by Renss Greene
The Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula have plenty of both beaches and musicians, and when it comes to beach music, reggae springs immediately to mind. For four years, the area’s own reggae band, Stuck on a Name, has been there to make the sounds of summer.
Stuck On A Name is Drew Luffey on guitar and lead vocals; Joe Gaskins on guitar, keyboard, and backup vocals; Jonathon Brinkley on bass; and Josh Wright on drums and backup vocals.
We caught up with them over lunch at Something Different, where Josh is head cook.
Why the name?
Drew: “Well, we were all sitting around one day trying to come up with a name, and we’d been stewing on it for weeks I guess, and we’re just kind of shooting things back and forth, and Joe just finally throws his hands up and is like ‘so what, we’re just stuck on a name at this point?’ And our old drummer, Matt (Williams), his eyes got real wide and he looks up and he’s like ‘Stuck On A Name! Okay, yeah, let’s do that!’ And we’re like hmm, maybe just for a while until we come up with something else. But it stuck, if you will.”
Have you played out of town?
Joe: “We haven’t been out of state yet, but we’ve played in Virginia Beach, Hampton and Richmond.”
You all have work outside of this band. How much time do you have to play?
Drew: “We practice twice a week and we have shows most weekends. Our jobs come first but we’ll always leave time for music.”
Are you the only reggae band in the area?
Drew: “Pretty much for around this area, that I know of, we’re apparently the only reggae band. But we’ve played with some other reggae bands in Hampton and Richmond, and we played at the Hampton reggae awards ceremony. Between Richmond and Virginia Beach there are a bunch of reggae bands.”
Drew: “At the beginning, when we had our other members, we kind of did a lot of punk rock and stuff like that, and we kind of went through a reggae twist on certain things. And as we lost those guys and picked up these guys, as time went on, we just evolved more and more into reggae.”
Josh: “I listened to rap all the time until I got into a reggae band, now I listen to nothing but reggae.”
Joe: “Yeah, I’ve totally seen you change, too. Everything from the hair to your music.”
Is the sound still evolving, then?
Drew: “I think we’ve kind of found what our thing is with reggae. That’s why I say we keep evolving more into reggae.”
Joe: “If somebody starts a jam at practice, it doesn’t matter what it starts with, it’s probably going to end up at least with some reggae feel in there. There’s a lot of different things you can do with reggae, so I think the sound will always evolve. Forward. That’s the goal.”
Do you perform original songs?
Drew: “I’d say about a third of what we perform live is original. When we record, and get to work on this new album soon, that will all be original.”
Would you do this full time?
Joe: “Definitely we want to expand.”
Drew: “Absolutely. I think that’s what the long-term goal would be. We started small. We’re grateful for every gig we get so far, and thankfully we’ve been getting quite a few. Summers get pretty busy. We try to do things to put ourselves out there a little further. We played at the Canal Club in Richmond and opened up for a larger, more well-known band on a national tour. They were a metal band, oddly enough. That was fun. Our next goal is to try to branch out to the cities as much as possible, and possibly get out of state.”
What’s next this summer?
Joe: “Things are starting to wind down here. Definitely in the fall we’re going to get back in the studio, because these live shows are going to slow down, so we’re going to have time to do that. We’ve been trying to get this album out for a while. Full-length album, all original.”
Jonny: “I’d just like to say thanks to all our fans and all the people who have supported us for the past few years.”
Drew: “Absolutely. To all of the local following that have been there the whole time. Our fans are the best! It really means a lot to us.”
Stuck on a Name has three CDs, including a live performance and two EPs.
Courtesy of The Rivah Visitor’s Guide