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NIGHT LIFE / THE CLUB SCENE

Breaking the Rules : The four musicians from rival high schools have merged their talents to produce a psychedelic guitar-band sound.

February 04, 1993|BILL LOCEY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Truly the Cold War has ended, even on the local level. How else could a band such as In Between Jobs even exist let alone prosper, what with half the band from Buena High and half from Ventura High? That's like a Trojan wearing Bruin blue and gold.

Singer Brian Lunetta and guitarist Jeff McCune, son of the varsity football coach, are the Ventura half. Drummer Steve Albiston and bass player Russ Robison are the Buena half. The whole band will open for the Coral Heads tonight about 9 at the Bermuda Triangle in downtown Ventura.

For a new band lineup barely six months old, these guys have a lot going for them. They should, since they practice twice a week, sometimes for up to seven hours at a time. The result of all that practice is a psychedelic guitar-band sound. They don't kill the audience's brain cells with any mind-numbing ballads.

The band originally had a name unprintable in a family newspaper, but with the same initials. They selected the new name before a gig a few years back at a youth pastor's house.

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How did In Between Jobs get started?

Albiston: Russ and I started the band two years ago. It was a very different band then. We've only had this lineup since August.

Robison: At first, we learned three songs, three punk songs. We played as a joke. We tried to play real music, but we couldn't. We had to learn how to play.

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What do you guys think of the local music scene?

Robison: There used to be a lot of good bands that you don't see around anymore.

Lunetta: Yeah, there were a lot of good bands like the Mudheads, Something For Nothing. The people that are around here influenced me--the Redheads, Durango 95, Eclipse and Ventura The Band.

Albiston: I've been playing that Mudheads tape for about a year now.

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Where do you guys play?

McCune: We played at Ventura High School on the Senior Lawn at lunch a couple of years ago. We played at Buena too, in the gym.

Albiston: We played Charlie's once before they closed. We played at Cronies Sports Bar in Ventura about six months ago. But this is really our first month on the club scene. We're working on Garfields now. Hopefully, we have something people want to hear.

Lunetta: We want to get our name out to the people as fast as we can. We want to get to Santa Barbara and maybe get an opening slot at the Ventura Theatre. Self-promotion is the name of the game around here.

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So do you guys have a tape or what?

Lunetta: Yeah, we made one then we got post-production depression. Now we've got about 15 or 20 songs that are better. It's a six-song, 16-track demo. It's kind of an ongoing thing. I keep the master and run off copies from time to time.

Robison: It sounds too produced, too pretty.

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So can a band get signed in Ventura?

Lunetta: Sure you can, but not in Ventura.

Robison: You can be from Ventura.

Lunetta: Ventura is Limboland. We're between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara; people are just passing through to get to Santa Barbara. There's not the populace here and there's not enough venues.

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What's the coolest thing about being in a band?

Lunetta: You get to play rock star.

Robison: That hasn't happened yet. I don't think you can be creative doing anything else. It's fun to play in front of people and maybe make a little money.

Albiston: I get to let out some aggression on the drums, and express myself. And besides, there's not much else to do in Ventura.

McCune: And we just make doggone fun music.

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"Doggone fun" about covers it?

McCune: We're the alternative to the alternative.

Robison: We're innovative. I can't describe it.

Albiston: There's four personalities, four opposites, four totally different people in this band. We break the rules.

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How many covers and how many originals do you guys have?

Lunetta: We're just getting warmed up after 45 minutes. We could play for four hours with a few breaks.

Robison: We have 18 to 20 originals. We can play all night.

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So you guys all have the dreaded day job?

McCune: They all do but me. I take the band name seriously.

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