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No label, no problem: Local band Hooray for Our Side uses crowdfunding

Hooray for Our Side doesn't look to the corporate world to get music to its fans. The Orange County-based band found success by crowdfunding its debut EP and is now giving it a try for a full-length effort.

The band, founded in 2010, attributes its being asked to play with popular ska acts such as The Toasters and Mad Caddies and performing at big-ticket venues like the House of Blues Anaheim to the support of those same fans.

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It is that loyal audience that helped pay for the group's 2013 self-titled EP through a Kickstarter campaign, said singer Evan Wohrman. This time the band will go through Indiegogo to raise funds.

"Recording an album is an expensive undertaking, and we want to make sure that we're putting out a quality record," said Wohrman, 25, of Fountain Valley.

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He said the band hopes to raise at least $2,500 to help cover costs for recording, production, mixing and mastering, as well as manufacturing. The goal is to release the album in the fall.

"The Indiegogo campaign won't cover everything but it helps significantly," Wohrman said. "By crowdfunding, it gives our fans and friends a chance to be a part of the project, and in return, they'll receive exclusive songs and merchandise that otherwise won't be available to the public right away."

When the members released their first EP, the band lacked a horn section — making the lineup seem incomplete to the ska band.

Hooray for Our Side received help from members of popular O.C. ska bands Suburban Legends and Starpool, who recorded the horns for the album.

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Two years later, the seven-member band has its own horn section, each member with different musical tastes and backgrounds, Wohrman said.

"I'm excited to see how the finished album will sound," he said. "It will be a mix of a refined kind of the ska punk sound we had on our first EP, as well as some songs inspired more by traditional ska, soul, rock 'n' roll, dub, and even one that is a bit more '60s pop Beach Boys-inspired.

"There are more than a few songs that we've played live for awhile, as well as some new stuff that we've either just played for the first time recently, or haven't played at all."

The record will include 12 new and re-recorded tracks, he said.

Drummer Keith Roberts said the album, which is being produced by Suburban Legends vocalist Vincent Walker, incorporates a rhythmic feel that bring a bouncier and lighter side to their ska/punk background.

He said a new song called "Looking Up" is a game-changer for the band.

"We wrote the song and realized we could play and write something slower than 180 beats per minute and still have energy and soul behind it but in a different way," Roberts said.

"I feel the band's sound has changed a great deal while also keeping its primary influences. We've written some real fun tunes that aren't your typical straight ska punk. The instrumentation has also changed over the past year and has allowed for a different dynamic between the horn players and writing harmonies within the lines."

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Wohrman said Walker understands the sound the band is aiming for and has been supportive throughout the process. Walker, whose music Wohrman grew up on, also produced the band's 2013 EP.

"I'm really excited for getting the chance to work with Hooray for Our Side again," Walker said. "We're demoing out some songs to see what it'd be like in the studio, and the guys have stepped up their game. Working with them is cool because they know what they want and how they want to sound. We're aiming for capturing that live feel to their songs, sort of like if you stepped into a club or saw them at a show. We want to be able to have that aspect come across on the recordings."

Roberts put the band's goal simply: to rule the world.

The band hopes to be able to focus more on music in the future, instead of their day jobs, and eventually do a full tour.

Wohrman said that other than working on the new album the band is trying to gain exposure by playing local shows, including its next gig at Malone's Bar and Grill in Santa Ana on Saturday.

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