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SLC City Weekly Interview : Steve Choi / RX Bandits


RX Bandits Play July 25th at The Complex, Salt Lake City w/ Maps & Atlases and Zechs Marquise.

"Steve Choi gives interviews like he’s a politician. The RX Bandits’ guitarist/keyboardist doesn’t speak like a hypocritical scumbag of a politician, but rather a doggedly idealistic one—a guy with unwavering views and PR-friendly answers to any questions that come his way. Choi is so determined to convey a handful of certain ideas that, during a recent interview, it seemed like he was actively conducting a two-part campaign based around the image of his Long Beach, Calif.-based band.

The first part of his platform insists that RX Bandits have never made a conscious decision in altering their style. Instead, he insists, everything’s been a product of gradual evolution. “We always keep the mentality that it could go in any direction,” Choi says. “We didn’t have any views on the trajectory or where it was headed or how fast it would be heading there. It was kind of like, ‘Let it happen and keep doing it as long as it feels good and right.’ ”

Later, he makes another statement that runs along the same lines: “I feel like we were where we were supposed to be at each stage in our progression.” Try to ask him a question about how the band might hypothetically sound in the future, and he won’t rattle off anything from his imagination, instead vigilantly sticking to his POV that everything is up in the air until the whole group converges in the same room.

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Photo of the Day: Matthew Embree / RX Bandits Toronto


Matthew Embree of RX Bandits in Toronto, Canada at The Mod Club 7/18/11. Beautiful. Photo by Amanda Stevens. 


CMJ photos of RX Bandits , Maps & Atlases, Zechs Marquise on Night 1 of 2 Sold Out shows in NYC at Irving Plaza - July 12, 2011. Now that is one hell of a Sargent House line up! Photos by Colin Colfer. CLICK TO SEE ALL PHOTOS


We Wore Masks Recap & Videos: RX Bandits Tour Houston Show - 7.1.11

RX Bandits have been a long time staple in my musical progression through the ages. I can’t say this about many bands, but they’re one of very few; an elite list of bands that have survived the 2000s on to the 2010s. I first came to love this band during the Progress days of 2001, and have continued to follow and appreciate their progression through the years, the albums, the record label woes and the lineup changes.

When word of the ‘farewell’ tour came around, I was a bit bummed to say the least. One of the most consistent and impressive rock bands calling their live aspect quits isn’t exactly the best foundation for a tour, but alas – there was no way I’d miss this tour.

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Sound Colour Vibration Interview: RX Bandits

Sound Colour Vibration Interview

w/ Matt Embree and Chris Tsagakis of RX Bandits

On the edge of an indefinite hiatus, Rx Bandits are wrapping up a consistent schedule of touring with a string of summer shows. They are completing their summer tour in the place that birthed the band, Southern California. Having crafted a sound with foundations in rock, reggae, punk, and ska, Rx has evolved with every album and influenced many others in the process. With a slew of side projects (i.e. Matt Embree’s Love You Moon, Chris Tsagakis’ Technology, Embree and Tsagakis both in The Sound of Animals Fighting, Steve Choi in Machines, etc.), the group is looking to stretch new musical limbs while giving others time to rest. I sat down with longtime friends and musical partners Matt Embree (Vocals/Guitar) and Chris Tsagakis (Drums) to talk about collaborations, labels, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. -Zack Lazar

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Red River Noise Live Review: RX Bandits, Maps & Atlases, Zech Marquise - Emo’s


Emo’s was a sad site on Wednesday. By all appearances the place was hopping just like any other show on any other night but under the surface everyone was thinking the same sad thought: I wish RX Bandits would stick together and stay on the road. When the band announced in April that the 36 dates they are playing this summer would be their last, fans mourned what they thought to be the end of one of the most forward-thinking bands of the last 10 years. It turns out this is a bit premature. The band is not breaking up entirely, they’re just pulling a Beatles-circa-1966 move. As RX Bandits, the members energy will be channelled to writing new music without the intention of ever performing it live. 

Marfred Rodriguez-Lopez, bass player for psychedelic jammers Zech’s Marquise, reminisced about the first time his band toured with the Bandits in 2009, saying it was only after playing with them that he realized how much his band needed to step up its live game. The El Paso native felt that the Bandits had sent out a challenge and he felt compelled to respond. Rodriguez-Lopez and Co., have evidently taken that challenge to heart. After openers Happy Body Slow Brain finished their set of ethereal indie rock, Zech’s took the stage for a 40-minute for an extended spastic, tripped out jam session. Any review of Zech’s Marquise must make note of each member’s virtuosity. The band left no note unturned and no beat unplayed as they alternated between unrestrained brutality and understated beauty. The set was composed entirely of songs from the band’s forthcoming album Getting Paid, which is set for a September 27 release through Rodriguez Lopez Productions /  Sargent House

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RX Bandits Interview with San Antonio Current


To hear Steve Choi of RX Bandits tell it, there was never a proper sit-down about changing the sound of the SoCal third-wave ska group formed in 1995. There was no mission statement, no formal realization, no heady, late-night conversation over a bowl and brews.

“It was just this unspoken thing where it wasn’t about ska anymore,” the RX guitarist said in a phone interview just a few days before heading out on tour. “It was about deliberately pledging dis-allegiance to any genre and playing whatever the hell we wanted to.”

The change wasn’t so apparent on 2001’s Progress, but just the title of 2003’s The Resignation signified that the band was aiming for a paradigm shift, as if surrendering themselves to their latest inclinations, even if doing so might shake up their foundations. They were listening to Joan of Arc, Refused, At the Drive-In, and “always-and-forever for us, Fugazi,” Choi said.

The Resignation’s cover art doesn’t even bear the cartoony, nostalgic early 1960s imagery often seen on late ’90s ska and swing records. It looks like a Tool album. Lyrically, the record opens considering the insanity induced by a beauty-obsessed media culture (“Sell You Beautiful”) and closes with raging punk heartache chronicled in a harmonic minor scale (“Decrescendo”).

“That’s a song I wrote modeled after a flamenco concerto by Federico Mompou,” Choi said.

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RX Bandits live from Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans. July 3, 2011 photos by Tyler Russell. Don’t miss their last US Tour with Maps & Atlases and Zechs Marquise all dates HERE


RX Bandits Record a Daytrotter Session

RX Bandits recorded a Daytrotter Session while in Austin. Nice, can’t wait to hear it. 


A.V. Club Austin : RX Bandits Show Feature/ Interview

Like it or not, death eventually gets a chance to wrap its bony little fingers around every living thing. Bands, however, are fortunate enough to have some wiggle room with their time of expiration. The current status of Rx Bandits exemplifies this idea. In April, the Seal Beach, California-based four-piece announced that it’d embark on its last tour this summer—but by all indicators, the group won’t actually be gone for good as much as it’ll exist in the blurry state of “indefinite hiatus.” 

Still, this move does close the chapter on some 15 years of heavy touring and intriguing twists. Starting out as a rather innocuous ska/punk band, the Bandits gradually morphed into an inventive batch of prog-rock/reggae players, reveling in increasingly abstract imagery and eventually shelving the horns entirely. The band’s last album, 2009’sMandala, took its name from a Sanskrit term representing the cycle of life—a choice emphasizing the band’s natural sonic progression. With the act on its way out (however temporarily), now’s the time to see Rx Bandits, as it stops at Emo’s tonight, June 29, with Maps & AtlasesZechs Marquise, and Happy Body Slow Brain. Before the band heads into the murky unknown, The A.V. Club caught up with guitarist-keyboardist Steve Choi to discuss spontaneity, boulders, and the question he’s never been asked.

The A.V. Club: In the past, you’ve spoken repeatedly about how the band hasn’t made any conscious decisions about its direction, instead letting things happen gradually. Why does the idea of evolution appeal to you so much, as opposed to carrying out an idea that’s already been decided?

Steve Choi: I feel like we try to base a lot of our creative philosophy on the natural laws of the world. In this case, we all trust in each other’s abilities and what we bring to the table. As songwriters, Matt [Embree] and I have the capabilities to make complete songs and dictate what everyone plays and that sort of thing, but I really feel like that wouldn’t be maximizing our potential. While there are cases here and there [of things] Matt and I have done completely on our own, it would be not maximizing the sound to not have that sort of spontaneous collaboration—because once you get into that territory, you’re dealing with the subconscious. When you deal with jamming and improvisation, you’re dealing with a different part of your brain. The ideas that come out of that, more often than not, work out to be really great for us. Our approach is to write a framework and create sounds, but within the boundaries of the song, utilize all the free space we have, metaphorically speaking, [by] exercising these spontaneous ideas and even turning mistakes into parts that in that realm aren’t really mistakes.

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RX Bandits SUMMER 2011 - What A Tour!


RX Bandits will be heading out for their last US tour bringing along some great friends and great bands. Maps & Atlases, Zechs Marquise and on a few dates Fang Island and Happy Body Slow Brain and The Hot Toddies.

RX BANDITS SUMMER 2011 
Jun 26 - Tempe, AZ @ Marquee * @ 
Jun 28 - Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater * ^ @
Jun 29 - Austin, TX @ Emo’s * ^ @
Jun 30 - San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit * ^ @ 
July 01 - Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s * ^ @
July 03 - New Orleans, LA @ Howlin’ Wolf * ^
July 05 - Orlando, FL @ The Social * ^
July 06 - Orland, FL @ The Social * ^ 
July 07 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Culture Room * ^
July 08 - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade * ^
July 09 - Washington DC @ 9:30 Club * ^ 
July 10-  Philadelphia, PA @ Theater of Living Arts TLA * ^ 
July 12 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza * ^ SOLD OUT 
July 13 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza * ^ 
July 14 - Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East * ^
July 15- Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East  !! ^
July 16 - Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall  !! ^
July 17 - Montreal, Quebec, Canada @ Cafe Campus * ^
July 18 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada @ Mod Club * ^ 
July 20 - Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick * ^
July 21- Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge ^ w/ Cast Spells
July 22 - Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall * ^
July 23 - Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck * ^ 
July 24 - Denver, CO @ The Summit * ^ 
July 25 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Complex * ^
July 27 - Seattle, WA @ El Corazon * ^
July 28 - Portland, OR @ The Hawthorne * ^
July 30 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst * ^
July 31 - Sacramento, CA @ Ace Of Spades * ^ 
Aug 03 - Long Beach, CA @ Long Beach Arts Theater ^#
Aug 04 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Mayan ^ #
Aug 06 - Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse  ^ #
Aug 07 - San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom ^ #

* w/ Maps & Atlases
^ w/ Zechs Marquise 
@ w/ Happy Body Slow Brain
!! w/ Fang Island
# w/ The Hot Toddies 

(Source: artistdata.sonicbids.com)


Zechs Marquise New Album Teaser I


Zechs Marquise new full length album “Getting Paid” out on September 27, 2011 on Rodriguez Lopez Productions. Don’t miss them on Tour all Summer with RX Bandits and Maps & Atlases.

(Source: facebook.com)


Playmaker Interview: RX Bandits




For over a decade, the iconic and metamorphic rock group RX Bandits have been blessing the music scene with their innovative and visionary sound. Fusing multiple styles such as reggae, rock, soul, jazz and ska has allowed RX Bandits to create a new form of music and inventive writing that is comparable to other infamous acts such as The Police and The Band in the sense of having an uncanny musical ability to create melodic melting pots. Ever since their second major release, Progress, RX Bandits have continuously pushed the envelope of modern rock music and turned the scene on its ear so as to hear them better. With such songs as “Sell You Beautiful”, “Overcome (The Recapitulation)” and “To Our Unborn Daughters”, RX Bandits have chosen their music to be a vessel of not just social commentary but of intimate rehabilitation. Songs like “Never Slept So Soundly”, “Only For The Night” and “In Her Drawer” write as if they were of eluded adorations and past loves that have been succumbed to dissolution but if one pays more attention to the personal struggle within the artistically-crafted songwriting, it is difficult to ignore that there is a much more personal conflict trying to be conveyed.
 

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RX Bandits Interview with Cliq Magazine

To download or view in full size go to Cliq Magazine - Pages 8, 9 & 10

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May We Introduce you To David Davison? Free Download All Week


One of our very favorite songwriters and music makers is named David Davison, perhaps you know him from Maps & Atlases already or you have heard about his Cast Spells EP well this week we are making that EP called Bright Works And Baton FREE because we’d like everyone to have this fine music in their players. So enjoy it and spread the love. While you are at it check out the split EP he did with Good Old War and also make sure not to miss Maps & Atlases on tour with our very own RX Bandits and Zechs Marquise in June/July. Dave will also be performing his Cast Spells songs for the July 21st show on that tour in Chicago. 
Just click Download to get for free.