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For their Halloween party this year, the Soda Bar picked a headliner with a demon’s name: Sirhan Sirhan. It’s a band back from a graveyard of rockers gone but not forgotten. When Sirhan Sirhan was new, they were red hot. “We were a totally functioning, full-tilt touring machine when we put out Blood in 2008,” says Jason Blackmore. They won Best Hard Rock album at the San Diego Music Awards that year. Things were looking up. What happened? “It got to be too much of a job keeping the band together,” says Blackmore, considering that he lived in San Diego and the rest of the band members did not.

“The guys wanted to keep the band going, but I wasn’t into having a long-distance band. I like to have the guys in town so when I write songs we can do the shit. Record, play — you know, be more active.” In 2009, he called for a timeout. Sirhan Sirhan hasn’t appeared since. Blackmore went on to a new venture called Rats Eyes with Gabe Serbian from The Locust. But when Serbian moved to Los Angeles, Rats Eyes likewise slowed down. Coincidentally, drummer Alex Organ moved back to San Diego. “We decided to fire up the old Sirhan Sirhan machine,” says Blackmore.

True to the traditions of West Coast punk, a Sirhan Sirhan show is all head-kick aggression and amplifier punch, and Blood fans will be glad to know that Blood 2 may be in the works. Sweet! But what’s up with that name? “I only had a couple of times on tour where people were, like, ‘What the fuck’s wrong with you?’ But you’d be surprised to learn that a lot of the younger people didn’t know where it came from. They were, like, ‘That’s an awesome name, man. How’d you come up with it?’”

Archons and the Marsupials also perform.

SIRHAN SIRHAN: Soda Bar, Monday, October 31, 9 p.m. 619-255-7224. $5.

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Jay Allen Sanford Oct. 26, 2011 @ 7:39 a.m.

Great to hear they're back! I saw on Facebook that their upcoming split 7-inch with Prize Country will feature a run with hand-drawn one-of-a-kind covers by Jason Blackmore and Abby Bailow.

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