Have you ever believed in something so much that you’d risk everything you have for it? Would you risk getting arrested or even shot for it? Full Service, a local band from Austin, Texas, did. They went on an impromptu tour titled the Takeover Tour in the summer of 2008 and hired a filmmaker to record their adventure. The end product was their documentary Takeover! that can be viewed on Vimeo.
As an unsigned independent band of five years, Full Service struggled with attracting fans as well covering the expenses that go along with running a band. Tours cost quite a bit of money, but for an unknown band touring is essential. Unable to get anyone to sponsor a tour of their own, Full Service tagged along 311 and Snoop Dogg’s summer tour by performing the parking lots before each show.
The main attraction wasn’t aware of the band throughout the tour. It was a very risky tactic to spread word about their band and music, but the band believed in their music enough to go out on a limb and try. These guys are gutsy as hell, to say the least.
Full Service consists of Bonesaw (guitar), Hoag (drummer, Bonesaw’s brother), Smell (tambourine, cowbell, bongos, shaker), and Twinky-P (bass). On the Takeover Tour they had Frankie aka Chito and Pukey help out with distributing demos and colleting emails, as well as Brett and Mooger, who worked on the filming of the documentary. All of these guys packed into their van, the Whale, with all of their equipment and hit the road.
Viewing Takeover! was the first time I had heard Full Service’s music, so I turned to a fan, Leslie Smeaton, for a closer look at the band’s live show. Smeaton first heard about Full Service back in 2008 when she took drumming lessons from Hoag. He gave her a couple of Full Service’s CDs after the lesson and now Full Service is Smeaton’s favorite local band. “Seeing them perform live is just the most incredible thing ever!” Smeaton exclaimed, “From my experience, they just get more and more amazing every time! They’re so alive on stage and they really get into into the music! … I’m NEVER disappointed after a show! It always has me so pumped afterwards and my ears are ringing because I usually get as close to the front as possible! It’s just so…AWESOME!”
Full Service overcame many obstacles on their tour including a broken generator, a shortage in the free demos they were handing out to people, and security personnel. There were a few shows they couldn’t play, but they still didn’t give up. They got out into the crowd and distributed free demos as well as collect emails from potential fans. At the end of each day of the tour Full Service was a productive as they could be.
In the end, Full Service’s hard work paid off. While they were in Austin for the last show of the Takeover Tour, a couple of the band members ran into people from 311’s tour. They talked to 311’s people and were give their manager’s number. To make the band’s situation even better, they were allowed to play inside the venue during the last show of the tour.
Part of Full Service’s success is due to the love and care they give their fans. Smeaton, who has seen Full Service play five times, explains, “I like…how much they connect with their fans. They’re not that kind of band that’s, like, appreciative of their fans but don’t really interact with them. They actually genuinely care about their fans and take the time to talk to them and even befriend most of them. In reality, the fanbase feels more like a family and it’s just really heartwarming.”
Full Service worked for many years of their dream of making a living off of their music and they didn’t give up. Some people may question Full Service’s lifestyle, but Bonesaw doesn’t mind. “I’m thirty and what I doing?” he expressed in Takeover!, “I’m doing everything that I want to do. I’m with my brother, [Hoag], I get to play music every day and I create and write… I get to make my own schedule.”
The guys of Full Service live their lives doing what they enjoy the most, making music. Occasionally they struggle, but overall they successfully do what they love. Full Service has proven that there is no reason not to follow one’s dreams. Hard work will pay off in the long run if you have consistency and patience.
For more information about Full Service visit their website at http://www.fullservicemusic.com/
Like Full Service on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FullServiceMusic
For more insight on Full Service from a fan’s perspective, read the full interview with Leslie Smeaton.