Meet The Bands of the Malibu Guitar Festival 2017

Meet The Bands of the Malibu Guitar Festival 2017

Southern California’s premiere music festival by the sea, The Malibu Guitar Festival, kicks-off its 3rd Annual event May 18 – May 21, featuring headliner Mick Fleetwood Blues Band; Jamtown featuring Donavon Frankenreiter, G. Love & Cisco Adler; Tommy Emmanuel and Hunter Hayes topping the bill on Main Festival Day — Saturday May 20 — at Malibu Village, presented by D ‘Angelico Guitars.

Steve Vai headlines Hot Licks Night on Friday, May 19 at Casa Escobar featuring a female heavy line-up of stellar musicians including Nik West, Lari Basilio, Gretchen Menn and Zepparella. Hollis Brown, The Band Steele, Dankrupt, Carothers Brothers and Karma Dealers also to perform.

For a complete list of the happenings at The Malibu Guitar Festival 2017, visit their website at http://malibuguitarfestival.com/

In the meantime, let’s meet some of the bands ready to enrapture the crowds on this very epic four day celebration of music.   Introducing Dankrupt, Hollis BrownThe Kenneth Brian Band, Mrs. Gill, The Tearaways, and Zepparella!  Read on…

Dankrupt

Introduce yourself, what band you are in, and how long your band has been together.
This is Grant Bogorad & Enrique Paris from the band “Dankrupt” and we have been together for about 3 and a half years.

What are you looking forward to the most about this year’s edition of the Malibu Guitar Festival?
We are most excited for the Casa Escobar Show on Friday, May 19th! From Steve Vai and Lari Basilio to Nik West and The Palms, Friday night is going to be insane! Last year Dankrupt played the main festival and also the after party at Casa Escobar and the energy at the Casa was no joke! Apparently Friday the 19th is about to sell out too.

What could we expect from your performance at the Festival?
We are extremely stoked to debut our new EP “CALIROCK” on stage at the Festival. The EP is released on Wednesday, May 17th and The Malibu Guitar Festival is the start of our Spring Release Tour, so expect a high energy, elevated Dankrupt Show!!

Who is your favorite guitarist of all time and how do you they inspire you?
It truly varies…. For me (Enrique) I would say Slash. Slash has a way of making every note have its own unique characteristics. His solos are very melodic, and at the same time so heavy and powerful.

For me (Grant), I will have to choose George Benson when I’m playing a smoother, more relaxing vibe and Jimi Hendrix brings the more abstract, rock guitarist out of me.

What is your own guitar of choice and why?
Enrique – My go-to guitar is my Gibson Les Paul Standard (goldtop). I’ve owned many different guitars over the past 10 years and for some reason this one is by far the one that have the best sound for me. When I play it I feel that it is an extension of my body. Also, lately I’ve been playing a D’Angelico EX-DC and it brings an interesting and rounded sound to the songs. I love it!

Grant – The past year I have been performing with the D’Angelico EX-SS and it is by far the most beautiful, full guitars I own. This guitar brings that round, vibey Benson tone that I was talking about in our influences. My old faithful guitar is a Road Worn Fender Mexi Strat. When I feel like jumping around stage and really moving, I need the smaller body Strat to really jam.

What advice would you give someone about to attend a four day Malibu Guitar Festival adventure?
Take the time to enjoy each act that’s performing. All the bands and guitar players are totally different with their own unique styles, from different genres and eras and that’s what make this Festival so special. We might be different but we all come together thanks to our passion for the guitar. And every single act on the lineup has some ridiculously talented guitarists, so you can really learn a lot and be exposed to a lot of amazing cultures.

What is up next for your band after the Malibu Guitar Festival?
We kick off our supporting spring tour at the Malibu Guitar Fest on Friday, May 19th, followed by international dates starting at Festival Del Pitic in Hermosillo, Mexico on May 28th. Then we return to the States in June to start our West Coast Tour and continue to promote CALIROCK around Southern California!

Dankrupt on Facebook

Hollis Brown

Introduce yourself, what band you are in, and how long your band has been together.
This is Mike M. I play in the mighty Hollis Brown. We have been running the race as a band about 7 years now. Can’t believe it.

What are you looking forward to the most about this year’s edition of the Malibu Guitar Festival?
Looking forward to playing of course. I’m really looking forward to seeing John Hiatt though, as well as being in Malibu. Curious to see what new D’angelico guitars they will have there too.

What could we expect from your performance at the Festival?
Hopefully some faces melting!

Who is your favorite guitarist of all time and how do you they inspire you?
Wow. Favorite guitarist is a hard one. For me personally I have to go with Chuck Berry or Keith Richards. Which is pretty much the same player really. I am into rhythm carrying the load.

What is your own guitar of choice and why?
D’angelico has been very kind to me and I play their EX-175. Really good tone. Gets a little dirty when I need it to.

What advice would you give someone about to attend a four day Malibu Guitar Festival adventure?
Have fun. Come early, stay late, enjoy the great and versatile music.

What is up next for your band after the Malibu Guitar Festival?
We are on tour through the summer. A lot of festivals, shows, and we are in the studio recording a new single so hope to finish that up soon. A lot of cool stuff in the works for the second half of the year.

Hollis Brown on Facebook

Kenneth Brian of The Kenneth Brian Band

Introduce yourself, what band you are in, and how long has your band been together.
Hi. My name is Kenneth Brian and I’m the lead guitarist and vocalist for The Kenneth Brian Band. I started the band in 2007 and Travis Stephens (Harmony Vocals, Rhythm Guitar) joined in 2009. World-renowned drummer Steve Ferrone (of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and bass guitarist Phil Ill round out our quartet and have been with us for just over two years. Growing up in South Alabama and Gainesville, Florida, I was surrounded by music and started writing music when I was 14. I’m constantly putting pen to paper and contributed all 11 songs for our upcoming album.

What are you looking forward to the most about this year’s edition of the Malibu Guitar Festival?
I’m most excited about the opportunity to play with so many great musicians. Last year was an incredible experience getting to meet and play with some of our heroes. This year of the festival is gonna be even better. We are also releasing our new album ‘With Lions’ on May 19th during the Festival, so I’m pretty excited about that too.

What could we expect from your performance at the Festival?
We will bring a high energy Rock n Roll show and debut the songs of the new album. I can also guarantee a lot of slide guitar.

Who is your favorite guitarist of all time and how do you they inspire you?
Man that’s a tough one but I’ve gotta go with Duane Allman. I’m a slide player and the way he mixed Blues, Jazz, Rock, and Country together really made sense to me at a young age. He took Rock n Roll and Southern Music in a new direction and did it all by the age of 24.

What is your own guitar of choice and why?
My main guitar is a 1952 Gibson Les Paul that was refinished by Gibson to a Sunburst. I grew up playing Fender Telecaster’s but moved to Les Paul’s over the years for the thicker sound and ease of the 24 3/4 scale length. I play heavy strings (13-56) and that scale works a lot better. I’ve found that I can pretty much do anything I need with a Les Paul or LP style guitar, from Rock to Blues, Jazz and Country. Lately I have been playing James Trussart Steel Top and Steel Deville guitars. They are amazing sounding custom instruments based on the LP design but with engraved weathered metals, and beautiful tone woods. I only play guitars that are Made in America!

What advice would you give someone about to attend a four day Malibu Guitar Festival adventure?
Get ready for some amazing music in a seriously beautiful landscape. From the Mountains and Ocean, to the gorgeous weather, Malibu has it all.

What is up next for your band after the Malibu Guitar Festival?
We are hitting the road in support of the new album ‘With Lions’. We’ll be at Summerfest on July 6 and out with Blackberry Smoke late July into early August, so we will see you soon!

The Kenneth Brian Band on Facebook

Mrs. Gill

Introduce yourself, what band you are in, and how long your band has been together.
We are Mrs. Gill, a three piece from Malibu California , we have been playing together for over two years now. Members consist of Griffin Lescher, Carson Gordy, and Cooper Jensen.

What are you looking forward to the most about this year’s edition of the Malibu Guitar Festival?
We are so humbled to have been given the opportunity to perform at the 2017 Malibu Guitar Festival. The opportunity for promotion and networking is definitely an exciting thing. It is especially exciting to play right in our hometown.

What could we expect from your performance at the Festival?
If you like rock and an active exciting show we really encourage you to give us a shot, we get loud and try to bounce a lot of energy off the crowd, we guarantee a good time. We promise to play with as much conviction and heart to a crowd of five people as we would for five thousand.

Who is your favorite guitarist of all time and how do you?
Carson (guitar player for Mrs.Gill): “Probably Tom Morello, his solos are gnarly”

What is your own guitar of choice and why?
Cooper, the bassist, and Carson are both Fender guys. Carson plays a Gibson for the beginning of our set and they make great guitars but when it boils down to it we love Fender’s. Cooper plays an American Standard Bass, and Carson plays a Strat. Those two guitars are definitely our first choices.

What advice would you give someone about to attend a four day Malibu Guitar Festival adventure?
When going to a festival or any sort of display of art, we think an open mind is key to having the best experience. See some groups that you don’t know, meet new people, it’s all about finding memorable experiences where it’s least expected, like maybe seeing our band and really liking our set!

What is up next for your band after the Malibu Guitar Festival?
After the festival we will focus on finishing our album. We hope to have it released in the upcoming month! We also have been discussing a music video, but that endeavor is still at it’s beginning stages. Lastly, we look forward to playing more shows and creating an unforgettable experience for the listener.

Mrs. Gill on Facebook

The Tearaways

Introduce yourself, what band you are in, and how long your band has been together.
John Ferriter from The Tearaways. The band started in Santa Barbara back in 1981 and has played in some form or another since we were in High School and College.

What are you looking forward to the most about this year’s edition of the Malibu Guitar Festival?
I love the great diversity of Musicians who come out to the Malibu Guitar Festival. Looking forward to Mick Fleetwood in particular.

What could we expect from your performance at the Festival?
The Tearaways are playing the Brunch on Sunday again. Last year we did a combination of our music mixed in with some Beatles covers and some of the British Invasion that the Beatles inspired. This year will be a mix of songs from our new CD “DW Hofner, Martin Gibson, Ludwig Rickenbacker, Marshall Gretsch, Earle Hammond & Vox Fender, esq.” Along with songs from our “Earle Mankey Sessions” cds with our favorite Rolling Stones covers. Carla Olson from the Textones is going to sit in with us.

Who is your favorite guitarist of all time and how do you?
There are five of us in the band so you will probably get five different answers – but we have a song called “I Pray Guitar” and in it we single out Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Rory Gallagher, John Lennon, George Harrison, Keith Richard and Brian Jones amongst others.

What is your own guitar of choice and why?
We play vintage Hofner basses (Club and Violin) (we are sponsored by Hofner), we play vintage Gretsch, Rickenbacker, Fender, Martin and Gibson guitars. Too many favorites to choose. We play those because the Beatles used them all.

What advice would you give someone about to attend a four day Malibu Guitar Festival adventure?
Come for all four days and attend the Rolling Stones brunch. Andy Babiuk’s talk alone is worth the whole festival.

The Tearaways on Facebook

Zepparella at Malibu Guitar Festival 2016 – Photo by Jack Lue

Zepparella

Introduce yourself, what band you are in, and how long your band has been together.
I’m Gretchen Menn, the guitarist of Zepparella. Clementine, Zepparella drummer, started the band over 10 years ago. This current lineup with Noelle Doughty and Angeline Saris has been together close to five years.

What are you looking forward to the most about this year’s edition of the Malibu Guitar Festival?
This year we get to have some awesome musicians sit in and jam on some Zeppelin with us, which is going to be a blast. Playing Zeppelin with Steve Vai?! My 15-year-old self would never believe it.

What could we expect from your performance at the Festival?
You can expect us to play some Zeppelin… very loudly.

Who is your favorite guitarist of all time and how do you they inspire you?
I could never pick one. Steve Morse is an enduring favorite–for his unique style, his writing, his integrity. Jeff Beck is a god to me–so much mojo and such a totally individual sound. Steve Vai is one of the guitar’s greatest ambassadors and a virtuoso in the truest sense of the word.

What is your own guitar of choice and why?
My Music Man Silhouette Special is my main guitar for my original music and anything other than Zeppelin. Playing Zeppelin means a Les Paul, and I sure didn’t mind having an excuse to get one. For steel string acoustics I am in love with my Stephen Strahm Eros. For classical guitar I have an awesome Kenny Hill Ruck.

What advice would you give someone about to attend a four day Malibu Guitar Festival adventure?
Bring earplugs and sunscreen. Stay hydrated. Get a portable cell phone charger so you can get all the photos you want. I’m such a dork. I can’t think of anything other than practical and medical advice! 😂

What is up next for your band after the Malibu Guitar Festival?
Lots of shows coming up all over the US. Zepparella stays very busy, and we all have original projects as well. It’s a bit of a juggling act, but a fun one for sure!

Zepparella on Facebook

(Interviews by Ken Morton)

Malibu Guitar Festival Official Home Page

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