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AlbumsLook What I Almost Stepped In
Hitler Bad, Vandals Good
Live Fast Diarrhea
Celebrating their fourth release for the label that, in the bandís own words, saved them from ěthe dung pile of ignored and misdirected punk bands,î Look What I Almost Stepped In is what critics agree to be the best Vandals record to date.
What keeps the band going? If you ask them they will tell you that they are driven by the desire to keep putting out better and better albums that sell more and more each time when many other punk bands have long since passed their salad days. Their other key to longevity is the golden rule: No Band Meetings!
The Vandalsí salad days seem sure to continue, judging by the quality contained in each of the 14 new tracks for the new album. Like previous Nitro releases, The Vandals chose in house producer Warren Fitzgerald to helm the recording, but they brought in heavy guns Chris Sheldon and Bradley Cook to mix and engineer, respectively. Both performed those same tasks on the Foo Fightersí Color and the Shape, which impressed The Vandals so much that they hired them and recorded in the same studio to see if some magic would rub off.
The result was a record that The Vandals describe as their proudest recording achievement. Somehow the band was able to maintain the punk rock energy that they have dedicated their lives to, while improving song structure to the point of creating a couple of actual ěhits.î Initial reaction form radio has been positive with The Vandals being added to commercial play lists across the country for the first time in their careers.
The band describes the new album as ěour last record Hitler Bad Vandals Good, with just a lot more effort put into it.î Not a bad comparison since their last record is the best selling Vandals release to date, which by the end of 2000 will have sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide. What The Vandals are most proud of is the fact that the numbers are headed up instead of down.
Although The Vandals have seen a lot and inspired many since the early days of the Huntington Beach, California punk rock scene, they prefer to concentrate on the present and the future. The future looks heavily concentrated in the area of film and television, a passion that began when The Vandalsí music became an inspiration for D.P.O., and episode of the X-Files written by long time Vandals fan Chris Carter in 1996. The following is a summary of what the band is up to at the moment:
ď Recently The Vandals finished production of seven half hour television episodes for the digital Entertainment Network, as part of a series written and produced by bassist Joe Escalante called Fear of a Punk Planet. When the network went bust, however, Joe (being a lawyer and all) was able to snag the home video rights to the series and will be releasing it on the Vandal-owned Kung Fu Records in the fall of 2000. Joe describes it as Saved By The Bell set at Gilman Street.
ď The Vandals are featured as actors in the upcoming film That Darn Punk, directed by Jeff Richardson and produced by Joe Escalante. Described as a punk action buddy adventure film, without the buddy, it will be released on home video through Kung Fu Records in February of 2001 with a blockbuster soundtrack. The film is being scored by Warren Fitzgerald, who learned from Danny Elfman when he played guitar for Oingo Boingo during the last three years of their existence.
ď Another film, Selwynís Nuts, written by and starring Warren Fitzgerald is slated for production in September of 2000. This will also go into the Kung Fu Films home video/soundtrack pipeline. The film marks the directorial debut of Joe Escalante.
ď Josh Freese is wrapping up a hectic touring schedule with his ěside projectî A Perfect Circle. After two years drumming on the new, and yet to be released, Guns Ní Roses album, Josh is looking forward to getting back on the road with his boys, The Vandals. In his spare time he also managed to record and release a solo album o Kung Fu Records entitled ěThe Notorious One Many Orgy.î
ď The Vandals are also at work writing the theme to the upcoming Studio USA feature film ěBeer Moneyî directed by Rich Wilkes (Airheads, Glory Daze)
ď The torero theme in the album artwork is not a random choice. In fact, bassist Joe Escalante recently graduated from the California Academy of Tauromaquia (bullfightschool.com), North Americaís only school of instruction in the traditional art form of Spanish/Mexican bullfighting, July 15, 2000 marked Escalanteís debut in the ring at Tecate, Mexico with a 500 pound bull. This may not be the greatest idea in the world, admits Escalante, but itís part of my culture ad it definitely separates us from every other band on the face of the Earth. The other members have never seen Joe fight in person, but they love the artwork.
The legacy of The Vandals may not have to be carried on by the band members themselves. A Dutch band called Caesar covered the Vandals track ěHang Myself From The Tree,î and ended up with a hit in their home country by selling 300,000 copies. No Doubt also had a worldwide hit (and video) when they covered The Vandalsí ěOi To The World!î which also earned The Vandals their one and only gold record. No one tours more than The Vandals. Since their last release The Vandals have been on the road almost constantly as headliners, with the Warped tour, etc. They leave the country four or five times each year, doing their time in Europe, Australia, South America, and Asia. The most recent phenomena, however, is the developing interest in The Vandals as support for mainstream superstars who are looking to ěspice pî their bill. Recently, the band hit the road for extensive tours with No Doubt, Offspring and Pearl Jam.