Geoff, thanks for speaking with us today!
Q1: When did you guys first start playing music?
I first started playing guitar in the 7th grade. I took lessons from my sisters boyfriend at the time who was in a band. I got to check out a few rehearsals they had and was immediately drawn to what being in a band was all about. I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
Q2: How did The Expendables come to be and what’s the meaning behind the name of the band?
We were all friends first and started jamming together in high school. Adam, our drummer, and Raul, our lead guitarist, were in a band first and were having trouble figuring out a name. They used to call each other expendable because they weren’t very good and could be easily replaced. I suggested they called themselves The Expendables. They liked the idea and asked me to join the band. The rest is history.
Q3: Who are some of your influences behind your music?
We are influenced by everything in life. Our experiences help shape the music we write. Musically, all four of us grew up listening to a wide range of musical styles. As a young guitarist I was greatly influenced by the classic rock greats such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.
Q4: On May 17th, you guys are releasing a new acoustic album called Gone Soft. What made you guys decide to release an acoustic album?
We have never done anything like an acoustic album. We wanted to try something new. We wanted it to be a mellow vibe, just a couple microphones, some acoustic guitars and a living room. It ended up being a little more involved than that but I think the result has greatly surpassed our expectations.
Q5: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?
We are party music. In our first few years, as a band, the only places we played were parties so naturally we wrote songs that people could have a good time to.
Q6: What songs are you guys most proud of?
I’m always the most proud of our newest material. Stuff we work on for a new album. The new stuff usually pushes us to play better and be more creative. That process feels good and keeps me stoked on doing what I’m doing.
Q7: What do you enjoy about reggae music?
I think the one drop in reggae is my favorite part. Before I started listening to reggae most of the music I listened to had a strong emphasis on the one beat. Reggae is the opposite and hearing it live for the first time and how it grooved made me fall in love forever.
Q8: What are some of your more memorable moments from shows that you have played?
Playing the Catalyst in our home town of Santa Cruz for the first time was a big moment for me. At the time I thought “if we play the Catalyst we have made it.” It was a huge deal and we have been playing there ever since. We love the Catalyst, it’s our home.
Q9: On May 26-27, you guys will join SOJA, Pepper, Iration, The Green, Passafire, and a number of other bands at the California Roots Music and Arts Festival in Monterey, CA. What are you looking forward to most about that festival?
I’m looking forward to playing golf at Monterey Pines next to the venue. A bunch of the dudes in the other bands are gonna get some tee times and have a good ole time chasing the ball around the course.
Q10: Do the other bands in the California reggae scene, such as those listed above, Slightly Stoopid, and Rebelution, influence the music you guys create and vice versa?
I’m always influenced by the bands we tour with. I get to see them live and see how they do their show. I learn what I like about what they do and try to make it my own. I don’t try to copy but I think that is how inspiration works; you see or hear something that you like, internalize it and regurgitate as your own.
Q11: Do you guys anticipate another tour in support of the Gone Soft acoustic release outside of the few select dates already announced around the California area?
I’m not sure about a full acoustic tour. However, since we did the album, I think we will be more inclined to do some acoustic stuff in our normal sets.
Q12: Looking back on everything, is there anything you would have done differently?
Sure looking back I could say I could have done this or that different but I am happy with where we are. Who knows, if we did any of the stuff different it could have turned out worse. I don’t like to think like that. What’s done is done. All we have is the future to look forward to.
Q13: If you could offer advice to an aspiring musician, what would you say?
My advise to any aspiring musician is to love playing. You got to love it to be successful. There is a lot of hardship, heartache and let downs in the business and it’s easy to get down on yourself or your band. The love for playing is what will keep your creative mind and heart in it. Also, try to get better at your instrument. The better you get the more creative you get. Creating, to me, is one of the greatest joys in being a musician.
Thanks again for speaking with us today. Congratulations on the new album Gone Soft due out 5/17 and we look forward to seeing you guys soon! Fans, you can pre-order the album now at www.theexpendables.net/Presale.