Friday, 23 August 2013

The Longshots Q&A

Your names: 
Ben Hampton and Eric Johnson.

Where are you from?   
[Ben] The band was formed in Eugene, Oregon, and we’re now relocating to Portland, Oregon.

Name of band: 
The Longshots.

Who is in your band?  
[Eric] We've got myself on saxophone, Blake Hoshibata on guitar, Shane Connor on vox and keys, Ben Hampton on drums, Tom Wade on bass, Justin Canfield on trombone, and sometimes Ben Caiazza on trumpet 

How would you describe yourselves?   
[Ben] A handful of guys from Oregon who just happen to love ska and reggae. We all come from different backgrounds and are at different stages in our lives, but we keep playing shows, writing songs and meeting new fans. As our music keeps improving we seem to be finding out just how deeply we are connected to this music. This doesn't feel like a college party band any more, at least not to me.

Who are your main influences musically?  
[Eric] The Slackers and Westbound Train are the two big ones, but we all love the Aggrolites, Jimmy Cliff, Skatalites, Toots, Alton Ellis 

What do you hope to achieve in music?  
[Ben] To make music that we love and that our audience loves. We want to make people dance, we want to make people feel good, and we want to have songs that people can really connect to; songs that will stay with them and that they will want to listen to at home and connect with life events and all that goodness.
[Eric] Yeah, and make playing music our day jobs...haha.

What has been the highlight of your career so far, and why?  
[Eric] Well a couple things stick out. The first is sharing the bill and hanging out with The Skatalites in Eugene, TWICE! Also, playing the Folk Life festival in Seattle was killer. Our last show in Eugene was great but the kicker was a guy in front that none of us knew was singing along to every song, THAT was cool! Those type of experiences make all the shows that weren't as fun worth it.

And what’s the moment you want to forget?  
[Ben] That gig at a Unitarian church that ended with us loaning out all of our instruments and then not getting to play.....we didn't get paid or anything either, it was bad. 
[Eric] Or that one night where a particular member of the band was quite intoxicated and decided it was a good idea to yell at the crowd while we were on stage, in particular telling people how hot his girlfriend was.
[Ben] Oh man.....and pointing at each girl in the audience.  “My girlfriend’s hotter than you, and you, and you.....”

If you had to choose just one of your songs to represent your music, what would it be and why?  
[Ben] Act Right. It was an indicator of the direction that the band’s music and songwriting would go in the next two years, and we still consider it to be one of our best songs.  
[Eric] Yeah, definitely.

Where can we listen to it? It's the first track you can play, and you can hear our whole album here.

Where can we find out more about your music?

Anything else you’d like to say that I forgot to ask?
[Ben] We are raising money for the release of our third studio album. You can pre-order your copy of the album and help us get the production done by visiting this site:    
We have roughly 14 new songs to record, and I think it’s easily our best material yet.
Los Angeles producer Brian Wallace will be producing the album. We couldn't be more excited to be working with Brian.  He produced one of our absolute favorite albums of all time, Westbound Train’s Transitions, and also produced the Western Standard Time-A Big Band Tribute to the Skatalites album that came out last year. 

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