If punk were dead then ska might be a distant memory. But Vegas’ punk scene is still going strong, and its ska community is still alive and skanking, with poster boys Be Like Max leading the way. The band just landed two major gigs—Extreme Thing and Punk Rock Bowling—setting up 2016 as BLM’s biggest year to date.
It didn’t happen overnight. The guys have been at it for five years, writing, recording and touring—the latter for weeks on end, multiple times a year. “Our goal is to slowly extend those tours,” singer Charley Fine says. “We do it pretty hard. We want to get to more important cities to play.” In 2015, the band loaded up the van, driving as far east as Boston and Long Island to bring their sound to fresh ears. Expect more of the same this year, with BLM touring behind September album Against All Odds. It’s a title fitting for five Vegas boys who’ve grown tired of hearing that their genre peaked in the ’90s. Over the years Be Like Max has amassed a significant local following. (And when would a song titled “My Friends Are Alcoholics” not feel current?)
Champions of the all-ages scene, the members of Be Like Max are adamant about playing Vegas venues that welcome everyone—and their fans are the more loyal for it. “It’s kind of a challenge, but it [puts] more of a focus on us to really promote ourselves and promote our shows,” Fine says. “It’s almost like, because it was harder, it’s worked out.” belikemax.bandcamp.com