By Michael Botsford and Sami Yazdanyar
SAN ANTONIO - What do you get when you take a bunch of super talented musicians that rarely practice, a drummer that sings lead, a guitar player with the biggest pedal board in town, and whole lot of love for Michael Jackson? Bad Breaks! Click here to watch…
Bad Breaks are the progeny of Chuck Kerr, a man who makes singing and swatting the snare look easy. For fans of Spoon, Tom Waits and Elvis Costello - Bad Breaks is breaking down sonic barriers with their fusion of pop, noise, and rock'n'roll. With a new album and a big show coming up, the guys of Bad Breaks are sharing the secret to keeping rock and roll exciting in the Alamo City.
“I have lots of experience playing with different bands and I formed Bad Breaks in 2009 as an outlet for my own songwriting,” explains vocalist and drummer Chuck Kerr. “Originally, we were a trio with Jackson Albracht (Cartographers) on guitar and Marcus Rubio on bass. I played keys, drums and sang at the same time. The current lineup is the strongest by far, and the best set of songs as well.”
With tons of starving musicians in the San Antonio area, we asked Kerr how he formed the ultimate lineup for Bad Breaks.
“Well, I put out a Craigslist ad,” he joked. “No, actually, these guys I have known for quite awhile. I’ve been playing with Marcus since 2008. Alex moved to town and I scooped him up into my band as quickly as possible. Ryan I met most recently and we rescued him from a show we were at and asked him to play with us.”
Kerr may have written their latest album, but he thanks much of its success to the talent of his band members.
“I write demos in Garage Band and put the songs together piece by piece and instrument by instrument. I bring it to the guys and it’s like a screenplay. I write something and give it to a bunch of really good performers and they bring it to life,” says Kerr.
With each one bringing in their own vibe to the table, their capability to mesh styles and arrangements is evident in their latest recordings.
“It’s cool because we do so many different styles that we become very comfortable playing with each other. Chuck will say he has a song that sounds like Spoon and we all know what he wants,” says bassist Ryan M. Teter.
“I love the terror of the stage. We never know exactly what is going to come out. You are playing a show, you play it, and it’s gone. You might as well have fun and have it be spontaneous,” says pianist Alex Wash.
Having accumulated various instruments over time, Bad Breaks aren’t scared to give their audience something new time and time again.
“The chaos pad delivers exactly what the name promises. You can make some really insane noises with it. It’s a multi-effects processor and it has a touch-screen so you hit a note and it samples and loops and does crazy things to your sound,” says guitarist Marcus Rubio.
Showing us what it’s all about, Bad Breaks performed two tracks from their self-titled album in The Garage studio.
“The track ‘Get It Right’ is a rock song we put together with some crazy piano parts,” said Kerr. “The record has horns and all kinds of fun stuff. ‘Chapter and Verse’ is a straight ahead rock and roll track.”
With the album now available, the members of Bad Breaks have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from friends and fans alike.
“We just had a CD release party at 502 bar. We started working on the album about 8 months ago with our friend Jaime Raider who is a producer in town. We sold a ton of albums and the response far exceeded my expectations and encourages us to keep the project going,” says Kerr.
Bad Breaks will be playing at the Rock vs. Rap Showcase on August 31 at Limelight (2718 North Saint Mary's Street) with The Tontons, Milli Mars, and Zeale.
“It's going to be a mix of genres, a hip-hop and indie rock melting pot. The Tontons are a great female-fronted indie rock band from Houston, and Milli Mars and Zeale are both up-and-coming rappers to watch. Sure to be a great party.”
Their 11-track self-titled album is now available on iTunes, CDBaby, and BandCamp.
For more information check them out on Facebook
Are you in a band or know of somebody here in San Antonio that should spend some time in our garage? Please let us know! Email MichaelBotsford@woaitv.com
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