Poetic Memory: The KABBs (List)

Photo credit: Tim Hardy

MP3s: The KABBs – EP Two (2011)
MP3s: The KABBs – EP One (2010)

San Diego’s The Kabbs have come a long way since their early days playing living room jam sessions.

We first caught them at the Rumble in 2010, playing with The Ferocious Few and fellow San Diegans Little Deadman. Singer Brian Clinebell and Co. basically stole the show, attracting a crowd of fans that already knew the words to their songs, as well as a throng of Rumble attendees who stood transfixed by Clinebell’s Jim Morrison-like presence.

Since then, The KABBs have released two EPs, refining their sound and gaining more local traction with each new effort. According to guitarist Kyle Whatley, “We want [our sound] to be very simple and very natural.” The band’s second EP, released in May, is pure, unadulterated psychedelic garage rock, and it’s well worth a download from their Bandcamp page (see above).

The KABBs will open for Ty Segall at The Casbah on July 21. In anticipation of the show, they sent us a list of ten influences.

Brian Clinebell’s top ten list of influences and inspiration

1. RIP Adrian Vusich: Our dear friend Adrian was a part of The KABBs when we first got together. Adrian passed away two years ago on the 4th of July in a tragic bike accident coming back from a party in Ocean Beach. Adrian and I were really good friends. I told him I had been jamming with Kyle (lead guitar and vocals) and Brandon (drums), and he was so excited that he wanted to be part of it right away. None of us really thought we were going to play anything but parties when we started jamming together, but one time we played a house party that our friends Earthmen and Strangers from Arizona were at, and after that, they asked us to open for them the next time they came to SD.

Adrian wrote our song “Golden and Blue.” He was such an amazing and funny guy. He is truly missed. I wish he could be here to see that we are playing with Ty Segall at The Casbah this Thursday. He was a huge garage rock fan too, and I learned about all kinds of music from him. We kept the band going after he passed away as a tribute to him. We know he would want us to keep making music, and we do it with him in mind every time we play. We all miss you Adrian!

2. “It Girl” by Brian Jonestown Massacre: When we first started jamming together we listened to this song all the time. Give it a listen, it’s such a good song.

3. Skateboarding: Kyle, Brandon and I met through skateboarding. I try to get all of the guys to skate whenever they have a chance. Chase, our bass player, works at TransWorld and skates too. When we played out in Arizona we all spent the day skating parks together. It’s rad that we all have that in common. We are working on some song placements in skate videos, so check out our Facebook page for updates.

4. Neighbors and our apartment: A band space is probably the most crucial for every band. The KABBs practice inside our apartment in North Park and have the coolest neighbors ever. It works out pretty well, ’cause Kyle, Brandon and I live downstairs and Chase lives right above us. We have neighbors on either side of us too, and they’ve never once complained about the music…probably because our next door neighbor is up at all hours of the day building things in his driveway. Where does he get all of that energy? Home and band space all in one. Can’t beat that.

5. Girls: Love and relationships make up the majority of our set list. Thank God for them. We would have a hard time writing songs without them. Also, we want to thank all our lady fans that come and rock out at every show. You know who you are. We appreciate it!

6. Coors Light: The Silver Bullet is probably a number-one drink of choice for us. It took me quite a few of these back in the day to stop the butterflies before shows.

7. King Khan and the BBQ Show: Such a great band. I hope they get back together.

8. Earthmen and Strangers: Ryan Wong, who has been in many bands like The Reatards, Destruction Unit, Tokyo Electron, The Wongs, and more, has helped us out along the way. We played with these guys quite a few times. Probably one of my favorite shows with them was at The Tower Bar. There was a really great crowd that night and Lenny, their drummer, grabbed a tambo and led the charge for the crowd to become part of the show. Ryan, Joe, Lenny, and Luis: thanks for all the good times. Can’t wait to rock out with you guys again!

9. Tyrone Taylor, a.k.a. The Clean Cuts DJs: Tyrone has introduced me to a lot of music. I learned about so many bands from him. If you get the chance to hear him DJ around San Diego, you will not be disappointed. Through Tyrone, we have met a lot of great bands, and have also been able to play some rad shows, like the Johnny Rad Fest music festival he organizes every summer. We are playing the 4th annual Johnny Rad Fest this month, July 29th. You can check out the line-up and get tickets over at Brixton.

10. Love Street Vintage: My girlfriend and our clothing outfitter. She has hooked up some rad vintage clothing for us. Check out her store on Etsy.

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