Band to perform two shows

The self proclaimed last rock 'n' roll band in America, Fastball, will perform two shows in Kalamazoo Monday around noon under Western Michigan University's promenade tent and around 10 p.m. at Club Soda.

"(Our management) are having us play a lot on college campuses," said Miles Zuniga, guitarist and vocalist for the band. It is different from being in a club, alcohol helps a lot in making everybody feel at home."

Zuniga said the band is trying to attract attention on campus by playing in the middle of the day.

Fastball, which also includes Tony Scalzo on bass and vocals and Joey Shuffield on drums, has had plenty of experience playing in bars. Since coming together two years ago, the band members have been affected by the nights in their hometown of Austin, Texas.

"All our songs are pretty short and pretty melodic," Zuniga said. "I'm starting to write slower songs, funeral dirge type music. When I started, I wrote fast because the people in the bar have a short attention span. Now I realize that slow music has a hypnotic effect."

Fastball's debut album, Make Your Mama Proud, was released on Hollywood Records in June and contains examples of these short and melodic songs. Of the 14 tracks on the album, only one is longer than three and a half minutes, and 11 are under the three minute mark. The album also ontains a guest performance by Matthew Sweet.

Before coming together in Fastball the three musicians played in other bands. Scalzo and Shuffield had played together in a band with Austin songwriter Beaver Nelson. Zuniga and Shuffield played together in Big Car, a pop band on a major label. Shuffield, who was also drummer for Wild Seed, introduced Zuniga to Scalzo. Two days later, Fastball was formed.

"We were off and running pretty quick," Zuniga said.

Opening for Fastball at the Club Soda performance will be Mayday Quartet and Speed Queens.

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