Darth Vato: Punk Ska Reggae Surf band in Fort Worth, TX

Darth Vato Booze Angel
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Curtains!


Thank you! Both of you!
Hear the Hits!!!

06.28.2009 » Darth Vato has a Facebook Page


Apparently Facebook is all the rage, so I created a Facebook Page for Darth Vato:
Become a fan of Darth Vato on Facebook today!


04.26.2009 » So Long and Thanks for All the Booze


7 years. 266 shows. 3 vans. $25,000 spent on recording 4 albums. 2 tours to California and back. A strange trip to Longview. It was awesome. All of it. Thanks for 7 years of support. It was a blast!

04.20.2009 » After 7 Years...


It's time for one last show. Please head out to Lola's this Saturday. It's going to be a great time with 3 of Fort Worth's best live bands. Not to brag or anything. :)

04.13.2009 » One More for the Road: Our Last Show at the Moon Bar


Hey Everybody. Hi Dr. Nick! Thanks to everyone who came to our last show at Halo. Awesome times were had by all. And we raised money for Jon, so it was all good. This week we are playing our second to last show. It's also going to be our last show at the Moon. There are 3 bands on the line-up: One Fingered Fist (10pm), Sunglasses & Mushrooms (11pm), and Darth Vato (12am). It should be an awesome time, so please head on out as we celebrate 7 long years of playing in this band. FYI, today is April 13th, the 7th anniversary of our first show. How about that?! Lots of bands play together for 7 years. They're called doctors.

04.04.2009 » Froggy's Didn't Pay Their Taxes?


We drove up to Froggy's, but their was tape around the entire permiter of the club. It looks like the place got seized by the government. WTF? Sorry if you headed out there to see us. Total bummer.

04.03.2009 » Tonight: Flying Saucer, Tomorrow: Froggy's


Hey folks. Tonight we're playing at the Flying Saucer in Fort Worth. We'll be playing 3 sets from 9:30pm-1:30am. Come on out and try one of their millions of beers. Tomorrow night, we are playing at Froggy's.

03.25.2009 » Wine and Cheese?


That's right. Darth Vato is playing an art show in Fort Worth. It's the Arts Goggle show/festival on March 27, 2009. We play in the parking lot of JJ Robb and the Chat Room. Here is a flier. Here is some additional info. Hope to see you there.

01.11.2009 » A Bro Hymn for Us



Titanius Anglesmith, Fancyman of Cornwood (aka Bender)
"And so our quest comes to an end. I only regret not giving up sooner."
- Titanius Anglesmith, Fancyman of Cornwood (aka Bender)

Hey kids. After 250+ shows Darth Vato is closing up shop. Looking back, Darth Vato was a great way to spend my 20's. A little idea that started in the 3rd floor lounge of my college dorm took me on two trips to the west coast and to 10's of shows all over the great state of Texas. It was tough at times. It was smelly at times. But overall it was a blast. Now we are moving on. In life and in music. I'm sure you'll catch Eric and Steve playing in other awesome bands in a town near you. As for me, I'll probably come out of hiding once a year for an acoustic show. On second thought, maybe every 2 years.

It has been a long and gassy road, and to cap it off we have booked several shows in our home town of Fort Worth over the next few months. Consider it our "Thanks-for-the-Memories Tour of Fort Worth." I hope to see you at all of these shows. Our last show is tentatively scheduled for April 25th. Also, check out our myspace page in the next few days because Steve is going to post a blog that is much more touching and heartfelt than anything I could write.


11.29.2008 » Darth Vato's 250th Show!


I can't believe we've played this many shows. Maybe we should be better than we are. I dunno. At any rate, please join us at the Flying Saucer to celebrate our 250th show. Or you could just come to the show because you want to celebrate Steve getting a new car. Yeah, that's right. After going through 3 vans in the past 12 months and being car-less for the past 2 months, Steve found a great deal on a car. Apparently, when the economy is in the shitter and everyone is talking about bailouts - it's a great time to buy a car!

11.28.2008 » SoundClash 2008 at Lola's


Holy crap, I'm stuffed. Good thing, too. We've got a show at Lola's tonight. It's SoundClash 2008 with Pablo & the Hemphill 7. We've been doing this thing for a few years now. It's like a tradition, but I think this is the first time it's ever been on Black Friday. Goodness. Why do they call it Black Friday? Oh yeah. I've read this before. Truly inspiring for that guy. I wonder what it's like to be in the black. I guess there are some things we'll never know. Hope to see you tonight at Lola's!

09.27.2008 » Another Van, Another Breakdown


Last night, we headed out in Steve's new van (well, it's new to him anyways), and we made it all the way to West, TX, just south of Hillsboro, before something went wrong with a belt in the engine. We had to get towed, and then our friend/keyboardist Justin Pate drove down from Fort Worth to get us. J Pate is not only on the keys. Apparently he is on rescue duty as well. Thanks, Justin! We had to cancel our show at Headhunters. Many apologies if you went out to see us last night. In 6+ years as a band, we have not cancelled more than 2 shows that I can remember. Now, in the past month, we have cancelled 3 shows due to our vans breaking down along I-35. It's a real bummer, and it totally sucks. I hope you all understand that we don't cancel shows unless we simply can't get to the club. Rather than coming home with our tails between our legs, we stopped at the Czech Stop and got some kolaches and a six pack of Lonestar beer. That made for an eventful ride home.

09.26.2008 » Tonight in Austin!!! Galveston Show Cancelled :(


We're heading down to Austin tonight. Come see us with Benny vs. the Beast at Headhunters Tiki Bar tonight @10pm. We were supposed to play Yaga's in Galveston tomorrow night, but the entire Galveston area is in recovery mode after Hurricane Ike. Hurricane season really sucks. Hopefully we'll get back to Galveston in November. :)

09.08.2008 » Finally. iTunes.


Oh No, We're Doing Great is now on iTunes. Check it out here.

09.05.2008 » Back on the Road


It turns out that we installed a tow kit on Eric's car last year, and while we've been thinking that expenditure was a total waste, it is going to come in handy this weekend as we have shows in Denton and Longview. Also, Steve has found another old van to replace the Erin Gray. Apparently, this van has lots of new parts, like a new engine, new brakes, new tires, and new cupholders. After remembering one of Steve's myspace blog post from early 2007, I realized that being in a band can actually be ironic at times. Check it out:

  Tuesday, January 23, 2007

$600 later...

Aloha, Chingasos! Well, the Grampus's steering wheel is now right side up, and it doesn't feel like such a deathtrap. However, as I drove to get a pizza last night, I discovered that headlights no longer worked, forcing me to drive around with the brights on like a fucking jerk. So now that's apparently getting fixed.

Here's a little advice: if you're in a band and you plan on getting a van, just buy a new one, or one that is only a few years old. While I love the Grampus for its personality, it's basically in a constant state of falling apart.

To wit:

In April, the a/c went out. This was rough in April, but by the time we went to Corpus Christi in June, it was unbearable.

Eric accidentally fell onto the front console/cupholder in May and completely destroyed it.

In June, the side door quit opening from the inside.

Also in June, the coolant resevoir inexplicably coughed up all its anti-freeze on the way to Corpus, causing us to overheat.

Shortly thereafter, the rear doors quit opening from the outside. In August, we replaced the front brakes and a tire. Then, the signals stopped working.

In September, we replaced another tire.

Same thing in November.

January has brought the aforementioned repairs.

So you see, kids? New vans are the way to go. While a '95 van with only 81K miles on it sounds like a great deal, it's really not. It's fun and all, but we could have probably recorded an album and bought our way to success if I had sucked it up and bought a new one. And when the Grampus finally gets mothballed, we'll probably buy something older and cheaper. Live and don't learn. That's Darth Vato.

--Steve


Erin Gray - Missing a Drive Shaft?

08.31.2008 » The Erin Gray Gets the Shaft


For those of you who know our beloved van, the Erin Gray, I have very sad news. As we were leaving for McAllen from Austin on Saturday afternoon, the drive shaft fell out. That's right, it fell out. We heard a loud bang and then there was some violent shaking. We pulled over on the side of I-35 in Austin. We looked back only to see the drive shaft of our van sitting peacefully on the side of the road. Total bummer. As it turns out, a drive shaft is pretty much required if you want a car to accelerate and maintain velocity. With help from our friends in Sunglasses & Mushrooms, we towed the van to a nearby Midas, where they verified that we were totally screwed. Drive shafts are expensive, and they take time to fix. Towing the Erin Gray back to Fort Worth was going to cost $700. Yeah, it was like $3.50 per mile or something. Steve elected to leave her in Austin. Goodbye, Erin Gray. You served us well, and you made for a great t-shirt.

We rented a Uhaul van for our gear, and we drove back to Fort Worth last night. It sucks that we had to cancel shows. That was pretty much the last thing we wanted to do. Eric and I actually got a pencil and paper and did some financial calculations, trying to figure out a way to still play the shows. But we couldn't afford to take a Uhaul to south Texas and back. Again, total bummer. Now we're just hoping Steve can find a new ride soon. Check out our myspace page for more information. I'm sure Steve will post a much more detailed blog about the entire experience.


08.11.2008 » Details for our show at Pride of Jah Fest


We are playing the Pride of Jah festival this weekend. There are going to be 3 stages with bands playing. Check out this website for more information. Here are the details that we know:

Pride of Jah
A Tribal Elements Production
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Doors open at 9:00pm

Location:
click here for map
1819 W. Northwest Highway
Dallas, TX 75220
Entry Fee:
$17 (advanced purchase)
$20 (21+)
$25 (minors)
 

07.27.2008 » Big Week Ahead: Acoustic CD Release & River Trip!!!


Guess what! I've gone and recorded an acoustic CD. It's got 11 original tracks, and you have probably never heard them before. Lucky you, right? My Acoustic CD Release show is this Thursday, July 31 at the Moon in Fort Worth, TX. I play from 9:30-11:00pm. I know, I know. It's the same night as the Snoop Dog and 311 concert, so no hard feelings if you choose that concert over mine. However, my show should be fun, too. Check out El Heladero and Kerry Dean Acoustic for more info. On Friday, we're heading down to Austin for a show at Headhunters Tiki Bar. Then on Saturday, we are heading to San Marcos to float the river. It's going to be a magnificent weekend for sure! Check out a show if you can.

Kerry Dean Acoustic - El Heladero

07.20.2008 » The Drive from El Paso is Friggin' Long


Well folks, we made it back to Texas. We drove from Phoenix to Fort Worth on Friday, and I gotta tell you: El Paso is a long way from Fort Worth. I can't believe I stayed awake from Odessa to Fort Worth. The only thing keeping me awake was the smell of oil fields. It turns out that smell was really Steve farting while he was sleeping in the front seat. Anyways, thanks to everyone who made it to a show on our tour, and thanks to everyone who bought some merch. I think we spent about $1500 on gas for this tour, so every bit of cash really helped us out a lot. As you can see, we are booking a lot of shows through the end of the year, so plan on seeing us a lot over the next several months. We hope to see you this Saturday at Halo for our welcome back show.

07.06.2008 » Tonight at Hotel San Carlos in Phoenix, AZ


Yesterday we drove 16 hours from Fort Worth, TX to Tempe, AZ. We called the Big Fish Pub, and they told us that we were not going to play because the show was cancelled. Instead, it was comedy night. That was comedy. Have a band drive 16 hours to play and then not tell them the show has been cancelled. It's a riot. We were able to get a show at Phase 54 last night, and that place was off the chain. This evening we booked a gig at Hotel San Carlos in Phoeniz, AZ, and it's going to be a pool party. We are playing from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Come out if you can.

Darth Vato at Our Finest!

07.04.2008 » Happy 4th of July! We're Heading West!


Last night was awesome! Thanks so much for coming out to support us. I think we'll have enough gas money to drive over 4,000 miles in the next two weeks! We just got the AC fixed in the van, so hopefully we can make the journey without dying from the desert heat. Our first show is July 5 in Tempe. Come out if you can. It should be a blast. Just look at the picture from last night! Steve is really excited about all of this.

06.29.2008 » July 3rd at the Moon; Then 6 California Shows!


It turns out that we actually booked some shows on the west coast. If you are in Fort Worth this Thursday night, please come to our send-off show. If you are in California, come to a show in your area. Offer us a place to stay, and we'll probably take you up on it. Seriously, we are stoked about our little trip to California. We can't wait to see you all at some shows.

06.10.2008 » Map to the Speakeasy in Fort Worth, TX


We are playing the Speakeasy this Friday, June 13th with Sunglasses & Mushrooms. If you need to know how to get to the Speakeasy, check out the map below. Or click here for a friendly and helpful Google map.

Darth Vato CD Artwork - Oh No, We're Doing Great! The new full-length album from Darth Vato:
Oh No, We're Doing Great!


Tracklist
:

01. Clocked Out!
02. D'reetos
03. Less Than Meets the Eye
04. In with the Brew
05. Never Win, Always Complain
06. (Oh Great. It's a Bunch of) Amateurs
07. Madness
08. Had Your Chance
09. Dealbreaker
10. War on the West Side
11. Consolidate & Savior
12. Going Down with the Ship
13. Second-Guessed Memory
 

05.18.2008 » For a Limited Time Only: Order Now & Get Nothing Extra!


"Here's our CD. Order one." - That's right, kids. Take this opportunity to pre-order our new full-length album. It's perfect for family time listening, though it can also be used as a coaster, a doorstop, a frisbee, or a thing to put under the short leg of a table. Order now and get nothing extra! How can you beat that. It's $10 plus shipping. Be the first person to order more than one, and Steve will fart on your CDs. Guaranteed!

Jon Ward and his Darth Vato Booze Angel Tattoo

05.10.2008 » Our Biggest Fan: Fighting at Shows, Now Fighting Cancer


One of our best friends, Jon Ward, is suffering from a very aggressive form of cancer. One night he's at our show, and 4 days later we're at the hospital, seeing him with a tube going into his heart. Needless to say, it was very abrupt and unexpected. If you have been to our shows, you have probably seen Jon fighting with someone at about 2:15am. He's one crazy motherfucker. I'm surprised he hasn't ended up in a hospital bed already. He'll talk shit to just about anyone, and that's probably why we love him.

Now he's going to need all his courage and bravery as he desperately tries to fight off this cancer. Our hearts and prayers go out to Jon, his friends, and his family. Please keep him in your thoughts, even if he has accidently punched you or knocked you over at a show. And on a side note: I hate to tell you this, but those things are supposed to happen at shows. Jon's doing it right. In fact, he should probably jump up on stage and punch me square in the nuts because that's they type of stuff that should happen at live shows. While most people are worried about their awesome haircuts, their trendy drink choices, or their choice of skinny jeans, Jon is probably the only guy in Fort Worth who gets into music enough to even start a pit. Punk. Fucking. Rock. We love you, Jon. We're praying for you.


04.13.2008 » Darth Vato Turns 6


Holy crap. Our band has been around for 6 years now. That's 209 shows, 4 recordings, and a metric ton of methane. We are celebrating our 6th birthday this week with a pair of shows in the north Texas region. See us Thursday at the Boiler Room in Denton or Friday at the Moon bar in Fort Worth. When you see us, be sure to tell us how you can't believe we've made it this far. And then pour out some beer to our Fort Worth comrades who didn't make it six years. Who would have thought that our brand of 'texicali dub' and 'sloppy, white boy reggae' would last for 6 years? It's probably a medical miracle that I have not succumbed to gas inhalation.

03.30.2008 » The Fort Worth Speakeasy


What a great night! Pablo & the Hemphill 7 were friggin' awesome as usual. I thought we played a kickass show as well. Thanks for coming out. I'm thinking we'll have to do one of those shows every couple of months. Nothing like a reggae party. BYOB and $5 at the door. For future reference, the Speakeasy in Fort Worth is a club located under the Competition Music store on E. Lancaster. Hope to see you there next time. As for us, we'll be headed to Austin in a couple of weeks. Then we're back to Denton and Fort Worth for a 2-show weekend.

NOFX at Stubb's in Austin, TX

03.02.2008 » NOFX Weekend!


I'm bruised up from the pit. We saw NOFX at Stubb's in Austin on Friday night, and then we saw NOFX again at the House of Blues in Dallas on Saturday night. I took a crapload of pictures and videos, and I'll have those up later this week. I'm not even sure what to say at this point. NOFX just might be the greatest punk band of my generation. I'll never forget seeing The Decline performed live in Austin on Feb. 29. Oh yeah, by the way, we met Eric Melvin, NOFX's second guitar player. Nicest guy ever. And on a side note, my buddies went to the Houston show and said that Smelly and Fat Mike fought on stage during Bob, and Fat Mike got a tooth knocked out. Punk as fuck!

02.18.2008 » Back from Corpus Christi


Goodness. That was an awesome weekend. Thanks to everyone who showed up to the Moon bar in Fort Worth and/or Dr. Rockit's Blues Bar in Corpus Christi. We had a blast. You may have noticed that we added another guitar player to the mix. That's Joshua, but everyone calls him Bird. He kicks ass, so buy him a shot next time you see us play. By the way, I hope you are enjoying our new material. The new CD may be a few months away, but we are taking every opportunity to play our new songs. Also, early is a funny word. Just ask Eric. He can explain everything. We hope to see you this weekend at the Ridglea Theater as we open for Spoonfed Tribe and their weapons of mass percussion.

02.16.2008 » Kerry All Better - Doing It Twice This Weekend!


Holy crap! I'm feeling much better. Thanks for all your prayers, support, flowers, cards, gift cards, winning lottery tickets, etc... I'm all better ready for action. And it's a good thing, too, because we are playing 2 times this weekend. Saturday night in Fort Worth at the Moon. Sunday night in Corpus Christi at Dr. Rockit's Blues Bar. I hope to see you all there. At both shows even.

02.08.2008 »
Kerry Gets Flu, Show Gets Cancelled, CD Release Gets Delayed


This has definitely been one of the worst weeks of my life. I'm lying in bed all week, coughing too much to sleep, shivering like I'm freezing, though my temperature is over 100 degrees, wishing for a miracle from Jebus, hoping that I don't have to cancel our Austin show with Sunglasses & Mushrooms, hearing about how our CD release is going to be moved back a bit, probably to May. But it's all good because I'm getting better and our CD is going to kickass no matter when it comes out. And we're headed down to Austin a month from today to play at Maggie Mae's. So take that, Type B Flu. You can't hold me down forever. I hope I'm not tempting fate with that one.


01.06.2008 » New Video for 'Going Down with the Ship'


Hey everybody! Okay, hey you two who actually see this page. I got around to doing some video editing of a song we recorded on New Year's. It's called Going Down with the Ship. Trust me, it's a good one. Check it out. And also, Happy Birthday to Jon. We hope your next 25 years are as good as the show we played today for your party. I think that is wishing you well. But really, how did we sound?

01.02.2008 » Cleaning Out a Hard Drive


Well this is pretty crazy. I found an old recording of Steve and I playing. It's really old. Definitely before Darth Vato was even a band. It's a track we called Dolphin Dub, and it's just the two of us noodling around on guitar and bass. I threw in a bunch of dialogue from the movie North Shore, an 80's classic for sure. To really give it that we-stole-this-sound-from-Slightly-Stoopid style, I threw in a track of waves crashing in the background. Seagulls and all. How awesome is that. This track might as well be off The Longest Barrel Ride and be called Castles Made of Sand. Just push play:  

01.01.2008 » There's a Freeze Up Coming!


I heard it was going to freeze tonight. Any excuse to quote Operation Ivy. That's what I always say. How about the fact that it's 2008. According to the Chinese calendar, 2008 is the Year of the Rat. I hope rats are good luck or something. Maybe it means less car trouble or maybe even more beer consumption. Who knows at this point? We're just gonna keep singin' and dancin' and havin' a good time. Next show is at 6th Street Live (or Lola's). Get there already.


For older news, click here: Page 2



Darth Vato CD's
Darth Vato CD - Oh No, We're Doing Great!
Darth Vato EP - Seven Seas
Darth Vato CD - Havoc
Darth Vato EP - Aloha Chingaso
Kerry Dean Acoustic - El Heladero
El Heladero
Kerry Dean Music

Links:
Vintage Guitars
Skyline Studios
Kevin Aldridge
  Website by Kerry Dean