The State Of Music: Part 43 : California - Family Wagon

As always when I have a State Of Music album out, the actual website part of the project suffers a little and my usual twice a week posts go out the window slightly. The State Of Music Vol.2, like Vol.1, did fantastically well with the CD version fully selling out last night. Fear not though, you can still buy the digital version of both volumes at

The odd thing now is that as far as this website is concerned The State Of Music will be finished by the time Vol.3 is out, and it will be but a distant memory by the time I hit number 5, the final album in the series.

But for now we move on to California. Family Wagon, the San Diego based 5 piece were actually the only band on this project who came to me as opposed to me seeking out them. In fairness to them, it had nothing to do with the State Of Music project, but more because they heard I was looking for bands to fill one or two spots at the SXSW showcase.

Rather oddly, every time I listen to their track "Hard Times" it reminds me of an Ocean Colour Scene record circa 1996 mixed with a bit of Cold War Kids. This song is off their forthcoming EP, which as of yet hasn't got a release date. I am sure I will be crowing from my Twitter and Facebook as soon as it is released.

CMM: Welcome to Choose My Music. I suppose the first question is - who are Family Wagon and where in the world would we find you?

Calen Lucas (Vocals) Bryan Bangerter (Drums, bgvs) Gareth Moore (Bass) Ryan Weiss (Guitar) Jarel Paguio (Keys, bgvs)

Family Wagon is from San Diego, California.

CMM: How long has Family Wagon been in existence and how did it all start

Family Wagon formed as a four piece in 2008 in San Diego, California. Bryan Bangerter (Drums), Gareth Moore (Bass), Ryan Weiss (Guitar), Calen Lucas (Vocals) met at a local university looking to create music that was fun, intense, and an absolute blast to see played live. They have recently added a fifth member, Jarel Paguio (Keys).

CMM: How best would you describe your music?

Loud, fun, intense, melodic, catchy.

CMM:. I am assuming there is a very diverse scene in California. What are the genres of choice out there and what other bands should we be keeping an eye on?

You can find bands of every kind and every style out here. Bands you should know about: Strange Vine (Fresno), The Howls (San Diego), Dead Feather Moon, (San Diego), Terraplane Sun (LA).

CMM: One thing I am hoping to find in this series is some kind of link between where a band is based and their music. Do you feel as an artist you are influenced by your surroundings and the scene around you?

We certainly are influenced by our surroundings here in San Diego but not in a cliche way where we sit on the beach and play that kind of vibe all day long. We feel it is more of a free and creative vibe that is conducive for us to be expressive in whatever genre we are in. The scene has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years. We are a little more proud than we once were to hail from this great city. Rock still has ways to go out here, but like other genres, it is growing here as long as there is talent and good times to offer people looking for live, local music.

CMM: What other influences do you have, musical or otherwise?

Film, Gardening, other art forms (painting, sculture, etc.), science.

CMM: Could you perhaps give a run down of the music you have released so far?

Family Wagon successfully released their first album "Teleblaster", recorded by local San Diego musician Keith Milgaten (Jamuel Saxon), in December of 2010. Family Wagon released the first track "Hard Times" from upcoming EP "Last Drag" on February 26th, 2012. It was produced and recorded at The Compound in Long Beach, CA by Matt Wignall (Cold War Kids, Mando Diao, Deep Sea Diver). Ikey Owens (The Mars Volta) stepped in and lended his keyboard skills on one of the tracks "Keeper of the Medicine."

CMM: Are you able to get out an play live much?. Where are your favourite places to play both in and out of state?

Family Wagon frequently plays local SD venues like The Casbah and Belly Up Tavern to sold out crowds. We also enjoy Detroit Bar in Orange County and Audie's Olympic in Fresno, CA (and not just because there is an amazing chinese food restaurant next door). We just got back from playing at SXSW in Austin, TX and loved it out there too!

CMM: What's next in the pipeline for you?

Summer tour of the West Coast! We are planning dates that could run us through Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and California.

CMM: And finally, where can people reach out to you online and where can they get hold of your stuff?

Our website is

To buy our music you can see us at

Twitter @family_wagon


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