The Expendables Talk Zombies, Social Media, and Marijuana Legalization

Combine a heap of ska, a pinch of punk, a dash of metal, some good humor, and disorder. Shake to a reggae rhythm and you'll get something that sounds like the Expendables.

The band has been riding the SoCal ska waves since the early 2000s. Along with Slightly Stoopid and Pepper, it brought a Sublime-like style to places still singing "Santeria." If you're in the surf and skate scenes, you've heard the band for sure. Otherwise, you've overheard your dreadlocked neighbor try to seduce some girl with "Bowl for Two" at 2 a.m.

The band is back on tour after releasing its sixth studio album, Sand in the Sky, this January and cruising to South Florida to perform at Revolution on Saturday. We spoke with Expendables drummer and vocalist Adam Patterson about zombies, Facebook, and weed taxes.

New Times: When did you decide you wanted to be a musician?

Adam Patterson: It just kind of happened. We were in high school, playing as your typical garage band, and before we knew it, we were like, "Oh, we can actually maybe make a living out of this."

If you could be a guest musician for any band, who would you be onstage with?

I'd do vocals for the Police. My dad showed me them when I was younger, and they were so different and still are. They were doing a reggae, rock, and punk blend way before Sublime even. I couldn't step in for the vocalist or the drummer, though. They'd boo me off.

"Anti Social" is an unexpected and unique track from your new album. What was the inspiration there?

That's a song our singer and guitar player, Geoff, wrote, and it's kind of about social media, that there's this weird distance between people online. You're friends with people that you hardly ever see. He's asking, "What's wrong with being in real life?"

Not to dis on Facebook or anything. Just to question that whole social media world. Everyone posting epic pictures and rad things they're doing all the time -- it's not really real. That's what I feel.

Does "Zombies in America" make a similar social statement?

That's another Geoff song, and I honestly came to my own conclusions on what they're about. I think that song is a little politically driven, but it's also just about zombies. I hate saying that to people, though, because if it means something for them, I don't want to take that away.

What is most threatening the traditional American way of life?

Hopefully everything.

And how do you feel about Florida being home to Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio?

That's great, I mean, that's awesome.

No need to lie.

Well, that's the thing, I'm trying to get to where I don't hate anyone. My parents are very liberal, and I could easily be too liberal. We need those other sides because we need that balance. Otherwise no side ever listens and nothing gets done. So I don't know; let's listen. Let's come to a solution that helps both of us.

What's your opinion of Florida voters' failure to approve cannabis legalization?

Money will turn everything around. Florida will eventually legalize pot because they want that money, and money is what makes the world go 'round, unfortunately. They won't be able to not legalize it.

Your concerts are often out of hand. Do you have any quintessential Broward County stories from your shows?

Not really, but it's always wild. Florida in general is a crazy state. It's like surfer and redneck mixed together, and they just rage. And that's not in a negative way. It's awesome. We love Florida. We have this weird, sick love for Florida.

Then can you describe South Florida in five words or less?

It's hot in every way.

The Expendables, Winter Blackout 2015, with Ballyhoo and Katastro. 7 p.m. Saturday, February 28, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $18 for advanced sales and $20 the day of the show. Call 800-745-3000, or visit

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Dyllan Furness
Contact: Dyllan Furness