Red Carpet Interview
1996 Outstanding Orange County Artist – 6th annual la music awards
1996 Performer – 6th annual LA Music Awards
Save Ferris is a ska punk band formed circa 1995 in Orange County, California. Their name is a reference to the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
The original lineup of the band were active from 1995 to 2003.
Amidst legal turmoil, singer Monique Powell revived the band in a second incarnation in 2013.
1995–96: Early years and Introducing Save Ferris EP
The band formed in early 1995 after the dissolution of a number of Southern California third-wave ska bands. Los Pantalones members Brian Mashburn (guitar/vocals), Bill Uechi (bass), Eric Zamora (saxophone), and José Castellaños (trumpet) joined with singer Adrienne Nolff, Nuckle Brothers trombonist Jesse Tunnell, and drummer Steve Cordero to form the original Save Ferris. After Nolff was fired from the band about five or six months after joining, Uechi and Williams invited vocalist Monique Powell to replace Nolff. Soon after, Cordero and Tunnell left the band and were replaced by Mark Harismendy and Brian “T-Bone Willy” Williams, respectively.
Financed by Uechi and Mashburn’s families, as well as Powell’s sister, the band released their debut EP Introducing Save Ferris on Starpool Records in 1996. Later that year, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences gave the band a Grammy showcase award for best unsigned band, earning them a recording contract with Epic Records.
1997: It Means Everything and mainstream success
The band released their debut full length for the label in 1997. It Means Everything featured several re-recorded tracks from the EP and several new songs.
The band’s first single was “The World is New”, and was later featured in the film The Big Hit, the trailer for Senseless and Thomas and the Magic Railroad, as well as being used in Tara Lipinski’s official debut program as a professional skater in the 1998 Skate TV Championships.
Their second single was a cover of Dexys Midnight Runners’ “Come on Eileen.”
The band toured extensively in support of the album, opening for bands such as Sugar Ray, The Offspring, and Reel Big Fish, and Powell also provided vocals on the Reel Big Fish song “She Has A Girlfriend Now.”
Although both singles failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, the album ended up peaking on the Billboard Top 200 at number 75 that year.
1998–99: Lineup changes, new sound, and Modified
Winter 1997 saw the departure of drummer Marc Harismendy. Evan Kilbourne joined shortly thereafter, and the band began writing their follow-up to It Means Everything.
In April 1998, they made their television debut on HBO’s music series Reverb and made an on-screen appearance in the film 10 Things I Hate About You (singing new song “I Know”) and having new songs “Mistaken” and “Let Me In” featured in the TV-show Roswell in the first season’s fourth and eighth episode, respectively.
The appropriately-titled Modified was released in October 1999. The album proved to be a moderate success in the United States, selling over 400,000 copies and peaking at number 136 in the Billboard top 200 that year. The album also spawned three Top Ten hits in both Japan and Mexico.
The album saw the band moving away from their ska-punk roots and into pop-rock territory. The band toured with fewer ska-punk and pop-punk bands as a result, opening for bands like Lit.
2000–03: Further lineup changes, breakup, and For the Fans Tour
José Castellaños left the band in June 2000, citing a desire to return to school. Save Ferris had just booked a tour in Indonesia and needed a replacement. Oliver Zavala, T-Bone Willy’s former bandmate from both Six Feet Deep and Nuckle Brothers, filled in the gap. After one year Zavala was replaced by trumpeter Steve White, who was 18 at the time.
The band continued to tour in support of Modified throughout 2000 and 2001. In August and September 2001 the band did a short tour of the U.K., The Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany playing with the bands Lightyear and Jesse James. This tour outside of the U.S.A. was followed in November 2001 when the band toured in Mexico.
The final performance with Powell, Uechi, Zamora, Kilbourne and Mashburn, the last true version of Save Ferris, was held in Culver City on September 20, 2002.
After the band officially parted ways, Powell self-financed what she called a “For the Fans” tour in 2003 essentially playing the same set list as previous Save Ferris shows. Powell and the former band members drummer Evan Kilbourne and trumpeter Steve “Baby Bird” White were backed by stand-ins on sax, guitar and bass-guitar.
On March 29, 2003 at Ska Summit 2003 in Las Vegas, Powell performed on the main stage singing a Save Ferris setlist.
From 2004 to 2008, Powell appeared on albums by The Used, Lostprophets, Hilary Duff, Goldfinger and others. She also started a now defunct band called The Mojo Wire in 2008, and toured in the LA area after an overwhelming response to the four demos posted on MySpace.
In 2003, Bill Uechi, Brian Mashburn, T-Bone Willy, Eric Zamora, and Oliver Zavala started the band Starpool with former No Doubt member Alan Meade on vocals and Phil Hanson on drums. They released an EP in 2003 titled STRPL E.P.0001 before going on hiatus for two years. The band started to play once more in 2006 releasing the single Start Again in 2007. Former Save Ferris member Evan Kilbourne joined the group as its drummer (replacing Hanson) in 2010 when Starpool released a full length album in 2010 called Living in Transition.
In addition to Starpool, Brian Mashburn plays guitar for Power Serge and PopBritannica. Bill Uechi also plays in Red Panda with John Tran of Home Grown.
2013–present: Revival, ensuing controversy, and lawsuit
2013 lineup of Save Ferris
In April 2013, the Orange County Fair announced that on July 27, 2013, Save Ferris would reunite to perform together for the first time in 10 years. However, former band members Bill Uechi, Eric Zamora, Brian Mashburn, Brian “Tbone Willy” Williams, Evan Kilbourne, and Oliver Zavala debunked the news on the band’s official Facebook page, releasing a joint statement stating that the scheduled performance was not a “reunion” but in fact only former lead singer Monique Powell performing Save Ferris songs with a different backing band not connected with Save Ferris.
Former band member Brian Mashburn (writer and co-writer of many Save Ferris songs) also implied that, legally, Powell was not authorized to use the Save Ferris name when promoting herself as a solo artist. Meanwhile, the former band members stated that while a proper reunion show was something they were interested in doing, Powell had scheduled the upcoming Save Ferris “Reunion” show without inviting or telling any of the original band members. Powell commented on the upcoming show on her official Facebook page, stating that “while I had hoped this could be a reunion of sorts with all, or some, of my former SF band members, unfortunately that isn’t the way it looks to be turning out. Some of my former band mates are currently in a band of their own, which they are fully committed to and which I completely respect. While I am certainly disappointed that they won’t be joining me, I wish them all the best always.”
On June 19, 2013, it was reported by TMZ that Mashburn, Zamora, Uechi, Williams, and Kilbourne had filed a lawsuit against Powell, insisting she has no right to perform under the Save Ferris name. The band wanted her to pay unspecified damages for falsely promoting a reunion show, and they also wanted a judge to block her from using the Save Ferris name ever again. Despite the lawsuit, it was reported on July 23, 2013, on KROQ.com that Save Ferris had “officially reformed,” with an unidentified new lineup and Monique Powell as the only former member participating. The “newly reformed” band had begun booking shows for more dates in 2013. On August 2, 2013, TMZ reported that Powell had counter-sued her former bandmates, claiming that the group never officially disbanded, with the other members instead choosing to leave. As a result, Powell argued she was still an active member of the group and thus the sole owner of the band’s name.
Adrienne Knoff – Vocals (1995)
Monique Powell – Vocals (1995–2003)
Bill Uechi – Bass (1995–2002)
Eric Zamora – Alto & Tenor Saxophone (1995–2002)
Brian Mashburn – Guitar, Vocals (1995–2002)
Jesse Tunnell – Trombone (1995)
T-Bone Willy – Trombone (1996–2002)
José Castellaños – Trumpet (1995–2000)
Oliver Zavala – Trumpet & Backing Vocals (2000–02)
Steve White – Trumpet (2002–03)
Steve Cordero – Drums (1995)
Marc Harismendy – Drums (1995–98)
Evan Kilbourne – Drums (1998–2002)
Monique Powell – Vocals (2013–)
Gordon Bash — Bass, Standup, Vox (2013–)
Joe Berry — Sax, Guitar 2, Vocals (2013–)
Patrick Ferguson — Guitar (2013–)
Erik Hughes — Trombone (2013–)
Alex Burke — Keys (2013–)
Denny Weston Jr. — Drums (2013-)
Year Album details Peak chart positions
1997 It Means Everything
Released: September 9, 1997
Released: October 19, 1999
Year Album details
1996 Introducing Save Ferris
Year Single Peak chart positions Album
1997 “Come On Eileen” 26 It Means Everything
1998 “Goodbye” 32
The following Save Ferris songs were released on compilation albums and soundtracks. This is not an exhaustive list; songs that were first released on the band’s albums and EPs are not included.
Year Release details Track
1997 Punk vs. Ska, Round I
Released: February 17, 1997
Label: Skratch Vegas
“Artificial Life” (originally performed by Operation Ivy)
The Ska Parade: Runnin’ Naked Thru the Cornfield
Released: October 14, 1997
Label: A to Y
“S.Y.L.S.B.” (“Support Your Local Ska Band”)
1998 Santa’s Swingin’ Sack
Released: December 1998
“Christmas Wrapping” (originally performed by The Waitresses)
1999 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack
Released: April 6, 1999
2000 The Real Slim Santa
Released: December 2000
“Father Christmas” (originally performed by The Kinks)