New music sucks.
Just ask the three members of Pepper, the Hawaiian-raised and Los Angeles-based outfit that combines punk lyrics, island beats and alternative guitars to create a compelling amalgamation for the masses.
"It just seems like we're kind of in a lull right now," says Pepper drummer Yesod Williams, calling from a tour stop in Cleveland. "There are good bands here and there, like Queens of the Stone Age, but it's hard for me to think of the really good bands that stand out or really have some substance.
"Then you think of the early 1990s, when the grunge era came out and Nirvana hit and all of those bands that were so good, like Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. And then go back even more, and there is like The Police and The Clash and all of that was going on. Even back to classic rock and before that, The Beatles and everything. It just seems like everything has taken a shit recently."
Whether or not you agree, the members of Pepper are not egotistical. Williams' comments stem not from rock-star hubris but from a fan's perspective.
"Whatever it is, I think definitely music is ready for something to hit that is going to change it," says Williams. "Whatever it may be."
Naturally, while he won't admit it, Williams would love to change the world with Pepper's infectious fun that embraces the old, mixes it in a blender and serves it new-millennium style.
Having toured under the radar of the mainstream and even under the underground scene in some regards since 1999, Pepper appears only now to be on the cusp of something larger.
National tours with Slightly Stoopid, a co-patriot in the San Diego alternative scene of lunacy and fun, have given way to Pepper headlining. And what can you expect at a Pepper show?
"It's definitely unpredictable and it's a raw display of power," Williams says, laughing. "Anything goes. Who knows what will happen? We might burn the fuckin' venue down that night. You never know."
Pepper, with Supervillains and P-Knuckle
The Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave.
Sunday, June 18, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $12-$15, all ages; visit ticketweb.com.