War Stories is fronted by singer-keyboardist Evan Robinson who, though he wasn’t born in San Diego, has lived here for most of his life and has “San Diego” tattooed on his knuckles. He 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.”
Our list queries were answered by Robinson, guitarist Reid Curby, and bassist Paul Lizarrga.
WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?
1. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, mix CD: “I always get a good Southern Cal vibe from their music — it really brings me a feeling of summertime. And John Frusciante is amazing.”
2. Depeche Mode, Violator. “Because it always feels good. It has that power that just grabs you and takes you along for the ride.”
3. Radiohead, Kid A. “I feel that this is an underrated Radiohead album. The music lets you get lost in the melodies, so you can make up your own stories to go along with it.”
4. Under the Influence of Giants, self-titled: “ ’Cause it makes me wanna dance.”
5. Coldplay, X&Y. “Like their other albums, it’s simply amazing.”
1. M.I.A., Kala. “Enjoyable in the evenings just before sundown. This has a good fusion of Latin and African beats, mixed with some good modern tracks.”
2. The National, Boxer. “Pure, beautiful arrangements with witty lyrics.”
3. The Good, the Bad, and the Queen, self-titled. “Nice blend of piano and reggae dub, and it’s great to see Paul Simonon from the Clash playing bass again.”
4. Blonde Redhead, 23. “Very dark. Also, sincere.”
1. Radiohead, In Rainbows. “In rotation a lot.”
2. Fleetwood Mac, Rumours. “One of my all-time favorite, timeless records.”
3. Depeche Mode, Violator. “This band really pioneered a sound. The final track, ‘Clean,’ encourages me to stay sober.”
1. Rattle and Hum. “An amazing U2 DVD following them on their Joshua Tree tour in ’87. I used to fall asleep to this on a regular basis.”
2. The Breakfast Club. “I’m a big ’80s film and music fan, and this is a staple of that era.”
3. The Beach. “It captures a great sense of adventure and taking chances.”
4. Rudy. “I like any film that shows passion and persistence in overcoming any obstacle.”
1. Half Nelson. “A great film about an inner-city teacher who has a double life, teaching junior high history during the day and partying by night. I can relate a lot to this film, being a musician by night and junior high history teacher by day.”
2. Wassup Rockers. “An independent film about these Mexican skater adolescents in South Central who stick out in a gang-infested area.”
1. The Shawshank Redemption. “I’m fascinated with the idea of escaping from prison. It relates to how I feel in my own skin at times, like I’m a prisoner and music is my escape.”
2. Talladega Nights. “John C. Reilly is a hero to me.”
3. Say Anything. “I love John Cusack, and I’m a sucker for love stories.”
BIGGEST POLITICAL CONCERN?
Curby: “Getting another president who makes me nervous just watching him deliver a speech.”
Lizarrga: “Apathy seems to run our system. Everyone complains about Bush, yet they are directly responsible for him being in office because they didn’t care to vote.”
Robinson: “The fact that friends and family members are being killed over a barrel of oil.”
HAD A BRUSH WITH FAME?
Curby: “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.”
Lizarrga: “I remember being in line at a taco shop at around 3 a.m. in Hollywood and seeing Kiefer Sutherland.”
Robinson: “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.”
WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH ONE MILLION DOLLARS?
Curby: “I’d put our band on the road and tour nonstop. Then I’d buy a late-’70s black Trans Am with a gold phoenix on the hood and black-leather interior with a sweet sound system so I could pump AC/DC nonstop and do burnouts. And I’d build a legit recording studio.”
LAST BOOK READ?
Lizarrga: “History of Philosophy by Julián Marías, the late Spanish philosopher, who has a great way of expounding on the influences and developments of Western philosophy.”
Curby: “Headlining a sold-out stadium show, somewhere overseas, where I would fly my dad out to play guitar side-by-side with me for a few tunes.”
Lizarrga: “To play on the same bill as David Bowie.”
Robinson: “To ride upon the back of a large mystical dragon, slaying pterodactyls in mid-flight with a wizard sword. While listening to Jane’s Addiction.”