A chat with Chad Carrier, founding member of South Bay-L.A. based Punk Rock Band — Easter
In this first installment of a series that will reflect on some of the history of Southern California punk rock bands, personalities, fans, venues, etc, I picked the band Easter (HOW PUNK ROCK IS THAT!?!).
In my opinion, Easter is one of the under appreciated bands of their time. Their influences and contributions within the punk rock community is worth a closer look. To do that, I sat down with one of the founding members of Easter and old friend, Chad Carrier.
You may also know Chad from his critically acclaimed work with Big Mess and The Shillaly Brothers.
Easter historical background
Easter was formed in what’s known as the South Bay area of Los Angeles in the early 1980’s. The original band members include Danny Dean, later of Anti, Mood of Defiance and rockabilly band Danny Dean and the Homewreckers (vocals, guitar), Chad Carrier later of Big Mess and Shillaly Brothers (bass, vocals), and Korky Ollerton (Drums). They were sole continuous members with the addition of Chris Wakula.
The band gained a loyal cult following in clubs throughout Southern California and was signed to Capital Records on the Chameleon Label.
Achieving commercial success with song tracks “Lights Out” and “Manhattan Boy” began getting attention on Southern California’s World Famous KROQ and L.A.’s 91X radio stations. That led to national attention with both video releases getting airplay on MTV.
When we heard Chad was diggin back into his musical roots, by reforming Easter, it was a must chat…
So what’s going on with Easter, you’ve reformed?
Doing great! Yes, things are starting to happen, we just had a repressing of our first album and 12″ single on one disc. We’ll have our second album Remastered and pressed this summer.
New Vinyl! That’s great! Can we expect to see new material in the future?
Yes, we look to record a new album this summer. We’re also in the process of digging up old demos and some rare footage to be released soon.
What originally drew you into the Southern California punk rock scene?
I loved that there were no rules and anything you did was cool. It was a community that everyone was accepted and supported for who they were.
Who are some of your musical influences or artists?
David Bowie, 999. Iggy Pop, Generation X, Stiff Little Fingers, X
How did Southern California’s punk rock scene influence or change you?
It was an awesome fun scene that allowed you to be and do what you wanted. It encouraged being different. Being unique was considered punk rock. Unfortunately, it changed as it progressed to having to be exactly the same as everyone else. The people that took over started to enforce dress codes and certain bands and styles you had to listen to. When gangs started forming in the scene, the whole thing blew up which made room for New Wave. In my opinion, New Wave was new punk fun and exciting and no rules.
Easter has an interesting DNA, having past members such as Mike Ness of Social Distortion and Brent Liles also of Social D and later Agent Orange fame. What was the experience of playing with those guys and how’d it influence you?
Mike Ness was friends with us and was goin through some tough times. He had straightened up several times. We needed a guitar player and he told us he would like to play with us for awhile. I think Mike liked playing with us because none of us had drug problems. It eliminated a lot of the temptations playing gigs presented to him at the time.
So good, it wasn’t like a “Fuck off, I quit” situation…. haha
No not at all, It was never anything like that or meant as a permanent thing. When he was completely clean, Mike returned to Fullerton, reformed Social Distortion and released “Prison Bound”.
Mike is a super smart guy. He helped us learn about touring and just being musicians in general. Not just for the hazards to look out for, but that the music and being alive matters.
The late, Brent Liles also of Social Distortion and later Agent Orange also had a short stint in the band.
Yes, Brent Liles joined us on our next tour. He joined for a lot of the same reasons as Mike, so he fit right in and became very close friends with all of us. He was a true road warrior. He could make any situation work and really knew how to have fun.
Brent Liles passed away after being stuck by a truck while cycling in 2007. Social Distortion play a benefit show for his family at the famous Galaxy Theater in Santa Ana, California on March 8, 2007.
Any tour plans for the band, hitting the road again?
We’re doing a limited tour schedule of 10 shows on the west coast from Feb 10th-19th. We are also working on the new material and are in the early planning stages for additional tour dates.
What’s the current band lineup?
That’s what’s exciting. Were playing with all the original members on this tour. Danny Dean and Korky, also some help on guitar from previous members Billy Livesley and Dave Carradi
For More Easter info and upcoming Tour Dates please visit —www.Easterband.com
Also a heads up — Don’t miss Social Distortion on the road in 2017 — —
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See ya on the road — — Safe Travels!
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