Thicker Than Thieves ready to rock Roxy with reggae

Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writerApril 5, 2013 

Some people might think punk rock is more noise than music, but if it wasn't for the punk scene in the 1970s, Americans may never have had the chance to hear reggae music.

"The only venue reggae bands could get booked into years ago were punk rock concerts," said Jamin Hazelaar, lead singer for the band Thicker Than Thieves. "That's the first time I heard the sound, and I've been hooked on it ever since."

Thicker Than Thieves is a San Diego-based band that will make a stop in the Tri-Cities on April 13 at the Roxy Wine Bar in downtown Kennewick. This is the group's first visit to the area. The last time the band came to Washington, they were part of the 2004 Warped Tour's stop at the Gorge Amphitheatre near George.

Though Hazelaar loves playing to a huge crowd on a big stage, he also loves the intimacy of a smaller venue like the Roxy.

"Don't get me wrong, I love the big stage," he said in a telephone interview with the Herald. "But small venues are equally cool. Besides, I'd rather play to a full house of 100 people than a half-full house with 100,000."

He describes the band's sound as a mix of surf punk salted with sweet reggae rock. Hazelaar is known for his intoxicating vocals and songwriting, though he credits the band's soulfulness to the inspiring talents of all five of the band members, which also includes Mauricio Mora on guitar, Mr. Kees on drums, bassist Mick Kline and David Perez on keyboards. The band's other guitarist, Brian Sykes, won't be on the tour, as he is recovering from back surgery, the band's management said.

Hazelaar, a 40-something musician, grew up with punk rock, but when he got a taste for reggae, he never looked back.

"What I love about this music is that it's all about how you feel about yourself and the rest of the world," Hazelaar said.

It's feel-good music that he describes as having an edge of punk with a feel-good vibe.

Showtime at the Roxy is 9:30 p.m. Tickets cost $5 in advance or $10 at the door. The Roxy Wine Bar is at the corner of Auburn Street and Kennewick Avenue.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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