Artist Of The Month: Ballyhoo!

Looking for some new music to divulge in? Check out Baltimore’s Ballyhoo! Playing the entire summer on the House of Marley stage at Warped Tour, Ballyhoo gained a huge following this summer. Not only did they play Warped, they’ve shared the stage with acts such as 311 and Slightly Stoopid. Their latest work is Daydreams which really offers a good look at what Ballyhoo! is all about.

Ballyhoo literally means blatant advertising or a loud clamor. They do well with their blatant advertising by playing an entire Warped Tour, but I’m not so sure about the loud clamor. They are rather a reggae/punk/pop band that really mixes genres. You never know what you’re going to get, whether it be reggae, ska, punk, etc.
If you get the chance go out and buy Daydreams or see Ballyhoo! perform. You won’t regret it.

Stand Out Tracks: Evil Penguin, Sandcastles, Walk Away, The Getaway

ESBmusic caught up with lead singer Howi Spangler to talk about their musical influences, how the band came together, and what their experience on the Warped Tour has been this summer.

ESBM: How did you all come together?

HS: The drummer, Donald, is my brother and the rest of us went to school together. All of us were always involved with school music programs, doing the Spring and Holiday concerts and all that. We finally decided to start a real band when we were 12 and 14.

ESBM: Who are your influences?

HS: The band’s sound comes from a mix of bands like Green Day, 311, Sublime, Goldfinger, UB40, and Nirvana. We listen to a lot of stuff collectively, but the core of the sound is from those bands.

ESBM: How did you come up with your band name?

HS: A friend of ours pitched it to us when we were looking for a name. I had no idea what it meant, but it was big and colorful in my head. I put the exclamation mark on the end on our first flyer and it’s been that way ever since. It means ‘loud noise’ or ‘blatant advertisement’. At that point, we were a loud noise in my mom’s basement, so it worked.

ESBM: You are playing on the warped tour this summer. What has your favorite stop been?

HS: Other than Maryland, where we’re from, Florida was great. Particularly, West Palm Beach. That crowd was rowdy.

ESBM: How did you come up with the concept for your video “Last Night?”

HS: We left it up to the director. We wanted something different. Instead of footage of beach life, we were approached about playing at an art show and having 2 people fall in love at first sight. It triggers a chain reaction and all the art gets destroyed. It was a cool concept.

ESBM: What is your next single?

HS: “Walk Away” will be hitting radio by the end of summer, I believe. We picked that one because it has that old Ballyhoo! style that our fans love and it goes over really well at the shows. It’ll be a nice bouncy, pop-reggae song for radio. Excited to get it out there!

ESBM: You recently signed with Law Records. How has that experience been?

HS: It’s been great! They are really cool, laid back people. The label is run by the guys in Pepper and their good friend Mark Ley. Since they are artists themselves, they understands our needs. There was no pressure to make it any certain way. They just wanted us to put our best foot forward and I think we achieved that. It’s the best we’ve ever sounded and the songs are some of my favorites.

ESBM: What are your plans after the Warped Tour ends?

HS: We will drive 3,000 miles home and do a couple shows, shoot the video for “Walk Away” and then drive 3,000 miles back to California for the Night and Day tour with Tribal Seeds. That will run through September, including a show with Weezer in Baltimore. In October, we’re going to Hawaii for the first time and then we’ll return home for our annual Halloween show. It’ll be our 6th one in a row. It’s my favorite show that we do. Everyone dresses up and we theme it out. Really looking forward to it.

ESBM: Any last words?

HS: Thanks to everyone who’s made it to a show or bought our music. You’re the reason we’re still able to tour and live our dream. Hope to see you again soon!

For more information on Ballyhoo! check out their official website, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

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