Throwing Down High-energy Tunes

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - November 18, 2009
The Throwdowns punch out fun, original music

Maui-based group The Throwdowns is here to change the architecture of Hawaii’s music.

“People are really responding, which is great, but we don’t do what is largely popular here,” says Erin Smith, the group’s lead singer and guitarist. “But it’s really good, fun original music, so we feel confident that once people give it a listen, they’ll get into it.”

The Throwdowns’ style and sound have been compared to world-renowned groups such as No Doubt - a high honor that Smith graciously accepts.

“I’ll take that,” she laughs. Rounding out the group are Kimo Clark on bass, Ola Shaw on guitar and Ian Hollingsworth on drums. They have created quite the buzz since releasing their debut album Don’t Slow Down in August.

Self-described as indiepop-punk, it’s their occasional reggae sound that keeps the album rooted in Hawaii.

It was a match made in Kihei. Smith moved to Maui from Canada and became quickly acquainted with Hollingsworth and Clark while doing acoustic gigs on Maui.

“We all get along really well - actually people comment on that all the time,” says Smith. “We are all buddies and try really hard to support each other, and we all have a lot of fun.”

In 2008, the trio kicked it into gear and became officially The Throwdowns, a name that Hollingsworth explains was intended to match their high energy.

‘Don’t Slow Down’ CD

“We wanted something that was lively and fun. We didn’t mean it to be anything hard core or like knocking people out. Nothing illegal.”

The idea of a record soon became an essential element that the group felt needed to take form. Clark turned to brother-in-law Ola Shaw from the Big Island to help with the album’s production and engineering.

In just two days, the band wrapped up two tracks, which marked the beginning of their debut album. But the recording session proved to be much more, and the trio decided that Shaw should be the fourth member of the group, and he agreed.

And it’s been high flying ever since. They unveiled their album to a crowd of 900 people at Mulligan’s on the Blue in Wailea. The massive, all-ages event stands as the biggest CD release party the island of Maui has ever seen.

Their debut single Kihei Town has raced to the island’s No. 1 spot on the charts, and their album sits currently in the No. 1 position at Barnes & Noble Maui.

Stillborn Skies celebrates the release of its debut album next week Friday at The Loft

Expect The Throwdowns back on Oahu Dec. 4 when they’ll perform at The Loft for First Friday, followed Dec. 5 by a concert at Pipeline Cafe, where they’ll open for The English Beat.

Expect nothing less than some P90X (kick @$$) live performances. Rehearsals for The Throwdowns ain’t just banging away at songs, it’s also spent kicking up their cardio to be able to keep the momentum of their performances high energy.

See what they’re all about at or

Expect more from The Throwdowns as they gear up to release a full-length album sometime next year ...

The Loft also will be the site of Stillborn Skies‘CD Release Party to celebrate the anticipated debut of A High-Heeled Deception.

Band members Pat Soler, Brian Coleman and Jason Smith will blast out their original lyrics and undeniably catchy choruses. As they put it, “Something that screams ‘Sing with me.’”

They describe their music as rock, indie, emo, progressive and not-that-hard hard-core.

For a listen to what that sounds like, they’ll be taking the stage along with Prevail, Disaster Kit, Clones of the Queen, Busekrus and Satellite Grey.

It’s all going down next week Friday (Nov. 27) at 7 p.m. and ages 18 and over are welcome.

Cost to get in is $10 ...

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