at B Ryder's
Not that they're suffering from a disappointing musical career, but
Aussie rock trio Sick Puppies can always use a hug.
After the release of the band's 2007 single "All the Same,"
which was used as the soundtrack for a touching tribute for a friend,
the video became a viral sensation, helping to launch the Puppies'
careers into high gear.
The sensation continues for the members of Sick Puppies: Emma Anzai,
bass; Shimon "Shim" Moore, guitar; and Mark Goodwin, drums.
Bakersfield will get a glimpse of the magic Sunday at B Ryder's.
"Firstly, it was a complete accident," said Anzai, 32, during
an interview. "Shim made 'Free Hugs' as a 'feel better' video
for his friend, who had recently lost his grandmother. After it got
put on YouTube, it got a life of its own, skyrocketing beyond our
control. It's been a few years now and we still see people all over
the world holding 'Free Hugs' signs."
Anzai said the band's latest release, "Connect," was built
with help from their fans.
"The one thing we like to do before we start the process of a
new album is ask our close fans what they want more of and less of.
We have a group of people called the Sick Puppies world crew who have
been fans from the beginning, and the world crew continues to grow
as we do. We look to them when we write and record, as sometimes being
in this band bubble can be disorienting, and they bring us back to
Critics are split on the group's latest direction, pointing out the
band may be trying to take themselves too seriously after coming off
the joyful hype of "Free Hugs."
"In a nutshell, I'd say that it's a complete mixture of our albums
'Dressed Up As Life,' 'Tri-Polar' and 'Polar Opposite,'" Anzai
said. "It's a snapshot in time, as albums always are, and this
one is a snapshot of our time when we wrote it. It's more musical
and we explored and experimented with our sound just enough to make
it a little different, but not too much as to make it 'not us.'"
Musical "hugs" from the stage will be plentiful in Bakersfield,
said Anzai, adding that hand sanitizer is optional.
"We hope that people get to forget all their problems for an
h our and to feel something, to purge something and hopefully leave
with a good feeling when they go home."
Sunday's showtime is 8 p.m. $22. All ages. B Ryder's is at 7401 White
Lane. 397-7304 or numbskullshows.com.