It's time to set aside the hip-hop and dive into some true rock 'n' roll. I finally caught up with 'The Discards' lead singer and steel guitar player Craig Geren to fill me in on their concert tonight at the Aggie. With an echo similar to 'The Flaming Lips' and inspired by the inventive sounds of "Ween," you'll have their catchy tunes running through your head for days.
Jennae Mendoza: What might someone expect coming to your concert that knows nothing about you?
Craig Geren: To hear a band that sounds like nobody else. That's the comment we get most often when playing shows.
JM: What type of audiences do you mainly attract?
CG: Well, I think at this stage of the game, we attract people who are interested in and love to discover new music; usually the type of person that is the "first" to discover a new band for their circle of friends. We all have that friend who turns you on to something new.' They are also big supporters of local music which is huge to any scene, be it local music, local art shows etc.
JM: You just replaced your bass player. How is that working out and what is he up to?
CG: Yes, our good friend and bass player Rev had to run with an opportunity in Santa Monica. Casey is the new bassist. (He) has kind of been thrown into the fire in order to honor gigs we had set up prior to Rev leaving and has done a great job of getting up to speed and contributing. Casey's enthusiasm is contagious and we feel lucky to have found him.
JM:What artists inspire you?
CG: Many, many artists inspire us. There may be a certain drum part, bass line, guitar hook or lyric that kind of catches you. As far as one artist that embodies what we are impressed by is Ween. They are able to cross genres, write songs outside the standard mold and, most importantly, bring those songs to life with a great live show
JM How often do you write new songs?
CG: We usually have a few songs that are in the developmental stages and we'll work on them until they are ready to play out or else I'll bring a completed song to the table and give the other guys freedom to play what they want on their parts.
JM: I hear you're working on putting a new CD together. Do you have a working title and what should your fans expect?
CG: We want to give Casey a fair shot at getting comfortable to where he is in a creative mindset rather than a learning mindset before we move forward with the full CD. We have the songs ready from a songwriting standpoint but songs often morph into something a bit different after you've been playing it for a while. No CD title yet…any suggestions?
JM: What's the best advice you've received from another performer?
CG: A gig is a gig. We've never tried to be too elective about playing this venue or that but rather try and play wherever we are asked to and bring it for whoever happens to show up.
For anyone interested in showing up, "The Discards" and Ohio country/punk band "500 Miles to Memphis" will play the Aggie Theater tonight for an all ages show. Tickets are $7 and doors open at 8 p.m. For more information, go to www.thediscards.com