National Anthem are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, CA in 2014. The group consists of Tad Jacobs (guitar, vocals) , Smokin' Joe Perez (lead guitar), Bobby Alt (drums), Curtis Roach (bass) , and Jeffrey Howell (keys). The band began in an abandoned warehouse in the industrial area of Downtown Los Angeles. Self recording music before they emerged on the west side scene playing shows at the most popular venues in Venice beach, Santa Monica and beyond. The band's raw garage rock sound draws heavily from the environments in which the band was shaped and formed.
National Anthem Is
Tad Jacobs / Vocals, Guitar
Joe Perez / Lead Guitar
Jeffrey Howell / Piano, Organ
Curtis Roach / Bass
Bobby Alt / Drums
No Name Club Friday, May 10th 9PM
Highland Park Bowl Thursday, May 30th 10PM
When I first heard National Anthem, the words that jumped into mind were Rock. Friends. Bikes. Chicks. Harmonies. Venice. America. When I mentioned that to the band, they said, "That's our Bio, done." Then drummer Bobby Alt told me, "We started this band to save Abbot Kinney Boulevard," and I was hooked forever (even if he was just kidding).
National Anthem was formed by two groups of friends from coming together from other bands to create their own better band, "kind of like Led Zeppelin," says singer/guitarist, Tad Jacobs. That's a pretty good comparison too, with the solid, powerful songs National Anthem throws down in their live shows backing up that claim - with no apologies - since early 2014.
While the music of National Anthem is steeped in good old pure American rock and roll, that's not the whole story. Behind the good times going on in every tune, there is also a depth and thoughtfulness not often seen in rock music today.
In the song "Devil's Highway" off their great debut EP, Come To California, National Anthem tells you about the road that runs through Afghanistan, and what the soldiers go through over there. In that vein, the band has started a project close to their hearts called "Musicians For Heroes" where 100% of the song's proceeds will go to wounded warriors, and every other band out there is more than welcome to do the same. "There's a lot of concern for soldiers, but no real action," said Jacobs, in a true effort to change that. As bassist Curtis Roach added, "Music is a voice where you can influence people in a bigger way ... why wouldn't you do that?" Exactly.
"AK47" is a tongue in cheek Stephen Colbert type song where they stomp out a heavy rocker demanding "Give me my AK47!" that some people (mostly in Southern audiences) have taken seriously. They should not.
But it's not all heavy - except the beats, that is. In their live shows, "Shake Your Money Maker" is about a good time get down barn burner of a song as you're gonna get, and "We Like It That Way", with its great minor notes and excellent keys from Jeffrey Howell will make you all like it that way.
"Come To California" is a clear hit, and has already been remixed by Alt's wife, Caroline D'Amore, as a dance single available right now, and as the lead single of the namesake EP. This is the one that makes you want to be here in California, and the one that makes you want National Anthem as your soundtrack when you're here.
Having said that, every country has a national anthem, and this band is about bringing everyone together ... with liberty, justice and unity for all, for a kickass time.
- CJ Gronner