Unfortunately, I missed Tunnel Vision’s set at the St. Augustine stop of Reel Big Fish’s “The Beer Run” tour. Still, the band was kind enough to speak with me a little backstage after their set.
Now that I have had the chance to check out their music, I am especially glad we had a chance to chat about music, touring, and “playing high.” Tunnel Vision plays a blend of ska, reggae, and punk rock and is some of the most genuine musicians I have had the chance to work with recently.
When I asked if the music is more for them or the fans, they were quick to explain that their music is “for the fans,” and above all else, they “love doin’ it for the crowd.”
Despite playing with the intention of pleasing crowds, the band always stays true to their own roots and ideals, explaining that they will always embrace their “punk roots.” At the same time, a lot of their tracks are made to be more “mellow [and] inspired by surfing.”
As for the future, the band says it is still going to be “what we wanna play.”
“We are really cool with [our] label,” said Tunnel Vision. This gives them the opportunity to be able to present something truly genuine to their fans: When a band is loyal to their fans, the fans are able to be loyal to them in return. This eager attitude and true joy when discussing fans’ reactions is unique and will benefit the group more than they can imagine as their career grows.
Sometimes music is the “only way out,” they explained.
One crazy tour story that came up while we spoke was an experience the band had in Africa. The band performed at nearly 19,000 feet, near the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro. The band joked between bites of chips and salsa that it just might make them “the highest band ever.”
Alongside Slightly Stoopid, Tunnel Vision earned the world record for the highest elevation concert.
Even though Tunnel Vision likes to have a good time, they are equally passionate about their charitable work. They support and encourage people to donate to charities such as The Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation and Wildlife First. It was refreshing to hear a group have real details to share when discussing philanthropy, not just vague hopes for the future.
As our conversation closed, they again touched on how much they love touring and how it lends their music a “different, better [and] faster” sound.
Tunnel Vision is Hayden Hanson (vocals, guitar), Jacob Hernandez (bass), Tanner Payan (drums), Matt Risley (keys) and Doug Alani (sax).
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