They’ve got a full-length album under their belt and another one gestating. They’ve played festivals, gone on multiple tours and have developed a none-too-shabby following. Yet, right here in the band’s hometown of Orlando, How Dare You is still far from a household name. According to these punks, that’s just fine by them.
“We try not to play that much in Orlando. We play out of town a good bit, so when we’re home, we’d rather practice than play another show,” says guitarist-vocalist Elliot Meyer. “We’re just not into the idea of playing an Orlando show every weekend.”
Lest the band come off as anti-local grumps, guitarist-vocalist Justin Goldman is quick to add, “We love to play Orlando! But it’s a very oversaturated scene. Still, we love the punk bands here. Gatorface, Virgins, Go Rydell – all those bands are great, and they’re all spawned from other great bands. None of them play Orlando that much, but it’s kind of cool because when it is time to play again, they’re paired up or we’re paired up and we get to see two or three great bands in one night.”
Although shows around Orlando may not happen as frequently as the band’s fans would prefer, How Dare You keep busy around Florida. The band released their latest 7-inch (a split with the Knockdown) on noted Tampa label Kiss of Death and released their 2008 full-length Comfort Road on Gainesville label Fail Safe. And, of course, HDY brought their hard-driving, melodic punk to stages at the Harvest of Hope Festival (St. Augustine) and the Fest (Gainesville). They even recently (incongruously) played Sunfest in West Palm Beach, as part of a lineup that included Weezer, ZZ Top and REO Speedwagon. (“Yeah. We’re not really sure about that one,” laughs Goldman.)
“We just like to play with bands that have similar ideas to us and are trying to do the same sort of thing we’re trying to do,” says Meyer. “But we’re not gonna torture ourselves to play a bunch of shows. We’d rather practice and get better.”
Those practice sessions are beginning to pay off in the form of the follow-up to Comfort Road. With most of the songwriting for HDY’s second album completed, the band has its sights set on entering the studio this summer to hopefully have a release out by the end of the year. This is usually the point in a band’s career – a few tours completed, an album and a clutch of singles to its name – that one begins to hear talk of “trying new things” and “some different sounds on the new album.” You won’t hear that sort of talk from How Dare You.
“I really hate when people say, ‘It’s different,’ when it’s not at all,” laughs Meyer. “I don’t think [the new material] is really different. I think it’s better. I would say we’re trying to push ourselves. I feel like we’re trying to write better songs but staying true to what we like.”
“A lot of it is about us getting older and how we miss the old days,” says Goldman. “I mean, we’re sitting here and we feel the same, but everything else seems different. We wanna feel like kids, even when some of us are raising families, and we’ve got job obligations and careers. We still want to do this, though. We still want to feel good.”
First appeared June 30, 2010 in Orlando Weekly.