Wednesday, August 8, 2018
While attending the Gen-X summer tour at the Griffin Music Hall on Saturday, attendees may have feelings of nostalgia while listening to four bands who have all had major hits in the late '90s and early 2000s.
Buckcherry, P.O.D., Lit and Alien Ant Farm are uniting to put on a rock show that will feature throwback hits and some new music from the bands.
While all four bands have played many times in Arkansas, this will be the first time they will be traveling to El Dorado.
Josh Todd, lead singer of Buckcherry told the News-Times in a phone interview that Buckcherry has played in many nooks and crannies throughout America and plan to “just go in there and give 110 percent and put on the best show we can put on.”
Todd said Buckcherry formed their band in 1997. Terry Corso, lead guitar and backup vocals for Alien Ant Farm, said they have been playing together since 1995 and Sonny Sandoval, lead vocalist for P.O.D., said that they are going on 26 years.
A. Jay Popoff, lead vocalist for Lit, said he and his brother, Jeremy Popoff, started playing with other current band member Kevin Baldes, early in high school. “So not to age ourselves, but we’ve been doing this for decades,” Popoff said. “A few decades now.”
Popoff mentioned Lit’s former drummer Allen Shellenberger, who he called Big Al, who lost his life to brain cancer in 2009. He said they weren’t sure if Lit was going to continue on as a band, but ultimately decided to move forward. “Now we’ve got three original guys and we’ve added a couple of members and we still want to add more,” he said.
Lit released an album in 2017 called “These Are the Days” that Popoff said has a “country feel, but it’s got a rock feel too.”
“There’s so much more going on instrumentation wise and the growth of the band, we would love to have somebody that could play some of the banjo stuff,” he said. “We’ve been writing a lot of country over the past decade and it wasn’t until this record that we really started letting it shine through in our music so we’re excited. Our fans are digging it.”
When describing their music, all four band members said they do not like being put into one genre.
“We just play stuff that we enjoy and we mix it together and it’s really just a combination of where we came from, Southern California,” Sandoval said. “It’s so diverse so we’re not stuck into one sound or one genre, we really do mix everything.”
Popoff, Todd, Corso and Sandoval all said that the bands and their members are great friends.
Corso described the tour as a high school reunion. He said, referring to P.O.D., that there’s probably not a band on earth, including Papa Roach, that Alien Ant Farm has toured with more.
“There was kind of a demand for some of the '90s bands to come back and rock,” Todd said. “All these guys have hits between them, including ourselves, and we all kind of came up together through the years and it just seemed like the right thing to do. A good bang for your buck and everybody’s got a great live show and it’s been a lot of fun.”
Todd said that all of the bands are veterans, “so everybody just does their thing and it’s all business … it’s really not what you think it is.”
The tour started in late June and Popoff said for one ticket price “it’s like four headliners” and that the shows have been “going off.”
When it comes to inspirations, all four band members noted different artists that they find influential. Todd said he is inspired by Prince, Stevie Wonder and James Brown and said meeting James Brown was one of the most memorable moments in his music career.
Corso said Alien Ant Farm is made up of a lot of different influences. One of their hits is a cover of Micheal Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” and noted Micheal Jackson as a big influence. “It’s kind of hard to narrow it down honestly,” Corso said. “Collectively as a band, we all have a lot of different stuff that we’re into and it somehow comes together and works.”
Sandoval noted a range of artists that they get inspiration from including bands they grew up on: ACDC, U2, Bob Marley and The Police,
Popoff said sometimes it’s hard to get inspired and the band started going back to the beginning of their career and really digging deep into the archives to get inspiration. He said they listen to early classic rock to Kenny Rodgers, Waylon Jennings and that Elvis Costello has always been a staple of Lit’s inspiration.
“I guess if you were to step foot into our tour bus and hear the playlists, you would be surprised at some of the stuff we listen to,” Popoff said. “I think more than that, we’re inspired by life. In the past it’s always been songs about partying, and as we’ve gotten older, those things aren’t as important.”
Popoff said that he doesn’t really get tired of playing the infamous party anthem “My Own Worst Enemy.” He said that the band still feeds off of the crowd when the song comes on and the energy kicks in. “It’s so exciting and it’s still shocking,” he said. “Like how has this song become this beast, you know?”
With all of the band members being older now with families at home, they said touring has become more of a challenge, but worth it.
Sandoval described it as a love/hate relationship. Corso said it’s a lot of work but the fans keep him coming back, saying “It’s fun but the fatigue and the home sickness comes a lot sooner than it used to when I was younger.”
Todd said being on stage is his favorite part about touring. “No question about it,” he added. “Everything else can be challenging at times so being on stage is the payoff.”
Popoff said as soon as they hit the stage and feel the energy of the crowd, “that makes the whole day worth it … and it’s like oh yeah, this is why I do it.”
When it comes to the concert Saturday, Todd said the people of El Dorado can expect a great show. “It’s a gang of guys up there loving what we’re doing,” he added.
Corso said Alien Ant Farm is the first band to play and they sometimes take the stage early. “So if anybody really wants to see us try to figure out what our go time is because I don’t want to miss anybody that wants to see us,” Corso said.
Sandoval said if he could tell anything to the people of El Dorado to prepare them for their show, it would be to “just come out.”
“Enjoy the summertime, enjoy the music,” Sandoval said. “Enjoy the vibes that we’re brining. Just have fun and we’re looking forward to it.”
Popoff described the bands as “four bands that play as well as they did when they first came out.”
“Everyone gives it just as much energy as they ever have and it’s just great,” Popoff said. “We’re four bands that play really well together, but are very different sounding.”
According to MAD’s website, the concert will begin at 8 p.m.
Kaitlyn Rigdon can be reached at 870-862-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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