Rancho Cucamonga, CA…The only things that come to mind when that city is mentioned is an aunt who used to live there with a Thomas the Engine obsessed cousin and Next Friday. It’s not often that bands from the 909 area code are on my radar, mainly because I am unaware of their existence. It’s usually a gaggle east coast bands that flood my mental capacity. But slowly and surely, local bands are making their selves more apparent to me. First there was Back Pocket Memory and Culprit, and now there’s Dose of Adolescence.
After a New Found Glory show, I got handed a flyer with DOA’s info on it, so I had to reach out. I thought it’s about time to start focusing on some local music to try and make the SoCal scene a bit stronger. So I did and that led to chatting with DOA’s Jimmy Brown. It was a Tuesday afternoon, one week until Christmas and he admitted that he had not done any shopping. I didn’t think it was weird though, because neither had I.
We chatted about Jimmy and his brother’s love of Atreyu, how badass Juliet of “My First Hardcore Song” fame was and how we both were never that badass as kids, and we also touched on the local scene, which we both felt wasn’t as strong as it should be. Music aside, since it’s that time of year when consumerism is high, it was nice to find a band that actually focuses not only on their band, but on giving back to their community. So read on for more on the bonds of DOA, Brazilian waxes and more.
Kendra: I have a niece who is as old as your band. What’s the secret to sticking together for so long?
Jimmy Brown: I guess probably the thing that’s kept us together the most is the fact that my brother and I are two of the original members, and I guess we’re kind of bound by blood.
Kendra: Was there any time in those 13 years when the band took a break?
Jimmy: It hasn’t always been constant music. I mean we’ve had a few bumps in the road with what we’ve been doing. My brother and I started the band with Stephen Madigan, and a few years into playing in the band Steve was in a car accident and passed away. So I would say that there was almost a two…two and half year time period with my brother I and trying to rebuild you know, trying to find players to play in the band. So there definitely has been down time in the 13 years.
Kendra: That happened to another band I talked to recently. They also lost a member and said that it took a while to find someone capable of replacing their lost friend. So you said it took about two and a half years?
Jimmy: Yeah, it took about two and a half years to find someone that we were comfortable playing with, and then without going into detail the situation was horrific with that new person. So there was kind of another break after that, almost another I would say five months maybe.
Kendra: Moving on to the music, when’s the last time you released a full record? Because as I was researching you all, it seemed around 2008 and everything since has been single after single, is that right?
Jimmy: Yeah, basically what we were doing is we released a single every month this year. Just trying to create a buzz, because everything in the music industry is so fast and everybody wants everything now, now, now, now. So we just wanted to try and create a buzz and give our fans something really special by putting out a song every month for them. I mean it’s a record, but not a record. We would just write a song, record it, release it and kind of repeat the process every month.
Kendra: Are there any plans to make those 12 songs a full album fans can buy whole?
Jimmy: Yeah, actually already this year we released a limited edition CD package that had the first six singles on it, and then end of the year we plan on putting together another package where they’ll be able to buy all 12 of the singles on a limited edition CD.
Kendra: What were some of your musical highlights from 2012?
Jimmy: Well obviously we just played Merry Meltdown . That was unreal. We got the chance to play with so many bands that I respect, admire and just enjoy their music; Anberlin is just one of my favorite bands. I would have to say that was my highlight. It capped off the year really well. I mean the year as a whole has been really amazing, from putting out the singles every month to the videos we’ve been putting up on YouTube; our “Call Me Maybe” cover’s doing really well on there. The whole year has been kind of a highlight for us.
Kendra: Did you all get involved with the particular charities you work with because of a personal connection, or did you guys just like what they do?
Jimmy: Well what they (H.A.N.D.S. On International) do is they help homeless people and low income families, and every Sunday they cook breakfast in the park for homeless people, or whoever wants to come and eat. And I went and helped out one morning, and I loved it so much and I felt so stoked from going there. It just kind of happened naturally and we started working with them.
Kendra: What are some of the things you guys do for them?
Jimmy: We volunteer, we have put together shows where the proceeds go to them, our “Love Not Money” shirts that we sell, the proceeds go to them. We just do anything we can do.
Kendra: Does DOA have plans to add more charities to their list?
Jimmy: Definitely. For me personally, the most amazing thing about playing music is the fact that we can help other people through what we’re doing. I definitely plan on working with as many charities as possible; things that touch my heart and I want to help out with.
Kendra: Back to some more about music…East coast bands always seem to have this strong bond between them that I don’t necessarily see with west coast bands…Is there a lot of west coast love I just haven’t noticed, or is it that there are just more bands coming up from the east that it appears they have more love for one another?
Jimmy: Um…You know I can’t really say in a, how do I put this? On a local level for a long time rather than it being a music scene, it’s been more of a competition on the west coast, but I can’t really speak on the east coast local scene because I don’t know. But the bands that I have had the chance to meet from the east coast that are on the local level, I feel like we get a little more love from them.
Kendra: Does the band always have crazy bets like the one that left one of you hairless down under around Halloween?
Jimmy: That’s mostly our bass player Roger and our manager John. They like to bet each other, they’re just so competitive. I think it’s mostly so they can just mess with each other. They make these bets, but it’s just those two.
Kendra: Since you got to play Merry Meltdown with a lot of bands that were the shit when I was in high school, I want the top 5 songs you’d put on a mixtape by the bands you shared the stage with at that show, go!