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Full service rockers turning heads

Published: Friday, September 4, 2009

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 20:07

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Barry Dolton Photography

Electric guitarist and vocalist Bonesaw performs on stage with the band Full Service. Full Service will play at 10 p.m. Saturday at Zapato's on Northgate.

This Saturday, the members of the Austin-based rock band Full Service will return to College Station to perform at Zapatos Cantina from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. The band played on campus at A&M last school year during the Lunchbox concerts outside the Memorial Student Center.

Formed in 2004, Full Service's music certainly falls into the broad genre of rock, as far as instrumentation and general style, but drummer and lead vocalist Hoag was able to give a more detailed description.

"Basically we just try to get a lot of different textures and sounds and degrees of softness and heaviness," he said. "Lyrically I often write how different people see the world. It's rarely autobiographical; it's usually taking the position of a character, whether it be an old woman hanging laundry on the line or like a homeless guy on the side of the road in Tennessee. It's searching for different lenses through which people see the world. The form that comes out musically doesn't really matter."

Hoag generally writes the lyrics and vocal melodies, while electric guitarist and vocalist Bonesaw writes the guitar music. Songs sometimes come from the whole group - "jamming something and then honing those jams," Hoag said. "We write a ton of [stuff] just because we live together, and it's always kind of fresh."

Each member of Full Service goes by a nickname - and not just on the stage, all the time. When asked for each member's real name, they chose not to divulge that information. The band consists of Bonesaw, Hoag, bassist Twink and Smell, percussionist and vocalist.

Full Service has six studio albums, one live album and one EP. Their newest album, titled "The Earth Still Wants You," was released in February 2009. They also tour and play live shows.

"It's very high energy but it's not that kind of, like, spastic energy. That would feel and look very obviously contrived," Hoag said. "Bonesaw is a very physical guitar player; he sacrifices a lot of correct notes for being able to move around a lot, so he doesn't really care if he [messes] up, which is cool I think. It's almost like a public display of a private experience if that makes any sense. It looks like we're playing for ourselves but at the same time playing for other people. I think that that's what people appreciate - that you're so into it yourselves, and then people feed off of that, as opposed to bands who are clearly just sort of cheerleading the crowd."

In the summer of 2008, Full Service embarked on what they called a "Takeover Tour." The band followed musical groups 311 and Snoop Dogg from Boston, Mass., to Austin, Texas, with a van, a power generator and all their equipment, and played free live music for the crowds in venue parking lots before each concert.

"We needed a crazy idea," Hoag said about the Takeover Tour.

However, the tour idea turned out to not be so crazy. The parking lot shows generated interest and eventually got the attention of 311's managers, and Full Service was invited to open the last three shows.

Full Service is touring with Badfish, a Sublime tribute band, until November. The band members are also brainstorming ideas for their next tour. One idea in the works is to bring recycling bins to each venue and have the audience members recycle bottles and cans, and have a green company like Austin Energy sponsor the tour and donate a set amount for every pound of recycling the band collects.

Full Service will be debuting yet another of their unique ideas (this one involves kazoos) this weekend. The band performs at Zapatos Saturday night.

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