The members of local Reggae band, Bangarang, compare their sound to Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Sublime, and Bob Marley. They draw influence from these bands, plus others like Blink 182, The Who, and Jimmy Eat World.
Bangarang will play at The Rialto Theatre on Thursday in the “Tucson’s Best” Showcase: SKA/Reggae Edition.
“I am very excited to play at one of the premiere venues in Tucson,” said vocalist Tom Sellers. “Some of our favorite bands have played there, and those bands have profoundly influenced our music.”
Sellers started out playing solo shows at The Rock. He asked his friend, Joe Catallini, to play a few songs with him one night. A.J. Ward happened to be in the crowd and wanted to form a band with the two after hearing them play. They then recruited Catallini’s roommate, Micah Donovan.
“I always wanted to start a band while at the University of Arizona and finally got the right people involved at the right time,” said Sellers. “I can’t say enough about my fellow members of Bangarang, they are all very talented and creative musicians.”
The lineup they have today is consistent with the one upon their creation in the spring of 2102, with vocalist Tom Sellers, guitarist Joe Catallini, drummer A.J. Ward, and bassist Micah Donovan.
The band has yet to play at this venue and look forward to playing at another location, not only for the large audience but also for the sound quality.
Although this is an exciting step for Bangarang, they will always be thankful for the start The Rock has given to them.
“The Rock is where we as a band have grown up. It’s really our home,” said Sellers. “The Rialto is a great opportunity because it is a change of scenery and is a larger venue, but I myself will always love playing at The Rock.”
Besides the change of scenery, the members of Bangarang are really looking forward to performing because they have been spending a lot of time in the recording studio lately.
The band is planning to put out a five song EP in the coming months, but have no set release date yet. They have finished recording all of the instruments for the songs and are working on editing them for the finished product, according to Ward.
Sellers said that his favorite part of recording is “watching a song come together part by part. You start with nothing, and after hours of work, have an entire song.”
“My favorite part of recording is being done with my drum parts and seeing the song progress instrument by instrument,” Ward added. “I am a perfectionist … I like to help out with the production side as much as I can and the rest of the members in the band look to me for this because of my previous experience with recording and also because I just have a natural ear for hearing things that others might not pick up.”
“My favorite part is looking out into the crowd while playing a song and witnessing the reactions on people's faces. When other people enjoy the music we make, it makes me happy and very proud to be a musician that people like to watch and hear,” said Ward.
On the other hand, Sellers is addicted to the energy they get from the crowd when performing.
“I love playing shows,” he said. “We have an intimate connection between our band and our music we create and we love when the audience is feeling it as much as we are. That energy gets us going and pushes us even further.”
Bangarang knows how to get a crowd energized and make sure that everyone is having a good time and enjoying the show throughout their entire set.
Sellers also added that besides performing, creating the music and believing in the power its holds is another main reason why he loves being in the band.
“Music is a very fundamental part of life and it connects everyone,” he said. “No matter what kind of person you are or what kind of genre you prefer, music is an intrinsic part of being human.”