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Whammified reverb and barreling drum beats remain powerful sonic weapons on the OC shoreline. Just ask the wise-ass, beach-savvy swashbucklers of Hindu Pirates. Taking cues from local standouts such as the Growlers and the now-defunct Japanese Motors, the band have conquered surprising new territory since forming in 2009. After garnering airplay from LA radio station KXLU-FM 89.8 and making their mark on the CMJ charts, this quintet of mostly fresh high-school graduates (guitarist Joey Lobasso is still a sophomore) are getting ready to release their debut full-length, Pelican Daze. Recorded in a mere eight hours, its scrappy, riff-heavy pieces of surf rock build on last year’s untitled EP. Now that school is out for vocalist Austin Ferreira, guitarists Casey Snyder and Joey Lobasso, bassist Derek Bostelman, and drummer Ben Tinsley, it’s time for the Pirates to hoist their sails, crank up their amps and capture plenty of new prisoners—or, um, fans.
OC Weekly: Since most of the band recently graduated from high school, does it feel like a new chapter for Hindu Pirates?
Ben Tinsley: I’m stoked because it’s our dream to in a year get a warehouse together, live in it, play music and record.
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Casey Snyder: The one main thing that’s changed since we graduated is that now we have more time to play together. Most of us are going to college, so our schedules will be a little bit looser than [when we were in] high school.
Did you guys have help recording your new album?
Snyder: Dan [Graziano] from Gestapo Khazi helped us. We recorded it in eight hours at this studio in Long Beach. Two of the songs were recorded in Austin’s bedroom with a mattress against the wall. After that, my brain was fried.
I can imagine—after recording an entire record in less than a day.
Snyder: And it was [recorded] to tape, too. So if we messed up, we had to do it all over again.
Tinsley: I think it would sound way better if we recorded again. We’ve gotten way tighter since then.
Did you come up with the title Pelican Daze before or after you recorded the album?
Joey Lobasso: When we were coming up with our band name, one of the first ones we came up with was the Pelicans. Derek and I were talking about it, and then Derek came up with Pelican Days, and he was like, “but spell it with a Z!” [laughs].
Snyder: Then, one day, we decided to change the band name again. But we decided to keep [Pelican Daze] for the album title.
Is it surreal to have DJs at KXLU praising your debut record?
Snyder: I read on Beatcrave.com that we were toward the top of one of the charts for KXLU, so that was really cool. [Our PR manager] Ashley [Eliot] told us she gave one of the DJs our CD, and we figured they would just toss it out. A week later, Ashley texted me, saying that all their DJs really like it and they want us to play live in their studio. We made it our goal this summer to become more popular in LA. This is a good foot in the door.
What’s a deep, dark secret about you that you’ve been afraid to admit until now?
Lobasso: We had a show at Capo Beach, but I don’t remember it because I had a concussion that day. But I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want people to freak out about it.
Snyder: I don’t know how to read music at all. I listen to hip-hop every once in a while, too.
Tinsley: Ugh. . . .
Hey, Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, contact info, high-res photos and impending show dates for possible review to: Locals Only, OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Ste 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Or e-mail your link to: email@example.com.
This column appeared in print as "The Kids Are Arrr! Right."