The members of San Jose pop-punk band Stickup Kid look more like average college kids than rock stars, yet they could very well be the next band to break out of Silicon Valley and achieve national success.
Even though most of the members are only a few years removed from high school, they are on the verge of releasing their second full-length album after a surprise opportunity to open for Green Day last month during one of SXSW’s marquee performances.
The last-minute invite required the band to drop everything and embark on a 30-hour nonstop drive from the Bay Area to Texas. It was a welcome chance for national attention, but big things were already brewing for Stickup Kid.
The band emerged in 2009 as a group of friends, mostly with the intention of hanging out and having fun. While most of guys were high schoolers—drummer Cameron MacBain, the youngest, was 15 years old—bass player Jonathan McMaster was 21 and was the band’s primary songwriter. Within months of their inception, Stickup Kid booked its first tour—and haven’t stopped touring since.
In 2012, they got a record deal with Adeline Records, the Oakland-based label co-owned by Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong that has released records by AFI, Emily’s Army, the Living End, the Frustrators and vinyl editions of Green Day albums. So far, the relationship with the label has been a perfect fit.
“It’s more like a community rather than a dictatorship,” says singer Tony Geravesh. “They’re there to help us, but they’re never there to control anything.”
Adeline first released Nothing About Me in June 2012, which Stickup Kid had already finished, and were preparing to put out independently. The EP did well enough that Adeline wanted to do a full-length record.
While the EP featured mostly straightforward, fast pop-punk, Stickup Kid’s new material for the album is more eclectic, drawing influences from indie rock and showing a wider range with tempo. Part of the change was prompted by Geravesh and guitarist Bo McDowell taking over songwriting duties. While the band was taking a break, the duo attempted to write a few songs and quickly turned out some 40 demos.
“Once we got started, it was hard to stop,” Geravesh says. “It’s pretty addicting.”
The five members of Stickup Kid, which also includes second guitarist Curtis Wallace, whittled the demos down to 18 songs, recorded them, and are currently mixing and picking 12 or 13 for the new album. No release date is set, but everyone is hoping it will be sometime this summer.
“The label has a plan,” Geravesh says. “They have the whole nine yards set up. Hopefully, once we put out the record, then more of the benefits of the label will start shining through.”
Whether or not fame is the result of this record isn’t the biggest concern for Stickup Kid.
“Our whole goal when we started the band was just to make friends,” Geravesh explains. “I don’t look at it like we have fans. I look at it like they’re people I can talk to; people I can relate with, because the only reason I started going to shows was because I wanted to find people I can fit in with. I figure if those kids are coming to fit in, I can fit in with them.”
San Jose Rock Shop
Saturday April 13 6pm $8