After graduating from Helix High School in 1985, Steve Moramarco left San Diego to study theater at UCLA. He befriended Jack Black in college and went on to front a series of bands, most of which featured bean-related names.
First there was the folkie duo Hill of Beans (1988–1990), then there was just plain old Bean (1991–1993). Crying out to the heavens with the ultimate statement of bean evolution, Moramarco now fronts Superbean — an L.A. trio that is enjoying an unexpected blast of interest, thanks to a video for their song “Fuck Youth.”
Superbean, "Fuck Youth"
“I feel like I’m expressing frustration of our generation, aloud, that a lot of people have identified with. I personally think young people are great. I’m just saying ‘fuck youth’ as a concept. Our society is obsessed with youth culture, and that’s a great time of our lives, which is so brief and fleeting. It’s just wasted on the young. I’m just saying, ‘Fuck youth. Enjoy your life, your whole life.’”
The video has over 300,000 views on Facebook and has resulted in Moramarco’s most successful musical moment since Bean appeared on a split single with a pre-“Loser” Beck, circa 1993.
“People are messaging me all over the world, and they’re commenting in different languages,” Moramarco explained. “A Spanish-language fanzine posted an article on us and compared us to the Jam, Wire, and the Small Faces, and I was, like, ‘Yes! That’s what I want!’ People seem to get this band.”
Superbean has traditionally just played gigs around Moramarco’s homebase of L.A., but the video has brought concert invites as well. One of these was for the Mods vs. Rockers event at Nicky Rotten’s in Rancho San Diego on January 27th. It’s a good fit, since Moramarco’s vision for this version of Superbean is very mod, indeed.
“My childhood heroes were the Jam. I always loved Paul Weller, the Rickenbackers, the suits, and the whole lifestyle. I just wanted to go back to that. Play some guitar. Play some power-pop. So we really sort of stuck to that model,” Moramarco said.
Though he was a disciple of both the mod and Paisley Underground scenes while he was a student at Helix, Moramarco says he never played with any group that was anything more than a “living room band.” He didn’t start gigging out until he was in college, but he still managed to catch some great shows in San Diego while in his teens. This included a “half-full” REM show at SDSU during their Murmur tour, before the “Radio Free Europe” single had been released.
“Back in those days, downtown was a ghost town,” Moramarco explained. “I think there was a club called Studio 517 where we used to go. The garage scene was really taking off at that time. We would see all the shows that Tim Mays would do. NE1 was the band that was the gem of San Diego.”