Meet The Hurricanes, A Band Of Santaneros Playing Vintage Rock In Modern Times
We sat down with the band for an exclusive one-on-one interview.
“I’m thirsty, I want a beer, and I want to party,” Roach yelled with a grin.
The Hurricanes, comprised of 4 Santa Ana natives, Gibram ‘G’ Chavez (Harmonica/Bass), Alex Marcial (Drums), Oscar Ramirez (Keys/Bass), and Roach Sanchez (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar), generated a tremendous set on The Wayfarer stage in Costa Mesa. These gifted lads hyped, hooked, and reeled the audience in with their infectiously rhythmic rock n’ roll tunes.
While one of Joe Dante’s most notable films, The Gremlins (1984), was projected throughout the bar, friends greeted one another and as quickly as drinks were being poured they were getting downed. The revved up sounds of the keys and guitar immersed the audience grabbing the spectators full and undivided attention. With an orotund voice, Roach let out an, “Alright!” and jumped right into their set. From the moment the first chord got strummed, The Hurricanes came into their element. With brief audience interactions their soul was set in doing what they they do best– making music.
Whether silently swaying in your own bubble or bopping around the dance floor with a dance partner, there was no break in the beautifully organized, rock n’ roll infused night. Not for a second did the band, let alone the audience, stand motionless. Whether it be, “Because of You” infused with G’s sweet harmonica sound, or a crowd favorite like, “I Want Your Love” and “But You Let Me Go.” One could not resist the bands creatively fashioned tunes.
The following day, I had to pleasure to sit down with G and Oscar of The Hurricanes at Lola Gaspar in Downtown Santa Ana for drinks and a quick chat.
OCN: How did you each start making music and how did you come together to form The Hurricanes?
G: Take this one Oscar.
Oscar: I guess we’ll give you our personal experience.
G: I want to hear yours.
Oscar: For me, it was around sophomore or junior year in high school. I started getting really into music, like The Beatles and all of that stuff. I also started getting into the songwriting aspect, and just creating on my own stuff. Then senior year came along and I was still into it. Then I met this guy [G]. He was new to Valley, from Segerstrom, and we were both getting into the good stuff…blues and all that 60’s, 50’s music. I had always known Roach and Little Man being in the same school and all. So G came in and he had already been in a band with Roach.
G: Yeah, Roach and I were starting something.
Oscar: Yeah, and from there G recommended me to the band.
G: I told him to come jam out, to come kick it. He had to get out of the house.
Oscar: He would see me play at school and I guess he got impressed, haha
OCN: Oscar, you have a pretty extensive background in music, right?
G: He comes from a family of musicians.
Oscar: Yeah, I used to play a lot with my brother. Mostly rock en espanol but we don’t really do it anymore. But yeah, that’s how I got with The Hurricanes.
G: It was really funny because that night, when he came to jam out for the first time, he biked it from Grand and 17th and it was raining. He had his bass all strapped on his back.
Oscar: I knew how to drive, but didn’t have a car or something because they [family] were all out gigging. So yeah, I biked it to G’s garage in the rain.
G: We were like, ‘who the fuck is knocking right now? It’s like 9:30 at night!” It turned out it was Oscar all along.
Oscar: I was all calling and stuff and I wasn’t about to go back home and lag it. So I just went. It was a really good jam too.
OCN: So, Oscar, you went into The Hurricanes as the bass player, right?
OCN: And when did you pick up the keyboard?
G: We pretty much told him, “Get a fucken piano!”
Oscar: Nah, that’s not it. Let me tell you the story. We were in my house jamming out, they went into my room, I forget why, Roach saw my keyboard there, on the stand, because I know how to play since I was in elementary school. I took private lessons, but I stopped playing and picked up the bass and forgot about the keys. I would still play around with it but never with any bands.
G: You played us some Beethoven. And we were like, “Dude you have to. You have to!”
Oscar: Yeah, and since we were getting into that 60’s garage stuff it seemed right since they use organ. I said, I would give it a try. Bought a little cheap Casio beginners keyboard that I would take to practice.
G: You even used it for some shows.
Oscar: Sounded like shit though. When it was in the organ setting and connected to an amp it was somewhat decent.
G: Yeah. Well my story starts off when I got in psychobilly and picked up the stand up bass. I met Roach because he lived down the street from me and one day he was playing guitar and we saw each other as I was passing by with the bass and we just decided to jam. So yeah, I got into music that way and it just kept going after that. We eventually decided to stop playing with the standup bass because it was too big to carry around so we started doing electric bass and then the harmonica came in. I stole a cheap little children’s harmonica from Ross and just kept going with it. Listening to the right records helped.
Oscar: That’s not a very detailed story, haha
OCN: Super important question: Sam Ash or Guitar Center?
Oscar: None of the above.
G: Whichever has less security cameras.
OCN: Oscar, none of the above? Why?
Oscar: I don’t know too corporate. I get my stuff online. Amazon, musician’s websites…The only Guitar Center I like is the one in Hollywood and only because of their vintage section.
OCN: How does forming a complete song work in The Hurricanes? From lyrics to instrumental… How does the process work within your band?
G: Well, Roach usually comes up with all lyrics, comes up with the riff, he brings it in, and we work on it.
Oscar: It’s that simple, I guess.
G: It really is that simple. Roach creates the lyrics and we create the music.
Oscar: There has been, however, one or two songs where we’ve come up with a bass line and gone from there.
OCN: Do most of your live material come straight from your first album (The Hurricanes: Warning… The Hurricanes)?
G: We don’t play a lot of songs from the album. Out of the 12 we maybe play like 4 of them.
Oscar: It’s mostly new songs or cover songs.
OCN: While performing live what kind of experience do you hope to create for the audience?
Oscar: To see something different. To see rock n roll music.
G: We just want them to have fun. That’s it. We want them to have fun, dance, forget their troubles for a minute, and just have fun. That’s it. It’s that simple.
OCN: To keep up-to-date with The Hurricanes where can the readers go?
G: Primarily Instagarm @ochurricanes
All photos courtesy Ben Camacho.
OC Native is honored to have spent the time with The Hurricanes and hope nothing but the best for their music career!
Are you a local artist looking to be profiled on OC Native? Email Lucia at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach her on Twitter/Instagram @luciawriting.