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Squad Five-0's first major release, LATE NEWS BREAKING (Capitol), hit stores June 29th. The 12-song grassroots punk disc was produced by Matt Wallace. Whose production credits include Maroon 5 and the Replacements, and features a cover by punk rock vets, The Clash. Squad Five-0 hooked up with Wallace after shuffling through a series of potential producers. "He just seemed to really get what we were trying to do and understood where we were coming from, so we all said lets give this a shot."
Post reviewing some of their demos and live video footage, Wallace moved Kris Klein, Adam Garbinski, Dave Petersen, Jeff and John Fortson out to Los Angeles to live with him for four weeks while recording at the historic recording studio, Sound City. "We got to do some extended pre-production. It was the first time anyone had that outsider, candid view to help us see some of our songs from a different angle." Fortson, Jeff that is, isn't really focusing on how many units LATE NEWS BREAKING will sell. He's more excited about a band as low-key as the Squad making gradual progress in album sales while gaining momentum from live performances.
Taking the road more traveled has always been the obvious route to success for Squad Five-0. Before Capitol Records showed up on the white horse, the Squad had several independent releases and funded their own nationwide tours. Gaining themselves an abundant amount of respect in the underground circuit. The road is a place for the guys to show their fans what their music is about, and have as much fun as possible while doing it. They always enjoy getting the chance to interact with the bands they're sharing a tour with. Jeff Fortson recalls his favorite moment on tour with American Recordings band, Noise Ratchet:
"The best time was making up slides on the sliding board and having judges. I pretty much won. I did the world famous Captain Douche Bag slide, which was kind of like you act like you're trying to pick up a chic at a club. I took it to another level, and no one could raise the bar after that. I think you reach a pinnacle of your sliding into a pool, and I kind of topped it off there. It was nice. We don't really get too many experiences like that in a gated community."
All antics aside, one very important aspect of Squad Five-0's music is its major spiritual influence. Jeff Fortson explains the evolution of rock music as Gospel music with secular lyrics deriving from black churches that first became Soul, evolved into Rhythm & Blues, and is now Rock & Roll. In fact, he describes a feeling of being connected to a higher being at all times and tries to read the Bible everyday. Good luck to these guys and may God be with them.
Squad Five-O is currently on tour supporting their new album on the Just Play Games Festival tour.