Earlier this year, Oingo Boingo Former Members drummer Johnny Vatos told us to expect shows and new music from the band. This weekend, we got more intel from the legend himself.
In our previous interview, Vatos was giddy with excitement over shows and the new stuff: “Everyone is in good health and very excited to play and wait till you hear the new… Oh, my gosh. It just makes me go crazy. It’s really exciting!”
In case you are not familiar with OBFM’s history, here’s Vatos explaining: “[With the original band on pause], Danny [Elfman] said, ‘Yeah, we’ll get together when hell freezes over twice.’ So, he had no interest at all playing it. I waited 10 years and the band didn’t tour much. I didn’t get tired of playing the music. With each album, we only had six weeks of touring. Then we would go back and write another album for a year and a half. I know the band knew all these tunes and we weren’t playing them. So I got Steve Bartek, John Avila, Sam Phipps and Carl Graves, as many people as I could, and we started playing the tunes again. At first we called it a tribute to Halloween, and we called it this and called it that and people kept saying, ‘Why don’t you call it Oingo Boingo?’ Well, I went to Danny and we had to work that out, it took a lot of steps. At first we were like, Boingo Dance Party, and then we were like, Boingo Lalalala. So Danny goes, ‘Well, why don’t you just call yourself Oingo Boingo Former Members because that’s what you are.”
Today’s Oingo Boingo Former Members is rounded out by lead singer Brendan McKian, Mike Glendinning, Freddy Hernandez, Brian Swartz, and Ryan Dragon.
Fast forward to October 2021 and Vatos said, “Here we are. We’re Oingo Boingo Former Members. It’s great because we recorded all the music, we know all the parts. It’s just an amazing band,” Vatos continued. “We played the other night so you can hear some YouTube – fresh YouTube – from just a few nights ago. The band is amazing and we have a great lead singer, Brendan McKian, who also writes and has his own band. He’s an amazing, amazing front-man and he’s also a big Danny fan. We’re all fans of Danny’s music, and we all have such a great time playing it. We did our first [OBFM] show, in like 2005. Can you believe that?”
OBFM is known for their Halloween shows, plus their Cinco de Mayo celebrations – “Because of my heritage! And we like to drink Mexican beer,” Vatos chuckled. It is a guaranteed good time. As Vatos says, “It’s exciting fun, and life is so cruel these days. Having fun is paramount on Johnny Vatos’ list. When I got a band to play, and it’s Halloween, we’re going nuts!”
The fans know this and are stoked. In fact, one of their local shows is completely sold out: Coach House on October 23rd. “That show has been on the books for about, a year, a year and a half,” Vatos explained. “Every six months, it’s, ‘Let’s do it.’ ‘No, we can’t.’ ‘Let’s do it.’ ‘No, we can’t do it.’ Now we can do it. So it’s sold out, and it’s such an amazing place.” OC Music News will be there, so make sure to say hi if you see us!
OBFM is an amazing live band. They are a genuine sonic experience. Luckily for all of us, they have new music on the horizon. COVID slowed the process down, but they are aiming to release it as soon as they can. Vatos continued, “Because of the whole COVID thing and things are moving so slow, it’s hard to get things done.” Vatos went on… “We’re looking at a release in September 2022 and between now and September; we’re going to be releasing original music we’ve been working on. It’s going to be part of a double album. Exciting times ahead, and we’re gonna let everybody know what we’re doing. And you’ll be hearing some original music played by the band.”
As you can guess, we are all excited to see and hear Oingo Boingo Former Members ASAP! Get your tickets and let’s celebrate Halloween, Boingo style!
Here is the list of upcoming shows:
10/22 The Canyon Montclair
10/23 Coach House Concert Hall
10/30 Humphreys Concerts By the Bay (w/ Dramarama & Missing Persons)