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GO JIMMY GO | 12.05

Interview with Fernando Pacheco (t-bone)
by Dave K

Hawaii’s Go Jimmy Go blew everyone away on the West Coast leg of Ska Is Dead 3. Their blend of Trad Ska and Soul combined with expert musicianship and stage charisma gained them scores of new fans from the audience and fellow bands alike. It’s high time we check in with the band and get the scoop. This interview was done with Fernando Pacheco, Go Jimmy Go’s trombone player via email in late Dec. 2005.

Q: Can you give me a brief idea of how, when and why you guys first got together?

Keep in mind that I'm not an original member (I joined in 1999) so I didn't see the band form in front of my eyes. However, I was in "the scene" at the time they were getting together. Not to mention I heard this story a million times. The year was 1996. Go Jimmy Go founder, Larry Gordon (lead vocals/alto sax), had a vision for a traditional ska band. He hooked up with Cam (bass) through "the scene." Soon after, they picked up Ian (guitar), who was playing with a Hawaiian band at the time... then a month or so later, Larry ran into an old high school acquaintance by the name of Eric (tenor sax). A few members came and went during Go Jimmy Go's humble beginnings. In fact, Go Jimmy Go even changed their name at one point to "Ohana Junction." Personally, I still thank God every night that they changed it back to Go Jimmy Go. As the band developed through the years, the band's current line-up slowly filled in with members from Go Jimmy Go's brother bands in Hawaii's scene: Bison (vocals-Dynamic Pressure), Fernando (trombone-Exit 24), and Shon (drums-Red Session). After about 30 members coming and going in Go Jimmy Go... the formula is finally right and now we're ready to take on the world!!!

Q: Your music seems to be perfectly suited to a band from Hawaii. I'm sure I'm being a bit naïve but it wouldn't really seem right to have an angry screamo type band hailing from Hawaii. I mean you guys live in Hawaii, what's there to be pissed off about? That said, I was wondering what your thoughts are regarding that statement and how your immediate surroundings affect your band and it's music.

No doubt, our surroundings are a big influence on how we sound. I'm talking about year-round beach BBQ's, camping, sunsets, surfing, etc..... with a lifestyle like that, it's hard not to have that smooth, easy-going influence on our tropical brand of trad ska. However nobody said paradise was perfect. Like anybody else, we have our bad times. That's where the soul comes in. As we spend long hours in the studio and months on tour, soul sometimes helps the band express it's hard times.

Q: Outside of yourselves is there much of a Ska scene in Hawaii?

This is where you'll have different answers from everyone in the band. Keep in mind that we all aren't young as we used to be. Everybody in the band used to be at underground scene shows every weekend. Nowadays not much of the guys in the band are at local shows. Therefore when you ask some of the guys about the local scene... they'll say it's dead. Luckily, I'm answering the questions this time so you get to hear the truth. I sing with another band called PIMPBOT so we still get to play the underground shows. If you wanna split up the ska scene into waves, it goes like this:
1st Wave (trad): Just Go Jimmy Go
2nd Wave (two-tone): None at the moment
3rd Wave (ska/punk/rock): Black Square, PIMPBOT, Upstanding Youth,
Golfcart Rebellion, Ex-Superheroes, The Whiskey Shits, Battle Royale

The 3rd wave scene is growing again. A definite sign of that was having the 1st annual Ska Fest this past November. It wasn't in a huge venue. Just your typical all ages local punk show type of deal. But seeing the healthy support for ska in the scene was so nice to see. There was a serious drought in the late 90's and early 2000's, where "ska" was a bad word and all the ska bands here had to disguise themselves as either punk bands or reggae bands. Hawaii's ska bands are starting to tour the neighbor islands and the mainland again, which is such a good sign. Hopefully we'll have a healthy amount of bands in each wave, where we can do "ska wars" shows like we used to in the past.

Q: When did you first start touring the mainland? What was it like?

Go Jimmy Go's first tour was in the summer of 2000. We just recorded "Slow Time" and we were ready to promote. 2000 was a morale building year for us. If we didn't record and tour that year, we would've ended up in a rut and who knows if there'd be a GJG today? Touring the mainland for the first time was like walking into the lunch cafeteria at your new school on the first day. We were so used to being known in Hawaii and then to be jumping into a scene where nobody knows you and you have to constantly prove yourself... needless to say, it was a shock. Meeting Monkey was a big help. We first hooked up with them in San Jose. Having their help and support was great and then meeting other mainland bands on that tour, such as Deals Gone Bad, helped us to feel a lil' more at home on that huge piece of land mass called "the mainland." It was the networking that started from that tour and the summer tours that followed, really helped us get to where we are today.

Q: What are your current goals for the band? What does the future hold?

As far as goals... Go Jimmy Go wants to go international. In the future, there's a Japan Tour, a Europe Tour and in the distant future... another full-length release, as we are currently writing new songs.

Go Jimmy Go website

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