Once a beach band, always a beach band? Thicker Than Thieves will kick off their spring tour in Ocean Beach, not so far from where it began for them more than a decade ago. That would be Pacific Beach, where Thicker Than Thieves started out playing beach parties and bars. They were like a local version of Bad Brains with musical quotes from Bob Marley and whatever British post-punk bands there were that struck Jamin Hazelaar’s fancy. He’s the head Thief and, as such, knows perhaps better than anyone the uphill battle of being early on any sort of trend. Other than Buck-O-Nine, he says, “There really wasn’t anyone else in San Diego at that time who was doing what we were doing,” meaning the sounds that come from blending reggae and ska with punk rock.
Jamin Hazelaar grew up in a musical family and started performing at the age of nine. Not so unusual — that seems to be about the age when parents begin sticking clarinets or trumpets or violins in their kids’ hands. Hazelaar did recitals and musicals and plays as a child, and that’s where he worked out all of the mistakes that new singers must make. He’s a strong frontman; even in the earliest surf-punk days of TTT, I thought him preternaturally calm and self-possessed.
In 2002, the band released their first full-length CD, Smuggler’s Run, said to have been inspired by a surfing trip (they have a new EP due this fall). It follows that the Thieves’ music and surf/skater aesthetic has made them favorites on such festival stages as the Van’s Warped Tour and the Costa Rica Caricaco Festival. Handy, because their Facebook page says the Thieves divvy their time between the California coast, Costa Rica, and Hawaii. Once a beach band, always a beach band.
Project: Out of Bounds and So Cal Vibes also perform.
Thicker Than Thieves: Winstons, Thursday, March 14, 9 p.m. 619-222-6822