“Bands are fun but I’m not really a leader or a follower, so I get along better by myself,” writes Doug Barker, lead man — only man, for that matter — for San Diego band Pant Hoots.
Among the other benefits of being a multi-instrumentalist and the sole member of the band, says Barker: “I don’t have to teach anyone the songs, worry if they’ll show up, or deal with drama. Also, I only have to be in tune with myself. If I goof a song, I can stop and start over or just skip to another part. And, I usually get extra drink tickets.”
In recent years, local lo-fi, slacker-rock duos such as the Crocodiles and Nathan Willams’s Wavves have set a trend in San Diego’s music scene of forming bands with fewer members.
And now, solo musicians are picking up more than one instrument and taking centerstage.
Barker says his influences range from punk rock to country, blues, swing, and rockabilly, and his instruments of choice include “drums, banjo, cardboard box, tin can, and rubber hose.” He formed Pant Hoots in 2007, after some songs that he wrote for his former band the Nightmares were rejected.