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Entertainment // Musical Notes
Bill Mossman

Loud and Proud

Pop-punk rockers Anygivenchance have never been shy of cranking the volume on stage or taking risks with their career. Don’t expect them to change character now that they’ve released the EP, The Dividing Line

Give the members of Anygivenchance credit: In an age when other groups hire marketers to handle their promotions, managers to develop their merchandising and producers/sound engineers to oversee their recordings, this alternative rock and pop-punk band from Waipahu has band members who do all of the above – and more.

The challenge of wearing many hats at once can be daunting for any musician, let alone a three-man outfit still waiting for a breakthrough in a market that traditionally turns a deaf ear to their genre of music. Then again, Anygivenchance members wouldn’t be who they claim they are, unabashed risk-takers, if they went fetal at the first sign of resistance. The same do-whatever-is-necessary-and-damn-whatever-may-come-our-way attitude that first brought founding members Zach Manzano and Chris Bolosan together in 2005 – to be joined four years later by bassist Shane Santa Ana – still pulses through their heavily pierced and tatt’d bodies today.

And that temperament is but one of the reasons why these Blink-182 disciples chose to call their just-released, limited-run EP, “The Dividing Line.” The album, incidentally, is available at Google Play.

“There’s a line that separates us from most bands,” says Manzano, who handles not only lead vocals and guitar responsibilities for AGC, but producing/sound engineering duties as well. “Our band isn’t fortunate to have a manager, promoter, marketing agent, etc. (We) took on duties of building a website, making sure we have semi-professional YouTube content, recording/producing our music, making sure we have no major social networking platform overlooked, and so on.”

Remarkably, the band members’ willingness to cover all bases with their music career – from recording and mastering their music, and designing T-shirts and other merchandising products within Manzano’s home, to creating video teasers for their Web page at anygivenchance.com – hasn’t come at the expense of making testosterone-driven, eardrum-splitting music that their fan base craves. Maybe just as importantly, AGC hasn’t been averse to slowing things down a bit and dabbling in somewhat quieter, radio-friendly tunes either. In Seattle, their first release off the EP, Manzano and crew embrace the ballad narrative by constructing the song’s love-gone-away theme around a hypnotic bass line and drum cadence.

Seattle started off as an idea from our drummer, Chris Bolosan, about someone special making the move to Seattle, and there was nothing that could be done to change that situation,” explains Manzano, who was instrumental in recruiting Sam Campos – he of Pineapple Man comic book fame – to help direct the band’s four-minute music video. “Right from there, I already had composed a ballad-type song, but with no lyrical direction. And then, voila! The pieces fit together.”

“It’s not the most uplifting song nor the most technical,” adds Bolosan, “but it does carry a melody that seems to sooth our listeners. I wrote it for literally the girl next door before she moved to Seattle. It was my ‘goodbye letter,’ so to speak.”

In some ways, Seattle appears to be a harbinger of the band’s own exit from the Islands. Already, there’s been talk by AGC members of taking their act on the road – and possibly for good.

“We’ve basically got two options at this point: Either we head out on the road and start touring some states, or we pick up and move,” Manzano says. “Either way, if we want to reach out and plant seeds, we’re going to have to get out of here.”

Musical Notes dropped in on these loud and proud risk-takers and got them to elaborate on both their EP and their affinity for another band, Blink-182.

MN: After putting out two full-length albums, you guys decided to go the EP route and resurrect some of your older songs. Why?

ZM: The EP consists of very old to revamped songs with our new member’s bass guitar interpretations. Since we record everything on our own and not enough people know about us, we thought why not regroup, repackage and reintroduce ourselves in a better way? Honestly, when Shane recorded his bass lines, it brought the songs to a new level.

MN: What’s the deal with you guys and Blink-182? CB: For me, Blink is on my mind on a daily basis. I do drift to other artists who influence my writing style – from Led Zeppelin all the way to Drake. But it almost always comes down to Blink.

ZM: We’re heavily influenced by Blink-182, which really shows on and off stage. Blink-182 is the reason why AGC exists; they were the spark that drove us to be musicians and start a band. Still, it’s not a direction I want to go in. I’d rather be known for my own music.

MN: What AGC song rules your world, and why? ZM: Sunsets. It’s a song about realizing that no one has to be angry for anything if you realize that whenever something bad happens, it will always get better if you let it.

CB: My favorite would have to be In Your Hands because it was the first song we wrote together, and the familiar feel of it gives me so much freedom … if I want the song to fluctuate between slow and fast parts.

SSA: Daydream off the Eternal Glory album. Everything about it – the vocals, the drums, the guitars and the emotion – is just right. And the cherry on the top is the breakdown/outro at the end.

MN: Where can people find you playing these days?

ZM: Hard Rock Cafe and Hawaiian Brian’s, where we have a show on May 11.

MN: How about private parties?

ZM: We haven’t gotten asked to play parties in a while. Apparently, everyone knows that we’re too loud.

small-kine notes:

Cantopop makes a surprise visit to the Islands Thursday when four of Hong Kong’s best-known popular music singers – Li Hung Kay, Black Girl, Suzan Guterres (pictured) and Peter Chan Ho Tak - find the spotlight at the Hawaii Theatre Center. The 7 p.m. concert, “A Hong Kong Night,” will showcase music from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, with songs performed in Cantonese, Mandarin and English. Tickets range from $30 to $120. Call the center’s box office at 528-0506 … Finally, cheer on steel guitar students from Alan Akaka‘s music school Ke Kula Mele Hawaii as they attempt to set a Guinness World Record for “Largest Hawaiian Steel Guitar Ensemble”

during a Mother’s Day Concert May 13 at Windward Mall in Kaneohe. The record-setting performance begins at 11 and takes place at the mall’s center court.

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