The Expendables bring winter hope with new tour

Ryan Johnson
The Expendables perform Saturday, Feb. 11, at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa in Stateline.

Musical talent and chemistry is recognized early in life, and for the Expendables it was even earlier most.

“Adam (Patterson), Raul (Bianchi), and I were friends before we got together,” the band’s lead singer and guitarist, Geoff Weers, said. “We played Little League together. I think Adam and I were even on the same farm team.”

Ryan DeMars joined the band a few years later. He went to a different high school and joined around 2000.

The close-knit rockers didn’t seem to deal with the typical trials and tribulations bands go through. Weers gave Lake Tahoe Action his take.

“The biggest challenge is probably staying together,” he said. “I think every musician has that time when they say to themselves, ‘What the hell am I doing?’ and get in those situations where they can’t leave and are fed up with it. With these guys, I’ve never really dealt with that.”

The Santa Cruz band has captured the following of reggae, rock, punk, and metal fans all through the Peninsula and North Coast. Its unique, multi-genre-infused sound provides a relaxing vibe with the occasional up-beat mosh pit. Around since the late 1990s, it built a Santa Cruz legacy and gained an international following.

Weers said the Expendables are just about to get back in the groove after about a month and a half off. Based on the lack of snow this season, the band’s “Winter Blackout Tour” seems like a subtle prayer.

When did the band start to feel the fame?

“I guess when we started selling out shows,” Weers said. “Once we started doing big shows at the Catalyst, we were able to travel to other college towns and perform, growing our fan base. We also had a lot of fans that went away to college and took our music with them.”

Like typical high school kids, these guys had no plan for the future. Weer said, “We didn’t really know what we were doing either. We were just having a good time and that never really stopped. I think it really clicked when we started selling out shows.”

The music industry has changed drastically as major record labels become less prominent.

“Bands have to rely more on touring,” Weers said “The live performances are what make your band stand out. And that’s what we do best. Nowadays, you can make awesome music with virtually no money.

“We’re the product of social media. If it wasn’t for MySpace, we probably wouldn’t be a band. You don’t need a label or a lot of money. We were able to use Napster to spread our music.”

The band has big plans for 2012, with some of its best tracks dropping on an acoustic album, expected sometime in May.

“It has a couple country style songs and one with a Latin sound,” Weers said. “We did it at home and it just has a super raw, organic sound. We’re just messing around with some different sounds and tempos. Other than that, we’re taking it mellow this year. We’re also working on some festivals in the summer and a possible tour in the fall for the new album.”

We asked Weer about his latest album, “Prove It,” and working with Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers and El Jefe of NOFX.

“They had a major influence on the album, from the pre-production process to the final end production,” he said. “El Jefe was heavily involved in the writing process. Leary was really impressed with the pre-production, so most of the music on the album ended up being very similar. They just know what sounds good.”

Weers wasn’t a fan of the Butthole Surfers growing up, but quickly became a fan once he got more familiar with the music. As for NOFX, he has always been a big fan, which is expressed through their strong punk influence.

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