The Dares

The Dares
Location:Whittier, CA (USA)
Genres:Pop Punk / Alternative
Record Label:Jive Records
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The Billboard

Ben Peterson - Guitar/Lead Vox
Martin Lascano - Bass/Vox
Matt Peterson - Drums/Vox

When most bands tell you they’ve had to “grow up in public,” they’re talking about getting pushed into the spotlight before they’ve had a chance to find their voice. But for Whittier, California, trio The Dares, who started playing when twin brothers and co-founders Ben (guitar/lead vocals) and Matt (drums/vocals) Peterson were all of 8 years old, the idea was a bit more literal. These boys-to-men literally grew up in public, forming a band when their peers were still dabbling in youth-league sports and landing a major-label contract with Jive Records before they’d even finished high school. Today, as the trio’s powerhouse spin on pop-punk tradition is making clear, The Dares are ready and able to grow even bigger.

Make no mistake: While they’re fueled by the same monster hooks and youthful energy that’ve driven The Dares’ music since day one, tunes like the laser-focused, MySpace-dominating lead single “Love Me When I Leave” also prove how much time, practice, and a relentless dedication to their craft have tightened this trio musically. Not only that, but from the down-tuned, breakdown-heavy anthem “The Message” to the beautiful, string-accented ballad “Carpe Diem” (just two of the 100- plus songs in The Dares’ arsenal), the Petersons and bassist/vocalist Martin Lascano are also proving how much they’ve learned to stretch out as songwriters. “If you sat the three of us down and asked us about our influences, it’d probably take us a day to go over all the different music we listen to,” Ben Peterson explains, “One of the reasons we work so well together is that we’ve learned to incorporate all those different ideas without losing ourselves in the process.

Formed in 1998 in Burlington, Vermont, The Dares first got the chance to hone their balancing act before what might be the toughest audience on earth: their elementary-school classmates. Over the next four years, however, it wasn’t just the novelty of their youth that found The Dares’ profile rising. The band’s songwriting prowess and ace showmanship landed them over 100 gigs -- from all-ages shows to the 2002 Winter Olympics Torch Event in Burlington, where they rocked an audience of 10,000 -- as well as frequent newspaper, magazine and TV coverage throughout their area. Not too shabby, considering all of this happened before the band members could legally drive themselves to gigs.

If Vermont saw The Dares becoming regional sensations, then the Petersons’ 2003 move to Whittier set up the band for a full national breakout. In April of 2004, just months after finalizing their lineup with middle-school friend Lascano, the trio made their California debut at a Long Beach battle of the bands, where they beat out 10 other acts to win both the “Best Band” title and a block of studio time. Demos, further accolades (including two “Best Punk Band” nominations at the Orange County Music Awards), and dozens of gigs followed, and over the next three years, The Dares found themselves making repeat visits to Hollywood clubs like the Whiskey, House of Blues, the Key Club and the Viper Room. Looking back at that time in their lives, Martin Lascano adds "we were just three best friends doing the music that we love to do, no labeling of music, no boundaries, just fun.

Now, armed with an arsenal of hit-singles-in-waiting, as well as a groundswell of fan support through avenues such as MySpace, Purevolume and the college/high-school touring circuits they’ve been sweeping of late, The Dares are getting ready to unleash their full-length Jive debut. And as Matt Peterson puts it, you need only consider the road the trio have traveled to see where they’re headed next. “We waited forever just to make it to this point,” he says, “and now that we’re here, it’s like all that energy we’ve had bottled up is ready to come out. We’re ready to play – we’re ready to be everywhere.”
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Last Updated: 12/31/69

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