6:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18 / Full Circle Brewing Co., 620 F St. / $10 donation / (559) 264-6323, www.fulcirclebrewing.com
The Bobbleheads could be described as power pop. Or rocking pop. Or hard bubblegum. Or ...
“Punk-influenced power pop?” says John Ashfield, who plays guitars and sings for the San Francisco trio.
Whatever you may call it, the band plays catchy, hook-drive music — the kind of stuff you can only make with Rickenbacker guitars.
The Bobbleheads are in town for the Annual Food Not Bombs Fundrasing Party at Full Circle Brewing Company with Blake Jones and The Trike Shop and the Roger Perry Band. We talked with Ashfield to learn more about the band.
Tell us about the name?
Answer: We were trying to come up with a name, and we had played a show the night before, so I was tired and kept falling asleep. My head kept bobbling I guess! It seemed fun and memorable (to everyone else!) so we took it!
What is the band all about, musically?
I love hooky fun music. It can be heavy, or twee, or anything really, but I love catchy hooky songs. Ultimately that's what we want; great music to drive to and rock out with. Music that sounds great at the beach, but also inside. Stuff you can sing! Music is awesome, and we try to make music that makes us feel the same way the music we love makes us feel.
Give us the details on your album “Make Yourself Happy.”
The album was produced by Doug Hilsinger ( www.saucefaucet.com) who puts out amazing music himself, and plays really great guitar. He leads some wacky tribute bands I play in from time to time, like the She Gees (Bee Gees) and shELO (Electric Light Orchestra), where we wear super ugly dresses. No one wears makeup or shaves, so it’s not quite drag. It’s just fun and silly. In any event, he gets what we do and I asked him if he would produce us. Usually we record everything at home in Pro Tools or Logic, which is great, but I wanted to do this album more old fashioned, and like do no home recording. So, we had to follow a schedule and record with Doug at his studio. It was great having another ear to bounce things off of.
Why are Rickenbackers the perfect guitar for this kind of jangle-y pop? I mean, they are, right?
They are pretty perfect, if you ask me. Right away if you see a Rickenbacker you are pretty sure you are not about to hear a metal band or jazz. They look so distinctive, and the sound is so easy to pick out. I love them. They fit me. Our new bassist is all about 12 string bass though, so he is playing a different make of bass. I'm still rocking my Rickenbackers. I have other guitars. Some of them are on the album. But live, it's all about the ricky.
The band cites the Scooby-Doo theme as an influence. The music does have a sort of nostalgic Saturday morning cartoon vibe. Is that by design?
When I bring up the Scooby-Doo song, I mean, imagine that song, rocked out. That's kind of us. I love that song. It has a great groove. When we play it, people smile. It’s that late ’60s early ’70s bubblegum thing. I’ve been told that The Bobbleheads sound like Squeeze songs played by The Jam. Which is also an old reference. Oh well. The saturday morning thing is spot on, though especially if you grew up in the ’70s/’80s/’90s. Saturday morning with cereal, parents still in bed, playing the cartoons for a few hours in the morning. The freedom of it was the cool thing. We want to give that feeling. It's about the awesome feelings really.