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Rx Bandits photographed by Mitchell Wotcjik

Rx Bandits



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Hometown: Seal Beach, CA (USA)

About:

The band started out amid other popular southern California ska–influenced acts such as Reel Big Fish and No Doubt. Of the original line–up, only singer/songwriter Matt Embree and drummer Chris Tsagakis remain. Their first two releases were recorded with bassist James Salomone and trombonist Rich Balling. Upon signing to Drive–Thru Records, the band released the album Halfway Between Here and There, a straightforward third–wave ska effort, though lyrics in songs such as "Gun In Your Hand" hinted towards the political leanings which would be evident in their subsequent releases. They are notable for their strong political views, which they share with fans through periodic website posts [1]. They have toured with such bands as label mates New Found Glory and Finch, as well as with DESA, The Exit and Keziah Jones. They have also appeared on the Vans Warped Tour.

Their live shows are known for being highly energetic, with pre–rehearsed jams in between songs. They perform extended versions of many numbers; they fall somewhat short of being a full fledged "jam band," however it is fair to say that they exhibit musicianship live that is not captured by their recordings.

With 2001's Progress, the band took a huge step forward musically. The incarnation of the band which recorded the album consisted of Embree, Tsagaskis, Balling, Salomone, and current trombonist Chris Sheets. Steve Choi played keyboards on the album, but was not credited as a full member of the band, although he often joined the band on stage. With this album, the band moved beyond playing pure ska. Progress involved elements of punk, reggae, and hardcore punk. Indeed, the band itself notes influences ranging from Fugazi and Bad Brains, to Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Toots and the Maytals. The album spawned their only music video, for the song "Analog Boy". Some time after the release of Progress, Steve Choi was made a full time member of the band, however both Rich Balling and James Salomone left the band. They gained saxophonist Steve Borth, who had played formerly in the popular East Bay ska–punk band Link 80. Bassist Joe Troy, a longtime friend of Embree, joined the band as well to complete their current line–up.

In 2003, they released The Resignation, a CD/DVD release. The album was recorded live, with the exception of vocals and some overdubs. Embree also shared songwriting duties with Steve Choi, whereas he had previously been responsible for all of the band's material. Also of note is the album cover, which was originally a painting by Aaron Nagel, a Bay Area artist and member of both Link 80 and DESA. Musically, the album continued the genre mixing of Progress and experimented with unconventional time signatures. It again featured overtly political lyrics, evident most obviously in songs such as "Overcome (The Recapitulation)," and "Mastering the List". Since the release of The Resignation, several members have found time for side projects. Embree is involved with his own independent label, MDB Records, as well as the hip hop group Seekret Socyetee, Coke vs. Bills with Joe Troy, and Apotheke with members of the Rx Bandits. Steve Borth has started the band Satori which plays reggae/rocksteady and features members of The Exit as well as Embree on bass. Steve Choi collaborated with Asian Man Records founder Mike Park in both The Chinkees and The Bruce Lee Band.

As of October 2005, they finished recording on the follow–up to The Resignation.

Related Bands

Link 80, The Sound Of Animals Fighting, Satori, The Bruce Lee Band

Reviews

Rx Bandits / Maps & Atlases live in New York [first night]

Rx Bandits / Maps & Atlases

live in New York [first night] (2011)

live show

Rx Bandits/The Builders and the Butchers live in New York

Rx Bandits/The Builders and the Butchers

live in New York (2010)

live show

Rx Bandits live in Dallas

Rx Bandits

live in Dallas (2009)

live show

Rx Bandits Mandala

Rx Bandits

Mandala (2009)

Sargent House

Rx Bandits / Portugal. The Man live in New York

Rx Bandits / Portugal. The Man

live in New York (2008)

live show

Rx Bandits / Men, Women, & Children / Nurses live in New York

Rx Bandits / Men, Women, & Children / Nurses

live in New York (2007)

live show

Rx Bandits / I Am the Avalanche live in Farmingdale

Rx Bandits / I Am the Avalanche

live in Farmingdale (2006)

live show

Rx Bandits ...And the Battle Begun

Rx Bandits

...And the Battle Begun (2006)

Mash Down Babylon / Sargent House

Rx Bandits / Shafter / Over It / Amity live in Santa Clara

Rx Bandits / Shafter / Over It / Amity

live in Santa Clara (2005)

live show

Reel Big Fish/Lucky Boys Confusion/Rx Bandits live in Minneapolis

Reel Big Fish/Lucky Boys Confusion/Rx Bandits

live in Minneapolis (2004)

live show

Rx Bandits Live Vol. 1 DVD

Rx Bandits

Live Vol. 1 DVD (2004)

Mash Down Babylon

Rx Bandits live in Oakland, CA

Rx Bandits

live in Oakland, CA (2003)

live show

Rx Bandits The Resignation

Rx Bandits

The Resignation (2003)

Drive-Thru

Rx Bandits The Resignation

Rx Bandits

The Resignation (2003)

Drive-Thru

Rx Bandits / Fairweather / No Motiv / The Fight live in Rockford

Rx Bandits / Fairweather / No Motiv / The Fight

live in Rockford (2003)

live show

Rx Bandits live in Washington, DC

Rx Bandits

live in Washington, DC (2003)

live show

Rx Bandits Progress

Rx Bandits

Progress (2001)

Drive-Thru

Rx Bandits Halfway Between Here and There

Rx Bandits

Halfway Between Here and There (1999)

Drive-Thru

Rx Bandits Halfway Between Here and There

Rx Bandits

Halfway Between Here and There (1999)

Drive-Thru

show more

Interviews

Picture of Rx Bandits

Rx Bandits

Thursday, June 19, 2003 at 12:36 AM (EDT)

Related News

Media: RX Bandits: "Wide Open"
RX Bandits have released a music video for the song "Wide Open," from their album, Gemini, Her Majesty, which was released this past July. RX Bandits also released a statement regarding the video. "We shot this video during our…
September 11, 2014
Media: RX Bandits: "Meow! Meow! Space Tiger"
RX Bandits have posted their new song "Meow! Meow! Space Tiger" from their forthcoming crowd-funded studio album, Gemini, Her Majesty, due out July 22. You can click…
July 02, 2014
Media: Rx Bandits back full-time, announce new album
Rx Bandits announced at a show last night that their 10th anniversary tour will become a full reunion…
December 16, 2013
Media: Chotto Ghetto to start recording new album this month
Avant-hardcore act Chotto Ghetto will enter the studio this month to start recording their new album. The band will be working with Steve Choi of the Rx Bandits, who will be the sound engineer. The album is tentatively titled Monstrosity. In 2012, the band released…
December 16, 2013
Tours: The Sound of Animals Fighting / The Appleseed Cast, Unwed Sailor
The Sound of Animals Fighting will be playing some rare shows in March. The Appleseed Cast will support on the west coast dates…
November 22, 2013
Tours: Rx Bandits (UK)
Rx Bandits have announced some 2014 UK dates as part of their tenth anniversary tour for The…
August 27, 2013
Media: Rx Bandits: "21st Century Schizoid Man"
Rx Bandits have posted a stream of their previously physical-exclusive track, prog pioneers King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man from 1969's ,In the Court of the Crimson King. The song is the…
July 03, 2013
Media: Rx Bandits: 'The Covers EP'
Rx Bandits unveiled the last in their series of covers. This was their take on the Fugazi track, "Cashout," from the band's final album The Argument in 2001. Check…
June 24, 2013
Media: Rx Bandits: "Surf Wax America" (Weezer)
The recently reunited Rx Bandits have posted their rendition of Weezer's "Surf Wax America" which will appear on their forthcoming covers album. You can get the download…
June 18, 2013
Media: Rx Bandits: "Falling Man" (Blonde Redhead)
Rx Bandits have posted the second song from their upcoming covers EP. The band tackled Blonde Redhead's "Falling Man." The original song comes from 2004's critically acclaimed…
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