Thrill Deluxe
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Thrill Deluxe

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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Huntington Beach band is picking up fans with its newest release."

Friday, November 25, 2005

There is no easy way to classify Thrill Deluxe. The Huntington Beach band rocks as hard as any locally sharpened punk or alt band, but owes more to Jimi Hendrix, Canned Heat and Audioslave than to Lit, Social Distortion or Korn.
"We're O.C., born and bred," singer-guitarist Harlis Sweetwater said of Thrill Deluxe. The band, formed in 2001, also features bassist Larry Chronic Jr. and drummer Joe Sykes.
"(Orange County) has a punk stigma with it, but there are all kinds of great bands from reggae and funk and all kinds of music here. I think it's time for something new."
Thrill Deluxe has just released its self-titled sophomore disc, a 13-song collection that showcases the band's masterful blend of rock, blues, soul and funk. "Thrill Deluxe" marks the trio's first release on Jetspeed Records, a Hollywood-based label that signed the band this year.
"I think what being signed did was allow us to record more new material," Sweetwater said. Indeed, the group's self-released debut, "Life, Religion & Love," was a strong effort that sold out three pressings and set the framework for the band's powerful and distinctive sound.
It was a recommendation from Orange County Music Awards founder Martin Brown that led to Thrill Deluxe's introduction to the officials with Jetspeed Records this year. It was also around that time that Taiowa Coale of Vulgar Honey Promotions approached the band about getting Thrill Deluxe more visibility.
"(It was) just the confirmation from someone who believes in the band; things started to click after we met her," Sweetwater said.
Added Chronic: "It has freed us up to do our thing. We're thankful to have her."
There is no doubt about how unique and exciting Thrill Deluxe is. Songs such as "Prison Is Freedom" and "Say It" are among the standouts on the new disc.
"Nobody in the band uses effects" when playing live, said Sykes.
Sweetwater noted that while he uses some effects in the recording studio, at live performances he simply plugs his guitar into the amp and plays.
"Live, I can make my guitar do what I need it to," Sweetwater explained.
Although Thrill Deluxe began working on its second album in April 2004, the completion of the disc was assured with the band's signing.
And the timing of the release of "Thrill Deluxe" has come just as the band has performed a number of high-profile shows (including on the main stage at the International Street Fair in Orange) and seen online traffic at its inviting MySpace site ( explode this year. In addition, the band is also excited that the Warner Bros. Television Network has purchased a share of the rights for three songs ("373," "Save Me" and "Take Me With You") from the band's first CD for possible use on shows including "Reunion."
"(Our latest CD is) more of a group effort and 100 percent representative of the band," Sweetwater said, noting that because Coale is handling the business side of things, Thrill Deluxe has been able to focus on the musical side of things full time.
The band is increasingly bringing something of a classic rock approach to its decidedly modern brew.
Sweetwater observed how bands such as the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin were able to mix rock and blues with country-Western, folk and other styles to expand and enrich their respective landscapes.
Now with the new record and a growing fan base, the band hopes the next move is touring and increased radio airplay.
"This is our life; this is what we're about," Sweetwater said.
Thrill Deluxe will celebrate the release of the band's new self-titled CD with a show at Fitzgerald's Pub, 19171 Magnolia St., Huntington Beach, at 9 p.m. Saturday; admission is $6. The bill will also feature Switchback. Information: (714) 968-4523.
For more information on Thrill Deluxe, visit

Robert Kinsler has covered pop music for the Register since 1992. CONTACT US:
- Orange County Register - Robert Kinsler

"O.C. band Thrill Deluxe brings its high-voltage rock to Ventura"

February 23, 2006

Thrill Deluxe, making its local debut at Wine Lovers in Ventura Saturday night, has the swagger and attitude thing figured out, most of that embodied in frantic front man Harlis Sweetwater. Other vital band stuff from the Rock Star 101 checklist also appears to be in place. New album? Check. Three guys with goatees? Check. Cheap band T-shirts? Check (10 bucks). The Grammy's in the mail?
Stay tuned on that one, but for now, check out Thrill Deluxe at the grape-friendly place with the man-who-should-be-mayor on the job: the guy on the patio who makes the free pizza. Thrill Deluxe thrilled locally in the past tense as another band, Barrelhouse, which played its brand of bluesy classic rock a bunch of times in Ventura in the '90s, mostly at Nicholby's.
Although they share the same 714 area code, the southerners in Thrill Deluxe are not part of the punk rock scene in the O.C. and none of them is nearly as cute as O.C. native Gwen Stefani. The band has an ambitious touring schedule lined up to work its recent self-titled album, including an encore gig at the Red Cove in Ventura on March 4. Meanwhile, Sweetwater discussed the latest during a recent phoner.
So the thrill is far from gone as to Thrill Deluxe?
Oh man, things are going real good. We've got this new album out and a lot of shows coming up, so we're looking forward to all that.
What's up with the new CD?
Our first album, "Life, Religion & Love,'' had a lot of rap mixed into it, but this new one has a good amount of a classic rock and contemporary rock vibe. To me, it sounds like a mixture of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Stone Temple Pilots, and as far as energy goes, Audioslave and that band with Slash.
Velvet Revolver?
Yeah, like them.
What's the dynamics of a three-piece? You can't hide anyone in a trio.
Right. Well, we're all out there, doing our thing. As far as my guitar playing goes, I don't use any effects when I'm on stage. I just play straight. The bass player, Larry Chronic, plays straight. He's more of an R&B guy, into stuff like the Meters and '70s funk. I'm trying to get him to incorporate more of that stuff into our music. Joe Dykes is the hard-hitting drummer — a big Bonham fan, of course. The best thing about being in a band is the booze and women. The worst thing is the booze and the women — the cause and the cure.
How often does the band play these days?
We have pretty much booked every weekend in February and into March and April as well, so hopefully, every weekend. And we're trying to book different spots: Bakersfield, Ventura, Las Vegas, and trying to get down to San Diego and out to Arizona. You know, Orange County, we have this thing with all these punk bands, but there's a lot of other stuff going on as well. Barrelhouse played in Ventura several times, mostly at Nicholby's, and I just want to get out there with Thrill Deluxe.
What happened to Barrelhouse?
The band was around for more than a decade and we put out some great some albums and I'm very, very proud of Barrelhouse. We don't do any Barrelhouse songs, but that vibe, that kind of soulfulness and bluesy-ness, is slowly working its way into Thrill Deluxe.
How 'bout Thrill Deluxe songs: all originals or covers?
When we first started we did a couple of covers. We did "I Shot the Sheriff'' and "Sweet Leaf'' by Black Sabbath, and we did a cool cover of "Layla,'' but we do almost all originals. I keep writing songs. Usually, we don't get to play all the songs we'd like to play; we can't in an hour set.
You'll have plenty of time at Wine Lovers.
We'll be bringing out the old and the new there.
What do you see happening with the band over the next year or so?
We just signed with an Indie label. We just want to get the music out there and meet new people on the road and have a great time. If someone comes up and tells us they dug the music, that would be just fine. Other than that, I'd like to play bigger and better shows. Just take it as far as we can.
Alive and well
Were the Beatles right again, and it's getting better all the time? Could be, or so it appears when it comes to the local music scene in Ventura. In case you hadn't noticed, a lot of bands are playing at a lot of places every night of the week. When there are three original live-music options on Tuesday — Selah Cafe, Dargan's and Billy O's — something's happening. Yup, Tuesday.
Just this week, Los Lobos are playing at the Ventura Theatre and it's reggae night at Wine Lovers and The Drink every Thursday night. The Red Cove is still rockin' on most weekends and three relatively new Main Street venues, Good Bar & Grill, Franky's and Dargan's, have live music several nights a week, joining the more established Bernadette's and Zoey's. Nicholby's, a longtime promoter of live original music, is back doing just that. Billy O's has live music several nights a week, and the weekly Livery Theatre gig is still going. There's a show at the American Legion Hall and the - Ventura County Star - Bill Locey

"Orange Pop: Best of the best - Here are the top 10 albums by local artists in 2005. (#6)"

It is among my most challenging tasks, ranking the Top 10 local releases of the year. And 2005 was no different, with a wide range of styles represented among those making original music.

1. Jack's Mannequin, "Everything in Transit" (Maverick) - Clearly the best release by a local artist in 2005. Something Corporate frontman Andrew McMahon launched this side project just as all his talents as singer, songwriter and pianist seemed to be jelling. The roaring "The Mixed Tape" is the disc's standout.Information:

2. Limbeck, "Let Me Come Home" (Doghouse) - Blending power pop, Americana and rock, the Orange outfit scored high in 2003 with "Hi, Everything's Great," and demonstrated it's one of O.C.'s most original voices. Limbeck's "Let Me Come Home" is filled with references to far-off places, including the driving "People Don't Change" and Gram Parsons-flavored "Sin City."Information:

3. Vale, "Vale" (independent) - I can't recall hearing a band besides the Cure or the Church that mixes dynamic guitar, reverb-drenched vocals and a haunting aura as well as Vale. The quartet has fused the goth instincts of Bauhaus with the indie rock of Snow Patrol. This is music for dancing, dreaming and listening. Vale will perform with Buchanan at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Gypsy Lounge, 23600 Rockfield, Lake Forest.Information:

4. The American Wake, "Tell No Tales" (independent) - Like the Fenians, the American Wake has been bringing blistering, Irish pub rock to fans for more than a decade. But when the band recruited young fiddler Robert Keysers in 2001, it became something special. Its fourth CD features a wealth of strong original material, notably the boisterous "She Swears Like a Sailor," driving "The Doryman" and aching "The Quay." The band will perform at 9 p.m. Jan. 7 at Gallagher's Pub in Huntington Beach.Information:

5. Jannel Rap & the C Street Band, "ka-lai-do-schope" (independent) - Anaheim-based Jannel Rap's folk-rock perfectly captures the so-called California sound pioneered by the Eagles and Jackson Browne. Blending alluring vocals with melodic choruses, "ka-lai-do-schope" features hope-filled rock, gospel-tinged blues, ballads and breezy rock.Information:

6. Thrill Deluxe, "Thrill Deluxe" (Jetspeed Records) - While Thrill Deluxe's influences stretch back to Jimi Hendrix and Canned Heat, the trio's powerful riff rock is both contemporary and timeless.Information:

7. Joy Flying, "Joy Flying" (independent) - Joy Flying's sound prompts comparisons with the Sundays and Sixpence None the Richer, thanks largely to singer-songwriter-keyboardist Chantelle Paredes' beautiful and emotive soprano. Joy Flying will perform 8-10 p.m. tonight at the Gypsy Den, 125 N. Broadway Ave., Santa Ana. Admission is free.Information:

8. The Santiago Steps, "Points & Corners" (independent) - The sophomore release from Orange-based Santiago Steps is one of the most original releases of 2005. Blending lo-fi and indie rock, the group of regulars and guest players fuse melodic and atonal song craft layered with male and female vocals, spoken word, piano, pedal steel and the usual drum-bass-guitar rock foundation.Information:

9. Its Revenge, "Rock and Roll Retribution" (Man Made Monster Music) - Listening to the cohesive and contagious material on Its Revenge's debut, it's clear the Midway City rockers have already hit pay dirt. The eight songs on "Rock and Roll Retribution" boast the melodic fury of bands ranging from Big Star and Weezer to Lit.Information:

10. Carol Martini, "The Rose in the Boxcar" (independent) - Carol Martini's latest CD features her emotive voice and strumming guitar positioned amid the barren emotional landscapes where she works her mood-swept magic.Information: - Orange County Register - Robert Kinsler


Life Religion and Love (2003) - LP

5 Naked Melodies (2005) -EP

Thrill Deluxe (2006) -LP

Drinkin' with the Devil (2007) - Single

Yes, we have tracks that have streaming or radio airplay,

- California State University of Fullerton - Titan Radio
- Phibble Internet Radio
- Artistopia Internet Radio
- Rocked by Three Shots Internet Radio


Feeling a bit camera shy


THRILL DELUXE was formed in the spring of 2001 in Huntington Beach Ca., by Harlis Sweetwater, singer/guitarist for the critically acclaimed Soul/R & B group Barrelhouse.

Venturing from their Soul/ R& B roots, he set out to make music that had a more mainstream, hard and heavy edge, while maintaining the soulful and emotional quality that defined his previous bands sound.

The addition of Joe Sykes (drums) and Antonius Ortega (bass), brought together 3 solid members, all w/ extensive recording, touring and performing credits.

Pulling from music of the past and present, they have created music that is compelling and raw, heavy and dynamic, intense and emotional. Their lyrics are honest, straight- forward and personal. Tackling the subjects of vanity, greed, lust and jealousy and of course…love.

THRILL DELUXE sold out of the first 3 pressings of their debut album “Life, Religion & Love”, released a killer self titled album in 2006, and is currently working on a brand new drop in 2007.