Despite living in Huntington Beach for several years now, Craig Broomba and Nick Stout don’t feel like locals. Even though their band, a trio named Filmspeed along with local drummer Oliver Dobrian, was technically born on the West Coast, Broomba and Stout still kind of feel like the same high school kids who worked at a Michigan grocery store together.
It didn’t take long for the two to realize they’d be better off in a band together than in the separate projects they’d been working on at the time, and they were fairly unanimous on their decision to move to Southern California over New York when the Detroit music scene didn’t seem like a good fit for them. But even after 13 years together — including the latter chunk living and performing all over OC — SoCal’s densely populated music scene (and streets) still feel a little bit overwhelming sometimes.
“We can claim residency because it’s been long enough, but it’s still weird,” Broomba says. “Both Nick and I will visit home once or twice a year, and it still weirds me out. I have family coming out, and I just warned them that they’re going to absolutely hate driving anywhere for any reason.”
“I think we have an advantage because even though we’ve made a home here and made so many great friends, it still doesn’t feel comfortable,” Stout adds. “It never makes you feel lazy because there are way too many people out here, and we have not reached even a small percentage of them. It always feels like if we were here for another 20 years, we still wouldn’t be able to dominate Orange County.”
More recently, the guys in Filmspeed have been gearing up to release their new record, Hexadecimal, on October 13 — but that wasn’t exactly the most comfortable process either. After getting about halfway through the recording process over a year ago, the energetic rock band lost their drummer and had to start somewhat from scratch. Rather than creating a separate EP for the older tracks and rebooting entirely with Dobrian, they opted to fuse the two together for the new 11-track offering.
Although they’re happy to have the album finished, recordings just don’t do Filmspeed’s energy justice. If you want the full experience of the trio’s power, you’ll have to stop by Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa for the record release show.
“Someone once called our live performances ‘controlled chaos,’” Broomba says. “You’re going to get a lot of energy and a lot of passion, and we’re not really satisfied unless the audience is singing along with us — even if we’re on complete strangers’ turf. We’ll make sure that we play at least 45 seconds of a cover song slipped in there somewhere so we can get people’s ears perked up if they’re in the back of the bar. Then they’ll look over and see what we’ve got going on even if they’re still waiting to be served.”
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Along with the record and concert, Filmspeed also released a brand new music video for their lead single, “I Feel Alright.” But while so many artists are focused on making the most elaborate high-concept videos they can afford, the self-described garage band was pretty happy to just get some friends together and make a visual that let their music do the talking. After all, they didn’t leave Detroit just so everyone could watch them perform on a smartphone screen.
“The age of live music is not dead,” Stout says. “I know YouTube dominates everything and people would much rather watch concerts on their small screen, but just to be out at a live music event is the reason we’re still doing it. There’s nothing that beats the experience of live music.”
“With all of the shitty stuff going on in the world, it’s a moment to escape social media and all of the political bullshit and natural disasters,” Broomba adds. “It’s like please come out to a fucking show and have fun. Get away from your phone and see the arts.”
Filmspeed is at Tiki Bar on October 13 at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets cost $15. More information is available through the venue’s website.