Rock/reggae hybrid band to jam at 2 OB venues
by BART MENDOZA
Published - 03/23/11 - 02:29 PM | 7095 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
One of the hottest bands currently playing the local club scene is Pacific Beach-based 
quartet Jet West, which plays Gallagher’s Pub on March 24 and at the Ocean Beach Farmers Market on April 6. 	COURTESY PHOTO
One of the hottest bands currently playing the local club scene is Pacific Beach-based quartet Jet West, which plays Gallagher’s Pub on March 24 and at the Ocean Beach Farmers Market on April 6. COURTESY PHOTO
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As much as indie rock gets the headlines, anyone who frequents nightspots near the ocean would note that a rock and reggae hybrid has taken over much of the club scene. Mixing influences as diverse as punk and dub, bands on the circuit have carved out their own niche, which seem to be growing by the day. One of the hottest bands currently playing the local club scene is Pacific Beach-based quartet Jet West.

Featuring frontman Chris Warner (guitar, vocals), Scott Floquet (vocals, guitar), Deren Schneider (bass) and Derek Potter (drums), Jet West will play two distinctive shows in Ocean Beach over the next two weeks: a performance for those 21 and up on March 24 at Gallagher’s Pub and an all-ages set at the Ocean Beach Farmers Market on April 6. While the band pulls material from the same source for both shows, Warner notes the band takes a slightly different approach to the outdoor event.

“We try to remember that this is a more global audience, so we try not to use bad words or inappropriate slang,” Warner said.

Having performed at the Farmers Market in the past, he said the transitory nature of the audience at that venue may be the biggest challenge.

“With outdoor shows, you get a wide variety of age and backgrounds, so we try to play a few more covers that people can recognize and really try to engage the crowd,” Warner said.

The band formed in 2008, but rehearsed for a year before hitting local stages. It played its first show in August 2009 at the now-defunct Cane’s Bar & Grill, quickly recording and releasing an album, “Dropping In,” in 2010.

“Once we started playing live, getting the album together was relatively easy,” Warner said. “All that work we did getting the band in shape really paid off.”

The band has already begun work on a follow-up CD.

Although Warner has been playing guitar more than 20 years, Jet West is his first group. He said his delayed entry into the music scene was because of a lack of funds.

“My mom got me a guitar and amp when I was 13,” he said. “I jammed with thousands of musicians. I hung out at college with the group Mystic Roots and thought, ‘I want to do that.’ But I waited. I got a job and experience, and then had the capital to be able to buy the equipment. When the opportunity came around to be in a band, I jumped at it.”

Although it’s not evident in Jet West’s sound, Warner’s earliest guitar influence was Iron Maiden’s Dave Murray, with David Gilmour and Roger Waters close behind.

“There’s really too many to count when it comes to influences, but they were going further than the norm when it comes to guitar playing,” Warner said.

Warner said touring is the best part of Jet West’s career to date.

“I love travel and changing other people’s lives through music,” he said.

It’s clear making a connection with the audience is a top priority with Jet West. Though the Farmers Market’s performing area is bare bones — just a small sound system on the street — Warner said it’s a prime gig.

“The last Farmers Market we played was probably one of the most rewarding shows we’ve ever performed as a band,” Warner said. “Kids were dancing and all the Obecians were just living it up. It was a cold night and the place stayed packed until we were done. We look forward to April 6 when we’ll have a little warmer weather and to having a great time.”

Jet West performs at 10 p.m. on Thursday, March 24 at Gallagher’s, 5046 Newport Ave. The show is for those 21 and up. The next performance is at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6 at the Ocean Beach Farmers Market. All ages. Both events are free. For more information, visit www.jetwestband.com.
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