Implants got their start back in 2011 when guitarist Jim Blowers decided that he needed an outlet for songs that he describes as, “a little too radical” for his band Pulley. First tapping Chris Del Rio (Ten Foot Pole), Jim subsequently pulled in Rob Ramos (Strung Out) for guitar duties, Ken Conte (The Tank) for vocals and finally Chris Dalley (Ten Foot Pole) on drums. Matt Riddle (Face to Face, No Use For A Name) took over on bass duties about a year ago to finalize the line-up.
In talking to Jim, Ken and Matt ahead of some West Coast live dates, things really feel like they have gelled for the band. Looking back on his first practice with the Implants Matt remembers, “Oh my god, these guys are fucking rock stars. They’re all so good at what they do. It was really a breath of fresh air for myself.” Apparently fans of the additional of Matt to the band can thank his wife for the nudge. “I was kind of not interested in playing bass any more. I was kind of just done with it … and it ended up being an absolute blast.”
While the membership of the Implants frequently invokes the moniker ‘punk supergroup’, Ken is quick to explain, “although it’s flattering, we want to hold our own as a band and not have to rely on the supergroup title … we kind of have our own sound which makes us unique.” Jim adds, “it wasn’t planned. That’s the one thing that I try to remind everybody … we’re doing it because we enjoy playing with each other and we actually all get along really well.” While Ken and Jim hadn’t even met in person until their first rehearsal, the chemistry they have together is evident in their music as well as their live show.
Originally planned for summer of 2015, a new EP is coming out soon. Expanded from three songs to five and with bass lines re-recorded by Matt Riddle, the result will most likely be well-worth the wait. One can surely expect the signature rapid-fire drums and searing guitar licks but unlike their 2013 full-length album, From Chaos To Order, the band describes the new material as, “definitely more of a collaboration … everybody put their heads together and got their spin on the songs.”
While they’ve built up a loyal following over their brief time together, there is no grand plan for the band. Matt jokes, “record some songs and maybe play some shows. It’s pretty grand!” Jim goes on to explain, “the grand plan for the future is to enjoy what we’re doing, not get in too deep to where we’re going to be sacrificing our home lives and sacrificing financial things … we’re just having fun and we feel pretty much like we can do just about anything we want musically.”
With families, jobs and responsibilities, there are no extended tours on the horizon and the focus remains on weekend jaunts. Says Jim, “We’re at a level where we can’t make the kind of guarantees where we’d be able to sustain our home lives.” Adds Ken, “we’re still earning our stripes even though you’ve got very seasoned musicians in this band. We’ve all been doing it combined over a hundred years.” For those fortunately enough to live on the West Coast though, that means plenty of opportunities to catch the guys live, including next Saturday at 924 Gilman St. for their first show in the Bay Area since NOFX’s 2013 “New Years Heave.”
Implants Tour Dates:
- Apr 08 – Monterey – Monterey, CA
- Apr 09 – 924 Gilman St. – Berkeley, CA
- Apr 16 – The Karman Bar – Laguna Niguel, CA
- May 07 – Los Globos – Los Angeles, CA
- May 08 – Soda Bar – San Diego, CA
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