Ballyhoo! Chatting it up with RadioRadioX By: Jetta Intelisano

Written by on July 26, 2022

Recently (7/21/2022) Albany’s free concert series Alive at Five, we were graced with the stellar
sounds of gritty Maryland Punk Rock/Reggae from one of the nation’s hardest working
bands, Ballyhoo!, hailing out of Aberdeen Maryland. I met with Front
man/Guitarist/Vocalist Howi Spangler, percussionist Donald Spangler, bassist Nick Lucera,
Keyboardist/vocalist Scott Vandrey, and last but not least guitarist/vocalist Sebastian
Tenorio-Vallejo to talk about what’s been going on in Ballyhoo’s world. Here’s what they
had to say.

RRX: So now that we’re in post-Covid, touring has been back on, has there been anything
memorable that has happened?

Ballyhoo!: Well one that was memorable was getting Covid, we were forced to take a week
off from our west-coast tour. Half of the band stayed in a hotel and the other half stayed on
the bus in a Walmart parking lot for like six days. So that was memorable. Scott spent
some time golfing and Donald got the New OLED Switch and was playing some Metroid

RRX: I know that you guys are gamer’s as well as your fans, what are some of your go-to
systems and games?

Donald: I have a PS5, pretty much anything PlayStation or Nintendo.
Scott: PlayStation 5 currently rocking Gran Turismo 8, but all about God of War or throwback, Zelda for sure.
Nick: I pretty much have every game system (laughs).
Sebastian: I have a PlayStation and a switch as well.
Howi: I have all the Resident Evil games, I love playing
those games they’re so much fun, and any time they put out anything Zelda.

RRX: What’s next on the big legs of the tour? What’s coming up for show stops?

Ballyhoo!: Reggae Rise Up in Maryland! We finally have a big name festival in the Mid-
Atlantic, it’s needed to happen for years and it finally is. It’s 90 percent sold out I
think. These bands, Stick Figure, Iration, and Pepper always come through
Baltimore, it’s sold out, nearly sold out or very close to it. People just love that stuff.
We have a headlining a tour in August with Shwayze and Surfer Girl and then supporting Hirie
in October.

RRX: Anything cool on the horizon you want to let the fans know about? Releases, collaborations?

Ballyhoo!: We are definitely looking to get some more music in the vault,
we will hopefully have another single out by the end of summer. We’re trying
to make a great record and take our time with it; it will be released next year. As far as
collaborations we have been talking with Nate from Iya Terra, Micah from Iration, and have been going back and forth with Duddy B from Dirty Heads. I’m sure Brandon from Bumpin Uglies will make an appearance at some point, making the rounds you know (laughs).

RRX:  Anything special as far as giving a shoutout to the Hooligan fan group?

Ballyhoo!:  Big thank you to the Hooligans, Dawn Pruitt, and Collin Murray, and everyone over there
for running it, just all the support and seeing how at any given point the fans are excited
and chatting. Our Discord is growing, we’re about 300 members now, it is just
great to see the hardcore fans that we have. A big thank you for all the support and
keeping us afloat during the pandemic and all these years.

RRX: One of the things that always attracted me to your band when I first heard you
aside from the amazing sound you have was the obvious dedication and attempt to be so
precise every time you play. Not just the music, which is tight when you play anyway but
the look, the appearance and what you give the crowd. What would you say other bands
need to look into to make it for the long haul?

Sebastian: All day dude! Howi Actually told me when I first joined the band… he was comparing us to another band I can’t remember who but they looked like they just popped the tag off of everything they were wearing. Every time you go on stage you are representing everybody.
Howi: Energy is key. When you go out there and give a half assed show in some wrinkled shirt you are doing everyone out there a disservice. Looking the part is half the gig. If you’re not going to perform at your highest level, don’t do it in the first place. You should go as hard as you can and put on a big show for the people that came to see it. I learned this from Billie Joe (Green Day). I watched their concert video like 9 or 10 times. Just his energy and running all over, making sure to reach those in the back of the crowd. We try to do that everywhere we go and try to sound like the record or better. I hate it when singers choke their words, like I am trying to sing along and you’re fucking it up. We try to give a big, full show as often as possible.

RRX: Well, I have to say it was a great pleasure to talking with all the guys from Ballyhoo! They rocked Alive at Five in Albany, NY, like any show I have experienced with them. A big thank you to Ballyhoo! and to all of the staff and volunteers at Alive at Five for an awesome event!

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