Punk rockers American Fangs are striving to take a bite out of music. The guys who love loud guitars and the Keanu Reeves flick Point Break are hitting the road this winter, and before then, frontman Gabe Cavazos dialed up BFTV to explain what it is they think they're doing.
First of all, just like you don't judge a book by its cover, don't judge this Houston-based band by its name. "This may not seem important, but for us I think the band name can kind of be misleading. I think that people immediately think it's something a lot more aggressive than it is," Gabe explained. "We're kind of a high-energy, hyperactive band online and on stage, but we're not a metal band. We love metal, [but] we love all kinds of music, so we enjoy the musical space provided, and we try not to limit ourselves to just to one kind of sound."
These are not the guys you'd find trashing a hotel room after the show. You might still find them climbing stuff during the show, but these are five guys - Gabe on vocals, Micah Miller on drums, Kyle Shimek on bass, Chris Goodwin and Kenyon Puntenney on guitar - who you'd feel comfortable having a drink with. And they're just happy to be here.
"We're not a picky band at all," Gabe said. "We're happy when there's great sound, great hospitality - and we're not talking about [that] they roll out the catering. Just easy work with the staff and a great sound system. Big stages are always wonderful. We move around a lot [so] we kind of need that space to get comfortable!"
You can listen to the band's lead single and one of their favorite songs to play, "Pomona," with this article.
Befitting a hyperactive punk-rock band, American Fangs are doing anything but sitting still for the rest of the year. "We're got a ton of concerts that we're going to be doing. There's videos and blogs and vlogs and photo shoots that we've been compiling that are leading up to our tour with Papa Roach in the UK," Gabe told us. "We're very excited about that. None of us have ever been overseas [and we're] huge fans of Papa Roach and huge fans of travel.
"We've been on tour since May and it's crazy. We've been pretty fortunate to get the gigs," he added. "We're just touring and releasing a ton of hilarious and informative content."
When you're on the road with each other that much, it's a must to be a band that really gels together. The members of American Fangs don't just play together, but they share a long history. "We've known each other since high school," Gabe said. "We kind of know each other's nuisances and we'll bug each other, but we'll also pump each other up.
"And I think that's very rare nowadays because there's such a science to putting a band together. But our relationship is so organic that we don't really need that," he continued. "Just being able to grow this way as a band means a lot to us. It's important to us to continue to grow. And it shows on stage. People will come up to us and say, 'You guys have chemistry.'"
American Fangs has bolstered their chemistry by welcoming back Kenyon, who's returned to the group while still leading another Texas band, A Thousand Colours. Dishing on his longtime friend, Gabe told us, "I've always told him, 'You're an exceptional songwriter and a singer and a player.' I think he's one of the best I've had a chance to write with.
"I think he's in such a better place mentally as an artist and a person," he added. "He brings a lot more weapons with him this time. He has a voice. I think he knows where he stands. And that's really important just as an individual. To have him being able to balance both [bands], I kind of bow down to that."
On the rare occasion life slows down for the quintet, chances are they've got another project or interest to turn their attention to. "We try not to get so wrapped up in what we're doing," Gabe reflected. "I think a big thing that hits home with a lot of us are wounded warriors - veterans and people who are coming home from overseas. These people come home and they have families just like we do, and they have goals just like we do. And I think there are times when people just kind of sweep them under the rug.
"We're one of those bands that are always down and ready to do benefits and raise awareness. Just letting people know that there are people that haven't swept them under the rug and there are people that are there to listen."
That kind of drive to do something significant is what American Fangs is ultimately about. They might have an eyebrow-raising name, they might be bouncing off the walls on stage, but when it comes down to it, they're just five guys who enjoy making music and want you to have as much fun listening to it as they have making it.
"We're pretty normal," Gabe told us. "We love trying to experience life." And they're living life to the fullest right now, one high-energy concert at a time.
You can learn more about American Fangs by visiting their website (americanfangs.net) and following the band on Twitter (@americanfangs). They'll also be on the East Coast this month and in the United Kingdom in December - you can click here to check out their full list of upcoming shows.