Band Q&A – Second Player Score

Today we went through our Q&A with Second Player Score, a trio from Vancouver. Consisting of;

  • Brian Tashina – Lead Vocals/Guitar
  • Daniel Downs – Bass/Backing Vocals
  • Kyle Gilbert – Drums/Backing Vocals

1) Who are your top 3 influences?

  1. Bad Religion
  2. Green Day
  3. The Offspring

2) How did you get your band name?

From the Mother Be Not Proud episode of The Simpson’s. In that episode there is a video game called Bonestorm that everyone was playing. At one point Bart was at Millhouse’s home and wanted to play the game, but Millhouse said that it was only a one player game. Then Bart asked why it said second player score on the screen. Brian heard that and thought, hey, that sounds like a great band name. From that the future SPS was born.

3) How did you meet? 

Brian and Kyle met in 2000 through a Portland Musicians website. They formed a band called ‘Upper 80’ and played until 2004. Then other parts of life took over and the band dissolved. Then in late 2010, Kyle got an electronic drum kit and Brian started going over on weekends for some jamming and beers. By 2012 things started getting more serious and they were introduced to Dan through a mutual friend at a practice studio in Portland. Brian and Dan are both Hawaii natives, so there was an instant connection and the full SPS was quickly solidified.

4) What is your song writing process?

Typically Brian or Dan will present the band with a riff, or a combination of riffs, and we just play on that to see how it comes together. Once we have the song arranged then we have a blender process where we just throw out whatever comes to mind. Brian then takes all those ideas and extracts what seems to be the song story and creates the lyrics. Brian is a published author, so writing really comes natural to him. We are incredibly lucky that most of it comes together very easily, and there seems to be no shortage of material popping into our heads right now. We are definitely riding the wave as long and as best we can. We are preparing to release our 3rd album in June, and have half of album 4 and half of album 5 written already.

5) Plans for a year from now?

Well, if all goes as planned, we might be seeing the beginning of a new anime television and comic book series. Our albums are concept albums, and our 3rd album, Glorified, took that the furthest so far. The album has 12 tracks in total. Each track is like an episode of a television series comprising 1 season. We have been developing the screenplays for each episode and have turned the story of the lead track into a comic book that we are releasing along with the album in June. So hopefully in a year we should be well into the process of getting the anime series up and popping. We should also be well into recording album 4 by that time.

6) First gig experience?

Well, we have yet to do a tour, but I can speak about our first out of town show. A couple years back we got asked to do a show in Cottage Grove, OR. It was almost a 4 hour drive, and we played at a venue called The Axe & Fiddle. It was the first time we’d ever played a show outside of the Portland area, and it was a great experience. People there were really into music, and especially seeing who was there from parts unknown. I think in Portland there is so much music, that it really is no big thing. When you get to other areas though, they really look forward to the live shows. It is a real event for the night life, and they treat it as such. It is great to have so many new people take to what you do.

7) Biggest challenge?

Becoming our own promoters and learning the business end. Gone are the days of someone promoting and selling you while you just be the artist. You now have to be just as good at business, as you are at music. It really is all DIY now, unless you get to the upper echelons of the business. Usually to get there though, you have to be the one to get you popular enough to be seen. Gone are the days of hidden jems being discovered by a record exec that happened to stumble into a bar they were playing at.

8) What’s your dream tour to star on?

It would certainly be a hard choice. Within the genre we’d probably want to open for an influence like Green Day, The Offspring, or Bad Religion. Out of those three, and by a razor thin margin, the dream would probably be Green Day. Genres aside though, it would be epic to open for Iron Maiden. They are an unmentioned influence for all 3 of us.

9) Favourite thing about performing?

Getting to witness first hand the energy we are able to create with our music. It is an amazing feeling to see people lose their shit to what you’re playing at the exact moment.

10) Favourite song to play live?

Of our stuff, our favorite has been ‘Head Of Sin’ off our ‘Nobody’s Hero’ album, but with the new album coming out there is a good chance that ‘Eye Of The Needle’, which is the lead track on ‘Glorified’, will take the title as favorite. If we’re talking covers, our favorite has been ‘Anything, Anything’ by ‘Dramarama’. I believe that too is about to be unseated by ‘Face to Face’ – ‘Disconnected’. We’ve been messing around with that as a show closer for a little bit and we’re really digging it.

11) What inspired your most recent songs?

The story itself was inspired by shows like the latest Mad Max movie, Alita Battle Angel, and Kill Bill. Movies/shows with a strong female character. Our first album had a song on the called Gloria, and that was the beginning of our character. We just built it out from there. Every practice we would discuss the story and add to it until we were happy with the overall premise. As for the music, much of this album had a more direct inspiration from 2/3 influences, Green Day and The Offspring. In our second album we had drifted away from our pop punk sound a little and were closer to rock. This album we drifted back to the pop punk roots we had. We thought it was a much better fit to our story than the rock sound of Nobody’s Hero. There are a lot of deeper messages in the story, but we don’t want to get too specific, and let listeners get their own message from this.

12) What do you do when you’re not musically involved?

Brian is a published author that writes a series of young adult novels called the Joel Suzuki Series. They are similar to the idea of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.

Dan is a full time nerd, and fabricator when he’s not building jets for Boeing. He and his wife collect memorabilia from pop culture, amassing an impressive Nerd Wall and Dan does a little Cosplay fabricating. The band went to Rose City Comic Con a couple years ago as characters from Kung Fury and Dan did much of the fabrication for that…

Kyle is a nerd as well, but unlike Dan and Brian who are more comic book, Star Wars, pop culture nerds. Kyle is more of a horror nerd. Regularly watching several horror movies or series episodes on the weekends. He collects horror movies shirts as well, but what really sets him apart is his home brewing. Kyle is a definite craft beer nerd, and avid home brewer. He has even won awards at multiple home brew competitions.

13) What gear do you use?

  • Brian – plays a Gibson Les Paul Studio guitar with a Marshall JCM 800 Head and Ernie Ball strings.
  • Kyle – plays a Mapex 5 piece with Zildjan cymbals, and Promark 2B sticks.
  • Dan – plays an Ibanez 5 string SDGR Prestige with a Yorkville 800 head with a 2×10 and 1×15 cab.

14) In your opinion, what’s your best song?

Hmmmm….. it’s a toss-up between ‘Bonestorm’ and ‘Anything At All’. Each seems to be equally as popular for different reasons. These are not our favorites though. Our personal favorite is Comets. We feel though that our best is yet to be heard on Glorified. We are incredibly proud of how the album came out and feel we have multiple songs that could take the title of Best SPS Track from any of our previous material. Once again though, no specifics, we’d like listeners to find their own favorite or best song with Glorified.

15) Who has the worst dress sense?

Definitely Kyle! Zero fashion sense whatsoever. He’s fully aware of this fact as well, and is at one with it.

16) Funniest show story?

Well, this is a funny story, but not an SPS story, just Brian. Brian was in a band called ‘Bellwether’ before we started Second Player Score. One night during the first song of their show Brian’s realizes his amp goes dead. He never says a word and just keeps playing through the set. Not one person in the audience suspected a thing the entire time. Good thing they had 2 guitars in that band. Fake it till you make it.

17) Pizza! What do you have?

Kyle’s wife is a killer pizza maker. In the early days of SPS we used to have pizza parties at Kyle’s place and she’d make everyone who showed up pizza. She even made the dough from scratch. Brian’s favorite was her Garlic Chicken pizza with creamy parmesan garlic sauce. Brian is a sucker for high quantities of garlic. Dan’s love of pizza knows no bounds. Literally liked anything we put in front of him. It was pizza, it was good. Kyle’s favorite was Pepperoni with Kalamata and Green Olives.

18) Who has the worst tattoo?

Well, we are a bit of an anomaly. We are a pop punk band with no tattoos. The new tattoo is no tattoo! We are all planning to each get an SPS tattoo in the future though.

19) Most annoying member?

That would be Kyle. Guy just can’t leave anything alone. It is almost inevitable that the week before we go into the studio we’ll hear, “Ok, so I made a couple changes…”. Seriously?

20) Fast forward and you’re millionaires. What do you do with the money?

Well, money is freedom to move about the cabin freely, so we’d do the things we want. We’d probably organize a world tour for starters, hire Bruce Dickenson to fly us to our destinations, if he’s not touring himself and willing. Start up our own chain of pop culture/SPS themed brewpubs that would brew and serve the beers that Kyle has been developing over the past few years and pizzas his wife has created. Put together an awesome cosplay studio to develop off the hook costumes and attend Comicons everywhere. Put some serious financial backing into Brian’s book series he’s been writing which is an awesome story in itself, start up a comic book/animation studio to develop the stories of our albums into Anime television series’, comic book series’ while helping young up and coming artists make a name for themselves as well.

You can follow ‘Second Player Score’ on Twitter or Facebook.

Listen on Spotify.

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