Ballyhoo, interview, music, music interview, pop punk, Reggae, rock, ska, Warped tour


A rock band with punk energy and pop reggae grooves, Baltimore’s BALLYHOO! are a fun, fan-loving powerhouse. These road dogs have tirelessly toured coast-to-coast taking their music to the people. Between the road and the studio, BALLYHOO! have crafted a sound distinctly their own; fresh, fun, and embodied by the soul of the party lifestyle. Lead singer and guitarist, Howi Spangler, has a reputation for mixing slick lyrics with his smooth but powerful voice. Drummer Donald “Big D” Spangler lays out the hard-hitting beats, which are underlined by JR Gregory’s funky and witty bass lines. Scott Vandrey (aka DJ Blaze) rounds it out on the turntables and keys.

-From there official bio

BBM: Whats your name and what do you do for the band?
my names Howi Spangler and I’m the singer and guitarist for Ballhoo!

BBM: How’s life treating you?
It’s good just nice to be home. This past year we did a lot of regional touring and right now were playing locally. We’re not doing too much right now just staying home to enjoy the holidays. It’s been a crazy year…

BBM: Yeah this year has been incredibly busy for Ballhoo! It’s the first year y’all played the entire Warped Tour. How was that?
We all had a really great time and it kept us on our toes as far as self-promotion. Pretty shameless as well we had to really get out there and put our shit in front of the kids face and make them want to buy it and make come see us play on stage. It was really hot and sweaty you know a lot of sunburned it was a great experience.

BBM: Any funny or memorable Warped Tour moments you care to show?
Nothing too crazy I remember in Phoenix we all almost died on stage it was so fucking hot. The kids where dropping like flies the EMS station was behind our stage. I saw kids all day being taken in gurneys and hooked up to IV’s for hydration.  

BBM: Let’s take it back a little bit. What was your first major experience with music and how did you know it was for you?
The first time I saw Rat and Poison when I was six years old. My dad took me to see the show and they were really big at that point. I don’t know what it was I just saw everything going on it was a dark arena, people screaming and singing the songs, and all the lights on stage. Big loud music and the guys where dressed up and had make up idk it just looked like a lot of fun. I felt like that’s something I want to do. My dad always had me with him and he was in bands I just kept it going from there. When I played my first show it really solidified it. We opened with a Green Day song and I was like “okay this is it!”.

BBM: Give our readers a little history on Balllyhoo! Who came up with the band’s name?
We formed in the summer of 95 and the name came from one of our good friends. He was like call the band Ballyhoo. In my head it sounded iconic, big, and colorful it kind of stuck. We had nothing else to work with and I put the explanation on our first show flier and still rocking it today.

BBM: 17 years now how would you say the sound of the band has evolved?
It started very pop punk and then about a year into that I started mixing ska and reggae into the punk. I discovered bands like Gold Finger, Suicide Machines, and Sublime and we would mess around with street rock or acoustic. That’s how we found our genre…

BBM: Three words that describe the band?
Fun, Party, Sex

BBM: (laughs) speaking of which you’re going to be on the 311 Cruise again in 2013. How was 2012’s cruise? It sounds like a nonstop party.
Pretty much whatever you thought it was that. We were down in the Bahamas and we were nowhere no self-service or internet. It was wild all the people on board where positive. Good kind heart loving people that really took us in. It really made us famous in the 311 community and it was just a really good show. A great experience all around we got to party on an island for 2 days

BBM: Lots of great opportunities have been coming up for Ballhoo! Couldn’t happen to nicer guys y’all are great. Are you currently recording any new material?
Thank you! I’m always writing but I started aggressively writing right before Warped tour. I was writing stuff in the winter this past year but it started heavy in warped tour. I was really inspired and soaked up the music just music all the time. There was a lot of down time at night so I had my Ipad and recorded demos you know.

Besides Warped Tour where do you find inspiration in life?
Just life itself man I take notice of things that happen. People let the day go by and are stuck in a routine. I’m not saying that I’m not in a routine I just take notice. I realize the routine and try to put a spin on it. That’s how I write a lot of material it makes for great stories and great songs.

BBM: The bands were around for a long time now. What are some words of wisdom you would give a youth wanting to be in a band?
I think it’s a great idea for anyone to start a band. It doesn’t matter whether you want to do it for a couple of months or the rest of your life. It’s so much fun and if it’s something you want to be serious about. Take it as far as it can go that means there’s going to be a lot of sacrifice and you’re going to have to pick up a lot of things. Big house’s and expensive cars don’t come right away you have to live low and put all that many into the band. Don’t wait around the labels don’t come out like they used to in the 90’s but in a way now its all about doing it independently.  Just do what you want and don’t let people stifle you go out with a positive approach.

BBM: Your favorite place to tour and why?
Florida, it was one of the first places we started going and there great shows with lots of energy. It’s warm and you can get there pretty easily where 14 hours away. The gas usage isn’t that big compared to going around the entire country.

BBM: I’m sure it was epic with the Bus?
Yeah it wasn’t too bad because of a diesel engine but its going to be the gas bill for the entire year?

BBM: What are some of your hobbies when you’re not busy?
Write songs and make beats. I do a lot of artistic things I fuck around with computers I’m a geek. The other guys play Xbox…

BBM: What’s currently in heavy rotation in your record player?
Old stuff I haven’t heard in a while. I checked out the latest EP from Rome lots of good songs. I’m always stopping on UB40 and the Green Day albums.

BBM: Where can fans find the latest news and get some merch?
Facebook ( has all our info and has a link to our online store.

BBM: Any other news you care to share?
Where doing the Cali Roots festival in May 2013.

BBM: So far a great start for 2013! Any last words?
Thanks to everyone supporting us over the past couple of years!!
Click on pic to go to Ballhoo! official site

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s