As Thirty Seconds to Mars (30STM)’ May 14 show draws closer, fans from all over Southern California are preparing to rock out at the Santa Barbara Bowl. But before Jared Leto and his crew hit the stage, it will be L.A.’s Street Drum Corps who will be tasked with getting the party started. The band, made up of drummers/multi-instrumentalists Bobby Alt, Adam Alt, and Frank Zummo, has been opening shows for 30STM’s Into The Wild tour since it kicked off last month, and Friday’s Santa Barbara tour stop is one of their last before wrapping up the supporting gig. The trio is expected to play four songs on Friday night, as well as accompany the headliners onstage for what is sure to be a spectacular collaboration.
Recently, singer Bobby Alt shared how excited he is to finally be performing his own songs on stage. The group formed nearly six years ago in L.A. with a focus on incorporating various found objects in order to create their sound. Bobby explained that the band was bored with using the traditional instruments and wanted to find something more to integrate into their music. Inspired by street drum performers, the trio got the idea to use everyday items as a way to add something new to their song, and over the years, the band has branched out even more, adding more musicians to their performances, as well as adding guitars and vocals to the mix.
Bobby admits that the band draws musical inspiration from all over the map — from Stomp and the Blue Man Group to Jane’s Addiction, and Mötley Crüe — which makes for a sound that’s part rock concert, part worldly tribal jam. And it’s that originality that is beginning to make Street Drum Corps a worldwide name. The band recently returned from a European tour, during which they preformed in far off locales like Amsterdam and Paris. “Playing in Europe, I performed at some of the biggest shows of my life, and they were some of best shows we have ever done,” recalled Bobby.
Even still, Bobby and his bandmates are thrilled to finally be back in the States, touring with a bevy of new songs. Most recently, the Drum Corps guys have added the recently penned single “Knock Me Out” to the setlist, which Bobby pinpoints as a personal favorite, thanks in part to the amount of crowd interaction it allows for.
Currently, the band is working with producer Howard Benson, wrapping up their newest album (their first with Interscope Records), which is slated for a summer release. Bobby describe the Drum Corps’ last record (2008;s We Are Machines) as sounding more like a movie score from King Kong or Godzilla than a rock album. He also insists that the new disk will be filled with songs the band has written as a group, all of which feature a multitude of instruments.
As for future goals, Bobby states simply, “We have become a gang, a brotherhood, and it has been great for us. Now our goal is to keep this thing going to inspire and push each other.”
Street Drum Corps open up for Thirty Seconds to Mars this Friday, May 14 at the Santa Barbara Bowl. For tickets and info, call 962-7411 or visit sbbowl.com.