The Originalites Enjoy Their 'Ultra-Tasty Song Smoothies'
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There's a scene near the end of This Is Spinal Tap! when the credits start rolling: keyboardist Viv Savage espouses his personal philosophy slowly and deliberately, with bug-eyes and a twisted half-smile--"Have a good time . . . all the time." That pretty much sums up the fun-loving essence of the Originalites.
If you've happened to be in a live music setting around South County in the past four years, odds are you've seen this band. They gig hard, playing upward of 20 shows per month. They play anywhere they can set up--friends' bedrooms, retail locations--and lately, they've been holding down a residency at Gallagher's in Huntington Beach while filling up their calendar by playing little clubs in close proximity to the PCH.
That's how it goes for a working band. The members of the Fountain Valley foursome are all in their early 20s and have made the band their chosen career path, while loving every second of it. They fill their downtime surfing and skating. Three of them--bassist Timothy Frankeny, drummer Peter Fontes and guitarist Daniel Tello--started jamming after graduating from Fountain Valley High School in 2008, and they met sax player Mike Belk shortly thereafter. They've been hitting it hard ever since, with one exception:
"We really want to book the main stage at the damn U.S. Open of Surfing," Belk exclaims. "There are other places, but that is the one that eats at our souls because our massive efforts are constantly shut down."
Their music is as carefree as their surfrider lifestyle, a familiar mix of punk, ska and reggae, indicative of the stuff that was coming out of the OC beach scene 20 years ago and never really went away. "Sublime is very important to our sound," Belk says. "Their music proved to us that, in life, as a musician, you should blend different genres together into ultra-tasty song smoothies."