Los Angeles band the Aggrolites (famous for popularizing “dirty reggae”) rang Orange County into the New Year in 2011, and now they're back to celebrate the first moments of 2012 with fans in Long Beach. Singer Jesse Wagner spoke with us about what 2011 held for the band and what 2012 will bring.
What was 2011 like for the Aggrolites?
It was a good year–we always wanted to put out a live album after the 10 year anniversary. We also released some 45s. It's something we've always wanted to do. We saw a lot of changes in side of the band and accomplishments to make ourselves better. We've been working on getting tighter musically. We worked on finding the right guitar player. We found a guy that's working best for us and is into touring and playing locally. We finally found a guy that's into touring. We've been on the road a lot and we've been connecting [because of it].
Why Alex's Bar for your New Years show?
We love that place. When you're in a band, you tend to play New Year's Eve and Alex is a friend of ours. We figured it was a good fit.
Do you have anything special planned for the show since it's on New Year's Eve?
We'll have some surprises, but you have to show up to see what they are.
it was about time. its been 10 years and out of the 10, five were constant touring. 180+ days of the year every one asks for it.
What was your most memorable show this year?
The last tour that stood out for me was Warped Tour 2008; I thought that was the best. Then this year took it by far. This year we made a real connection with a handfull of other groups; Street Dogs, Lyin' Eyes, Lucero. We'd set up camp everyday and hang out together. We were like the old guys group [laughs].
Give us a preview of what 2012 will look like.
Stayed tuned for a tour in March. We're still putting support together, but it's definitely going to be us headlining. We're definitely going to release a new album.
Oh wow. So soon?
Well I consider the last album IV. Our last album was releasing 45 for fans. I felt it was essential because people who listen to ska like vinyl. As for a new album, we're excited to release a real new album. Right now we're writing songs. We're hoping for February be in the studio.
What direction is it going to take?
It's gonna stay pretty reggae. That's been our music since day one.
Is anything else you want fans to know?
We have an Aggrolites app out for iPhone. It has dates, shows, pictures. I use it for show dates myself. It's kinda like havin' a calendar in my pocket.
The Aggrolites perform with Left Alone, Perro Bravo, DJ Dennis Owens and DJ Oldboy at Alex's Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St., (562) 434-8292; www.alexsbar.com. $17 presale, $20 day of show. 8 p.m. 21+
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When not running the OCWeekly.com and OC Weekly’s social media sites, Taylor “Hellcat” Hamby can be found partying like it’s 1899.