They say that family is the strongest bond and, when it comes to 25-year-old ska-punk veterans Voodoo Glow Skulls, a band which contains three brothers, the proof is in the pudding.
"The plus side is that family can communicate like no one else can usually; the downside is that there is less of a filter with family communication," says guitarist Eddie Casillas, when asked about the family aspect of the band.
His claim to their survival "is that the three brothers are just that, brothers, and [they] still like playing live. [They] can easily get away from each other for several weeks then regroup."
What started as a mostly family band with the Casillas brothers (Frank, Eddie and Jorge) exploded onto the ska and punk scenes in the '90s with the addition of a horn section. If their influences are any giveaway (Fishbone and The Red Hot Chili Peppers), you'll be tearing it up on the dance floor. Hell, they've even shared the stage with the powerfully pop-driven Mighty Mighty Bosstones. With these factors came a popularity that few independent bands see (if hearing "Fat Randy" on the radio and hearing "Shoot the Moon" in the 1996 Pauly Shore movie Bio-Dome is any indication), plus with songs like "El Coo Cooi," they display their bilingual roots.
Their roots are also as independent artists.
" [An independent label] makes you feel like you're free to create and do as you please artistically," Casillas says. "Because of this spirit, "the first time we heard 'Fat Randy' on KROQ, we were blown away. We never pictured our sound on the major airwaves. It was exciting to be heard by so many in an instant."
As far as how they feel about ska-punk now, Eddie believes that "the sound of ska punk is nostalgia mostly. You can only do so much out of the box; then it turns into something else."
Over the decades, not only has their musical style evolved but so has their taste.
"[I] really dig Muse and Queens of the Stone Age," he says, which he considers "two prolific and amazing live bands."
Voodoo Glow Skulls is quite capable of playing major venues and dive bars alike. About a decade ago, they were playing The Mason Jar to a packed crowd of punks and rudies skankin' in the pit. Now, you can lace up your boots and dance it up with friends at Crescent Ballroom.
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