Noise Is for Heroes
Originally formed in 1990 by Haas, bassist Jason Bowes and drummer Terry Bradley (who went on to Thrall and Queen Bee, signed to Alternative Tentacles), the three Detroit Catholic Central High School mates fused their respective backgrounds in punk, metal, & pop with technique to form a unique sound. Haas explains that, 'we tried to make the music as weird as possible, with all sorts of time changes...' but what could have been limited self-indulgence captured a loyal following. After their first show at the Token Lounge (now the Mosquito Club) they rapidly progressed to opening for national acts as varied as the Vandals, Jawbox, Big Drill Car and the Doughboys. In 1990 they played the VFW hall in Ferndale with a punk band from California that had really junky equipment. As Bowes relates, 'That stupid Noodles guy came up and looked at our stuff and said, 'You guys have some pretty nice gear.'' Since the Bandits had booked a later show the same night at the legendary Finney's Pub they couldn't stay around to watch the set performed by the Offspring. (What ever happened to those guys?) Another break for the band that same year was being a finalist in the national Snickers New Music search which saw them being including on a compilation (on vinyl!) distributed to college radio nationwide. Also sharing space on the comp was a band from South Carolina who went on to be the ultimate winners of the search. If anyone has information about the whereabouts of Hootie and the Blowfish, please contact us here at musiczine. The Bandits carried on until 1992, when internal tensions between Haas/Bowes and Bradley split the act up. After some casting about, Haas and Bowes hooked up with a band that had just lost half it's members due to career relocations. Returned to their duo status, they sought to reform what they had started from. With the addition of Icewater Fountain refugee Eric Klisz on drums and Fayetteville, North Carolina native Derek Cooke on rhythm guitar (and 'chick magnet') they played one show under the moniker of Rocket Sled before rechristening the quartet, Culture Bandits. To understand the Bandits sound, you should take a look at the influences that each individual bring to the mix. Lead guitarist Haas learned to play guitar by playing along with Black Sabbath records. Other influential bands were Black Flag (his daughter, Kira Star, is named for the band's bassist), Painted Willie, Dag Nasty and he feels he was most influenced by Brian Baker (Minor Threat, Meatmen, Dag Nasty). The Culture Bandits broke up in 2000, but the members are still playing music in various bands. Bassist-Jason in the band Brooklawn, guitarists, Ken and Derrick in the All Star Has Beens and drummer-Eric in The Ruiners.