Published on January 21st, 2016 | by Brittain Thompson0
Oxford’s Favorite New Band, Carlos Danger Talks About Road Shows, Recording an EP, and Oxford Metal
Oxford’s hard rock three-piece and local favorite new band winner, Carlos Danger, came by The Local Voice office to discuss recording the Return of Carlos Danger EP, bringing a heavier sound to Oxford, and meeting a raccoon at a bar.
The three-piece (consisting of Lee Ingram on drums, Reid Haynie on bass, and Alex Thiel on guitar/vocals) formed just short of a year ago in February and hit the ground running, booking a show for March.
“Everyone talks about getting a band started, but the best way to do it is to get something ahead of you,” said Ingram.
Using that principle, the band went into Tweed Studios ready to record their EP with Andrew Ratcliffe.
“You walk in and it’s like ‘Oh, okay. We gotta be good now,’” said Thiel.
“It kinda hits you in the face,” said Ingram. “It’s a heavenly place.”
The band came in with a list of songs much longer than what made it to the EP.
“We had 15 [songs] when we went in,” said Haynie. “We only recorded five.”
Recording Return of Carlos Danger was a quick process, taking three days from start to finish, with knowledge of Ratcliffe and the band well prepared.
“That was really beneficial, going into the studio not to experiment, but to get work done,” said Haynie. “We knocked it out in three days.”
“We liked working with Andrew a lot,” said Thiel.
The band scheduled four shows in January that started on the 11th at Jackson’s Big Sleepy’s and ends with them returning to Jackson to play Offbeat on the 30th.
In between they go on with Oxford band Reels at Proud Larry’s on the 22nd and at Hattiesburg’s Thirsty Hippo on the 23rd.
“We’re not really doing a tour,” said Thiel. “We happened to get a big string of Mississippi shows together not necessarily in support of the EP, but more like, ‘we have some merch, we have some material, let’s do it now before everyone gets too busy’.”
Carlos Danger has a show scheduled the first day of Ole Miss’ Spring Break that it hopes to springboard into spending more time playing on the road during break.
“I’m all about a spring break tour and playing more out of town,” said Ingram “We’ve played out of town shows, but never a formalized tour.”
Talking about playing out of town reminded the band of its most interesting show thus far, playing a CD release party in Hot Springs, Arkansas. “It’s literally a series of hot springs down the middle of the main boulevard,” said Thiel. “We really had no idea what to expect.”
Despite the crowd not filling out until later in the night, Carlos Danger was won over the by the small town’s locals.
“There was a guy with a pet raccoon that would steal people’s beers out on the balcony,” said Thiel. “He’d grab your beer and it would look like little human hands. Then he’d just drop it.”
Being the only ones caught off guard, the raccoon was seemingly a regular at the local watering hole.
“He had it in an open backpack that would be, like, his back eyes,” said Ingram.
“The bartender said he’s there with his raccoon all the time,” said Haynie.
“Apparently that’s just the townies of Hot Springs,” said Thiel.
As with any new project, the band was unsure how Oxford would receive their heavier approach to music. Since starting nearly a year ago, the crowds have been “pleasantly surprised,” said Ingram.
Pulling inspiration from Ingram’s jam influence and the band’s collective love for metal and hard rock, Carlos Danger is hoping to fill what has become something of a void in regards to heavy music in town.
“I thought about this the other day, I wish more people listened to metal,” said Ingram. “Maybe we can be a gateway drug for that.
“I feel like people are making heavier or darker music [in Oxford] recently,” said Thiel. “Whit [Hamilton]’s doing much the same thing with Midnight Fistfight.”
The band has its breath held, waiting to see how their show with Reels goes before saying where Oxford show goers hold them.
“When we play at Larry’s on the 22nd we’ll find out,” said Ingram.