CVIndependent

Thu10292020

Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

When Sonny McEachran decided to move up north, that meant the end of popular local band Boycott Radio.

However, Chris Long and Dan Dillinger pressed on—and soon, with the addition of Troy Whitford, the Sweat Act was born.

During an interview one afternoon not too long ago at The Hood Bar and Pizza, Long and Dillinger discussed how they met.

“My dad knew that I was playing music with Sonny McEachran in Boycott Radio, and he knew that I was heavily looking for a bass player,” Long said. “My dad finds this post on Craigslist that said, ‘Looking for a punk rock band.’ My dad said, ‘He’s a bass player; you should hit him up.’ I was like, ‘Dad, whatever. I’m not looking on Craigslist, and that’s kind of weird. Why are you on Craigslist, Dad? You have Mom at home; get off Craigslist!’”

Nonetheless, Long contacted Dillinger.

“He hit me up, like, ‘We’re not really a punk band, but we’re looking for a bass player. Maybe you’d like to come and check it out; here are some videos on YouTube,’ and all this other shit,” Dillinger said. “I looked them up. … I watched the videos, and I was like, ‘That dude is wearing a V neck; he’s probably a douche bag! I don’t wanna go over there!’ I went and thought, ‘This is gonna suck, but I might as well try it.’

“It worked out fine.”

When McEachran moved away last year, Boycott Radio was finished. Dillinger continued to play with local punk band Bridger, and metal band Remnants of Man. He also went on tour in a Sublime tribute band. However, Long and Dillinger missed having their own band.

“Dan and I were sitting there with our dicks in our hands like, ‘What’s next?’” Long said. “Well, here comes our archangel, Troy Whitford, coming down from the heavens and being like, ‘Hey, I play drums!’ It turns out I work with him at Babe’s in Rancho Mirage. I was like, ‘Let’s give it a shot sometime!’”

Whitford and Long then began to practice together. Long is not a fan of social media; in fact, he said he really doesn’t do anything with computers except play video games. So Whitford reached out to Dillinger via social media, and asked him to come to a practice session. He did, and before long, Dillinger and Whitford were chumming it up, talking about their favorite records and comparing influences.

“I was like, ‘Get a fucking room, guys!’” Long said. “I’m the third wheel. … They started doing this whole thing where Troy was like, ‘Can you play this song?’ and Dan was like, ‘Can you play this song?’ And, of course, they can play every song, because they both love NOFX, and they lived happier ever after.”

Dillinger remains with Bridger. When I asked him how he makes playing in two rather active bands work, he said it’s not that hard. The Sweat Act practices on weekdays, while Bridger practices on weekends. When it comes to gigs or practices, Dillinger said it’s first come, first serve.

“It’s a lot easier now being in two bands than it was being in four bands,” Dillinger said. “In anything that I’ve ever done … I always make it work. If I have to pull double-duty, so be it. One time, I played a Boycott show, and then ran over to do a Remnants show. I love what I do; I need to do what I do; and I’m not going to fucking piss off the people around me to do it.”

Whitford said he was surprised at how fast the Sweat Act developed a good following.

“We were only a band for three months, and we all looked at each other like, ‘Hey, that was a great show!’ ‘Hey, we’re nominated in CV Weekly for Best New Band!’” Whitford said. “When it comes to fan response, and I relate this to online and social media, it’s not that big. … It’s still very small, but just the fact that people in the industry and peers of ours give us a lot of praise and respect, that’s enough.”

Whitford said he’s been working hard to push the band forward.

“After the whole CV Weekly thing, it lit a fire under my ass,” Whitford said. “I did the most groundwork I could during the summer, which is the slow time, to get as many shows as possible. We played two shows a month throughout the summer. We did that so we could get exposure for when the big shows start coming up. I’m hoping we did a good enough job.” 

Dillinger said the band members hope to do some recording soon.

“I got someone on board, and I’m just waiting for the green light,” Dillinger said. “We’re kind of shopping, but at the same time, we’re musicians, so we’re broke as fuck. We want to record, and we know that we’re ready to, but it just all depends on who, when, and how much?”

The Sweat Act will perform with War Drum, the Electric Blankets and Fleischman and the Librarian at 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 18, at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. Admission is free. For more information, visit the event page on Facebook. For more information on the Sweat Act, visit www.facebook.com/TheSweatAct.

Published in Previews

Chris Long, the frontman of Boycott Radio, has music in his blood. On top of fronting rock band Boycott Radio (www.facebook.com/boycottradio)—which has performed at The Hood Bar and Pizza, Schmidy’s Tavern and other venues—Long hosts Beer Pong every Wednesday night at The Hood. Here are his answers to The Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

I saw James Taylor at the Coors Amphitheater (in Chula Vista) in 1996. I knew right away that (performing) was what I wanted to do.

What was the first album you owned?

I think the first album that I purchased with my own money was Green Day’s Dookie when I was 7 years old. It changed my perception of music. I bought it with my lunch money I had saved all week.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Every Time I Die’s new album, From Parts Unknown. These guys make me smile. Also I have the Kirby video game anthology soundtrack in my car. Takes me right back.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

That's a great question. Had you asked me a week ago, I would have easily replied, “Country!” but I've been hearing it more at my place of work, and even country has its place in my heart!

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

John Williams with the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing the Star Wars films live with a laser show.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Dubstep. I like it!

What’s your favorite music venue?

Is Coachella a venue? I guess it’s more of an event, but aside from that, I would say Pappy and Harriet’s.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“I’ve been waiting on you!" from Future Islands, “Seasons (Waiting on You).”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Pink Floyd, when I was very, very, young. I would lie in bed in the dark as a kid and listen to my dad’s records, and Dark Side of the Moon blew my tiny little 6-year-old brain.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Nickelback: “Why?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Stevie Wonder, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours.” I defy people at my funeral not to smile and dance.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Reel Big Fish, Turn the Radio Off. Because I just saw it on my computer desk.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Grazin' in the Grass” by the Friends of Distinction. That's my pops on the drums! (Scroll down to hear it.)

Published in The Lucky 13