Punks in Paradise: A Look at Waikoloa’s El Sancho

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El Sancho is a punk rock band based in Waikoloa Village on the Big Island, and they have just released a four-song EP on all streaming platforms with a CD to follow this month. While most Mainlanders may think that Hawaii is home to soft-strumming ukuleles with palm trees gently swaying along the beach, the State has a long history of punk bands that have played turbo-powered music since the late ‘70s.

El Sancho cites their musical influences as Screeching Weasel, The Descendents, and Radio Birdman. All four members have found themselves in a variety of other bands over the years like Giant Haystacks, Your Mother, and Banned in Kona. El Sancho will be making its Hilo debut on a bill with punk icons DOA on Jan. 11 at the Hilo Town Tavern.

El Sancho features Alan Kasameyer and Jose Colmenares on guitars, Nate Werneck on bass, and Tony Joyce on drums. Alan and Tony split lead vocal duties on the EP, and all four members contribute lead vocals when performing live.

Tony, Nate, and Alan started playing together in 2018 and added Jose in early 2019. El Sancho has played regularly at backyard parties and community events in Waikoloa last year and they are looking to perform island-wide in 2020, but finding local gigs as a punk band might prove to be limited.

“I don’t think there is a punk rock scene on the Big Island,” guitarist Alan Kasameyer said, “but if I’m feeling hopeful, I’d say it is ‘emerging.’ There are a few punk bands around, but none that play regularly. The Cutthroat Brothers are half from Kona, half from Washington, and the upcoming DOA show will be their first Hawaii show even though they’ve put out 2 albums and toured Europe. Badass Noise, over in Puna, is pretty new. Some of the members used to be in Old Habits Die Hard and were probably the only consistent punk band on the Big Island for many years. Badass Noise hasn’t played on the Big Island at all but has played on Oahu a few times. There’s a band called KOA in Ocean View, and a new band in Kona called Da Kine Shits. There might be others that I don’t know about. There are other active bands playing original music I wouldn’t describe as punk but would fit in the ‘not easy to book a show on the Big Island category,’ like Mister Peanut Butter and Cyclone Prime. I’m a fan of lots of styles of music and get excited to see just about anyone who is performing original songs around here.”

El Sancho’s new self-titled EP was recorded in DIY fashion in their Waikoloa practice space. Joe Demaree mixed the recording at Idiomism Studios in San Jose, California, and the songs address “social media alienation, drug abuse, island isolation, shark attacks, and satanic purple dinosaurs into less than 10 minutes of punk rock fury,” Kasameyer said. El Sancho’s EP is available from their website: http://listen.elsanchoband.com, and can be found online at Facebook, or Instagram.

If You Go… Have A Good Show!

Event: DOA w/ El Sancho and The Cutthroat Brothers
When: Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020
Where: Hilo Town Tavern, 168 Keawe Street, Hilo
Doors: 8:30 p.m. Show: 9:30 p.m.
Cost: $23 Advance + s/c / $30 Door
Tickets: www.eventbrite.com
Info: 21+ – No Minors – ID Required

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