Hot Rock From The Islands
With a huge fan base and a new album mastered by a guy who worked with The Beatles, rockers National Product are set to explode on the national scene
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Danny Casler belts out a tune at Long Beach,
California, in June 2005
They’ve been stripped of their surf shorts
and aloha shirts, but it’s worth taking a chance to become rock stars for Oahu boys Rob Caveney, Danny Casler and Stan Moniz - collectively known as National Product.
In 2000, the Kalaheo and Aiea High grads made the move to Southern California to further their music career and expand their already faithful fan base.
“We knew we needed to move and there was no doubt about it,” says Casler, the band’s lead singer. “We were playing in front of the same couple hundred kids, and as great as that is, whenever you’re not expanding your art and passion you’re going to feel like there’s more. So a lot of people will feel one of two things, they’ll either be really proud of you for leaving and going off to make it happen, or they’re going to feel really upset because you’re leaving Hawaii and, what, Hawaii’s not good enough? But that has nothing to do with it. The truth is that we’re so proud to be from Hawaii, and we want to tell the world that we come from this beautiful, amazing place, and it’s vibrant with amazing people and great music.
“We want to put Hawaii on the map for great rock ‘n’ roll music, because Hawaii is not known for that.”
Six months after the band made the move to California, all but Casler moved back home.
“We missed Hawaii, and that’s why we moved back,“says guitarist Moniz.
National Product: Nathan Elliot, Rob Caveney, Stan
Moniz, Dan Niles, Danny Casler and Jeff Feuerhaken
“It was tough, and such a huge struggle for us Hawaii kids. My pidgin is so thick, so when I was working people didn’t even know what I was saying. It’s a total different lifestyle. When we went back home I remember talking to Rob,and I was like Rob, I know we miss Hawaii, but we got to drop the negatives, and we decided we gotta do this. I came back to California, and then Rob and Joey (their former bandmate who recently left to play in Ashley Simpson’s band) followed.”
Casler adds,“The only reason that I didn’t go home when every other member did is because I knew if I went home I knew that this band would never be where it is right now.”
It wasn’t until about 2003 that National Product was a complete unit,and even more recent that they added their current bandmates Jeff Feuerkhaken (guitarist), Dan Niles (keyboardist) and Nathan Elliott (bass).
“Fans can expect a much more polished group,” says 32-year-old Moniz.“We’re such a unit now, and our live shows are really extreme. We are a crazy bunch of guys. It’s really fun.”
A week from now the local boys will be coming home for a CD release concert at Pipeline Cafe that will jump-start a nationwide tour for most of the year. (For more concert info, visit their website: www.myspace.com/nationalproduct ) Their CD, Luna, which releases Aug. 7, is a grand accomplishment for the guys as they gain momentum and recognition on a worldwide scale.
After years of patiently waiting for the right opportunity,National Product recorded their first album recently with their dream producer James Paul Wisner. And to master their record? They hooked up with Bob Ludwig, one of the biggest names in mastering,having done records for Nirvana, Led Zeppelin and even The Beatles.
The crowd was rocking at Kualoa Ranch in
“It’s amazing, because we have these huge people doing our record,” says 26-year-old Casler. “And it was a huge compliment, because once the recording was done, they all said to us that this was one of the best records they have ever done.”
But they didn’t need a record to solidify a huge fan base.Even before finally accepting the recent CD contract, the group was already well on its way to a hopeful future, with more than 1.7 million downloads from their myspace website.
One of their songs, Love Me, has already hit No. 1 on Star 101.9 Top 9 at 9. And their CD hasn’t even released yet.
The group has been officially in existence for about 10 years, with half of that spent in California as struggling artists working for their big break.
“When we first moved out to California we had to start from the bottom up,” says Casler.“We were working 50- to 60-hour weeks just to make ends meet. And on top of that we were rehearsing at night and performing at whatever gigs we could get.”
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