Old Dogs, new tricks

The mighty Indestructibles
By BOB GULLA  |  April 23, 2008
BRASSY: The Indestructibles’ front line.

After the Jungle Dogs went down in 1998, bandleader Tom Kutcher was keen on lightening things up. “I think the band was getting sick of the Jungle Dogs material,” says Kutcher, and we wanted to do something that we all didn’t have to take so seriously.”

So the Indestructibles rose up. Heavily influenced by classic and English ska, they were designed to be fun and light. “It felt great to be loose and do something really breezy,” Kutcher admits. “We were at a time in our lives when a bunch of us — my brother Joe, Ray, and myself — were having babies and life started changing. So playing ska was fun for us and a good release.”

The Indestructibles signed quickly, and made an album with good distribution. Then the bottom fell out, not with the band, but with ska in general. Fickle audiences abandoned the genre, ditching all the so-called “Third Wave” ska bands. “It got labeled a fad,” says Kutcher. “The new swing thing came in, people were looking for something different, and they just dropped ska.”

Nearly a decade later, the Indestructibles are back with the original lineup and a fresh attitude. “Everyone wants to play,” says Kutcher. “But almost everyone is now in his 40s and pretty busy, with diverse lifestyles and different priorities.”

When you head to the Shorebreak on Saturday, you can see them all: drummer Joe Kutcher, multi-talent Ray Gennari (the Ravers), slide trombonist Noah Clark, saxman Paul Chocquette, and guitarist Teddy Stevens (who tours with the Drifters). Of course, it’s not as if Kutcher and company are expecting a resurgence of ska, just a resurgence of enthusiasm in playing out again. “I’d love to go back and re-cord, get the guys together, and play regularly. It’s fun and light enough, and it’s not about anybody’s ego. We can’t stop doing this, even with kids around. It’s in our blood.”

THE INDESTRUCTIBLES + THE WATER PROJECT | The Shorebreak, 3 Beach St, Narragansett | April 26 | 401.783.1022

Well, the show did not go on last weekend at the Blackstone, where Bob Hymers and the original Rash of Stabbings gang were slated to play on an Earth Day Fest bill that also included the Hope Anchor, Von Doom, and Minky Starshine. Actually, everyone but Rash played the Fest.

Rumors circulated quickly that the band didn’t have their shit together enough to pull off a show. “We may not have had our shit together,” he says, “but we were definitely going to play that show.” That is, until Tuesday, when Hymers went into the hospital with heart attack-like symptoms. “I was having bad pain that morning, my arm ached, heartburn, and so I went into the hospital.”

Hymers had chest pain eight months ago, and was released with a clean bill of health then. This time, he also was cleared, but warned not to add any more tension to his already crazy life. “Right now,” he explains, “I’m going through a lot of stress. I’m moving, my mom’s got Alzheimer’s, I have a two-hour commute to my job, which is a third shift. There’s a lot of shit going on.”

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