Implants are one of the most exciting new punk bands coming out of the LA scene. The band are all seasoned vets of that scene who have been touring, recording, and writing for years. I had the pleasure of asking their guitarist, Jim Blowers, a few questions about how the band started, how they starting working with El Hefe, and the future of Implants.
The band is a virtual who’s who of the LA Punk scene. Who is in the band?
Jim Blowers – Guitar – Pulley
Rob Ramos – Guitar – Strung Out
Chris Dalley – Drums – Ten Foot Pole
Ken Conte – Vocals – The Tank
Chris Del Rio – Bass – Ten Foot Pole
What was the genesis for starting the new group?
The band initially started as an outlet for previously written songs that were intended for the bands we were playing in that never saw the light of day. We put the band together to record the songs and play some shows for fun but mainly to get a solid recording of the ideas because we all felt strongly about what we had. Rob, Jim (myself), and Chris Del Rio contributed our song ideas, some with vocal melodies already in place, and the others with just music with no vocal ideas established at all. Melodies and lyrics were created to finish them by all five of us for those specific songs.
What did you learn in your previous bands that you took into this experience?
It’s like anything else in life, learn from your mistakes. It’s always a good idea to have a democratic approach when it comes to songwriting especially in this band where there are multiple songwriters. If you’re in a band that has one guy writing all the songs then it’s not an issue but we have to be open minded in a situation like this. I personally have that work ethic from being in Pulley and in Implants we all work well together.
For being around for a short time, it seems that the Implants have gained a lot of momentum very quickly. What do you attribute to that success?
I’m sure the way we were introduced at the beginning was a big push by using our other current band names i.e., Strung Out, Pulley etc. but at this point I would like to think our music is doing a lot of the work too. Not to sound conceited but I’m very proud of what we’ve created and I know the other guys are too. At this point it’s still just a buzz because we haven’t done any touring or released our record yet other than the four song samples we put up on Facebook. It’s not like we’re selling out shows yet but the response has been very positive and we are getting some amazing offers. We are playing Groezrock in Belgium and Punk Rock Holiday in Slovenia already without the record being released so the pressure’s on haha!
Is this band a full time thing or are you still working with your other bands as well?
As for me, I’ll never quit Pulley, they’re family to me and it’s still fun so why not have both bands to be in? I’m very lucky to have this situation. I know Rob has no plans of leaving Strung Out as well. I’m not sure what Del Rio or Dalley would do about Ten Foot Pole, we never really speak about it and the same goes for Ken and the Tank so I can’t say for sure.
How did you get involved working with Jen and El Hefe at Cyber Tracks?
They were really stoked on what we put up on Facebook and contacted Ryan Greene to get our info. Plus, Hefe contacted Rob. They have been friends for a long time. Jen and Hefe wanted to work with us, they are a new label and we are a new band and we feel it’s a great match to work together to help us both grow together. The established indie labels would never give us what we have agreed upon in our contract plus we are not a young twenty-something band that most labels would prefer to have. Jen and Hefe don’t care, they love our music and that was key. They are fans of the band and the music! I was worried about what we would have to go through to impress an established label to most likely just be another sheep in the flock but we completely side stepped that whole process. El Hefe’s career with one of my favorite bands ever (NOFX) doesn’t hurt either. We’re all part of the same family! He’s a player and he understands our side from the highest level so you don’t have that “us and them” feeling with Cyber Tracks. He’s done everything already that we have to do to be successful.
You have a new record coming out called “From Chaos to Order”, what was the recording process like? How long did it take to record? Who did you work with?
It took forever haha!! We self-financed it so that meant we had to record at odd times like on Sundays when the studio was closed and we had to pull our cash together for each session. Add to that band members going on tour with their respective bands so there would be months where nothing was done. We originally had only eight songs but we agreed to make it a full record and add four more which made it an even longer process! Our engineer was Eric Stenman. Mixing and Production was handled by Ryan Greene.
Did you walk into the studio with a different mindset than you had in the past?
No not really, I’m always nervous when I go into the studio regardless who I’m working with LOL. It’s always the same drill regardless with any band, play it the best you can in the least amount of time! Especially in our DIY situation. Do your homework and be as prepared as possible.
Do you have plans to tour the US in the near future?
Not at the moment, we are doing a lot of west coast stuff and then Groezrock and Punk Rock Holiday as I’ve mentioned and stuff in the works all the time now, we’re getting very busy!