'Mike Chartrand bailed for a lot of reasons," says Off Track drummer Jared Hren of the band losing its longtime bassist. "We've been friends since the high school marching band, but now he wants to have a real life, a social life, and just find a regular job. Completely the opposite of who he's been during the past seven years with us. We've even done songs about not wanting to stay at regular jobs...it's really sad, because we weren't just bandmates, we were best friends for a long time."
Hren says the group has been forced to cancel "over a dozen shows, at several hundred dollars each. We were booked for Carvin guitar's big anniversary bash with Lit at their corporate headquarters and factory in Carmel Mountain. We were in all the ads, but they wouldn't let us play with a fill-in [bassist]."
He says the departure is just the latest instance of a "black cloud" following the band, citing a recent evening at the Epicentre as an example. "We presold $1200 in tickets, tons of people showed up, we load[ed] in, and they canceled the show because they couldn't get a real soundman. They wouldn't let us touch the gear, even though we know how to run sound. We even offered to bring in a big PA, but they shot it down."
Guitarist Sam Roberson says, "They rebooked us a while later, on a weeknight, but they offered no promotion, and it was near impossible to convince people to buy tickets again and drive down again."
Off Track are now in their tenth year and debuted new bassist Jimmy Zadai in December 2006.
WHAT'S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?
1. Third Eye Blind ("Love their CDs from start to finish.")
2. Eve 6 ("I miss that band.")
3. Nickelback ("The opening seconds of each CD kicks.")
4. Unwritten Law ("I blast their last three CDs through our PA and play along.")
1. Queen, Classic Queen ("They are all genies.")
2. The Darkness, One Way Ticket to Hell...and Back ("Amazing vocals, solos, and writing.")
3. Dio, The Very Beast of Dio ("The voice of an army in a man barely five feet tall.")
4. Tenacious D, The Pick of Destiny ("Just watch the movie, over and over and over, and you'll get it.")
1. Rise Against, The Sufferer and the Witness ("Tim McIlrath has the best punk voice ever.")
2. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Love Their Country ("Their cover of 'Desperado' is awesome.")
DESERT ISLAND DVDs?
1. Godsmack, Live ("Fabulous production, and their new drummer is incredible.")
2. Airheads ("I've worn out two VHS copies of this lighthearted rock movie.")
1. Lord of the Rings trilogy ("Along with stacks of batteries for the DVD player.")
1. Napoleon Dynamite ("Funniest movie ever.")
2. Nacho Libre ("Second funniest movie ever.")
3. Any blink-182 DVD ("When I listen to Tom DeLonge's voice, I realize how good mine is.")
FAVORITE TV SHOWS?
1. Overhaulin' ("I really love old cars.")
2. CSI ("I started watching it by chance, and now I'm hooked.")
3. Viva la Bam ("I just can't help myself.")
1. Law and Order ("I'm the worst sucker for all three series.")
2. Flavor of Love ("A not-so-secret guilty pleasure.")
1. Family Guy ("Peter Griffin is my hero.")
2. Lost ("Even though the story doesn't make sense anymore.")
AFI OR GREEN DAY?
Hren: "Green Day definitely wins for their shows; AFI wins for their makeup."
Roberson: "I was weaned on Green Day's Dookie. Though I'm not entirely in line with their politics, American Idiot and Bullet in a Bible are the new benchmarks of punk."
Zadai: "Green Day was one of the first punk bands I ever heard, so I have to pick them over AFI, even though I've been listening to AFI for the past few months nonstop."
WORST SONG EVER?
Hren: "The new Fergie single, 'Fergilicious.' Blah blah blah."
Roberson: "Black Eyed Peas, 'My Humps.' And I'm not even gonna dignify that one with a reason."
BIGGEST POLITICAL CONCERN?
Hren: "Gay marriage. I think people should be free to be with who they want."
Roberson: "Illegal immigration. The federal government, whether intentionally or not, is raising a specter of social racism that'll make it very hard for Americans to exist around the world."
Zadai: "President Bush. He's slowly destroying the planet."
FAVORITE LOCAL EATERY?
Hren: "Acapulco. There's one on East Valley Parkway, but I prefer the one on San Marcos Boulevard. I like the halibut fillet meal with butter-wine sauce, and they have my favorite chips and salsa for sure. Not too pricey, for a nice restaurant."
Roberson: "Pho Hoacali on Rancho Bernardo Road."
SOMETHING ABOUT YOU FEW WOULD KNOW OR GUESS?
Hren: "My natural hair color. Even I barely remember what it was."
Roberson: "I had a bit role in the movie Almost Famous."
Zadai: "I spent four years in the military."