Poway’s Allstar Weekend preps new album, heads out on tour
By Robert Fulton
Allstar Weekend is not some manufactured boy band.
The Poway pop trio — singer Zach Porter, bassist Cameron Quiseng and drummer Michael Martinez — did find success on Hollywood Records performing and recording for the Disney scene, and they did play songs about love and having a good time.
But unlike many instant boy band pop creations, Allstar Weekend writes their own songs and plays their own instruments.
“Throughout our entire life in a band, we’ve written every single one of our songs,” Quiseng, 22, said during a phone interview from his home in the Toluca Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. “I think a lot of people kind of look over that because we were so long attached to the Disney image.”
“We actually are real musicians, we play our instruments,” Quiseng continued. “We were friends before we were even in the band. Breaking that barrier, just letting people know that we were the real deal was kind of hard and still today is hard.”
Allstar Weekend kicks off its next tour on Saturday at the House of Blues in Anaheim.
Quiseng attended Poway High School but spent his senior year at and graduated from Rancho Bernardo. He’s known Porter, 23, who graduated from Poway High, since the two were seventh-graders at Twin Peaks Middle School. He met Martinez, who graduated from Mt. Carmel, when he was 17.
Being Poway born and raised, Quiseng said that the area’s most famous band, Blink 182, had a major influence on Allstar Weekend’s career.
“Because we were in Poway growing up we were all obsessed with Blink 182,” Quiseng said. “That was one of our favorite bands. They’re kind of the reason why we all started getting into music.”
Allstar Weekend is currently putting the finishing touches on a new album, their third full-length release. Allstar Weekend recorded the new material in Nashville.
Quiseng wouldn’t give too much away about the new album, which is yet untitled and does not have a release date. He did say that it is a very personal record.
“I hate saying this because I say it about every album, but I want to say this is a completely different sound,” Quiseng said. “The new music is totally different. It comes from life experience.”
Allstar Weekend’s debut album “Suddenly Yours” came out in 2010 and featured the track “Dance Forever.” The 2011 effort “All the Way” had a couple of popular songs in “Blame it on September” and “Not Your Birthday.”
The new album looks to be a natural progression of the band’s evolution, if the party-themed single “Life As We Know It” is any indication.
Last year, Allstar Weekend left Hollywood Records. At least part of the reason for the split is the band’s wish to explore themes associated with the lives of young 20-somethings.
“We just had a different vision for the band,” Quiseng said. “Hollywood was great to us. They really gave us the power to do whatever we wanted. But in the end they kind of had a different vision for where the band was going to go with the music. There’s no bad blood between us and Hollywood Records. We just decided that we wanted our music to take a different direction.”
“We can only relate to what is going on in our lives,” Quiseng added. “We’re not 17-year-old kids any more.”
This next year promises to be a big one for Allstar Weekend. In addition to the upcoming tour and imminent release of new material, the band is slated for this summer’s Warped Tour.
“The band formed organically while we were still in school and we just kind of lucked out and the hobby turned into something real,” Quiseng said.
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