Theater & Arts

Artists you should know: Los Hooligans

Ska band Los Hooligans is back from its annual winter hiatus.

The band, largely made up of local music teachers, is performing at 8:30 p.m. today at Audie's Olympic, the former Club Fred, at 1426 N. Van Ness Ave. Cover is $8.

We talked to founding member Tony Luna to catch up with what's up in the Hooligan world.

This weekend is your first show back from your annual winter break. Why do you guys take a break every year? For those of us in the music education profession, the first half of the academic year is the busiest due to activities such as marching band. We rarely have a weekend off between August and December.

A car accident put a couple of band guys in the hospital a few months back. Everybody's OK? Yes, those guys are doing well. Ex-trombonist Robert Ruffner is back teaching for Central Unified, and our drummer Tony Montanez is back to work and playing with us and The Notones.

So, all in all, are you guys excited to get playing again? We're always excited when it comes to performing. Music is our passion, and we love playing the ska. It gives us a chance to gig with other musicians around town and to entertain the followers of the live music scene in Fresno.

As a longtime Fresno ska band -- part of a nice historical lineage we have locally -- what is it about Fresno, you think, that inspires ska bands? I think that much of the credit goes to Let's Go Bowling. They provided the standard for what local ska bands should be doing and playing, especially for those bands wanting to make a name for themselves in this particular genre.

The band has been going since 1992. That's quite impressive. What's the secret? I would have to say personnel. Although we have our artistic disagreements from time to time, we have a blast performing together. I generally joke about a band's longevity by whether they like to hang outside of gigs. If not, my bet is they won't be together long.

Do you think it has something to do with many of you being teachers? Los Hooligans has always included members from the Fresno State music program. I guess it provides an opportunity to perform outside of the box in comparison to other genres offered by musical institutions. In other words, we get to let our hair down.

What's on deck this year for the band? New tunes, old tunes, new venues, old venues, who knows? There could be another CD in the works sometime soon. Check out for future gigs and news.

Know a local musician that more people should be familiar with? Send the who and why to Mike Osegueda,