You’re sitting on the beach, sun in the sky, the wind on your face, when out of nowhere a dark eyed girl with a dark olive tan appears. She surfs, plays the ukulele and you ultimately fall in love with her. You ask her to marry you and with a stroke of luck, she says ‘yes’. You just knew she was the one, you knew it when you laid your eyes on her. But when you waited for her at the altar, in your tuxedo, she’s no where to be found. To your dismay, you find out that she went to Mexico – to catch a ten foot swell. Bummer. 

Years have since passed, and like the members of pop punk stalwarts Home Grown you’ve moved on the bigger and better things. And for Home Grown, bigger and better means releasing their latest effort, ‘Kings of Pop’ on Drive Thru Records. Something bassist and vocalist Adam Lohrbach recalls, was their “best move”,

“It was the best move we could’ve made. Drive-Thru has done more for us now than any other label has. Richard and Stephanie are just good people. They work hard and as long as the band is working hard, they are working hard for you. It’s a good place to be.”

It wasn’t always smooth sailing for Home Grown. Their previous label folded, former drummer Bob Herco survived a brain tumor and they went through numerous other members who came and left. But with turmoil comes growth, and with significant time in between full length releases, the band has managed to become closer not only as a band, but as friends as well, “We had about 4 years between our last full length, so we’ve had a lot of time to grow and change” states Lohrbach. Growth may not always mean growing up – still firmly intact is their tongue in cheek humor evident in their on stage banter and interview prowess,

“We feel sorry for bands out there right now because they aren’t as good looking as we are.”

Their looks aside, their latest effort is full of the catchy hooks and melodies that have been present since their debut LP, “That’s Business”. The new record is that, and more. While they still write and sing about love’s lost and won, their past experiences have made their bitterness a little more biting, the melodies more soothing and the pop that much more effective.

Their current lifestyle seems to suit them well. A lifestyle that came a lot later than sooner, but one they value, “You sit on the bus, play video games, watch satellite TV, go hang out with a bunch of friends that you met on previous tours, play for half an hour, go drinking, hang out with friends again, BBQ’s at night, then go to sleep on your bus and do nothing. It’s pretty silly. We waited 7 years to actually get on a bus, so we can appreciate it” affirms Lohrbach. Their success has taken them to this year’s annual Warped Tour where they share the stage with many of their label mates and friends.

And while their success may have been a long time coming, the core of the band, their humor and sensibilities has remained the same. They capture the essence of today’s pop punk scene – brash, catchy and filled with toilet humor goodness and teen appeal. Having been through tougher times, overcome them to reach higher ground, there isn’t much that the members of Home Grown have not experienced. It’s with the struggles of the past that they’ve managed to succeed. While some may call them old and wise, they’re still just a couple of teen aged guys at heart stuck in aging bodies.

Interview by: Kamtin Mohager
Words: Billy Ho

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