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Belinda discusses Stage Antics with Gabe and Dameon Aranda at Rocklahoma.

Coming off a main stage appearance at Rocklahoma, the United States biggest fan festival, Aranda releases a new album that promises it’s “Not The Same”.

3Sitting down to talk to Gabe and Dameon Aranda feels like sitting down to talk to old friends. I think, with the personality and accessablility these two guys have, it would feel like that even if I hadn’t been following their career for several years already. They are personable guys with absolutely no rock star egos. We all had a terrific time and laughed as much as we talked.

Known for fan favorite stage antics such as Das Boot, where Gabe holds Dameon’s guitar horizontally and he plays it with a boot, these two are soon to be known for their power vocals and distinct melodies that were well honed while they were on a three year hiatus from recording. When asked why they waited three years, it was simple. They both agreed that musicians are still first a foremost human beings and not machines. They are husbands, fathers, and human beings with lives far beyond the stage. It wouldn’t be fair to fans to just put out mediocre work in order to file each year with an album release. They wanted to produce an album that was not the old grind but had quality for their fans. Having given it a pre release listen, I have to say mission accomplished.

When asking them how long they had played together, a jovial Dameon claims that since the were “zygotes” the two of them have been collaborating. Joking that they “began playing at five or six years old with Barney music and then progressing through teletubbies”. You can feel that they play for the love of music and the fans. I asked Gabe about the new album and he answered that it had a lot more thought in it than previous works and, added coyly, it was “not the same”, again referencing the album title.

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In Oklahoma they are the hometown boys. Their album release party is being held in Oklahoma City at the Diamond Ballroom. During Rocklahoma the show was shut down due to weather serious enough to have produced tornados and baseball sized hail. Many fans and artists not from the area were a little upset, but Gabe summed it up well. “If you don’t cancel and a tornado comes through there’s simply nothing to be done. Where’s the refund then?” (Implying that life is way more important than any festival or ticket), and he had a valid point. In 2008 a tornado ripped through the Rockalhoma grounds destroying all but the main stage which suffered significant damage. There’s simply nowhere to hide 70,000 people from a tornado.1

Finally, out of personal curiosity, I had to ask “Where did Das Boot come from?” Dameon offered up the story. Sometime during a tour in 2007 they were at a bar in Texas. There was little to no security and a rather drunken patron put Dameon in a head lock, first insisting he play with a beer bottle, and then with his own shoe. Of course, he obliged. At the end a lady absconded with Dameon’s boot. It cause such a commotion that they have done it ever since. They are hoping one day to find the lady with the missing boot in order to sign it for her.

Written by Belinda Glass Ready. Belinda is a new addition to our team of Music Journalists. A talented writer and a super talented photographer and a genuine down to earth person I am pleased to call my friend as well as a colleague.

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Photos by Belinda for Got Image.

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