Feel-good San Diego rockers The Donkeys take national tour through Carbone’s.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
The Donkeys are stoked.
“We are excited to have a new record out that we have been working on like busy, busy bees,” says Anthony Lukens, keys player and vocalist for the SoCal foursome. “I am super thrilled because I think the record [Born with Stripes] sounds amazing. We are super stoked to be in California and to be doing so many shows here.”
Lukens and company are currently packing for a nonstop 39-city tour to promote Born with Stripes and registering a 12-seat Econoline that’ll be home for the next three months.
“We wanted to buy a van because we thought that would give us the most credibility,” he says. “It would make us a real band.” After finalizing the insurance papers, his next project is to transplant a “La Cucaracha” horn from their old tour van into this one.
The boys hit Carbone’s tonight on the first leg of their journey. It’s going to be a self-described “unpretentious good time.”
“You just got off work and don’t want to be brought down with a heavy show,” Lukens says. “You want to drink a beer and maybe do a little dancing, and that’s what we try to encourage.”
The Donkeys met in high school, when two of them – Lukens and Sam Sprague, drummer and vocalist – were in a “nasty little garage band” called the Parking Lot Kids. All four shared a practice space and ended up jamming together more often than hanging with their official groups.
After a raucous trip to San Francisco that included midnight jam sessions, beer breakfasts and graveyard shifts at Denny’s, they knew they were destined to play together.
“For better or worse, we’re stuck with each other,” Lukens chuckles.
Born with Stripes is the group’s second album with their current label, Dead Oceans. Mixing ’60s surrealism – one Donkey plays a sitar he bought at the same shop in India where George Harrison got his – with a touch of the Beach Boys, the album also evokes a hint of alt-rock legends Pavement.
“People like to cling to ‘surf music’ to describe us, but I don’t think we’re like that at all,” Lukens explains. “We all like collecting old records and we’re kind of stuck in the past. Someone said we sound like Creedence Clearwater Revival, which was very cool. We play in that tradition, but we really wanted the record to sound modern, too.”
THE DONKEYS perform 9pm Thursday, May 5, at Carbone’s. 214 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey. No cover. 643-9169.