Original Suburban Legends frontman Tim Maurer recently re-teamed with his fellow Suburban Legends founding member Vincent Walker for a special project. The name they are recording under is Walki-Talki, and their new tune is one of 15 tracks on an album that was produced to raise funds for the recently devastated Puerto Rico. Walki-Talki, Kiev, and Wetwood Smokes are all representing Orange County on Arecibo: Songs for Puerto Rico, an album which is essentially comprised of songs by LA-based and SoCal area bands, and which goes on sale today here. All proceeds from the album will benefit the Friends of Puerto Rico charity organization.
The project came about through the misadventures of their friends, singer Kaleb Davies and drummer Ryan Dawson, of the Torrance-based band The 131ers. Davies and Dawson were on vacation in San Juan, Puerto Rico when Hurricane Irma hit. The two joined forces with locals and their roommates to ride out the storm at a hostel, while assisting with preparation efforts. After they returned to California, Hurricane Maria descended upon the island. When Maria left, Davies and Dawson returned to the island to survey the damage. Their new friends were among those whom had been impacted by the hurricane’s devastation. One area, whose beauty the duo had previously relished, was Arecibo. It was in the wreckage of this northern-coastal municipality that they were inspired to help through their music.
Maurer informed the Weekly that The 131ers are part of a tight knit community of musicians and artists, many who have collaborated with one another at some point. He recalled, “From what I understand, the word of [the project] got out, and more and more people wanted to participate.” Thus, the bands started paying a visit to The 131ers’ turf, where they have a music space and recording studio, to lay down some tracks.
As for the reunion of the old Suburban Legends band mates, Chris Graue, the bassist for The 131ers, told the Weekly how the two got involved in the project, “Vince was already helping us produce our record, so he was excited to hear [about the Puerto Rico project] and wanted to put something together. One day, Tim stopped by our warehouse to hang out, and we just sort of convinced them they should do a song together…What came out was great, and we’re extremely proud of our friends and the piece they cooked up in our little Torrance studio. It really only took minimal peer pressure; those two have an electric chemistry that, both personally and professionally, appears to have taken no time off in 15 years.”
Walki-Talki’s contribution to the album, a song called “Made For Living,” is not a ska tune. For that matter, nor are any of the other tracks on the album. That said, “Made For Living” is a solid track which fits very nicely into the album’s collection of eclectic indie rock tunes. Maurer conceded, “It’s definitely a different track than folks are used to. It’s definitely more of a mature song.” He went on to reveal his enthusiasm about the song’s creation and what it might mean for the future of Walki-Talki. He said, “I’ve been writing music alongside Vince since 1997, and the fact that after all these years that we can come back and still have creative connections…It’s nice. It’s very refreshing…This song came about so effortlessly, so organically, that it definitely gives us a reason to create much more music in the future.”
According to the album’s webpage (at pledgemusic.com), following the release, there will be a concert featuring bands from the compilation. And, given the stylistic ranges of the music on the album, it is likely that the show will be fantastic. All proceeds from the show, as with the proceeds from the album, will be donated to Friends of Puerto Rico. The album, itself, becomes available today, and the cost is $10.