A Conversation with Vince Walker

May 23, 2023 by Traci Turner
We all know there is no shortage of awesome ska bands that came out of OC.
Some overstayed their welcome, while some imploded. Fortunately we still have some that we can count on for a fantastic night of amazing music with a crowd that feels like life-long friends.
After two decades together, Suburban Legends remain… well, legends. Since hitting the scene in 1999, they have won fans over with their musical talent, incredible covers, and ska-based blend of originals. Plus, they are a staple of my house of worship, Disneyland.
August 11th will see a very special headline show from Suburban Legends as they bring The Ruffolos and Louser along for the party at Biergarten at Old World Huntington Beach. OC Music News decided to pester Suburban Legends front-man Vince Walker for the intel on this sure-to-be entertaining event.

Traci: Hey Vince, how are you?
Vince: I’m good. How are you?
Traci: Excellent! I have to say I am loving all your merch – you have the cute monkey and the shark. But then I found something extra cute on your page, which is your dog, Ludo.
Vince: Yeah, that’s Ludo. He’s my baby boy, my wife’s baby boy.
Traci: That was the other cutie I noticed – your new wife. Congratulations!
Vince: Thank you! We’ve been dating for a long time, and it’s kind of about time, so we tied the knot this year in Vegas, and it was fun. It was a blast!

Traci: As for the band, I saw you guys just wrapped up the Food and Wine Expo at Disney. You guys have been playing there for decades! How did that even start?
Vince: Yeah, back in the day, we all had Disneyland passes and we would go there a bunch. It was back when you could just go for an evening and meet up with friends, hang out for a bit, and leave. A couple of the guys were really pushing to get an audition because we’d heard sometimes bands play in the park. Somehow we landed an audition through the will of the members of the band. We got in there and did the traditional audition where it was the guy who still books us there, he was at that first audition, and it was huge, almost like a soundstage, but a rehearsal hall. You have the table that’s across the way with four people sitting at it. The band’s on the other side of the room, and we just played a song or two, and they go, “Cool.” And then they had us play a couple more, and then we’re like, “All right, we’ll see what happens.”

Vince continues: Sure enough, they had us inside the park, and we played at Tomorrowland Terrace for our first tryout. After that, they had us at Downtown Disney for a long time. So we were one of the first bands to play at Downtown Disney. The first time they had us there was for New Year’s, and we were in front of the old House of Blues. And then after that, the following year, they had us. They were thinking about having bands more at Downtown Disney because they just opened up Downtown Disney, and we played that entire summer, four or five sets a night. Over the years, they’re always gracious and kept having us back. We play inside the park or at Downtown Disney, or sometimes we play private events like we did Miley Cyrus’ 16th Birthday, which was wild, and a few other special events. So, yeah, we’ve been really lucky that Disney always reached out to us and then just recently, they hit us up for those food and wine things. So it was great.
Traci: What’s your favorite Disney ride?
Vince: I think Rise of the Resistance. I’m very skeptical when it comes to theme parks and stuff, but I was really kind of blown away by the Star Wars stuff at Disneyland, and it was cool. The Rise of the Resistance is a really good ride. And the classic ones, you can’t beat Space Mountain. Space Mountain is the best.
Traci: The reason I ask that is because of these videos that you’ve been dropping. It looks like you and Brian beat up somebody at the Matterhorn and took their uniforms.
Vince: (laughing) Yeah, well, we didn’t beat anybody up at Matterhorn because that wouldn’t be cool. But we did buy those on Amazon or no, I didn’t say that. They’re authentic. We made them out of our curtains at home, inspired by “The Sound of Music.”

Traci: The adorable dancing videos as they kept getting called.
Vince: We keep driving away at the adorable part. You could still be middle aged and adorable, I think.
Traci: Well, by the end of the video, I was like, “They ARE adorable. This IS adorable.”
Vince: All right, it worked!
Traci: When you play in August, will you be wearing those?
Vince: We don’t know yet. (laughing) We’re taking meetings. We’re casting votes. We’re in flux right now. Plus we’re going to keep it a mystery if we do or don’t. You’ll have to come to the show and see who’s wearing the lederhosen.

Traci: I read this is your first headlining show in four years, is that correct?
Vince: Yeah, it’s been a while. I mean, we took a long break during COVID. Yeah, I don’t even remember the last time we did a headlining show.
Traci: August 11th at Old World, who’s playing that night with you?
Vince: It’s going to be Louser, which is our dear friend, my dear friend, one of my best friends, Chris Graue. He does so much for the ska scene and punk rock scene. He’s constantly creating amazing videos. He’s just the best. So he’s going to be on the show, and he’s been killing it with his music. I think the last couple of years he’s been constantly releasing stuff, and he gets out and tours as much as he can. I mean, he’s doing a great job. Then The Ruffolos, which we’re stoked they’re on board because they’re just really great guys. The music is great, they have a great following. So should be a fun show.

Traci: Do you have other shows in the works or anything else coming that you’re allowed to talk about?
Vince: We’re just concentrating on the August show and we’re seeing about fall. We’re taking it show by show. And just writing and recording when we can get together, just trying to keep busy.
Traci: What are you writing and recording?
Vince: We recorded a couple of Disney songs with Paul Miner, an awesome producer. We got in touch with him through some of the guys with Zebrahead, so we’re stoked. It’s the first time in a while because a lot of the stuff in the past, we just do it in house. But it’s the first time we reached out to a producer and have him put in his two cents, and it’s been awesome. So can’t wait to release the songs soon. We don’t have a date of when we’re going to release them, but hopefully sooner than later.

Traci: Are you allowed to say which Disney songs?
Vince: You know what? I actually don’t know if I can. (laughing)
Traci: (laughing) Hey, I never want to get anyone in trouble. Okay, new stuff on the horizon.
Vince: New stuff on the horizon. Yeah.
Traci: Until then, the show in August!

Vince: Yeah. August 11. It’s going to be a good time! It all sounds generic, but it’s true, I promise you.
Traci: I don’t want to tell you how to run your show, but maybe you could have a lederhosen competition.
Vince: I will pitch that to the guys. A lederhosen competition and anybody just coming in even like, puppies and cats. I don’t know if you can bring them to the show, but I mean, if they’re in lederhosen, it’d be so adorable.
Traci: Oh, my God. I would pay extra money to see that.
Vince: Puppies and lederhosen. Why don’t we just ditch the show and have a puppy parade?

Traci: Okay. Sorry for ruining everything. (laughing)
Vince: No, I think you’ve just enhanced it and it’s going to be a completely different August!
Thank you to Vince for tolerating me hopped up on cold meds with half a voice and getting way too into the puppies and lederhosen ideas.



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