Raging since 1995, BALLYHOO! has become the music OG’s not missing a beat. Staying true to its own vibes and style, BALLYHOO! creates unforgettable and mind scrambling blends of ska, punk, reggae and even metal. If you have never seen these bad boys, you’ve got to add them to your list. Unstoppable hits one after the other, it is evident they will continue to please us with their sounds infinitely. BALLYHOO! just released a live acoustic album with Sugarshack that hit number 1 on the iTunes reggae chart. The band is also working on another album and is hitting the road for the biggest festivals in the world, not to mention their headlining 2023 tour. The band has toured and played with the biggest players in the biz 311, Dirty Heads, Slightly Stoopid, and variety of others. Recently, festivals are calling these rock stars every year to join the line up including Warped Tour, CaliRoots and Reggae Rise Up. BALLYHOO! is also performing at Cali Vibes in Long Beach, CA coming up February 17-19, 2023, featuring Jack Johnson, Snoop Dog, Rebelution and tons more.
We had the chance to chat with one of these phenoms in BALLYHOO! Drummer, Donald Spangler, brother of front man Howi took the time to discuss the recent music releases and the rest in the making.
First off congrats on the new release, the full live acoustic album with Sugarshack Sessions. That’s exciting! I absolutely love Sugarshack. This latest album is easily top 5 I have listened to this year.
- Donald: Thank you we really enjoyed doing this. We had chance to take a couple days off and drive down to Florida. It was a blast and it didn’t feel like work. We all love playing at Sugarshack. We always take pride in our stuff and are grateful for all the fans and praise.
You all have such a great connection while performing together. Who are your musical influences?
- Music we grew up on like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rancid, Green Day was the spectrum of music we all listened to and we wanted to play music that people could party to. We love to play reggae and then kick it up by getting the people on their feet raging a bit.
So I’m a metal head but I’m totally digging the music, blasting away in my car. This music can appeal to anyone with its broad range.
- Check out “Riddled with Bullets” on our Detonate album. There’s a metal scream part on that song. We like to mix it up. Metal is my preferred genre as well. We figured we need someone that can do this live so we decided 2 years ago that we needed to find another member that can play heavy riffs. We had virtual auditions and then we found Sebastian and it’s been great having him in the band since 2020. It fills up the show more, a lot more feel in the music.
Any new music in the works?
- We are working on another album; it should be out by next spring or summer. The 2023 tour coming up in February, Sleeping on the Couch Tour. I’m thinking our next single will be released then and the whole tour will be based around that. It will be southwest, California and Arizona.
Wow! you guys are busy; you are definitely not sleeping! What keeps you going on the road, do guy have rituals that help you maintain?
- Well, ok like a nice shot of Jameson before we hit the stage! Wet the whistle a little bit. But for me I just to play the drums. I’m making money doing what I love. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Any crazy tour/scary close calls show stories?
- Our van caught on fire while driving it. We were all sleeping, and I guess some oil was leaking underneath. The driver said from the side view mirror he could see orange glowing lights coming from the bottom of the van! He had to pull over we had a fire extinguisher, it was insane.
Dang! How about a funny one?
- Ok so, there was time when we were on tour with The b Foundation and they were pranking us. They wrapped our entire bus in porn magazines. There was a variety of porn, all kinds of pictures. They would leave some in the guitar cases so when you would open the case you would have this surprise awaiting. It was funny, it was ridiculous! That’s what happens on tour you have a bunch a dudes hanging around.
Anyone you would like to tour or collaborate with?
- Stick Figure, of course. Metal band, I would say, Oceans Ate Alaska. Their drummer Chris Turner he has a solo record he just came out with all instrumentals its pretty awesome. As a drummer he is ridiculous. I’ve never seen someone play so fast with their feet its crazy!
Any advice or future musicians?
- I would say be ready for some hardships, be ready for some learning. Knowing the right thing to do is crucial. We learned everything the hard way with money, like buying seven vans until we found the right one. Plan for yourself and aim towards your goals one at a time. Keep charging ahead.
Anything else you would like to say?
- Check out our upcoming tour dates, merch bundles, and VIP meet and greets.
There’s a lot of amazing vibes coming from this entire band. The tours, festivals, new music. Don’t miss them on the stage and make sure to click on their links below!
Photos by Jenna Shaw