The Side Deal is no longer just a side project for Newport musicians

The Side Deal is no longer just a side project for Newport musicians
The Side Deal at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach earlier this year. The Newport Beach-based band is expected to finish its album in late October with a possible November release. From left, Scott Owen, Charlie Colin, Stan Frazier and Joel Owen. (Courtesy of The Side Deal)

Most bands don’t go through the grueling process of producing a full album the year they form.

The Side Deal is just that rarity.


Forming earlier this year, the Newport Beach-based band is expected to finish its first album in late October with a potential November release.

“This is a quick turnaround for sure,” said drummer Stan Frazier. “Usually the year a band forms you don’t even really know what’s going on. You have to play four or five years to cut your teeth. Then you might get a record deal. Then that could stall for years.”


As music industry veterans, and longtime friends, members of The Side Deal have bypassed many freshman-year issues.

They each played founding roles in their respective bands: Frazier, Sugar Ray; Charlie Colin, Train; and brothers Scott and Joel Owen, PawnShop Kings.

They all grew up in Newport and first played together as a band last year at a sold-out Lido Theatre show. Colin and Frazier were performing with Painbirds, and the Owen brothers joined them on stage.

Something clicked. The musicians continued to collaborate, and, Frazier said, formed the band in early 2018, immediately discovering a collective voice.

“Finding your sound can be a hard thing, but we realized very quickly that we could sing these four-part harmonies,” said Frazier, 50, of Newport Beach. “That became our sound, like a modern-day Eagles.”

They have already recorded three tracks for the debut in a Costa Mesa studio and are aiming for nine to 11. They plan to record in San Francisco as well.

“There is a flow to this process, and sometimes it can be like pulling teeth,” Frazier said of the songwriting. “With my old band, it was like a necessary evil for some. But the writing process with this band has been really exciting for me. We cherish that we are all writers, and the chemistry that comes from that.”

The Side Deal plans to play songs from the new album, as well as hits from the members’ former bands, Oct. 27 at the Irvine Barclay Theatre. Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, a guitarist who played with Steely Dan, Spirit and the Doobie Brothers, and Jerry Harrison, keyboardist and guitarist of the Talking Heads, will sit in.

The group also plans to perform the national anthem Sept. 13 at Angel Stadium. Colin helped write “Calling All Angels,” the Train hit blasted before every Angels’ home game.

Though this is something of an all-star band, members said they didn’t want to rest on past accomplishments.

“We all have this cache in our back pocket of what we have done,” Frazier said. “We could get together and just play covers of our old music and make a few bucks and pretend that’s OK — but it’s not. It’s about the creation of the art for us. That’s what we know how to do.”

If You Go

What: The Side Deal

When: 8 p.m. Oct. 27

Where: Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine

Cost: Tickets start at $35