“Movement” is the self-proclaimed cause of the B-Side Players, a Latin-roots band originally from San Diego. Although they hail from the Golden State’s southern sector, the diverse background of its members is reflected in the many influences it uses to form its own brand of “movement.”
“As a band, we’ve really developed our own B-Side sound since the ‘Movement’ record was first released back in 2001,” bass player Damian DeRobbio said in an e-mail interview. “We’ve gone back to the roots of our culture and are more consistent with cumbia, salsa and son brands of Latin roots, all while mixing our own brand of B-Side reggae.”
The band members’ background themselves is also quite diverse, with most members hailing from various parts of California but some coming from as far away as Colombia. Some of the band members have residency in both the United States and Mexico.
The band has found much of its influence from originating in a border town, where the reality of having a fence separating two cultures helped the band’s outlook and perspective and gave rise to one of the many causes the band fights for through its music.
“The injustice of perceived law and order and the oppression of the Third World is evident throughout the history of the B-Side Players’ music and sound,” DeRobbio acknowledged.
The band has gone through a bit of a transitional phase between the release of “Movement” in 2001 and the release of their newest record, “Fire in the Youth,” in 2007. In the interim, the band and its old label decided to go their separate ways, with the band ultimately deciding to produce itself.
The result, according to DeRobbio, is the true definition of the band’s “B-Side” sound.
“There are no crazy experimental synth-rock sounds brought on by producers hired on by the old label,” DeRobbio said. “We produce ourselves now, and that is the difference that you will hear in ‘Fire In The Youth’ – it’s very much a Latin roots record.”
The B-Side Players view every town they’ve yet to tour in as a chance to spread their mission, hoping their “uplifting positive vibrations” will make crowds continue to grow and their message continue to spread.
“We are all about movement; that’s really the primary intention of our music,” DeRobbio said. “Our goal is to move people rhythmically, mentally and emotionally. We are global ambassadors of love, so I think that it’s only fitting that we play on Valentine’s Day.”
Despite bumps in the road regarding their label and struggles to keep the band as a whole in the same place, they have also stayed together as a cohesive unit. Ultimately, dedication to their mission has caused their unity to prevail.
“All we ever hope in our journey from town to town is that our vibration grows throughout the people who live there,” DeRobbio remarked. “All we can do is spread the word and keep coming back.
“Not much changes in the B-Side journey; we hope to survive the ages and maintain our positive presence in global and American music culture. I would love nothing more than to be a B-Side Player until I am old and gray.”
The B-Side Players will play during the UU hour today and will also play at 8 p.m. at Downtown Brewing Co.
“I think it will be a special treat to those who choose to come out to the show, and they will have a much better chance of getting lucky (tonight),” DeRobbio added with a laugh.