O.C.’s Favorite New Wave Band Take Red Leather To The Viper Room In L.A. Apr. 2

Flashback Heart Attack

FLASHBACK HEART ATTACK Play The Viper Room April 2.

Flashback Heart Attack is the red-leather-wearing ‘80s new wave band that has been energizing crowds across Orange County for the last five years. Starting at the beginning of March 2015, the hard-hitting cover band from the O.C. started expanding its audience into L.A., with shows at the legendary Viper Room.

Notable not only for their high-energy and spot-on renditions of the biggest hits of the ‘80s, the band has been able to capture a cult following. Their regular performances at local clubs are always packed wall-to-wall. The fun loving bunch has also scored gigs like Tre Cool’s wedding and the Green Day holiday party, performing with Billie Joe Armstrong.

As a backing band they’ve played with Terri Nunn from Berlin, A Flock of Seagulls, Bow Wow Wow, Missing Persons, Dramarama, Linda Perry, Tommy Tutone, Naked Eyes – a “who’s who” of ‘80s artists. They also come with an endorsement from Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who has personally recommended the band for gigs.

“It’s a really cool thing that these guys are interested in us,” says Don Bronze – whose real name is Jason, “these are musicians that have been around the world and seen a lot, so we appreciate their support.” The band’s appeal reaches both the casual fan of ‘80s pop and rock, as well as the actual ‘80s rockers whose songs they cover.

Special guest appearances are part of the norm for the men in red. And they’ve brought this element of their performance with them to the Viper Room residency. Their first gig at the beginning of March was hosted by famed radio DJ Richard Blade, known for his flashback programs on stations like KROQ. John Easdale from Dramarama sat in and sang his timeless rock hit “Anything Anything” with the band at their second Viper Room gig. You never really know who will show up at a Flashback Heart Attack gig, and that’s part of the fun.

As for branching out of Orange County and hitting the Sunset Strip, Flashback is bringing some new elements to the stage. From the potential for special guest-star appearances, to a selection of the more edgy rock anthems of the ‘80s, the band is gearing their performance for an L.A. audience.

“We’re going to play all of the big new wave hits that everyone wants to hear, but we’re going to throw in that L.A. wrinkle. We’re going to play songs from some of the early L.A. bands that got their start playing the Viper Room – a lot of bands came through there and we’re going to pay homage to that,” says Don Bronze, “We’re also going to play more of the metal stuff since it’s the Sunset Strip. We’re going to play some Motley Crue, Whitesnake and AC/DC, so the show will have a little more of a rough edge to it.”

Why has the band just now decided to make a move into the L.A. market? Though they have played many private and corporate gigs around L.A., they haven’t really done many club gigs. Don Bronze explains, “We wanted to make sure we were doing the right thing and getting all the bugs worked out while playing in Orange County. We wanted to do something at the Viper Room about two years ago, but we finally felt the time was right to get up there and play.”

Though Flashback Heart Attack is just now opening the door to the behemoth that is L.A., they actually have a lot of experience playing the region. It goes back to the time before they were an unabashed ‘80s cover band in red leather.

It all started sometime between 2007 and 2008 with a band called The Damn Automatics. An original alternative/punk/rock band formed by Jason (Don Bronze) and a couple members of what is now Flashback Heart Attack. “We put some songs together and did the whole thing up in L.A. and were courted by all the record labels,” says Jason.

“They [record labels] loved the songs – a lot of the songs are on movie soundtracks and stuff like that to this day. Just this last football season, one of our songs “Loser” was picked up by the NFL Network and ran the whole season,” says Jason of their original work. “It’s cool that our original music still has legs, but the industry being what it is now, we decided to go our own way and do it ourselves. So we decided to do the cover band thing and use it as a Trojan Horse to get attention.”

As to why the band stopped being The Damn Automatics and became Flashback Heart Attack, “It was probably because we were at a crossroads with the music industry,” says Jason, “If you didn’t have the right amount of plays on Myspace they [industry execs] thought differently of you. People in the industry were telling us how much they loved our songs, but no one was taking chances. That’s around the same time I had the idea of the red leather suits. That’s how we transitioned.”

You have to credit the guys for taking a creative approach to making it in today’s turbulent music industry. And it seems to be working given the crowds they attract, the private events they book and the rock ‘n roll top brass who join in the fun.

Flashback Heart Attack still has big goals as they continue to move forward in 2015. “We’re just going to keep going and doing our corporate gigs and private parties and club gigs, and eventually we’re looking to sneak our original stuff back in there. When that time comes we’ll have our package put together, where we’ve been able to bring a lot of people out to our shows and play good music, but also have the originals up our sleeve.”

Check out Flashback Heart Attack at the Viper Room Thurs., March 26 to catch all the ‘80s rock and new wave hits you love. You never know who will show up.

Doors open at 8 p.m.
The Viper Room is located at: 8852 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069 http://www.viperroom.com/

To find out more and stay up to date, visit http://www.flashbackheartattack.com/