Photo: Courtesy Photo Provided By Orange Blossom Special
Orange Blossom Special is an aptly named California rock trio. The momentum being generated by this band is nothing short of a train rolling down the tracks.
The band, formed in 2001 and based in San Juan Capistrano, California, features siblings Anton Hoetker, vocals and guitar, and Alan Hoetker, bass and vocals, as well as Andrew Rivas on drums.
Anton, 36, said the band “really got serious” about its music in 2010. The results are evident, with growing tours and a legion of new fans.
Q: What is the significance behind the band’s name?
A: We were scheming up a name and listening to a multi-disc CD player on shuffle and “Night Train” by Guns N’ Roses came on, and, as we were throwing around train ideas, the next song was Johnny Cash’s rendition of “Orange Blossom Special.” It stuck. We looked more into it and it was the “Good Time” train taking people from New York to Florida in the winter time. Seemed like a good fit.
Q: How would you describe your music to someone?
A: Good time rock ‘n’ roll. One foot in the ’70s (classic guitar rock), one foot in the ’90s (alternative) and running full steam into the present!
Q: What artists have had the biggest impact on you?
A: Oh, it would have to be artist like Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Rancid, Elvis Costello, Rocket from the Crypt, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Stone Temple Pilots and Cadillac Tramps to name a few.
Orange Blossom Special
With: Keith Michael Kallina
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Texas Rose Saloon, 2013 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Beaumont
Q: Are they what inspired you to become a musician?
A: They all have influenced our music, but it was seeing the Cadillac Tramps live that made me say, “I wanna do that!” Their live show was unbelievable! It was an explosion of trashy punk rock and blues, and Gabby, the front man, was so charismatic and captivating. Alan and I went to the show because we saw their name in the liner notes for Rancid’s album “Let’s Go” and it was life-changing for us. It was a bonus and honor to have their guitar player, Brian Coakley, play guitar on the song “Zoltar” from our new record, “Here Goes Everything.”
Q: Orange Blossom Special has covered a lot of miles in the month of September with shows along the East Coast and now in Texas. What has the experience been like thus far? Any travel horror stories yet?
A: We haven’t had any horror stories since starting the “Loud, Live, & in a Dive” tour the end of February, thank God (laughing). This is the third leg and home stretch for us supporting our latest album “Here Goes Everything.” We’ve met a ton of great people from coast to coast and continue making memories, fans and friends every day! Some standouts have been Fourth of July in Boston on the Charles River. It was great doing the Freedom Walk/Trail that day, seeing our country’s history and the fireworks show with the Boston Pops performing is quite the experience. Another standout is hanging/playing through Lake Charles and ending up at a now-friend’s lake house playing washers, having beers and eating fresh boudin till the early hours of the morning. We played Texas Rose Saloon in March, as a last minute pick-up show, and Sunni and Lindsey at the bar were really great and supportive of the band and wanted us back. We’re glad it worked out and are looking forward to playing back through! Every day and show is something new, great, and exciting as we connect with people and experience different towns and cultures! It’s definitely been a great experience and have made lifelong friends!
Q: Have you guys shared the stage with any big national acts yet?
A: Yes, we were fortunate to share the stage with Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, Halestorm, Three Days Grace, Disturbed and more across the U.S. and Canada as a part of the Uproar Festival in 2010 and 2011. We’ve also played with Flogging Molly, Tiger Army, Shooter Jennings, Riverboat Gamblers and Foxy Shazam over the years as local support for the Orange County/Southern California area, before we started touring. We really learned a great deal from the above-mentioned bands and cut our teeth as a band touring with the Uproar Festival. Although we’re not as heavy as a majority of the bands, it was great getting in front of so many people every day and winning over crowds with our live show.
Q: What do you have on tap for the rest of 2017?
A: 2017 has been a hectic year, but a good one! We wrap up the third leg of our “Loud, Live, & in a Dive” tour Oct. 7 in Arizona and then have a few local shows in the works for November and December in the Southern California area. We’ll be in the studio recording a cover song for a movie soundtrack and start writing for the next album while we map out 2018’s tour schedule. It’ll be nice to be home for more than 10 days and start hashing out new material (laughing).
Tommy Mann Jr. is a freelance writer.