Former student drops out, wins Sammie award with Another Damn Disappointment

Miriam Arghandiwal

Former Sacramento State student and vocalist Josh Thompson decided 11 years ago to leave college for life on the road when his band Another Damn Disappointment received a record deal and had to go on tour.

“It was an easy decision when Warped Tour came around. That was the greatest thing ever back in the day,” he said.

“Then we got asked to play, like the whole entire thing, and it was not even a debate, it was like were going, I don’t care what anyone has to say.”

Aside from Warped Tour and winning the Sammie award for best punk rock group, the band has also been featured on MTV Japan and toured with groups like Gutter Mouth.

The group, originally known as ADD, was started in 1999, when Thompson overheard bassist Casey Marsullo and guitarist Ross Standley speaking about starting a band at a high school party. Thompson said the boys were friends and knew they had mutual love for the same kind of music from seeing each other at punk rock shows.

Marsullo said the boys used to go punk rock shows and get beat up in the mosh pit, and one day he thought about what it would be like to be the guy on stage looking down on the mosh pit, instead of the guy inside it.

Getting shows was difficult for the band at first.

“We had a big group of friends who came out to our shows that made us seem bigger than we actually were and all the sudden we grew a fan base off that,” Marsullo said.

Band members began practicing in Marsullo’s parents’ garage and in 2004 finally received a record deal.

The band enjoyed freedom on the road as the band headed out for three months at a time living out of a van or trailer.

“We didn’t have a bus, we’d drive eight hours every night to the next town,” Marsullo said.

Another Damn Disappointment developed a reputation for being the “wild party band” while on the road. Bands that they had looked up for years took notice of their free-spirited personas and musical talent.

“For me there’s been a lot of bands we grew up on as kids and we’ve looked up to that we got to meet and open up shows for them,” Marsullo said. “We became friends with guys we really looked up to.”

The band has gone through four drummers and now has Carl Chang as a drummer. They have also added another guitarist, Aaron Welch.

“We saw five member bands that sounded great together so we wanted another guitarist,” Thompson said.

As for drummers, that is what the group’s one weak point has been, Marsullo said.

“Our first few drummers weren’t into punk rock, so we had a drummers that were like, “OK, we’ll play for you,’ but really weren’t into the kind of music we were into and after a while (they) kind of wanted to move on,” he said.

Chang is one of the best things to have happened to the group, Marsullo said – the drummer grew up on the same music the rest of the band has and fits in.

Besides the adversity of switching drummers, Thompson said the band really has not had any other hardships.

Thompson said the group has managed to stay together throughout so many years because all of his band members are easy to get along with and are good friends. The band is still friends with ex-members as well, he said.

“We pretty much do whatever we want, there is no one in the band who wants to bully anyone else around,” Thompson said. “When it comes to writing songs, if someone has an idea, it doesn’t matter if you don’t agree with it, you still have to at least try it out a couple times.”

Some groups have big egos; Another Damn Disappointment does not have that problem said Thompson.

“Lots of bands take themselves too seriously and then that’s when it doesn’t work out for them,” Thompson said.

Chang said the band has succeeded in staying together all these years because they have stuck to the true nature of what it started out to be and that is wanting to play punk rock and have fun.

“I love to play. (Now) if I get to play, I get to play it with some of the best people I’ve ever played with in my life,” Chang said.

The bands’ touring days have slowed down, they have settled and found side jobs. The band is working to release their fourth album and has winded down from touring for a few months to a few weeks.

Chang said their music life will not end anytime soon.

“This band is for life, there is no easy way of getting out of it,” he said.

Miriam Arghandiwal can be reached at [email protected]