When I was a teenager in the mid-to-late 90’s, the third wave ska movement was in full swing, especially in Christian music circles with bands like Five Iron Frenzy, the Insyderz, and of course, the Orange County Supertones. A fan favorite, the Supertones released a bevy of radio hits including “Away From You,” “Little Man,” and many others included on release of their “greatest hits” called Reunite (BEC). Now husbands, pastors, worship leaders, and church planters, the Supertones decided to regroup for a summer 2010 tour, which is now in full swing. Drummer and preacher Jason Carson was kind enough to Take 5 with Backseat Writer (and he secretly knows that “Wilderness” is his favorite Supertones song).
What are you currently working on/doing?
EVERY GUY IN THE BAND IS IN MINISTRY. THREE OF US ARE FULL TIME YOUTH PASTORS, TWO ARE WORSHIP LEADERS FOR THEIR CHURCHES, AND ONE GUY (MOJO) IS IN SEMINARY AND DESIRES TO PLANT A CHURCH. SO WE’RE ALL PRETTY BUSY.
Why did the Supertones decide to regroup, release an album, and do some summer touring?
TONY (BASS) AND I HAVE BEEN BEST FRIENDS FOR OVER 20 YEARS NOW. I’VE BEEN OUT OF THE BAND 10 YEARS, TONY’S BEEN OUT 8 YEARS, AND WE BOTH STARTED TALKING, “WHAT IF WE DID THE BAND ONE MORE TIME AND HAD MORE OF A MINISTRY FOCUS THAN EVER? WHAT IF WE LED THE PEOPLE IN WORSHIP AND ENCOURAGED THEM LIKE NEVER BEFORE?” AND WE BOTH GOT REALLY EXCITED! ONE THING LED TO ANOTHER, AND AFTER ABOUT A TWO YEAR PROCESS… HERE WE ARE.
In May, the Supertones released Reunite, which brings 12 band hits together in one album. How did you choose these songs and how could you leave “Wilderness” out of the mix?
BEC RECORDINGSS HAD THE IDEA TO GET A NEW COMPILATION OUT TO HELP BUILD BUZZ FOR THE TOUR. WE THOUGHT IT’D BE A COOL THING IF WE PUT OUR BASIC 12 SONG SET LIST IN ORDER ON THE CD. AS FAR AS “WILDERNESS” GOES, SORRY TO BREAK IT TO YOU… IT WOULDN’T HAVE MADE THE TOP 17. …MAYBE 18TH OR 19TH THOUGH. HAHAHA.
The “ska” sound is something that has never really died down as fans for groups like the Supertones and Five Iron Frenzy have been calling for reunion tours since you disbanded. Why do you think the Supertones maintained such a huge following, despite “breaking up” in 2005?
I THINK PEOPLE LIKE THE LIFE AND JOY IN THE MUSIC. MOJO (vocalist Matt Morginsky) SAID A FUNNY THING THE OTHER NIGHT AT ONE OF OUR SHOWS. HE SAID, “THE REASON WE CAME BACK IS CUZ YOU’VE ALL BEEN LISTENING TO ALL THIS EMO MUSIC AND IT’S MADE YOU ALL DEPRESSED. WE’RE BACK SO THAT WE CAN HAVE A BIG PARTY FOR GOD AND BRING SMILES BACK TO YOUR FACES!” CLASSIC MOJO.
Why did you miss most about not doing the Supertones full time?
BEING TOGETHER AS BROTHERS, DOING MINISTRY ON THAT LEVEL, AND THE IDEA OF KNOWING THAT OUR MUSIC AND CONCERTS WERE A BIG PART OF PEOPLE’S LIVES.
And, one final question, would you do a reunion tour with Five Iron Frenzy and other ska friends should they come out of retirement? (Do we need to make another Facebook group?)
FIRST OF ALL, I BELIEVE WE PLAY WITH THE INSYDERZ ON OCTOBER 22ND IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, SO THAT’S COOL! WE GET THIS QUESTION MORE THAN YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE.
iT’S A FUNNY QUESTION. THE SUPERTONES ARE NOT EVEN TALKING ABOUT TOURING. WE’RE JUST PLAYING 12 SHOWS THIS SUMMER, AND THEN WE’LL SEE WHERE IT GOES FROM THERE. WE LOVE THE GUYS IN FIVE IRON AND INSYDERZ MORE THAN YOU KNOW, AND IF WE WERE TO DO A TOUR, THAT SURE WOULD BE A COOL ONE!
BUT IT’S FUNNY BECAUSE WE HAVE A HARD ENOUGH TIME GETTING THE 6 OF US IN THE SUPERTONES TOGETHER, AND ON THE SAME SCHEDULE FROM LITERALLY ALL OVER THE COUNTRY… LET ALONE THE 8 PEOPLE IN FIVE IRON, AND THE 6 GUYS IN INSYDERZ. BUT HEY, WITH GOD… ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.