Theater & Arts

Artists you should know: DB & the Struggle

Funk, reggae and a dose of social consciousness are the ingredients in Fresno band DB & The Struggle.

The band is playing a big genre-jumping show Saturday night at Milano, 1243 Fulton Mall, with blues band MoFo Party Band, ska group King Sugar and more. It starts at 7 p.m. Cover is $5.

We talked to singer/guitarist/namesake Carlos "DB" Montano to learn more about the band, which also includes Kyle Oakes (bass), Sam Polanco (drums), Greg Rodriguez (sax), Leo "Loki" Esparza (trombone) and Shawn Detweiler (percussion).

Give us a quick history of the band. We started off as a trio back in October of 2006. Then we added percussion and horns. Since then our band has taken a different direction. Though we've had a lot of different members, I feel like our current line-up is the best.

Where does the DB & The Struggle name come from? My old-school homeboys gave me the name DB. "The Struggle" came from the idea that I wanted our music to reflect what was going on in our society. It's all about choices. You can choose to close your eyes to injustice or do something about it. I choose to play my music.

Your style is a bit eclectic. Describe your sound and influences. Our sound is one part old-school funk and one part reggae-rock with a hint of Latin and a dose of Jim Morrison. Our influences range from Curtis Mayfield, Parliament and Jimmy Cliff to Sublime, Infectious Grooves and Fishbone.

What's the best thing about one of your live shows? It would probably be our spontaneity. We're like a Jackson Pollock painting.

You guys put out a CD recently. Tell us about that. We have four studio tracks and five live recordings on our Street Scars EP, which is available at Spinners Records or Sacred Heart clothing in the Tower District. This is just a sample of our full length album, which should be out next spring.

What's one odd fact about the band. We all have tattoos of Roy Orbison on our left cheeks.

What else should people look forward to from the band? We're going to continue working on our full length and play in and around the Central Valley. We also have shows in the works for the Central Coast and Santa Monica.

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