In our ongoing series titled SKAROUND The World we’ve been bringing you bands that you may not have heard of yet. Some of these bands were created during quarantine, like our story on The NPCs a few weeks ago. This time, we have another quarantine band: Housebound Ska Collective. Let me tell you… these are some of the most top-notch musicians you will hear. I spoke with Joel M. Daniel about the creation of this awesome band.
Originally conceived in 2019 by producer Piper Dawes, “it wasn’t until the Great Quarantine and Lockdown of 2020 that Housebound Ska Collective actually became a reality.” With live music venues shot down, musicians all over the world struggled to find new outlets for their creativity and to interact with their fans. “Thanks to the worldwide interwebz and modern technological wizardry that far surpasses the comprehension levels of my crayon-eating, Cro-Magnon, Knuckle-dragging, Walnut-sized excuse for a brain,” says Daniel, “a new outlet and stage was created! Unlike the typical local pubs we are all used to playing in, the online stage has not only provided us with a global audience, but also a global ensemble!”
Housebound Ska Collective is comprised of more than 20 members from three countries (Canada, United Kingdom, United States). “We all met online and miraculously have become quite a family – dysfunctional at times, but still a family,” Daniel told us. “Most of us have never met each other in person…yet.” (Hmmm… yet? More on that later.)
Each band member records their audio and video in their home studios and submits those to Dawes for final editing. Dawes arranges all of the songs, creates demo tracks, and then mixes, masters, and edits the band’s videos. HSC has released six singles with the mission of “converting hits from other genres into what they originally should have been – ska!” Their newest singles will be gifted to us this month. In fact, you can check out their version of the Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping” right now:
While we enjoy the new singles, Daniel says, “We have also laid the groundwork for our January 2021 release, which we are really excited about! Let’s just say that it is quite the appropriate song to celebrate surviving this Hot Mess of a Dumpster Fire year known as 2020!”
Currently, their cover of Paramore’s “Misery Business” is going viral, especially in Latin America and the Philippines. “We never thought we’d ever have that kind of reach, but that just goes to prove that music is the International language!,” Daniel laughs. The band just launched a Patreon with the goal of raising enough funds to fulfill the wishes of their global audience by doing a worldwide tour once the pandemic ends. “Should that happen, ironically, it will be the first time many of us will actually meet in person!,” says Daniel.
Current and past members of this super group are an impressive lot:
Vocals: Shaun Dickens (Fighting Evil Is Cool!), Vocals: Liz Venditti, Guitar/Vocals: Piper Dawes (Chinchilla Death Cult), Guitar: Tom Crabb (Lead Shot Hazard), Guitar: Vi-An Tu-Le (The Anti Non-Conformists), Guitar/Keys: Andy B (Fandangle, New Riot, Andy B & The World), Keys: Raphael Achache (Unknown Era), Bass/Vocals: Billy Smolen (Joker’s Republic), Drums: Charles Alexandre-Gagnon (The Anti Non-Conformists), Percussion: Brendan Deiz (Fake News), Melodica: Matt Gorr, Trumpet: Alex Kenyon, Trumpet: Alejandro Arvizu, Trumpet: Abram Vasquez (Los Skagaleros), Trumpet: Jason Korth, Trombone: Sadie Hernandez (Los Skagaleros), Trombone: Sean Robertson, Trombone/Vocals: Tito Reyes (¡Viva Mayhem!), Alto & Baritone Saxophone: Eve Crabb (Lead Shot Hazard), Tenor Saxophone: Eric Molina (Monkey), Bari Saxophone: Tara Daniel and Sousaphone/Bagpipes: Joel Daniel.
When we see bands like this get together and have a blast, it helps us even in “normal” times. When we have years like 2020, it is even more important. “It is always heartwarming to read messages we get from people stating that they have rekindled their hope in the world because of what we have been able to accomplish,” Daniel tells us. “Even many of us in the group have shared our own experiences with each other of being pulled away from a very dark and lonely place because of our involvement with this group.”
I would love to see a live version of this band someday, so hopefully they can make it happen. For now, we get an awesomely insane band that comes together online and turns all of these songs into something beyond special! Check out everything they do and enjoy the hell out of it. I know I do while I’m dancing my ass off!