Ken Leighton 6 p.m., Oct. 18
Sound description: The seventies meets the nineties, and together they spark up a doobie. Laced with angel dust.
RIYL: The Amboy Dukes, INXS, Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Lists: "Weirdos Rocking Our Name" · May 28, 2008
Inception: San Diego, 2002
Influences: Ted Nugent, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, Coldplay, the National, Blonde Redhead
War Stories is fronted by deep voiced singer/keyboardist Evan Robinson, who has “San Diego” tattooed on his knuckles. The band plays pop rock, often with distorted guitars and occasional sprinklings of keyboards and strings. Robinson's baritone vocals sometimes remind of Peter Murphy or Morrissey, and the group's lyrics can be just as dour, though the pop presentation often belies the somber subject matter.
They were signed to Sony BMG offshoot Velvet Hammer Records and recorded a complete album for the labelin 2006, only to have the label drop the band and deep-six the album.
Formerly known as Frantic, and for awhile as Onethousand Pictures, the band now called War Stories says the band might have to fight for its name, as others have laid claim to it — most recently a group in Massachusetts.
“I was not aware of the other War Stories in Boston until recently,” says Robinson. “From the few words of English I see in their email, they seem upset. I thought I’d escaped all the legal bullshit when we parted ways from our label and cut almost every tie we had in the industry. Guess not.”
DJ Frydae of Boston’s War Stories emailed us to say, “There’s a bunch of makeup-wearing weirdos rocking our name. I Googled it one night and found ’em. In turn I had our booking agent get on their ass about it. I don’t know who the fu** they are.”
Boston’s War Stories have been performing since 2004. “As to who, what, or where them [San Diego] fakers is, I’d like to know myself,” says Frydae. Asked if his band obtained legal rights to the name, he says, “Yes, the name is registered…we haven’t ever played San Diego, but we’re seriously considering moving there. I’ve always been told it’s the shizz.”
Robinson says, “I don’t believe we have trademarked the name. However, our record has been released since July 2007, and we’ve been playing under the name for about a year. If they want to get into it, we have lawyers.”
Three of the band members describe their favorite brushes with fame.
Reid Curby, guitarist: “We were recording a couple years back, and our producer had his friend stop by — Rob Cavallo, a Grammy award–winning producer [Green Day]. Every time someone introduced themself to him he would reply by saying his first and last name, which was kinda funny, because we obviously knew who he was. A lot of people in the industry do, so for him to say his first and last name, it was like bragging.”
Paul Lizarrga, bassist: “I remember being in line at a taco shop at around 3 a.m. in Hollywood and seeing Kiefer Sutherland.”
Evan Robinson, singer/keyboardist: “One night at the Roosevelt Hotel in L.A. I got to hang out with Adam Duritz, the singer in Counting Crows. I’m not one who normally gets starstruck, but I really look up to him and really appreciate his music.”
The band's self-recorded War Stories: Volume 1 was released in August 2008, with a release party at the Casbah.