Full Service (band)

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Full Service
Performing at the Full Service Circus in 2013
Background information
Origin Austin, Texas
Genres rock, hard rock, surf rock, alternative rock, progressive metal, reggae rock[1]
Years active 2004-Present
Website www.fullservicemusic.com
Members Tim "Bonesaw" Kepner
Dave "Hoag" Kepner
Elliott "Smellman" Larden
Sean "Sunny" Eckel
Past members Anthony "Twinky-P" Pitt

Full Service is an Austin-based band.[2] They are a quartet consisting of Tim "Bonesaw" Kepner (vocals, guitar), Dave "Hoag" Kepner (vocals, drums), Elliott "Smellman" Larden (vocals, percussion, keys), and Sean "Sunny" Eckel (bass). Influenced by the Beach Boys, 311, Guns N' Roses, Mastodon and many more, a Full Service performance is one consisting of unpredictable fun with a surprisingly deep and thoughtful underbelly. Notorious for their “takeover” tours and grassroots-or-die ethos, the band inspires strong loyalty from its so-called “fansaws.”

Takeover Tour[edit]

In the summer of 2008, Full Service embarked on a "takeover" tour in which they played in the parking lots of the venues during a summer tour featuring 311 and Snoop Dogg.[3] As they were not invited on the tour, these shows occasionally resulted in confrontations with local authorities. After one of these incidents in Houston, they played from inside their van (known as "The Whale") while passing the venue entrance.

The takeover effort ended up successful in that Full Service was allowed to play inside The Backyard in Austin at the end of 311's tour. Later, 311 asked Full Service to open for them at three shows in 2009, including one at the Austin Music Hall.[4]

311 has since invited Full Service to play on three of their Caribbean Cruises[5] since 2011 along with their 2011 Pow Wow festival[6] at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Florida.

Full Service has a deeper history playing takeover shows. In the past, the band has performed generator-powered sets at college campuses or anywhere they could find a space where people could listen to their music.

The band has created a documentary of the 2008 takeover tour, which they are trying to find distribution for.[7][8]

20 Tour[edit]

To promote their second acoustic album (Roaming Dragons), Full Service went on a "20 Tour" during 2011.[9] These shows have consisted of fans contacting the band to let them know they would like to host a set for approximately 20 people, and the band will come out and play at the location of the fan's choosing. This is often at the fan's own home but has included the beach, a private room above a bar, and even an Air Force base.[10]

On April 14, 2011, Full Service kicked off the "20 Tour" at Casa de Stroud (also known as Casa de Kazoo) in which 20 crowd members performed the band's first homemade crowd surf. This was in conjunction with Full Service's finale.[11]

A year later, on April 6, 2012, Full Service returned to Casa de Stroud and rechristened it, "Casa de Kazoo" in a song written specially for that show. The name is a reference to host Steffan Stroud's Fansaw nickname, "Kazoologist," for the many times he has played with the band during live performances of Trumpets.[12]

Full Service added a West Coast "20 Tour" in late 2012 and has planned another in the Midwest for 2013.

Full Service Circus[edit]

On December 5, 2012, Full Service announced that they would be hosting a festival in Austin, TX, in May 2013.[13] The Full Service Circus would be akin to a "reverse 20 tour"; instead of the fans hosting the band, this time the band would host the fans in their hometown and, literally, their own backyard.[14] The Circus would not feature animals ("just the band members") but instead showcase the sights and sounds of Austin, visiting such places as FSHQ (the band's home and headquarters), Antone's, and Zilker Park. Sponsors, including Austin's Pizza and Wahoo's Fish Taco, would host events and offer discounted food and drinks throughout the event ($1 pizza slices, tacos and local draft beers).

On December 17, 2012, the band hosted a "muppet-style" telethon online where they performed songs and skits, spoke with callers and answered questions viewers had about the Circus. During the nearly three-hour event, the band sold the first 100 of the approximately 230 tickets that would ultimately be purchased.

For the Circus itself, May 3–5, 2013, fans arrived from all parts of the United States and enjoyed three days full of events.

  • Friday included sports at Zilker Park (volleyball, frisbee, etc.) then a gathering at FSHQ. People played carnival-style games (basketball, balloon darts, wheel of fortune, etc.) for chances to win merchandise. Gift bags containing information were handed out, and announcements were made. Full Service also designed a self-guided museum style tour of their home and yard, putting up 86 "points of interest" people could read about. For the public show at Antone's, Sip Sip performed as the opening band and local friend and comedian Ramin Nazer did stand-up before Full Service played to 350+ people, many dressed in "circus freak" costumes along with the band members themselves.
  • Saturday morning featured yoga with Bonesaw near the Barton Springs Pool, plus disc golf with Sunny and Smell at Zilker Park. In the afternoon, an acoustic show was performed at FSHQ for about half the fans while others had free time to check out local events such as the Pecan St. Festival or shop along South Congress. People met at Wahoo's Fish Taco downtown for a party before the evening show back at FSHQ for the rest of the fans. Following the show, some enjoyed an after-party at the Javelina Bar on Rainey St.
  • Sunday was highlighted by a midday show near the Moon Tower at Zilker Park, with Shinyribs opening. Notably, fans staged an impromptu takeover of their own in the middle of the song "Youuuuu," gathering in front of the stage for a large group photo while the band played. Afterward, many fans went for a swim at the Barton Springs Pool to close out the weekend.

Based on the overall success of the first Full Service Circus, the band hopes to make this an annual event. Preliminary plans have been made to hold the second one in Oct. 2014 with an official announcement to come once dates have been selected.

Promotion and Marketing[edit]

As an unsigned, unrepresented band, most of Full Service's attention comes from fan word-of-mouth along with their online presence. Full Service makes frequent use of YouTube to create skits, post general band updates, and make the occasional instructional video to show people how to play a song.[15] In addition, they often stream jams and practices online along with seeking fan input when it comes to ideas and suggestions, which helps strengthen the connections made. They are active on Facebook and Twitter as well.

To promote "Carousel," released Oct. 1, 2013, Full Service held a 3-hour webcast with skits and live performances on Sep. 26, 2013. This was done from their home in Austin as they offered for sale 200 packages that included a digital copy of the album, two CDs with the intent purchasers would give one to a friend as a way of introducing them to the band, an autographed lyric sheet, and a promise to send a tree sapling to be planted at a location of the buyer's choosing.[16] This method was described by the band as a method of trying to connect music to people in a different manner.[17]



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