actually he’s got a lot of songs. We’re trying to get him to pull them out.
Where did the name ‘Unruly Bangs’ come from?
Carl: I read a lot. I think it was the “Fried Green Tomatoes” lady (Fannie Flag). She wrote one called “Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man.” It’s kind of like this cracker, southern, white trash thing and there’s a story in there where somebody’s telling the other girl she’s got unruly bangs. It’s got a hook to it. Hopefully, the music does too.
How would you describe the band’s sound?
Neil: It’s pretty much straight rock ‘n’ roll. It’s nothing really that original, I think it’s good party music. You can hear like the Stones, the [New York] Dolls, The Stooges, Roxy Music. We cover a lot of those kinds of bands, like ‘70s rock. We’re not trying to start a whole new sound or a revolution or anything. It’s good, fun-time music and that’s the main thing.
Carl: Yeah, kind of a little kitsch to it maybe, but it’s not meant to be completely serious. I mean you don’t want a bunch of teenagers committing suicide after listening to your music, so it’s not really like that. It’s fun, it’s serious rock and roll in as much as rock and roll can be taken seriously.
So Hector, you helped the band record the demo last October and it was recently featured in City Beat’s Great Demo Review:
Hector: It got a good review. I mean, that’s what attracted me to the band was the song material … there was a good vibe to them. To me it’s like a sound of New York rock scene around ’72-’73, like the New York Dolls and Johnny Thunders. Locally, this band could really do something if we focus on making it happen ‘cause half the battle is done, the songs are there. It’s just becoming a powerhouse monster sound that, once it gets in clubs and starts playing, it’s just like ‘boom.’ All the other bands on the bill won’t want to even get on stage.
What do you enjoy most about playing with the ‘Bangs’?
Jacquie: It’s been a really good experience … I love performing. I think I’m a ham. What I lack in musicality I make up for in art or … performance. I really love playing with another girl in the band. It’s a good dynamic to have … It’s a good balance.
Carl: I like playing music and the ability to get better as a musician by playing with people that are talented is really something that I like to do. So the opportunity for me to actually play and be heard playing is a real gift.
Jacquie, you seem to be very creative with your onstage look:

above: Neil Revenga on guitar at the Ruby Room, January 15. photo by Dominick Valentic?below: Carl Froelich on guitar at O'Connell's, March 22. photo by Amy Kaplan

Jacquie: It’s funny because I wasn’t really dressing up that much for our shows. Hector saw my pictures on Myspace and was like, ‘why don’t you wear something like that to our shows. I [thought] it was a little over-the-top … [but] I took his advice. I want people to like us for our music, but when you think about it a lot of the bands I like are also performance and visually driven. You want to see something happening. It’s like it’s a show. Entertain me damnit!
What are your musical influences?
Neil: I used to like heavy metal and stuff – anything else was wussy music. It had to have guitars, it had to be hard, it had to be fast. But then as I got older I started liking pop music and synth music and folk music. It’s kind of funny, one of my friend’s older brother liked all this cool stuff like The Stooges and Bauhaus. Then I heard all that stuff and [thought] I could actually play it because I always wanted to be Eddie Van Halen but I never had the discipline.
Carl: It’s so of-the-moment, you know what I mean? Rock ‘n’ roll is so, like, of the instant that it happens it’s impossible to sort of say a genre and get into a discussion about the influence of any rock today. Basically there was the movement in the ‘60s where electric guitars happened and then it’s been just a freak-out ever since. People make up new names for styles of music they’re playing but it’s rock ‘n’ roll, that’s what it is. And you can take it as seriously as you want to outside of that context but where it is now in 2009 … there are so many bands and everybody plays music that there’s no movement, everybody gets to do whatever they want. You just have to grab somebody, get them to where you’re playing and force them to listen to you in order to have an audience.
What do you make of the current music scene?
Carl: It’s completely different than when I was a kid. I grew up in a scene. I grew up in Minneapolis and there was a scene and there were bands to go see. I saw all that punk rock stuff when I was a kid. Minneapolis is the home of the Replacements and Husker Du and Soul Asylum and Prince so that’s what I grew up with. And it was the cool thing to do – be in some crappy band, underage and playing in these bars, so that’s what I did.
So why do you like being in a band now?
Carl: I like to play music. I like to think about it and not only is it a physical manifestation of something, but then there’s the sound. If you don’t like to play you shouldn’t be playing. There isn’t any money in rock ‘n’ roll. It’s not a career path I would recommend. There’s just no guarantees.
Neil: It’s just something you do. I wouldn’t call it a career but it’s just what we do. I think all of us – whether we’re playing in this band or not – will always be playing music. I mean, even if it’s just, like, sitting at home and playing a guitar, maybe getting an occasional gig at a coffee shop or something.
So how has it been playing around San Diego?
Carl: It’s pretty cool. The whole thing has changed because it used to be you could show up with four dudes – or four people – and you’d get paid to play. Like they’d charge a cover and your friends would all come see you because not everybody was in a band and even if you were the second person or the third band you’d get paid to play. And here it’s just completely different – there’s no money, you haul all your gear to wherever you want, it’s almost impossible to get into bigger national slots and … there’s no quality control now. There’s too much competition and no quality control.
Hector: You can’t get around the fact that if you want to have quality – no matter if it’s making a sandwich or making a band – it takes a lot of dedication and a lot of focus. [If] you want to be a great band you have to work at it.
Neil: It kind of goes into the thing where you could take it into your own hands, like you could make your own record at home on a computer and get your friends together and get a show. I mean, there’s a lot of small bands, like bands at our level, that are playing in Europe and stuff whether they make money or not. But at the same time too there’s not like any sort of big legendary shit going on.
Carl: I think through the internet we should take over the music scene of a small Lithuanian town and build up the hype for three months. Then we’d pack everybody up and move there and have shows every night and get paid to play in Lithuania. You know what I mean – literally create your own scene.


 
 
 
 
 
- SDTopic


Discography

Demo - limited self release

Photos

Bio

The UnRuly Bangs began in 2008 as a jam session in the upstairs office space of an El Cajon industrial rubber factory. The original line up included Darla Tucker on drums, Neil Revenga on lead guitar, Jacquie Bazinet lead vocals, and Carl Froelich on guitar. After their first gig at the Radio Room, local musician Hector Penalosa offered to play bass for The Bangs and they were off and running. Hector and Darla left the band to pursue other interests and commitments. But The Bangs weren’t finished yet! They added bassist Eric Sangre (VV Morgue, Severed Reds) and Victor Penalosa on drums.
The UnRuly Bangs write songs about funny haircuts, lost loves, nights of lust, waking up in strange beds, and staring at ceilings. You'll hear influences by artists like Iggy Pop, the New York Dolls, Bauhaus and the B-52's.