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An H.B. band with Surround Sound

June 12, 2012|By Brittany Woolsey
(Courtesy Brittany…)

Surf City ska/reggae rockers HB Surround Sound say they have one goal - to be bigger than Aerosmith.

With a vivacious stage show and praise from big-name musicians, like Rancid's Tim Armstrong, the quintet is well on its way.

Hailing from Huntington Beach, the guys of HB Surround Sound always knew that music was their calling. After establishing themselves in 1999 after graduating from Marina High School, the band worked diligently to make its way into the music scene.

It opened for the popular Huntington Beach metal band, Avenged Sevenfold, in the early 2000s. Despite playing a different genre of music, HB Surround Sound's music was well received by the crowd.

"That's how cool Avenged Sevenfold is," Jake Bushnell (vocals) said in an interview on Main Street in Huntington Beach. "We sound totally different than them, but they were our friends and decided to put us on their show. We played some reggae stuff but mostly punk and metal kinds of songs. The crowd was like, 'Alright, this is different' and liked it. That was great."

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However, after playing together for six years, the band split up to get "normal" jobs and lives. Bushnell remained in the music scene. In 2009, while a tour manager for The Dirty Heads, he missed performing and decided to try to put the band back together.

"I literally, on the [Dirty Heads] tour bus, one day decided, 'I want to do this again,'" Bushnell said. "And so I called the rest of the band and asked if they wanted to play again. They said yes, I told The Dirty Heads that I was going to go back to my band and we just went for it."

Despite dreams of making it big in the music scene, the guys decided to be realistic and remain at their day jobs, which include retail sales and teaching, as well as give themselves a one-year deadline to gain notoriety.

Since its revival, HB Surround Sound has shared the stage with popular acts, such as The Dirty Heads, The Aggrolites and Bad Religion. The group will tour with Sublime with Rome, Pepper and Cypress Hill this summer. Following that, it will embark on a nationwide tour with The Dirty Heads and Matisyahu in the fall.

Blending sounds of ska, reggae, punk and alternative rock, HB Surround Sound has a genre that is all its own. However, Bushnell has been frequently told that his voice resonates that of punk outfit Bad Religion's Greg Gaffin.

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