The newest name in OC's punk rock scene is actually a collection of old names.
This Sunday (September 25), Implants will be holding a record release show for their debut EP, The Olden Age. While you might not know who Implants are, you've likely listened to at least one of their members' other bands at some point. After all, when you combine the likes of vocalist Ken Conte (The Tank), guitarists Jim Blowers (Pulley) and Rob Ramos (Strung Out), bassist Matt Riddle (Face to Face, No Use for a Name) and drummer Chris Dalley (Pulley, Authority Zero, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Death By Stereo, Ten Foot Pole), there's no shortage of punk rock legacies on stage.
But Implants isn't just a supergroup thrown together to cash in on the success of other bands, it's really a collection of friends getting together to play the music they enjoy.
"The best thing about Implants is that you get five guys that have done this for many years and been really good friends," Dalley says. "You get a camaraderie that comes from five friends creating a band to play the music that we love to play. It's a great chemistry because we're a band that's doing what we love to do. There's no pressure. It's just having fun."
Of course, the whole record was never really an intentional thing. Implants began as a way for Dalley and Blowers to play music that didn't necessarily fit with Pulley, but after getting the group together for a couple of songs, things were just too good to not continue.
"Jim [Blowers] had a couple of songs that were not Pulley-oriented kind of music," Dalley says. "When we decided to do this, we were just going to have fun with it. We weren't even going to put out the record, we just wanted to lay down the ideas and have it as like a vault. When we decided to actually present the record to people, there was no pressure to take it seriously. This is like a fun vacation from our other jobs and the other bands that we're a part of."
While most people in the band are in similar places in their careers, each member of the quintet brings a different personality to the band and serves a different role. Collectively, the guys in Implants can cover just about every archetype that you'll see among veterans in the SoCal punk rock scene. It's just one part of the group's chemistry that makes both The Olden Age and their live shows seem more like a casual hangout of five close friends rather than a bunch of established punk rockers sharing a stage.
"All five guys are very different," Dalley says. "I'm like a big kid at heart. Rob is the guy who's like the total ringmaster. Matt and Ken are very similar in the sense that they're very dry and British in their sense of humor. We've all seen the same things, but we have different perspectives on what we've gone through."
After so many years with their other bands, any member of Implants could've easily formed a supergroup with a wide variety of fellow punk veterans. So how did Dalley and Blowers match up with the rest of the group? It really came down to everyone's calendars more than anything.
"It wasn't really that hard to figure out who we were going to play with," Dalley says. "We're all friends with so many bands, that it came down to who had the availability to do what we wanted to do. Me and Rob are the busiest guys in the band, because Rob plays a lot with Strung Out and I've been doing a lot of shows with Authority Zero. But the biggest thing is that none of us have egos. We all want to do what's best for the good of the group. I think we all knew the five of us would be a perfect fit for each other."