BeatCrave brings you insane rock ‘n roll band, The Ringers, as part of our Know Your LA Bands series. If you haven’t heard of these guys yet, you are missing out BIG TIME. These guys have played with big names such as New York Dolls and Semi Precious Weapons but also continue to play with local acts such as Saint Motel and Rumspringa. So, with that said, there is no excuse: You MUST see The Ringers live. Why? Maybe because no matter who or where the audience is, their chaotic and possibly mentally deranged (but entertaining) stage antics are a vision to see and an energy to thrill you. Their stage presence has even been captured in Guitar Hero 4: World Tour.
Although a few members originally came to city of angels for an acting career (untamed front man, Joe Hursley, is the face of the new Got Milk campaign), The Ringers now have a musical reputation big enough to be likened to The Stooges. Starting to believe me now? (Come on. Who writes songs about seducing a nun?)
Well then, I’ve got awesome news: The Ringers have plenty of upcoming shows. First off, they play San Diego’s Casbah on January 26th. They follow that with a show at San Francisco’s Harlot on February 4th. Of course, they also play Los Angeles at 3 of Clubs on Feb. 5th. Check out their MySpace for more dates.
Want to get pumped before then? Check out their latest video for “Tell Me About It” from their album, Headlocks and Highkicks, and see what the band had to say in our exclusive interview with them below!
A few of you moved out here to be actors. Do you think it’s easier to have the best of both worlds (acting and music) in Los Angeles than it would be in New York?
Joe Hursley: The whole industry is a big uncharted sea of talent…I have spent quite a bit of time in NYC… It’s a lovely city and fun to get lost in, but at the end of the day if I’m gonna be in the trenches grinding away at this craft I need some sunshine to heal the toll it takes. I have found so much beauty in the state of California, I feel it’s more than just living here to pursue the arts. I also feel lucky to be so close to the mountains and ocean. The Ringers camp out in there van on the highways of America and if you’re gonna serenade your dreams with the warm exhaust of interstate traffic, it’s nice to have that oceanic mountain air mixed in.
How did you choose The Ringers as the band name?
JH: I define a ringer as anyone who knows themselves and their skill level inside the domain they throw themselves into, but remains humble while maintaining his inner savage warrior.
You’ve been compared to The Stooges quite a bit. What do you think of that?
JH: The Stooges are a trailblazing legacy leaving band… We have a lot of the same raw instincts, and I can only hope to have the career they have. At the end of the day, THE RINGERS are a whole ‘nother beast.
Joe Robinson: Flattered; The Stooges brought more attitude and raw power and get it to a show than anyone else at that time. It’s better than, say, Richard Marx, even though his feathered mullet is one of the greatest head pieces ever to be worn.
Everyone says your live shows are insane. Who’s gotten the worst injury on stage so far?
JH: We’ve had some close calls but nothing too crazy. We have found out that blood and sweat feel the same when they drip down you and electricity can really make your hands curl up like little talons until the shocking stops… it hurts so good…
JR: We all get constantly banged up. Sometimes the crowd does too. A piece of The Viper Room ceiling came down one night when Joe H was jumping into the crowd and took out a few fans. No one is safe at a Ringers show – especially the bartender.
The video for “Tell Me About It” seems to capture your guys’ style pretty well. How did the concept for it come about?
JH: Chris Ash and Toni Gallagher masterminded the whole thing and we just played for a day…They did all the work… Well, we did have to pose for 10000 photos, but it only felt like 2000.
You guys have played with both big names and local names. Is there a difference in the audience members or does it not matter?
JH: Big names usually mean big audience, but does NOT mean better. Some of my favorite shows are when we play little intimate venues that turn into Thunderdome Sweatfests and leave a stain in your memory that is hard to top. For me, it’s always been the vibe of the room and not who is playing in it…but then again, we haven’t felt any real festival shows or stadiums yet.
Is there anything you would change about the LA music scene?
JH: I’m just glad to be a part of bringing back some real deal rock n’ roll to Los Angeles… It’s refreshing.
How do most people react when they find out Joe (Hursley) is the face for the new Got Milk campaign?
JH: Anything I do on the theatrical avenues of my life have only helped in bringing attention to everything else I do creatively. I look at this whole quest I’m on as an entertainer, as a fun journey rooted in truth, and I am blessed to have made a living doing what I love…
What’s your favorite venue to play in LA?
Patrick Hursley: I’ve heard the Fonda is pretty nice, and the Wiltern seems cool. Any openings?
Do you guys own Guitar Hero 4: World Tour now?
JH: We do. They sent us one… Pat has been setting up the practice space with it and we are all ready to play. I guess all we need now is an xBox, but it looks good.
PH: Yeah, we will probably stop writing songs, to focus on our Guitar Hero careers.
What band/artist are you especially digging right now?
JH: The Muslims and Japanese Motors have been two CDs I’ve really enjoyed. The Muslims changed their name to something… but yeah, both bands, to me, are in the same vein and got some fun tunes.
PH: The new Bronx album is radical. I always look forward to hearing what they come up with.
JR: I recently rediscovered ELO. Jeff Lynne is a genius.
Is it fun to be partially naked on stage?
JH: It’s fun to be naked in general.
If you actually successfully seduced a nun, would you feel guilty or proud?
JH: The way she was dressed, she was asking for it.
What’s the last movie that’s made you go “holy shit” afterward?
JH: Slumdog Millionaire. Before that, Twentynine Palms… Yikes.
PH: Other than the newest Beethoven flick, and after fast forwarding through most of Mamma Mia! I could use some recommendations.
Tell us one thing about yourself we probably don’t already know.
JH: I love to nibble on puppy ears.
JR: I don’t care for mustard.
Photography by John McCauley