SRJC band of the week: Boilermaker

members of the band Boilermaker said some people go to church on Sundays, but they do band practice.

Estefany Gonzalez, Co-Editor-in-Chief

A shot of whiskey and a beer. A drink named boilermaker found at almost any bar. But for the band Boilermaker, this drink means more than taking the edge off a long day. Three years ago, when the band sipped a round of these beer cocktails and brainstormed names, none seemed to fit as well as the drink in their hands.
The band describes its sound as “Junk-fuzz,” a term members came up with to describe what would happen if band members’ musical influences were all thrown into a blender to create a genre for themselves.
“We all have different influences. Punk, blues, funk, psychedelic, what isn’t there?” said Daren Ross, guitar, mandolin and bass player.
Band members all work more than 30 hours a week and drummer Daniel Fuentes also attends night classes at Santa Rosa Junior College.
Regardless of their busy schedules, members set aside Sundays to practice. “We play as much as we can until we’re burnt out,” said Weston Lee Ball, who sings and plays guitar and keyboard.
Practices can go as long as six hours at a time. “Some people go to church; we do band practice,” said vocalist and bass player Zachary Walker.
Together, with back-up vocalist Katie Hugill, Boilermaker has played at bars across Sonoma County. Other venues the band plays regularly include Aubergine After Dark, the Phoenix Theater and the Arlene Francis Center.
Over the years, the band had the opportunity to record Eps and demos but it held off in order to bring fans a full album. “We never focused on music as small releases, everything was album format. We’re kinda old school like that,” Lee Ball said. “Concept albums and 60s music wrote through an album like that and I guess that’s where we were coming from.”
As the band prepares for its first album release in April, band members share their musical inspirations, celebrity crushes, favorite drinks and more.
Can you describe the day you came up with your name?
Ross: “We were pretty much sitting around drinking boilermakers coming up with all these hilarious band titles and laughing our asses off. I think I was just like, ‘We should just be called Boilermaker,’ and it just stuck.”
Lee Ball: “I always bring up ‘Shattered Dwarf.’”
Fuentes: “Yeah, no one was considering that. It was just in his head.”
Ross: “They were all hilarious and there was no way anyone would call their band that.”
Walker: “It was all offensive punk titles.”
Drink of choice?
Fuentes: “IPA. I work at a brewery. I enjoy beer. It’s a little cliché, but I do.”
Lee Ball: “I’m not drinking right now, but when I did drink, everything. But mostly beer.”
Walker: “Boilermaker.”
Hugill: “I guess I’m going with the boilermaker thing or just whiskey.”
Ross: “Either boilermaker or gin and tonic.”
Your car stereo breaks on a road trip and you’re forced to listen to only one album on repeat. What album do you hope it is? 
Ross: “Queens of the Stone Age, ‘Songs for the Deaf.’”
Fuentes: “Casino Versus Japan, 1998 collections.”
Lee Ball: “Parliament, ‘Let’s Take It to the Stage.’ It’s a funkadelic album.”
Walker: “The Who, ‘Quadrophenia.’ It has to be something that flows.”
Hugill: “Captain Beefheart, ‘Safe as Milk.’”
Celebrity crush?
Ross: “Jennifer Lawrence.”
Fuentes: “Julian Casablancas.”
Lee Ball: “Bernie Sanders.”
Walker: “Matthew Mercer.”
Hugill:  “Bill Plympton.”
 What inspires you musically?
Ross: “Anything unique really. I’m inspired by bands that have a particular sound and that when you put it on, you know it’s that band. That it couldn’t just be any band in that genre. People don’t have to like it, but they know who it is.”
Fuentes: “No matter what genre, it just has that sound.”
Walker: “Yeah. It’s distinct. Anyone who knows who they are when they play their instrument: they’re not trying to be someone else.”
Lee Ball: “A lot of weird noise and prog [progressive] stuff is what I’ve been listening to lately. Like Can and Captain Beefheart. There’s so much music out there and everyone is trying so hard to get their voice heard, especially when you’re a smaller band or someone who’s on the weird end of a niche market. Just weird people, who make weird music. That’s kinda what we do, or what we are.”