Following the lead set by Jared Leto, Keanu Reeves, and Russell Crowe, Adam Brody of Fox TV's OC launched his career as a touring rocker last week at the Jumping Turtle. His four-man band Big Japan kicked off a two-week tour May 22 before about 150 at the San Marcos venue. Brody, who plays drums, said nothing onstage. His tour manager, John Gaczewski, said he would have nothing to say to the press. I noted that there would have been a lot more in attendance if Brody had done radio interviews that day. But Gaczewski said the tour was intentionally low key to work out any bugs before the band heads out for a larger tour later this year after they record their first CD this summer. Promoter Sulo King said it "was in the contract" that no mention be made of Brody's name in advertising.
Yasmine Mazon, 16, of San Diego was driven there by her mom. "I think I heard about it on sdpunk.com. ...They sound a little like Death Cab for Cutie."
Brody posed for photos with any fans who asked. He set up and broke down his own drums.
Also in Big Japan was actor Bret Harrison, who stars on Fox TV's comedy The Loop and has also appeared on Grounded for Life, That '70s Show, and The O.C.
The Jumping Turtle show was Big Japan's first outside of L.A. In attendance were Brody's parents, who live in San Diego.
Two L.A. bands, Landon Pigg (signed to RCA) and Big City Rock, are also on the two-week tour. First band up at the Jumping Turtle was North County's Inberst, an all-original, four-member, classic-rock--sounding band aged 16--18. "We're used to the whole celebrity connection," said Inberst keyboard player Kevin Wiles. "We played with the Honey Brothers, which has Adrian Grenier [star of HBO's Entourage]. We played with them at Brick by Brick and the Knitting Factory in L.A. We also played with White Star, whose lead singer dated Mischa Barton. She got killed off in The O.C."
Wiles said all the actor/rockers he's played with so far have been accessible. "I feel bad for the guy," Wiles said of Brody. "He has to deal with the fact that he's Adam Brody from The O.C. 24/7. He's just a normal guy who wants to put on a good set. But he also has to make sure he takes all those pictures because he can't afford to come off as a celebrity jerk."
Wiles said Big Japan was a quality band, but he knows Brody's celebrity juice gives Big Japan a big advantage. "If they draw, they get to headline. That's what it's all about. If Adam Brody wasn't on drums, they wouldn't be headlining. They'd be opening. You just have to adjust to that." I note that if Big Japan really takes off, it could be a historic gig for Inberst. "It could be a big night for Big Japan too. Maybe one day they'll say they shared a stage with Inberst."