Local reggae-rock band Summer Survivors releases new album

By ANDREA SHAY
FREELANCE WRITER/PHOTOGRAPHER
Published May 26, 2016

Right, Paul King fronts the band Summer Survivors as a vocalist and guitar player. Andrea Shay photos.

Paul King fronts the band Summer Survivors as a vocalist and guitar player. Andrea Shay photos.

Left, punk-influenced drummer Tommy Collins joined Summer Survivors after their first album had already been released.

Punk-influenced drummer Tommy Collins joined Summer Survivors after their first album had already been released.

John Widmann sings lead vocals and plays electric guitar for the band Summer Survivors.

John Widmann sings lead vocals and plays electric guitar for the band Summer Survivors.

Featured artist Cody Moore plays saxophone and keys with the band on “Hashed Out.”

Featured artist Cody Moore plays saxophone and keys with the band on “Hashed Out.”

bassist Ted Clark shields himself from the heat during the band’s performance

Bassist Ted Clark shields himself from the heat during the band’s performance.

Cliz of Cliz and the Clockmen joins Summer Survivors on stage to perform “End of the Line,” the last song on the “Hashed Out” album.

Cliz of Cliz and the Clockmen joins Summer Survivors on stage to perform “End of the Line,” the last song on the “Hashed Out” album.

No Need, who often shares the stage with Summer Survivors at local shows, performs in the afternoon during the CD release party.

No Need, who often shares the stage with Summer Survivors at local shows, performs in the afternoon during the CD release party.

A crowd gathers and listens while Cliz and the Clockmen play.

A crowd gathers and listens while Cliz and the Clockmen play.

Treedom, another local band, opens the show with some classic reggae soul fusion blended with a touch of alternative rock.

Treedom, another local band, opens the show with some classic reggae soul fusion blended with a touch of alternative rock.

Founding member and bass player Ted Clark poses for a photo while manning the merchandise table.

Founding member and bass player Ted Clark poses for a photo while manning the merchandise table.

Sunday, May 22, marked the release date of local reggae-rock band Summer Survivors’ second album, “Hashed Out.” Formed in 2013, Summer Survivors fuses elements of funk, punk, and rock and roll with reggae, surf rock and psychedelic guitar. They play live shows throughout Southwest Florida. including Holmes Beach, Tampa, Sarasota, Bradenton, St. Petersburg and Siesta Key.

“Hashed Out” is the band’s second album, following their first release, “Wastin’ Away.” While both albums share a number of songs, band members describe “Hashed Out” as a more mature album that reflects the hard work and dedication the artists have put into their craft.

“You have to start somewhere,” said bassist Ted Clark, also known as Funknasty. “‘Wastin’ Away’ was a starting point. This is our first ‘real album.’”

“Hashed Out” features 10 original songs as well as a faster, funked-up arrangement of Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff.” Although the band has their own style, which is often described as “Califlorida” or “surf reggae rock,” listeners can hear echoes of the band’s musical influences in their songs.

“I was a big David Gilmour fan,” said Clark, whose thumping basslines drive the beat along with Tommy Collins’ drumming.

Collins cites his influences as “anything punk rock, Pennywise, NoFx,” as well as other reggae/rock/ska bands like Sublime, Passafire and the Expendables.

The release of their latest album marked a milestone for the members of Summer Survivors. “I’ve always wanted to do this ever since I was a young age,” said John Widmann, the band’s lead singer.

Collins, who replaced “Wastin’ Away” drummer Andrew Fieberts, shared the sentiment. “Since I was little, it’s been one of my dreams to put out an album and make it as a musician. It’s something on my bucket list. There’s no way to describe it.”

Paul King, the band’s frontman, described the feeling as “amazing,” adding, “When you listen to an album, it’s hard to imagine how much hard work goes into creating it.”

Clark said, “The whole album is about hardship. That’s what we all have in common as band members … we’ve been through hardship.”

He added, “I’m gonna die trying. Success doesn’t come overnight. There’s a lot of hardship and a lot of failure. Nobody’s just going to hand you success.”

All the band’s members were wowed by the outpouring of love and support by their fans during the release party held Sunday at Gilligan’s on Siesta Key. In addition to the Summer Survivors, the party’s band lineup included local reggae and rock bands No Need, Cliz and the Clockmen, Wild Root and Treedom.

Summer Survivors has an upcoming show at the Beach Bar and Restaurant in Tampa on Saturday, May 28, and they can also be seen at Dcoy Ducks in Holmes Beach on Saturday, July 2. No Need will also be playing at the Beach Bar and Restaurant on Saturday, May 28. as well as at the Fowler Avenue World of Beer in Tampa on Friday, June 24.

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