For a band that’s been together a little more than a year, Denver’s Lowjob has an awful lot of ambition. With its first recording session scheduled for next month, the band is already looking forward to releasing its first EP sometime next year. And then another one. And another. And maybe one more.
“We’re trying to do four EPs,” says Brian Bonsall, Lowjob’s frontman. “Our goal is to do another EP by the end of next year.” For the uninitiated, Bonsall is a former child star who played the adorable Andy Keaton on the ’80s hit television show Family Ties, as well as a number of other TV and film roles, including that of Alexander Rozhenko, a young Klingon on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He left full-time acting in 1994, moved to Boulder and has been playing in punk bands ever since.
Formed in 2014, Lowjob is Bonsall’s latest musical endeavor, a pop-punk band, but not the kind of pop-punk band that writes songs that you hate but get stuck in your head. Rather than trying to fit its music to a genre-specific playbook, Lowjob’s members say they play what they love, no matter what it winds up sounding like.
“What you see is sincerity, because we’re doing what we want to do,” says guitarist Erik Livesay, with whom Bonsall also plays in the acoustic project Bootjack & Bonz. “We’re trying to just be a rock band.”
That attitude — and a lot of hard work — is paying off. In November, Lowjob will spend a week at the world-famous Blasting Room in Fort Collins, recording with producer Jason Livermore. Livermore has recorded albums by too many bands to mention, including several notable influences on Lowjob, such as Alkaline Trio, Less Than Jake, Rise Against, the Bouncing Souls and NOFX.
“We’re specifically going there to work with Livermore,” says Trevor Sholders, Lowjob’s drummer. “It’s intimidating, but he’s humble and relaxing and very, like, ‘You can do this.’ That’s why he’s one of my heroes.”
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He’s also brutally honest, another reason the band wants to record with him. Bass player BJ Okane says you never have to guess what Livermore thinks of your playing when you’re in the studio with him. “He’s relaxed, but he doesn’t pull any punches,” says Okane.
Everyone in Lowjob has been working hard to make sure they’re prepared when they get into the studio. “We’re making general, rough pre-recordings on GarageBand,” Bonsall says. “Even if it’s a rough recording, it helps to get things planned out. We want to be prepared. We don’t want to be in there writing parts.”
He says they aren’t planning to sell the EP; instead, the band will give it away to fans and use it as a tool to spread the word. So far, Lowjob has done a good job of getting smaller gigs and touring in the West, but the new record will definitely open doors. “We want to really use [the EP] to play big rooms,” Bonsall says. “We want to come out strong from the beginning, with a bang. When you have a really great demo, it makes a huge difference.”