Eleven years is a long time for any band to stay together, let alone for one band to finally see the release of their debut album, but for OPEN AIR STEREO (@OpenAirStereo), they wouldn’t have wanted it to happen any other way. The Southern California band–Chase Johnson (lead vocals), Nick Gross (drums), Scott Pounds (guitars), Evan Smith (bass)—released their PRIMATES debut album May 21 on Goomba Music and are gearing up for the long-awaited and much-anticipated activities to celebrate the new release that they’ve waited so long for.
The first single, “Stuck On You,” will be serviced to radio next month and a lyric video for the track can currently be seen on the band’s YouTube page. They recently completed an official music video for “Stuck On You” with Anthony Leondari at the director’s helm (who also directed Imagine Dragons “It’s Time”).
It’s obvious from the first time you hear a song off the 10-song PRIMATES, that the band knows exactly what they are doing; that much is clear from the rush of guitars and explosive percussion that punctuate all three minutes of “Love Is Blind,” which gives the impression not of a band just putting out their first record but one that has multiple albums and world tours under their belt, like perennial festival headliners Foo Fighters. “Living Proof” continues in this same vein, sounding like the best song that Audioslave never wrote, with a guitar lick straight out of the Tom Morello Guide To Awesome Guitar Licks.
Fans might remember OPEN AIR STEREO from MTV’s series, “Laguna Beach.” Johnson became a main character in the series, which featured OPEN AIR STEREO prominently. The series concluded with the band’s sold-out performance at The Roxy in Los Angeles. Pounds joined the band around that time, and the band marvels to this day over being able to find such a talented guitarist through a Craigslist ad.
At the time they were being featured on the TV show, OPEN AIR STEREO signed to Sony Epic Records, and were diligently working on recording their debut album. Over a year-and-a-half of writing and recording eventually hit a creative blockade, and the sessions stalled. The band split for about three years, unsure of the future and uncertain that the music they had worked so hard to create would ever see the light of day.
They reconvened in 2011 and got back to work on PRIMATES. With a mix of songs written by the band and some co-written collaborations, PRIMATES is an exercise in the tight, economical execution of rock and roll. It was produced by an array of producers including Gavin Brown, Mike Plotnikoff, and Peter Stengaard; a large part of the writing on the album is with Marti Fredrikson (Daughtry, Aerosmith, Def Leppard). With PRIMATES, the band has filtered their various influences through their own personal experiences to arrive with a fully realized and confident debut album.
The album’s title was inspired by mankind’s own evolutionary cousins, giving the band a moment to reflect on their own personal evolution through time, perfecting their craft and going through the growing pains to emerge on the other side as a stronger, leaner, fitter band.
In touring news, having already traveled across the U.S. with bands such as The Killers, The Bravery and Hoobastank, the band is now set to embark on a tour with Candlebox starting July 9 in Shreveport, LA at Riverside Warehouse. More shows throughout September and October will be announced in the coming weeks.