It’s right about this time in Colorado that most of us start to dream about greener pastures and a warmer local climate. The holidays are over; our bank accounts are busted from hitting the mountains too many times and that nagging seasonal affective depression disorder of ours starts to kick in. There’s only so much bragging we can do about our proximity to world-class shred destinations before even we don’t believe the half-hearted lies coming out of our envious little mouths.

But there’s always solace in the sweet surrender of music. The sloppy roads become more of a non-issue when we can throw on a track that reminds us of brighter days, less clothing and an acceptable BAC content from poolside drinks or lunchtime patio rendezvous. The punk infused alternative reggae stylings of Ballyhoo! is that leisurely escape and can be seen live here along with co-headliner Passafire in the coming days:

          2/13 – Ft. Collins @ Aggie Theater
          2/14 – Colorado Springs @ Black Sheep
          2/15 – Englewood @ Gothic Theater

Before the guys come to town, we sat down with lead guitar and vocalist Howi Spangler to rap about penis fish, touring and who in the band has undeniable expertise of the original Legend of Zelda.

Our journalistic research usually doesn’t go much farther than Wikipedia. That being said we recently found that ballyhoo means “penis fish.” Was this name choice on purpose?

That certainly would make for a cooler story! But no, we just recently found this out as well. The name comes from the definition “organized chaos, blatant advertising.” Just a wild time.

Your self-described alternative / punk / reggae style is always a huge hit with college crowds. Why do you think that is?

People love the lifestyle aspect of it: beach, party, alcohol & weed. The scene has grown tremendously in the last couple years. We go more punk with our style as most of our friends’ bands are more laid back.

Being on the road for a solid month is a pretty good chunk of time. What’s the best way to handle being gone from “home” for so long?

We all have LCD’s in our faces most of the time. Playing games or watching movies. I try to breakout my acoustic and mobile studio to record demos whenever I feel inspired.

How important is touring for musicians?

If you want to sell records and get the word out, you need to tour. There’s no other way around it. You’ll find out real quick if that’s how you want to live your life. It’s rough out here. But yes, I’d say it’s the number one thing. Take your music to the people. A&R guys aren’t flying out to see bands anymore. You have to fight for it.

Do you feel the idea of having a major label now for entertainers is something that’s a dying concept, or will it still have its place in the future?

I think the major label still works very well for certain artists, the ones that the label really gets behind and puts real money into. But for most, I’d say to go the indie route or even start your own label. You’ll make more money that way. Money is what keeps your business going and if you’re giving it away to a label, it gets really tight at times.

Does anyone in the group have special habits that can’t be ignored?

Scott has an almost unhealthy addiction to Mexican food. Just about every day when we’re out west.

Even though your Ravens embarrassed our Broncos last year in the playoffs, we did get some vindication with the first game of this season. This may have just been an opportunity for us to gloat a bit, but do you carry the weight of things like that on your shoulders when going to other cities, or is it something you just don’t care about?

That first game was so disappointing coming back from winning the Super Bowl…
We try to leave sports talk out of it. I never talk sports on stage, I’m always afraid of dividing the crowd. But yeah, we’ll go places like Pittsburgh and there’s ALWAYS a conversation about the Ravens/Steelers rivalry. It’s usually light-hearted jabs that we laugh about though.

Who plays video games the most and what are their proudest accomplishments of being a gamer?

We all play games I think. But Scott is very proud of beating The Legend of Zelda (NES) in one sitting of a 9-hour van ride.

What are some of the places, eateries, things or people you want to see while you’re here in CO? Weed counts.

I believe the boys are going to make their first legal purchase when we get there. Cheba Hut is great too!

Why do you think Colorado is such a Ballyhoo! friendly place?

I don’t really know, but I love it. We’ve always had a great time in Colorado. I think people are so tuned in musically. There’s a lot of love.  People seem to be extra rowdy.

What can we expect out of the future of Ballyhoo!?

Hopefully we’ll start working on a new album later this year. I’m always writing, just need to get into a room with the guys and hashing it out.