We Are The Union - Not being biased because I trombone for them now. they’ve been my favorite band for a while. Lyrical content is probably the most superior of any ska band. also very pop-punk (if you like stuff like the wonder years, such gold, set your goals, a loss for words)
Survay Says! - Also one of my favorites, and not being biased cause i toured with them. Super energic, with songs that go hard musically and lyrically. They do the ska pop-punk thing, as well, but more mid 2000′s pop punk.
The Best of the worst - Ska-core who rips. Lyrical content is also very strong. Their songs aren’t basic major chords like a lot of ska bands. sometimes it gets super technical (for a ska band). their drummer is a beast.
The A-OK’s - Super fun, very third wave ska punk band out of Denver. Their music is just really fun, horn parts get stuck in my head sometimes. can’t listen to them without skanking tbh
Chase long beach - Honestly one of the best ska bands of the last 10 - 15 years. Female fronted, and powerful. Their horns ripped, they were making strides, then suddenly broke up
The Duppies - Trad ska/rocksteady from gainesville, FL. one of the tightest ska bands i’ve seen live. Their horns are super jazz influenced, and they have that old school ska sound down extremely tight. Very danceable
Fandangle - They were gaining a lot of hype, though i think they’re from europe. They have a full length out that was like, one of my favorite ska records in high school. i heard they were inactive, but recently got back together
The Spitvalves - Orlando Florida ska punk band made up of a bunch of dudes who really love hardcore. Now inactive, but most of the members now play in a hardcore punk band called the attack
The last slice - If you like the planet smashers, you’ll like the last slice. very 2-tone sounding third wave ska. Their songs also get me skanking every time
Oreskaband - If you don’t mind listening to music in japanese, they’re one of my favorite ska bands. Super energetic, have a pure ska sound. All female band. Their name actually translates to girl ska band in japanese lol
Hope you check out all these bands! Most of them are active, and at least half of them are touring over the next year, so keep an eye out for them!
For all you that don’t know most touring bands have what is called a Tour Manager. They make sure that the band has everything they need to give 110% every night when the perform. Our bud John James Ryan Jr. tour manages our homies The Wonder Years. If you’ve ever watched TWY live and seen a dude with a crazy Hawaiian shirt chances are you know how awesome JJR is. We recently released a hawaiian shirt in his name that represents him perfectly. JJR recently spoke to us about how he started touring and why he loves Hawaiian shirts!
1) How did you start touring?
I dropped out of college to play saxophone in a touring ska-core band called The Flaming Tsunamis. We did so many 3 month long DIY tours and every single one made me happier and happier to be out gigging. Eventually I also joined up with We Are The Union and starting pulling double duty as far as touring goes. Doubling the amount of tours I was doing for two years. August of 2008 TFT called it quits as far as touring goes. May 2009 I departed WATU and went home to be off the road for the first time in years. It wasn’t even a week before my buds in A Loss For Words called me and said they wanted me out with them. Tour managing came super easy to me because I did most of the business work for my previous two bands. True American Gigger.
2) How’d you end up with TWY?
Al4w TWY and energy did a tour together in fall of 2009. To this day it’s still one of my favorite tours I’ve ever done. So many shows. So many days. After that tour was over TWY had a short run in November and the dude they had with them couldn’t do it so they hit me up. We got in that van and the rest is history. 5 years of traveling the world with 6 hungry dudes. It’s been a pretty sweet ride so far.
3) Why wear hawaiian shirts to every show?
They are just my style. I wore them all the time growing up in junior high and high school. I think there was a year or two where I tried to convince myself they weren’t cool. But then I remembered that I myself am not cool. I love the comfort. I love the look. I love that casual feeling of relaxation. that’s what I get with a good Hawaiian. Been seeing more and more youths sporting the look at gigs around the world and I couldn’t be happier about it. Also I generally get a lot of compliments on my shirts and how it makes people smile. Making someone’s day slightly easier with the use of laughter or a smile is a good enough reason to rock the color explosion button downs.
4) How do you make your custom shirts?
I met a wonderful woman by the name of Andy Davis down in Hollywood, FL who custom makes them for me. She’s such an Incredible seamstress. If it wasn’t for her none of these outrageous Hawaiians would be possible and I wouldn’t even have my own style. She’s definitely my partner in this journey of uncool fashion.
5) How does the John Ryan Hawaiian Button up represent you?
I mean the second I put it on everyone around me just said “sure”. It’s a perfect matchup. Yellow is one of my favorite colors and I think it looks good on most people. (Try it out, I know people are afraid of yellow) the grim reapers are having a great time on this shirt. Skating, surfing, living life to their fullest even in the afterlife. That’s why this shirt is a great representation of me. Both that shirt and I scream “Live”. Just live life to the fullest. Never stop giving your senses a treat and always always always keep that positive mental attitude up. Have fun with planet earth while you and her are both still here.