When it comes to Zebrahead, you can already be sure you’re up for one hell of a party. They’ve been throwing feel-good punk rock tunes in the key of happy over the past two decades and are still going strong, heading out to tour Europe and the U.K. in the next few weeks. Having been all over the world and even becoming a household name in Japan, Zebrahead have released 12 studio albums, and even though they still have yet to deliver their follow up to 2015’s Walk the Plank, their audience patiently waits.
If you’re headed to Southern California (or are from there), bassist Ben Osmundson looks back at Zebrahead’s first show in Santa Ana, the first major concert he saw, and the seven places you need to see if you ever drop by to catch some waves.
Where did you play your first local gig and is the venue still around today? Do you remember how it felt to be on stage for the first time?
Our first show was at Koo’s Café in Santa Ana, California. We were super nervous and had no idea what we were doing. The venue closed years ago, but will always have a place in our hearts. It was honestly an incredible place that had local and touring bands playing every night.
What local venues do you frequent (or used to) for a fresh dose of the local music scene? Do you still have time to check it out?
We are lucky here in Southern California. There are many different places to see shows every night. Super close to my house is the Slide Bar where all shows are FREE. Not too far away are the House of Blues and Observatory. Both are bigger venues, but still the right size for being as close as you want to be to the stage. One of my favorite local venues for punk shows is Chain Reaction. I don’t get to go to as many shows as I would like to these days…but always try to make it out when friends pass through town!
Where did you see your first major concert? What band/artist did you watch?
The first big concert I went to was David Lee Roth. I was blown away and wanted to go to as many shows as I could immediately after. I started going to as many shows as I could make it too! Slayer, Jawbreaker, Lagwagon… didn’t matter what kind of music it was I wanted to go.
Are there certain places in your city where you feel songwriting flows the best? What songs did you write in those spots?
To me everything flows better at the beach. Some of our best ideas have come while surfing at places like Newport and Huntington Beach.
What are your favorite music stores (for gear, records, merch) in your city?
Gear wise nothing beats the Hollywood Guitar Center. Only because you never know who your gonna see in there. In my city we have a great pace to buy vinyl called Programme Skate and Sound. They also throw shows there for hardcore bands and are very DIY.
Give 7 places–from gig venues/clubs/bars, famous landmarks, busking areas, and museums people should visit if they go to your city. Why should they visit these places?
Huntington Beach – Bars and Waves…what could be better?
Downtown Fullerton – 1 Million Bars…so much to choose from.
The Wedge – When the swell direction is right the waves get beyond big and it is amazing to watch.
Angel Stadium – Why not go see a baseball game, drink a beer and enjoy some peanuts
Disneyland – Not for me… but tourists sure seem to love it.
House of Blues Anaheim – Brand new and just opened… tons of good shows coming up in the near future.
Programme Skate and Sound – where else can you get a skateboard, pick up vinyl and watch a hardcore show? Kinda cool, if you ask me!