It’s ill-advised to get a tattoo of your lover’s name, but not the name of local reggae/ska/punk outfit, The Expendables. Despite the impermanence suggested by the moniker, many fans invested in Expendables-themed ink, long before the guys offered free tickets to the Vans Warped Tour in an online tattoo contest. Devotion to the band dates back to 1997, when guitarist Raul Bianchi, drummer Adam Patterson, bassist Ryan DeMars, and lead vocalist/guitarist Geoff Weers—now living on the same block in Pleasure Point—met in high school. Immediately, they began constructing feel-good jams about drinking (they’re sponsored by Jägermeister), smoking and partying, through optimistic and philosophical lyrics. “Positive people have a better time in life,” says Patterson. “It’s no fun being grumpy all the time. Don’t sweat the small things … there is a good side to everything, even if you don’t see it.” His attitude is reiterated throughout their fifth LP, 2010’s Prove It, especially during “Positive Outlook,” in which “a positive mind can rule all of mankind” is repeated. The album boasts appearances by members of Slightly Stoopid—Patterson calls them his “number one influence by far” (Sublime and The Police follow)—who run the band’s label, Stoopid Records. For him, Slightly Stoopid is “the first band to incorporate metal and reggae together—and punk too. It’s kinda what we wanted to be like in our heads, and they were already doing it.” Respected for mashing genres themselves, The Expendables now headline The Catalyst, for two consecutive nights. Patterson explains, “one night seems to not be enough—we want to give all the kids in our hometown time to see us.” True to the band’s nature, he assures they’ll “treat it as more of a party instead of a show,” so prepare for a weekend of moshing, with one of the most established (yet down to earth) bands around.
INFO: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, August 19-20. The Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 423-1338. 16+.