Today’s guest blogger is the lovely “Dawn Of The Underground”. She keeps us aware of the indie bands that are doing great things on a national level, especially the ones who call the DMV home. Today DOTU brings us an interview with “The Bumpin’ Uglies”, and she helps us get familiar with their “White Boy Reggae” sound. Enjoy!
by Dawn Of The Underground
Who are The Bumpin’ Uglies? Individually they are Brandon Hardesty – Vocals, Guitar; Dave Wolf – Vocals, Bass; and Timothy Jones – Drums. Originally from Annapolis, Maryland, their “East Coast White Boy Reggae” is definitely something the untalented should not attempt. Fortunately Brandon and crew are talented, hard-working, and collectively have a sincere fun loving sense of humor that is very evident in their songs. The band’s music has been described as white reggae, beachey, just plain feel good, relaxing, sway to the music music. It is a comforting feel-good experience — kinda like a cold drink on a summers day, on your favorite beach, with your toes curled in the sand. Their success as a consistently nationally touring indie band from the DMV is an important example to up-and-coming indie bands from the area who are looking to find ways to tour outside of the region. They also serve as an example of how doing exactly what feels right, both musically and lyrically, no matter how unexpected it seems to the masses, is the best way for independent artists to achieve their goals. The track “White Boy Reggae” is a perfect example of that.
To watch the expressions on people’s faces, when you mention the band “The Bumpin Uglies” is priceless. I was privileged to have an intimate encounter with the band in a little bar in Gainesville, Florida called The Library on one of the coldest nights in Florida in recent history. I managed to cozy myself in front one of the only space heaters, while the band played in sub zero temperatures on a crisp wind driven winter night. On February 21st they released their live album “Load in/Load out: Live at the 8×10”, and they took some time to talk to me recently.
DOTU: How did you come up with the band name “The Bumpin Uglies”?
BU: The band name was actually mostly thought up by someone who’s no longer in the band. My friend Zach and I used to jam with acoustic instruments down by the harbor in Annapolis until we would make enough money in tips to buy a case of beer. We eventually started playing in bars and decided that we needed a name. We wanted it to be funny, clever, and memorable. We were sitting around drinking beer one night tossing names back and forth and he (so he claims) came up with Bumpin Uglies.
DOTU: Do you mind, or intend the band name to be associated with the urban dictionary meaning of “Bumping Uglies”?
BU: Yes absolutely, part of the appeal of the name was the double (or even triple) entendre of it.
DOTU: Do you support the practice?
BU: Yes. It’s part of a healthy exercise regimen. 9 out of 10 doctors approve and that other doctor sucks.
DOTU: Have you, or your band mates; Bumped Uglies?
BU: Independently: yes. Collectively: never.
DOTU: Ultimate Tour (Living or Dead) if you had a chance to tour with, who would you like to?
BU: It would’ve been cool to tour with Sublime or Streetlight Manifesto but Bradley’s dead and Streetlight just announced they’re done touring so i don’t think either of those will ever happen. Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, or Neil Young would be super-enjoyable to me personally but I don’t think it would make a lot of sense musically.
DOTU: Favorite Superpower?
BU: I always liked Batman. His superpower is essentially just being awesome.
DOTU: Best on tour prank you played on some one?? Some one played on you (Your band)
BU: Best tour prank I’ve ever seen done was a band sticking a whole bunch of condoms on another bands trailer using mayonnaise. Classy as fuck.
DOTU: Favorite late night snack?
BU: Chips and salsa
DOTU: What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you while on tour?
BU: Most awful thing in recent memory was having our transmission go up while we were in Florida. We had to cancel the tour and we were stranded in Florida while the shop fixed the van. Fortunately our friends Renae and Eric live in St. Augustine and they let us crash with them while the 4 day repair took place. The worst part is the mechanic did a shit job so we had to get another transmission job as soon as we got home. A total nightmare.
DOTU: What is the strangest thing anyone has said to you?
BU: Someone told me recently they conceived their child listening to our music. Very cool, but slightly weird.
DOTU: Where do you get inspiration for your songs?
BU: Nowhere in particular. I just write about whatever strikes me. I wrote most of Free Candy about personal experiences I was going through at the time and Ninjah (the current release) had a lot of story based tunes. Sometimes I’ll watch a movie and I’ll really get into the plot and I wanna tell the story from a different angle so I write a song about it. I pretty much just take the idea’s as they come and run with them!
DOTU: What are your musical influences?
BU: Sublime, Reel Big Fish, Mad Caddies, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, The Avett Brothers, and The Beatles.
DOTU: Are there any stories behind the creation of any of your songs? Which one(s)?
BU: One Foot is a song about a house party I had when I was 16 years old. My dad decided to go out of town the weekend of my 16th birthday and I threw a raging party. It was like something out of one of those shitty highschool movies. 200 something wasted teenagers stomping around a house, bunch of shit got stolen and broken. It’s funny now but it was definitely not a joke when it happened.
DOTU: What is Cali roots? And what are you doing with them?
BU: The California Roots Festival is arguably the biggest festival in the reggae/rock genre. It happens every year in Monterey, CA over memorial day weekend. This years headliners are 311, Rebelution, Damien Marley, Steel Pulse, and the list goes on and on. We’ve wanted to get on this festival for the last few years and it never quite worked out so we’re beyond excited to be playing this years line up. We also recently found out that we’re playing the pre party for 311’s annual 311 Day show down in New Orleans on 3/10. Bunch of really cool shit coming that we’re very excited about.
DOTU: Where can people get more information about your band? Website? Merchandise? Upcoming concerts, and your live album?
BU: Bumpin Uglies | Official Site www.bumpinugliesmusic.com
That’s it from me for now — and bump uglies! It’s good for ya!
Dawn of the Underground