Saturday, March 17 , 2018, 5:33 am | Fair 49º


Jeff Moehlis: Agent Orange Headlining Skate Park Benefit Concert

Skate/surf punk rockers will perform at SOhO on Friday night

Legendary Orange County skate punks Agent Orange will bring their potent mix of punk and surf rock to Santa Barbara’s SOhO Restaurant & Music Club on Friday night for a benefit concert for skate parks in Carpinteria and Goleta.

Get ready to lose your sense, lose control and lose your mind! Tickets are available at the door, which will open at 7 p.m. The show, with openers Mongo, Boobie Tuesday and The Boxheads, will start at 8:30 p.m.

Agent Orange’s singer/songwriter/guitarist Mike Palm talked to Noozhawk about the upcoming concert. Click here for the full interview.

Jeff Moehlis: What can we look forward to at your upcoming show in Santa Barbara?

Mike Palm: Well, just like every other time we’ve played there, I think it’s gonna go off! Santa Barbara is such a classic surf/skate town, we feel right at home. It’s been a while since we’ve rolled through, so the time is right. We are going to play some new songs, and every old classic, too. Dave [Klein]‘s got a brand-new translucent Orange PorkPie Drum kit, and Perry [Giordano] and I are now rockin’ the full Orange backline. It’s an Orange Alert!

JM: This show is a benefit for local skateboarding parks. Do you still skate, and why do you think skateboarding and punk rock go together so well?

MP: It’s hard to make time for skating, but we’ve always had skates with us on tour, and we’ve hit some insane parks out on the road. I’ve been skating pools a lot more lately, and we have three new skate parks being built where I live, so I am all hyped about that. On the other hand, Dave just recovered from a broken wrist, so that has been rough. It’s a drummer’s worst nightmare, but I think he plays better now. I’m not kidding!

If you want to know why punk rock and skateboarding go so well together, just put the X-Games on your TV and crank some Mumford & Sons. See how that works out.

JM: What was the good, the bad and the ugly about the early SoCal punk and hard-core scenes?

MP: The good was that it was all so open-minded in the beginning; everyone had a unique look and sound. No two bands sounded alike, but they were all powered by the same punk ideals. Punk rock was dangerous, new and exciting. The bad is that the trailblazers took all of the abuse, and a lot of posers cashed in on it down the road. Punk rock has been tragically diluted for the mainstream, and now the ugly is we have to hear crappy bands ... every time you turn on the radio.

JM: How did the Agent Orange song “Bloodstains” come together?

MP: I wrote it in the upstairs bedroom in my mom’s little condo in Placentia when I was 14. I just wanted to hear Rodney Bingenheimer play us on the radio, so I had to come up with something!

JM: What was it like doing shows with the great Dick Dale?

MP: It was tough at first. When we came along, surf music was all but forgotten. I think Dick felt like we were just some punk kids trying to steal his thunder, but we were the ones who recharged it and introduced it to a whole new generation. I’m not sure if he appreciates that even now.

JM: What are your plans, musical or otherwise, for the near future?

MP: We love touring, and now we have a new booking agent. With the time it took to switch agencies, and Dave’s injury, we are really excited about getting back out on the road. We are doing a couple weeks in Northern California, followed by a full tour of the States, and Canada in September/October. We are also planning to go back to South America in November.

JM: Do you want to set the record straight on anything about yourself or Agent Orange?

MP: Yeah, for some reason there are a bunch of people out there trying to call themselves Agent Orange, and it’s really getting annoying. This band was named a long time ago and has been continually active for more than 30 years, so get a sense of musical history, or get a cease and desist from me!

JM: Where are you responding from?

MP: Orange, Calif.

— Jeff Moehlis is a Noozhawk contributing writer and a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his web site, The opinions expressed are his own.

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