Encinitas punk goofballs Kut U Up have always been proud of their slacker work ethic. "We're the least-hardest-working band in Southern California," says bassist Chris Cote. Yet, with no CD, website, manager, or agent, the four-man band was asked to tour and open for all 56 dates of the 2002 Green Day/blink-182 U.S. tour. Kut U Up filmed their experience and produced the 45-minute video titled Riding in Cars with Boys. MTV and MTV2 aired the documentary when it was released three years ago.
Kut U Up's celebrity encouraged local entrepreneur Bill Smoyer to release the band's first record (Pulled Over...Your Eyes Are Telling Me Differently Son) on his Row Boat Records label.
"He spent thousands of dollars to record us," says guitarist Brandon Parkhurst. "We recorded an album with [engineer/producer] Ben Moore at Big Fish [Studios in Encinitas].... We made enough [from sales] to almost pay him back."
Kut U Up has been dormant for two years. Now, clothing company Volcom, which is attempting to expand its involvement in music, has offered to release the second Kut U Up CD. But Smoyer/Row Boat has the rights for that second CD.
"[Volcom doesn't] want to risk a lawsuit, and they don't want to buy him out," says Parkhurst. "And Bill said we owe him the next record. But he doesn't have the distribution that can take the band where we want to go.... Volcom is a huge thing. It's the difference between being with a label run out of an extra bedroom and a huge worldwide company."
A call to Smoyer was not returned.
Parkhurst appears with his other band, Yovee, December 21 at the Belly Up Tavern.