Is Ska Dead? Meagan Christy of Chase Long Beach Weighs In

Is Ska Dead? Meagan Christy of Chase Long Beach Weighs In

Meagan Christy, Chase Long Beach's trumpet player, doesn't mince words about the ska scene in Long Beach. "We like to play at DiPiazza's, when our friends in ska bands from other states roll through, they play there. It's kinda small but everyone goes nuts."

Other than that, she says, there are bars for indie rock, folk and metal bands, but the most ska you'll see in Long Beach are at reggae festivals.

"It's funny, there's a good amount of ska bands coming out of Long Beach, but not a lot of local venues are ska friendly."

Don't get Christy wrong--there's still a ska scene ("ska fans are the most loyal you'll come across"). It's just not the way it used to be, when Christy, who's played the trumpet since she was a little kid, was growing up in the 1990s.

"In high school I was really into Save Ferris and Reel Big Fish, and it was the West Coast revival of swing with the Cherry Poppin' Daddies and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. They were all really popular, and you heard them on the radio all the time. I thought that was cool because I played one of those instruments. It was always poppy and fun, and I always tried to learn it," she says.

Moving back to Long Beach after college, she joined Chase Long Beach because she wanted to keep playing her horn. "And, it was just something fun to do," she says.

The rest of Chase Long Beach had similar stories, she explains. "It's funny for us to be a ska band, because no one in the band is really an avid listener of ska. We bring in all those influences, but we didn't look to play that music--it happened accidentally."

Now that the six-piece is getting ready to write their second album on Victory Records, Christy says they're taking a break from touring--which can take drain you of musicianship and creativity. "We just want to write a good album that we're proud of," she said.

But what about playing the same style of music? Do they ever get sick of that? Not likely, says Christy. "Now we're writing ska music with our own spin on it," she says. And Chase Long Beach is doing their part to keep the ska scene alive. "We have a lot of fun doing it. As long as crowdgoers have fun, I think we're doing our part to keep the scene going forward. No one in the ska world is looking for fame and fortune," she said.

"It's really about dancing and singing and having a good time."

Chase Long Beach perform with Reel Big Fish, Suburban Legend and Starpool at the Locally Grown finale at the Grove of Anaheim on Saturday, Sept. 18.


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