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Ballyhoo! An Interview of Few Words


by William Henneberger
Thanks to the checkered ink around my wrist, it’s never been a secret that I enjoy the upbeat, muted guitar sounds of Ska… and I take my Ska anyway it comes, with a little bit of Punk, or some Reggae. I like it dirty, clean, sharp or flat. I would have named my first kid Rudie, if my wife hadn’t dated a guy by the same name. I digress. If you haven’t yet been exposed to reggae-punk ballyhoo of Ballyhoo!, there’s never been a better time then now. Fresh off the release of their latest record they will be making a stop in our Sublime-loving city.

I had the chance to cook up a few questions for vocalist Howi Spangler. Don’t worry, the interview is easier to understand than the gibberish above.

VENT: I am a 32 year-old man, and when I hear those Ballyhoo! vocals I get a funny feeling inside… Should I be worried, what is it I’m feeling?

HOWI: It’s perfectly natural to have those feelings. Our music seems to have that effect on a lot of people, men and women. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed, just go with it.

VENT: Over the years on your tracks, I think I’ve heard everything from piano to scratching and I think some fiddle or something… what’s next?

HOWI: 10,000 didgeridoos!

VENT: I play the Ocarina; can I get in on the next record?

HOWI: Only if you can summon a horse to traverse the fields of Hyrule so we can destroy Ganondorf.

VENT: Texas is still a pretty conservative state, especially when it comes to marijuana laws, what would you say to our Governor Rick Perry if I kidnapped him and put him in the front row of a Ballyhoo! Show?

HOWI: Fix that shit, Rick!

VENT: Let’s say that I can’t get through Perry’s security detail so I can only nab our local Mayor Nelda Martinez. How could you convince her to stop having cops raid local smoke shops for selling synthetic marijuana?

HOWI: Make her watch Adult Swim.
VENT: If you were on stage during a 311 cruise, and the ship hits an iceberg… there’s nothing you can do, so you keep playing… what song from your catalog would you guys play…

HOWI: We would probably play “Outta My Mind” and then start brainstorming on how the hell there is an iceberg in the Caribbean.

VENT: Then 2 ½ minutes later… you still have time for one more song. There aren’t enough lifeboats… people are running in circles naked and screaming, freaking out… what COVER would you play to help the crowd through this inevitable tragedy?

HOWI: “Red Red Wine”

VENT: Lastly, what genre of music goes best with these Ballyhoo synonyms?

Commotion: Pop
Hullabaloo: Rock and Roll
Racket: Creed Tribute Bands
Ruckus: Punk Rock
Kerfuffle: Children’s Music
Shemozzle: Anything on a Bar Mitzvah playlist

Check out the new album, Pineapple Grenade, out now… but if that’s not enough, and you know it ain’t, you can catch Ballyhoo! on the Summer Sickness Tour, along with Authority Zero.

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