From left: Jason Cardenas, Lain Weck, Brian Garbark and Justin Jay. Photo by Michael Klayman.There must be an unwritten law in San Diego that makes it a crime to exist in only one band. It's as common to run across a drummer dividing his time between three different groups as it is to find a guitarist who's finishing up a solo project while in the midst of a whirlwind tour with his main act.
Boyscout does little to end this phenomenon: Guitarist Lain Weck plays in Marasol and Fever Sleeves; drummer Justin Jay plays in Hialeah and, until recently, Japanese Sunday; second guitarist Jason Cardenas wields an ax for Transfer; and second drummer Brian Garbark beats the skins for Modern Rifles.
Two guitarists and two drummers?
“All it reminds me of is how much tighter my pants just got,” Jay remarks. “Music for someone else's pussy.”
Cardenas thinks it's either “like Led Zeppelin fucking The Melvins in the mouth” or, more likely, “The Melvins fucking Led Zeppelin in the mouth.”
This may be a good time to mention that the men in Boyscout like to drink. On this day it was mimosas, and all four band members were partaking in pitchers of the headache juice. When the guys drink, they like to pull pranks such as creating aliases for themselves for interviews. Weck and Jay showed their love for the Police Academy films by morphing into Commandant Lassard and Commandant Mouser, respectively; Cardenas became Sweetchuck, and Garbark was Tenderfoot.
The Police Academy tie-in was apparently no accident.
Cardenas says the band decided initially to play “soundtrack music.” Specifically, he says, Boyscout's music is meant to accompany Police Academy Two. So, just like folks can cue up Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon as a soundtrack to The Wizard of Oz, Boyscout's entire future catalog is, theoretically, meant to be heard with Mahoney, Hightower, Tackleberry and Hooks on their second adventure together providing the visuals.
When pried, the band members say their music is akin to “Black Sabbath meets Thin Lizzy.” Once you hear the band, though, you can also throw in Queens of the Stone Age, The Jesus Lizard, Polvo and, of course, The Melvins and Led Zeppelin. They bleed bad-ass instrumental rock, but they somehow avoid overindulgence.
“None of us actually play anything like [Boyscout] in any of our other bands. This group came from some sort of external source,” Weck explained.
“We all had different sounds we were going for, and our backgrounds were from different places,” Cardenas added. “The idea was to get together and write as many tunes as we possibly can.”
The catalyst for the group was a cancelled gig involving Jay's former band.
“My old band Japanese Sunday went on tour in Japan,” Jay explained. “Most of us had a great time, but our singer / guitarist Eric didn't really have a good time. He kicked me out of the band while we were on tour for going to sing karaoke with a couple of Japanese ladies. We got back and we played a great show at The Casbah, then Eric decided to not be in the band anymore, but he didn't tell anybody except for Lain, who's not in the band. We had a show on Friday, and Lain approached me that Tuesday and said, ‘Hey, you wanna start a band?' And out of Protestant guilt, I said, ‘Yeah, I'll play in a band with you for one night, one night only.' We conned [Cardenas] into it with a bottle of Black Velvet liquor.”
Garbark joined later, but the self-proclaimed “anti-band band” was born. No bass player—the guitarists use octave pedals to fill out the low end—two drummers and, of course, no singers. The members feel strongly that lead singers are the most common cause for band break-ups.
“If anything is gonna break up this band,” Jay concludes, “it's alcoholism.”
Boyscout play a free show with Firethorn, Heavy Glow and Nautical Disaster on Sunday, Jan. 31, at The Casbah.