Slated for a June 5th self-release, Transmitters is the first release from Houston, TX based STEADFAST, a melodic street punk rock act, swinging for the fences with their anthemic, powerhouse sound. Combining the best elements from classic styles like skate, street, and straight up punk, while giving it their own uniquely Texas-fueled twist. Today, we’re giving you the first listen of the full record, along with the band’s commentary about their work, track by track breakdown of the album, as well as their take on the current COVID-19 situation, their local scene in Houston and loads of other bands and records worth a check when you take a break from rockin’ this joint right here.
STEADFAST HTX actually started out years earlier as Steadfast while Jason was living in Austin, TX. He had disbanded his street punk band Black Star Brigade in 2006 and in 2007 he, Kevin & Larry from Born To Lose and Dustin from Say Hello To The Angels started Steadfast. It was mostly an excuse to hang out once a week. They wrote a handful of songs, recorded a 5 song demo and only played 1 show within the year. In 2008, because of work Jason moved back to his hometown of Houston, TX and Steadfast was disbanded. Fast forward a few years – Jason was playing and recording with his folk punk band Jason Bancroft and The Wealthy Beggars until 2017. It was during this time the 4 of them met and became friends. 2018, after a year off of playing music (and constant urging from Andrew) Jason got Travis, Charlie and Andrew to form a punk band. Having a standing offer to play an “unofficial show” during the week of SXSW music festival just 2 months after forming the band, Jason suggested learning a few Steadfast songs. The new group was in sync almost immediately, so Jason contacted Larry, Kevin and Dustin and got their blessing to take his songs and revive Steadfast – opting to add the HTX to the name as an homage to their home Houston, TX (HTX).
STEADFAST HTX are: Jason Bancroft – Vocals/Guitar, Travis Smith – Vocals/Guitar, Andrew Wupper – Vocals/Bass, Charlie Price – Drums / Credits: This album features guest keyboards from Tsunami Bomb’s Oobliette Sparks (keys on Above It All, Old Scars and These Days). Hillary Harris played piano on Just Disbelievers. Background vocals by friends Brian Yarbrough, Shane Raymond, and Andrew Burke. Album artwork was done by Dominic Davi.
COVID-19 has placed an enormous burden on so many independent artists and music scenes, and in our recent series of interviews and special features, we continue to get more feedback and unique perspectives from artists from many different parts of the world. Asked about his opinion on that, STEADFAST HTX’s Jason Bancroft commented:
Personally, on one hand it has been a bit of a financial burden but it has been creatively productive on the other hand. Being at home and not able to work has given me the opportunity to write new music. As a matter of fact, I have written at least 12 new songs that we will work on for our follow up album. I’m not sure how long that process would have taken had none of this happened. As a band we haven’t seen each other outside of the internet/FaceTime since late February so we are itching to get together to play music and hang out again.
Touring wise, we are all still uncertain at this point. The plan was to take three different trips over 3 or 4 months; at first hitting the US west coast for a week, then the mid-west for a week and then the east coast for a week. We will see if that plan makes sense when this is all over. At any rate, the plan is to promote our album TRANSMITTERS and sneak in to record new stuff of the next year. We would also like to play a few festivals between now and next summer and have a new album before the end of 2021.
Houston music scene
Houston, TX where we live is a very big and diverse city. The local scene is just as big and diverse. There are a lot of good bands here in Houston and throughout Texas. The Texas punk community is really strong now. A few Houston punk bands to check out: Days and Daze, 30 Foot Fall, Dead To The World, Liberty and Justice, The Prettybads, Action Frank, Revels, The Ramblin’ Boys, Gen Why, The Failz, The Genzales
Other bands worth a check
We consider these bands as part of our extended family of friends: Sniper 66, Nowherebound, Threesaway, Despero, The Palatines, From Parts Unknown, Mutant Love, Nothing Lost, Destroy Orbison, The Butts, Dead Weight, Amuse, HEELS, Jukebox Romantics, Tsunami Bomb, Two Fisted Law, Kyle Trocolla, Fat by the Gallon, Dryer Fire, Crime Revenge, The Murtaughs
𝑇𝑜𝑝 10 𝑏𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑠 𝑐𝑢𝑟𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑙𝑦 𝑜𝑛 𝑟𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛, 𝑏𝑦 𝐽𝑎𝑠𝑜𝑛
1. The Drowns
3. Iron Chic
5. Red City Radio
6. Banner Pilot
7. Face to Face
8. Anti Flag
9. Direct Hit!
10. Bad Cop/Bad Cop
𝑇𝑜𝑝 10 𝑎𝑙𝑏𝑢𝑚𝑠 𝐼 𝑤𝑖𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑑 𝐼 ℎ𝑎𝑑 𝑤𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑛, 𝑏𝑦 𝐽𝑎𝑠𝑜𝑛
1. The Clash – S/T (US version)
2. Bombshell Rocks – Street Art Gallery
3. Dear Landlord –Dream Homes
4. Swingin’ Utters – Streets of San Francisco
5. Stiff Little Fingers – Nobody’s Hero
6. 59 Times The Pain – Calling The Public
7. Pinkerton Thugs – End of an Era
8. The GC5 – Never Bet The Devil Your Head
9. Twopointeight – From Wires
10. Teenage Bottlerocket – Total
𝐴𝑛𝑑𝑟𝑒𝑤’𝑠 𝑇𝑜𝑝 10 𝐸𝑎𝑟 𝑊𝑜𝑟𝑚𝑠
Make a playlist! Be the hit of the party!
1. Come On Eileen (Dexys Midenight Runners)
2. Never Gonna Give You Up (Rick Astley)
3. Sail (AWOLNATION)
4. All Star (Smash Mouth)
5. MMMbop (Hanson)
6. Billie Jean (Michael Jackson)
7. Walking on Sunshine (Katrina and the Waves)
8. Don’t Stop Believing (Journey)
9. Poker Face (Lady Gaga)
10. Hey Ya (OutKast)
𝑂𝑢𝑟 𝐸𝑥𝑡𝑒𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑑 𝐹𝑎𝑚𝑖𝑙𝑦
𝐽𝑎𝑠𝑜𝑛’𝑠 𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑑 𝑃𝑢𝑛𝑘 𝑃𝑙𝑎𝑦𝑙𝑖𝑠𝑡
𝑆𝑜𝑛𝑔𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑎𝑙𝑟𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑑𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑘 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑦 𝑇𝑟𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑠
𝐸𝑥𝑡𝑟𝑎: 𝐶ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑙𝑖𝑒’𝑠 𝑟𝑎𝑛𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑊ℎ𝑖𝑡𝑒 𝐶𝑙𝑎𝑤 𝑓𝑙𝑎𝑣𝑜𝑟𝑠 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑏𝑒𝑠𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑠𝑡
8. Black Cherry
9. Pure (unflavored) – this is garbage…no one should EVER drink this!
Track by track rundown
by Jason Bancroft
a. This song is an homage to being exposed to and inspired by a pirated FM radio station. The “station” had receivers and transmitters posted illegally all over the city on rooftops and trees. They kept moving their broadcast location to avoid the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) fines and arrest. The “station” also was deeply involved in the local punk rock community promoting, sponsoring and enabling bands to have a voice and purpose. (After being a fan, I was actually asked to participate and ended up being a “DJ” for a while spinning street punk songs on a weekly show)
b. This song is a fun song to open with on the album and live. It helps showcase a lot of the fun we have with simple melodic guitar riffs and heavy backup vocals. I get to stay busy on guitar between the melodic guitar riff, slides and lead. Also I love big pick slides and don’t get to use them as often as I want so it worked out well that we wrote them into the song to accent the big ring outs and have a little fun too.
2. Desperation Generation
a. On this song we kind of highlight how as our generation we continue to face corrupt leaders, absurd economic and social barriers to overcome, and seemingly new rules every few years that we have to live by and being fed up and desperate – BUT we will continue to point out flaws in the system and stand up for what is right for all people, not just select few.
b. Another simple melodic guitar riff and heavy backups. My two favorite things on this are 1. Travis’s guitar solo – it sounds like an early Swingin Utters solo and I love it
c. During the last chorus I ring out the D chord while the other guitar and bass play the rest of the chord progression and it sounds bigger and gives a little extra padding to the vocals.
3. Thieves and Liars
a. This was the last song we wrote for the album and stylistically maybe more indicative of how our future songs may sound. It is a tongue and cheek commentary about trust and heartbreak.
b. This is one of our most fun songs to play live. It is very much a pop song for us fills us with joy. Almost every show you can see Travis and Charlie making each other laugh and having so much fun during this song.
4. Just Disbelievers
a. This is a fight song – in the sense of knowing you might be fighting a losing battle – but the fight is too important to ignore.
b. I like how we introduce the piano unexpectedly after the 1st 3 tracks. We bring it in slow and then come in guitars blazing. I have a lot of fun singing the ending chorus with the carryover. On the recording we layered a couple extra guitars and melodies at the end to really go out big after starting so softly with the piano. (piano was done by our friend Hillary)
5. Above It All
a. This is older song me and my buddy Dustin wrote together. He had the intro idea in his head for a while as just a raw punk fight song then we arranged it and added the other lyrics and it turned into more of self-perseverance song rather than a fight song. It needed two vocals, so Travis takes the verses and I take the chorus and it the trade-off really helps the emotion of the track come through better than if I had sung the verse.
b. In my head I feel this should have been a Mighty Mighty BossTones song and should have horns on it, but the keyboards make more sense and sound great. Oobliette from Tsunami Bomb did the keyboards on this and two other tracks and it added so much to the sound we have considered adding a keyboard player at times. I’m still holding out that we will record this with horns one day.
6. Land of Opportunity
a. I believe pointing out what is or what was wrong with your society or politics is a necessity to evoke change for the better.
b. I like that we start the song in a Clash sort of way with the guitar ring outs being quick and trading off to highlight the different guitar tones – then we kick in with a riff perfect for your skateboard playlist due to Charlie driving drum beats. My vocals are a bit worn out and fleeting on this track and I really wanted to re-record them after a day’s rest but decided not to re-record them and that the flaws were right for the overall theme.
7. My Conviction
a. This is a feel good about yourself and the struggles you have overcome song. If I’ve had to overcome losing everything in my life and rebound back, then I know others have too. I think the song is relatable in a basic human nature sort of way and can be applied to any struggle anyone is facing.
b. We used to start our live sets with this song, but then we played all the other songs way too fast and completed a 45 minutes set in 20 minutes…so we moved to later in the set.
Its really simple and quick, but I really love the bass slide at the intro – it grabs you right away.
a. Without spending hours talking politics, this song is about a corrupt politician (you know, basically all politicians).
b. Charlies’ drums really punch on the choruses and drive the song. Andrew plays his best bass on this track. When we wrote it he really took what anger I was trying to convey and combined it with the melody for a surprising thoughtful combination of basslines. When we play this one live, sometimes I turn my guitar volume down a bit so I can hear the bass better.
9. One Shot
a. I call this a unity song. We are all in this mess together and we have “one shot” to get it right. So don’t give up.
b. This one it hard to do live for me vocally because I wrote too many words for the verse and chorus. Hahaha. I was really glad we got to use the vibra-slap on this track, its playful and works well at the beginning with Travis’s hollow body guitar ring outs.
10. Old Scars
a. This is about looking back on the past and how you’ve got to where you are today. The journey, the losses and sometimes the frustration. It can be surprisingly emotional for our fans who relate to the message – ultimately it is about release.
b. This is our live set closer people love to sing along during the choruses. We encourage the audience channel their energy and come together to sing the “whoas” as loud as they can with us. It is a bonding moment for us and the audience, sometimes even magical. It also is great keeping the energy going for the next bands after us. I love playing this song, it is simple and fun. The keyboards add a special energy that is hard to put into words.
11. These Days
a. A song about embracing regrets because without them you wouldn’t learn from your mistakes and become the person you are today. Basically, its ok to have regrets. Living life with “no regrets” is selfish, pretentious, lonely and a lie.
b. It is a good melodic drinking song to end the album on. Cheers.
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𝖯𝗅𝖾𝖺𝗌𝖾 𝖼𝗈𝗇𝗌𝗂𝖽𝖾𝗋 𝖽𝗈𝗇𝖺𝗍𝗂𝗇𝗀 𝗍𝗈 𝗁𝖾𝗅𝗉 𝗐𝗂𝗍𝗁 𝖼𝗈𝗏𝖾𝗋𝗂𝗇𝗀 𝗈𝗎𝗋 𝖼𝗈𝗌𝗍𝗌 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝗄𝖾𝖾𝗉 𝗍𝗁𝗂𝗌 𝗉𝗋𝗈𝗃𝖾𝖼𝗍 𝖺𝗅𝗂𝗏𝖾
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