East coast reggae rockers Ballyhoo! have been hard at work on their upcoming album. The band has created a unique package deal for fans that coincides with the album. The "Hardcore Hooligans" package gives fans a front row seat throughout the entire album recording process, and also comes with limited edition artwork, bonus tracks, and much more. Ballyhoo! certainly know how to connect with their fans on a level most mainstream bands will seemingly never quite understand. The "Hardcore Hooligans" package deal is only available through March 31 so be sure not to miss out.
Despite Ballyhoo's hectic touring schedule along with recording their new album, front man Howi Spangler was kind enough to answer a few questions about the upcoming album, Ballyhoo's early days, and much more. Read on and follow the links to keep posted on Ballyhoo's latest news, tours, and much more. Also be sure to grab a "Hardcore Hooligans" pack today before it is too late, and be one of the first to hear Ballyhoo's newest album before it is officially released to the public.
What can fans expect to hear on your upcoming album and do you have a release date set, or name for it yet?
Howi: The name and release date are still in the works. We should have more info on that soon. As for the sound, our listeners can expect to hear the catchy melodies their used to. We really messed around with tones this time and tried out some new directions. Nothing too drastic, we wouldn't want to alienate anyone. Our growth has been organic and natural.
You guys tour quite often, how do you pass the time while out on the road so much?
Howi: We're usually nose deep in our phones and laptops. We listen to music and watch movies. I play a lot of hidden object games. I've always been into spooky imagery, ha ha.
How was traveling to Hawaii for the first time this past fall?
Howi: It was great! We were surprised that there were people that wanted to see us. The weather was beautiful and everyone we met was nice. I sat on Waikiki Beach by myself with a six-pack of Longboard while looking at Diamond Head. Star 101.9 is the alternative station that plays us out there, so we got to hang with them that morning as well.
Was it difficult trying to break through on the music scene in Baltimore back in your earlier days?
Howi: There are so many bands and artists in Baltimore. It was tough to stand out. We've always been a tight band; we would play every day after school. We played our first club gig at the old Ottobar, I think I was 17. They gave us beer too.
We finally decided that we had to get out of town. No one was gonna help us; we had to go out and make our own noise. It was then that we would come home after tour and we started bringing people other than our close friends out to our hometown venues.
Did you ever imagine Ballyhoo! growing into what it is today back when the band first formed?
Howi: I knew that I wanted us to be "big". I knew where I wanted to us to end up. And there were these little "false alarms" in the early 2000's. We were approached by Dreamworks, Wind Up, and J Records, to name a few. That's what made me think we had something special. It just wasn't the right time.
We took it into our own hands when we hit the road. We decided to stay out as long as we could stand it while putting out our own albums. That hard work is how we ended up doing shows with 311, Pepper and Slightly Stoopid, all bands that I looked up to.
What inspired the "Hardcore Hooligans" concept and how has the response been so far?
Howi: We always wanted a way to include our listeners in the process. We thought it would be great to let them watch us record and they could ask us questions. It's been a lot of fun. Everyone involved has enjoyed the opportunity. I know that I would love for my favorite bands to let me in like that.
Do you have one song in particular that has the most personal meaning to you out of all of your music?
Howi: There's a song called "Last Breath". It was the first song I'd written about my mom's passing when I was a kid. The first time I heard it playback in the studio, I teared up.
Is there anyone you'd like to acknowledge or thank, or anything you would like to share with your fans?
Howi: Big thanks to the fans out there. They are the reason we're able to keep doing this. If they weren't buying our music and t-shirts, we could not survive on the road.