Expendables influenced by beach background

The Santa Cruz band will play Friday at Mojo's.

By Christine Cauthen | Nov. 12, 2010

Tags: Concerts Music

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The Expendables are not easily pigeonholed. Geoff Weers, Adam Patterson, Raul Bianchi and Ryan DeMars make up the Santa Cruz-based surf-rock-reggae-punk band that crosses genres with its mix of seemingly different styles into one successful group.

Originally started in 1997, the band has had a solid fan base since its first release No Time To Worry through its most recent release, Prove It. The new album boasts having Paul Leary (who also produced for Sublime and many others) and El Hefe of NOFX as producers.

"As a band, we're always working on new music," bassist DeMars said.

The band hasn't committed any songs to a new album, but the group is conceptualizing the next album.

The Expendables have toured with popular acts such as Slightly Stoopid, NOFX, Pennywise and Less Than Jake during their career as a band. Touring can get tedious and straining, but for a band as in love with music as The Expendables, the positives outweigh the negatives.

"Playing the live show is probably the coolest thing ever," DeMars said.

The group's passion for music of all types is clear not only in its dedication to music but also in the diversity of the pieces it creates.

"Someone in Germany described our music as a band who can't decide if they want to play Bob Marley or Iron Maiden, and we all thought that was funny, but also kind of true," DeMars said.

It's rare to find a band so successful in its musical experimentation, but DeMars has a simple explanation to its motives.

"We love it all, and we want to play it all," he said, "A lot of bands have influenced our wanting to play music, and that list seriously doesn't stop. It keeps on going and going."

A band with such musical variety must stick together to keep its message and personal goals clear in each song.

"It's always a collective collaboration of everybody in the band," DeMars said. "Even if someone writes a song completely, everyone else in the band is putting their own little kiss on it."

The group has one major thing in common that keeps it rooted besides the members' extensive music tastes: its laidback and accepting hometown.

"I would say most of our inspiration for our songs comes from our lifestyle and our hometown," DeMars said. "It's just an awesome place to live, and it's really relaxed and chill and I think our music reflects that surf town, beachy vibe that we were organically grown and raised up in."

The down-to-earth and accepting nature of the members' birthplace seems to have inspired the band in more ways than one. Not only is the nature of its music one of acceptance, so is its message.

"I think our main message is to be who you want to be and be free about it and just enjoy your life and have fun with whatever it is that you do," DeMars said.

The Expendables recently took off on its four-week United States tour after returning from overseas. The band has been going strong for more than 10 years with no sign of slowing down. Instead, the group shows signs of steady musical progression.

The Expendables will be playing at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mojo's.

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