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California Redemption

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California Redemption
California Redemption
Background information
Also known asCaRe
OriginThousand Oaks, California
GenresPunk, Hardcore, Melodic Hardcore
Years active2002 – present
LabelsDead Lamb Records
LTE Records
Associated actsFuture Primitive
Dead Alive
The Midnight Shakes
WebsiteCalifornia Redemption Homepage
Past members
  • Doug Freed

California Redemption (or CaRe) is a hardcore punk band from Thousand Oaks, California, a part of the Nardcore community, and a "major player" in the Ventura County Music scene.[1] Their sound is a mix of hardcore and punk rock; fast guitars and politically minded lyrics fusing with "breakdowns and chanted back-ups, right out of the straightedge hawd caw [sic] playbook." [2] Lyrical themes vary from political protests and critical analyses of American society to personal struggles and alienation.



California Redemption was born in the summer of 2001. At that time, Mikkei, Keegan and Doug were in a band called Mute,[citation needed] a pop punk style garage band that experienced small success in their hometown of Newbury Park, California. In mid-2001 Mikkei began to feel that something in Mute[citation needed] was definitely lacking. Mikkei soon quit, citing lack of lyrical meaning and conflicts in musical creativity. Mute[citation needed] broke up shortly thereafter.

After spending summer listening to Propagandhi and brainstorming lists of potential co-conspirators, Mikkei made up his mind. He called up two of his ex-mates from Mute;[citation needed] Keegan and Doug. He had been telling them he didn’t want to do anything musically for the past couple months, but now Mikkei asked them not to start a new band, but just hang out and jam Bad Religion songs. The new project didn’t have a singer, but there was already someone in mind. They called up a friend, Alon, who despite lack of singing experience, was obsessed with Bad Religion and was super-stoked on the idea of being in a band.

Eventually, the cover band became a full-fledged band. Their first song, “Dor Shalem Doresh Shalom” (which means "A Whole Generation Demands Peace" in Hebrew), was actually a tune written by Mikkei while he was still in Mute.[citation needed] Keegan and Mikkei began writing more material. Simultaneously, Mikkei and Alon collaborated on lyrics during classes they were attending at Moorpark College. In the meantime, the soon-to-be-named California Redemption played one show with a set consisting of nothing but Bad Religion covers under the name "Battery Legion".[3] Shortly afterwards, the band recorded an eight song demo of originals and started thinking about a first show.

First Show[edit]

By then it was the summer of 2002 and Ill Repute was doing a small California Tour. Naturally, Alon and Mikkei set out to follow them. After meeting them, Tony Cortez of Ill Repute offered California Redemption a spot on a day-after-Christmas show with Ill Repute, Dr. Know, and the Nardcore All-stars.

Mikkei once said that "Before that first show we made a decision: that no matter how many people were there and no matter how the crowd was responding, to play like we had 30 minutes left to live and never stop making asses of ourselves. We’ve pretty much stuck to that ever since. That first show was good for us. I’m still not sure what anyone in the crowd thought of us, but the other bands seemed to dig us."[4]

That show would be the first step towards California Redemption's acceptance into the Nardcore scene. It was also the beginning of their strange relationship with Ill Repute.

"This Time It's For Money"[edit]

It took almost another year after that for California Redemption to record a full length record. In the meantime, the band demoed two more tracks on their own and posted them to their website. Eventually, CaRe went into Bassline Studios in Simi Valley, California to record "This Time It’s For Money." The band says that they chose the album's name "because...seriously, it was basically the same thing as our free demo, except this time, we were going to charge for it."[4] That record was not released until a year after it was recorded.

Split with Start The Panic[edit]

After years of touring, California Redemption hooked up with Simi Valley punkrockers Start The Panic. The two bands ended up playing numerous shows together and agreed to collaborate on a split record. They eventually released it on LTE Records in March 2007 and went on tour to support the release.[5] Recorded at Will Volkman's One Room Studios, the record sold more than 1,000 copies county-wide.

Addition of Joe Suburbia[edit]

For years, the Mikkei had been tossing around the idea of adding a second guitarist. After much deliberation, the band finally decided to add one in 2006. They recruited Joe Suburbia, a good friend and former frontman of the influential punk band P.O.S. Joe's addition gave California Redemption a fuller live sound and added to the band's dynamic. His first show with the band was at the Gate in Bakersfield, California on September 29 2006

"Do Not Resuscitate"[edit]

At about that same time California Redemption returned to One Room Studios to record songs for a 7” record called "Do Not Resuscitate", initially intended to release on Texas-based AWOL Records. While the band had just added Joe to the fold, they decided to keep things simple and have Mikkei perform all the guitars for that record. Unfortunately, just as the recording was finished, AWOL records went under, Keegan left for a journey to Australia, and the band was left to shop the record to other record labels. A couple of months later, Dead Lamb Records agreed to press and distribute the record.

Switching Drummers[edit]

Keegan returned to the United States prior to the release of the record. However, Doug left the band to pursue a career in education. He left on good terms and was replaced by Will Volkmann who, aside from recording the majority of California Redemption's work, had performed at many of the same shows as them in his former band, Misfire.


Year Title Label Format
2004 This Time it's for Money Let Them Eat Records LP / CD
2005 Demo 2005 Self Released EP
2006 Start The Panic / California Redemption Split Let Them Eat Records Split EP
2007 Do Not Resuscitate Deadlamb Records EP

Compilations / Tributes[edit]

Year Title Label Format
2004 Mixo-De-Punko! Vol.1 Let Them Eat Records CD
2005 Break Your Face Face First Records CD
2005 Mixo-De-Punko! Vol.2 "Welcome To The Neighborhood" Let Them Eat Records CD
2005 Ill Repute - Live Let Them Eat Records CD
2006 Stop Listening To Crappy Music Lower Records CD
2006 Our Music, Our Lives, So Fuck Off Jerk Off Records CD
2007 Radio Disaster Vol.10 Basement Records CD
2007 Aggression Tribute Dr. Strange Records CD
2007 Cystic Fibrosis Benefit Comp Jailhouse Records CD
2007 Lambination Vol. 2 Deadlamb Records CD
2008 Lambination Vol. 3 Deadlamb Records CD

Articles / Reviews[edit]


  • People With Guns Mixo-de-punko! Enhanced CD, LTE Records, July 31, 2003)

Band members[edit]

Current members

Past members

External links[edit]


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