It might surprise you to know that Geoff Weers, the vocalist and guitarist for the reggae-punk rock blending band The Expendables, recently got a job cleaning carts at a golf course. "Not because I don't make any money playing music, " says Weers, "But because I want to play free golf," When he's not on the road, Weers spends a few days a week scrubbing fairway grime from those ubiquitous white carts in order to tee off for free whenever he wants. When we spoke he was at home in Santa Cruz, sitting on the beach, getting ready to go surfing. What a tough life.
That's not to say he and his band, which play the Domino next Thursday night (4-22), aren't road tested. The Expendables have toured with all of the big names in the genre. They recently finished a tour with heavy-hitters 311 and have previously toured with Pepper, Fishbone, G. Love and Special Sauce, and Slightly Stoopid, with whom The Expendables share a record label.
After a big send off party in Santa Cruz on April 19 and 20, Weers and the rest of the guys in The Expendables plan to hit the road on a headlining album release tour for their latest release, Prove It, which hits stores on May 11. Along for the ride are fellow Santa Cruz neighbors and glam rockers Dirty Penny (who've played in Bend a couple times in recent memory) and LA-based rock-reggae band Tomorrow's Bad Seeds.
Weers says while it's hard to believe the band has been playing and recording music together since 1997 when the members were still in high school. Yet they're still having fun and there are still new horizons around the corner for them.
"We haven't fizzled out yet, I think our best is yet to come. I think we're just starting to mature more as a band, musically. Hopefully we don't mature too much as people, but whatever," Weers says slyly.
Weers believes the music has evolved on the new record. They're out to prove - not just to fans and critics, but also to themselves - that they can put together an album that forces people to take note of the band (Even if the band's name suggests otherwise).
"I think we've put together a record that's not what you hear from this genre all the time. In our genre, there's starting to be a lot of bands that sound the same. I think this one sets us apart from that. However, we still are The Expendables and we still have that sound we've always had."
Maybe that's a product of the band's organic approach to recording. Weers says the band's songwriting is a collaborative effort.
"Some songs are more written by one guy than the rest, like someone will just come up with an idea, or have some lyrics and a chord structure. Then we'll jam it out in the practice room and everyone will put their input into it and we work our the arrangement."
Prove It features a few collaborations with some big names in the industry including tracks produced by Butthole Surfers guitarist Paul Leary and NOFX's El Jefe. G. Love makes a special appearance on the album, harmonica and all. "When we did the tour with G. Love, our music kinda doesn't really mesh with G. Love's sound. He's more bluesy, acoustic-y, folky and we're punk and reggae and metal, so there was a song we played that bridged that gap and it's called 'Wells'."
The Expendables' sound matures as they get closer and closer to the big time. Touring with 311 gave them a glimpse into their probable future.
"[We got to] see how the real big dogs do it, as opposed to what we do normally on our headlining stuff. It was a good way to gauge the potential we have," Weers says.
The Expendables, Tomorrow's Bad Seeds, Dirty Penny
9pm Thursday, April 22. Domino Room.
51 NW Greenwood Ave. $15/adv at bendticket.com, $18/door.