Long Beach (OK, technically they live in Signal Hill) quartet On Blast--multi-instrumentalist Andy Kiddoo, singer Josh Brown, guitarist Travis Raab and producer/bassist Tone Blair -- play Thursday night at Alex's Bar with Free Moral Agents and Mode and Friday night...at a bar mitzvah. After running into Kiddoo at a Long Beach grocery store, I caught up with him for a Q&A.
What's this I hear about a recent trip to Mexico?
A: I went to Rosarito for Mexican Independence Day. It's a small beach town, but there were these huge festivities going on like Fourth of July. The fireworks were like big bombs going off. So my friend went off to watch Explosion Nortena--this huge Mexican banda band and the bass player has an AK-47 bass--but I didn't go. I stayed home and wrote a song because I'd been drunk all day. I was super wasted, so I wrote an entire song and when I brought it back home the next day, I realized we've already written a song with the same melody. I don't ever want to do anything twice.
Q: You have two shows this week: Thursday at Alex's Bar and Friday at a bar mitzvah. Which one do you feel more pressure for?
A: I've never been to a bar mitzvah. Our guitarist gives lessons and one of his students asked if we could play. It was like, "alright." One of the things is we have to play "Hava Nagila," the most traditional Jewish folk song ever. I learned that song in third grade. We had to learn that one and "La Bomba." Basically, it means "have fun and dance, brother." I'm excited about both shows for different reasons. I like playing Alex's Bar because out of the three cool spots to play in Long Beach--the Prospector, Que Sera and Alex's--and I'm not even talking about the Pine Avenue scene, Alex's is the best venue, has the best atmosphere, it's the biggest and I really like going there.
Q: My friend and I have been going there on Tuesdays for karaoke. It's fun. You should come.
A: Dude, on Fourth of July, I did "Billie Jean." It was right after Michael Jackson died and I was all liquored up, ready to go. I had the first 10 seconds down, but after that, I got confused and don't remember much. The prompter is so small! Josh gave me the famous words though. He said, "Just do the first verse over and over again. Nobody really notices." Then he goes up and sings "Superfreak" and sings "She's a very kinky girl" over and over again. And this is in the middle of people ripping it up. Hardcore karaoke singers! This one surfer looking dude sang a Prince song in this falsetto voice and nailed it. He even took off his shirt, swung it around and threw it into the crowd. He put on a performance and at that point, I'd already signed up for "Billie Jean" and I was like, "Oh my God." I was drunk and nervous, but I didn't really care. That combination is not a good recipe.
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Q: Will fans see anything special at Alex's Bar?
A: I guess you'll just have to come and see for yourself.
Q: If people want to buy On Blast a drink, what should they buy?
A: Tone and I would definitely be a shot of Cuervo, which they don't sell at Alex's. So I guess any tequila. It seems like Alex's was meant for Cuervo. Maybe if they start carrying it, it's because of On Blast. Josh would probably want some whiskey. I think Travis would drink just about anything. Make it a surprise. I want to see people coming up with some drinks when we start playing! Please?