Interview with Levi Prairie of Gantez Warrior

As a talented young musician out of  Costa Mesa, Levi Prairie has taken his musical talents from guitar strumming to piano playing and even a surf rock band (Gantez Warrior) that has been getting parties all over town going.  Levi kindly came out to the Stoked and Broke premiere at La Paloma in Encinitas to warm up the crowd with a couple of his quirky tunes on the guitar. Levi will also be kicking the night off with some more tunes at this weeks’ Get Stoked Tour stop in Newport at the Lido Theater on Thursday, September 16.  We sat down with Levi to find out how it all started for him and music…

How did you get started in playing music?

When I was 11 I think… my older brother Tanner got an acoustic guitar for Christmas. Before that I had no interest in music but seeing Tanner play made me want to play. But he didn’t allow me to touch his guitar because I had a tendency to break most things I touched. When he wasn’t around I played it all the time and eventually got pretty good.

Where do you look for inspiration? Who have you been influenced by in your music?

I look to records for inspiration. They definitely make me want to play music. Dylan and Ronnie have been a huge influence on me. And other bands like Devo, The Cramps, Oingo Boingo, The Growlers, The Flying Saucers, stuff like that where you can hear every word that they say and its never to slow to dance. Lately I’ve been super influenced by Tom Lehrer. He’s the reason that I started playing the piano

Describe your musical style.

When it comes to Gantez Warrior, we like to think of it as tripper-trash-surf-rock-punk-rock-garbage-blues-rock-and-roll. Or something of that kind. but when I’m playing piano it normally comes out to be something more along the lines of carnival/cartoon themes. kind of on the creepier side with some definite pirate influence.

How did your band, Gantez Warrior, come about?

When Dylan and I were 12 or 13, we met each other through a friend on a Doheney surf trip and started teaching each other things on the guitar. We jammed a lot. Mostly just twelve bar blues riffs and eventually we started a band called The Guano with songs like Fish, and Lips, and Contento. From there things just kind of grew.

What is the relationship between surfing and music that makes them work so well together?

I think a really great surf song makes you think of surfing. It makes you not able to think of anything else but the feeling of surfing. It’s just an easy flow that is impossible to deny. I like that. It makes we want to go surf. I like to surf.

photo: Kyle Lightner (www.kylelightner.com)

 

When did you start surfing?

I think i started surfing when I was probably ten. But I never really got to the outside until probably 11 or 12. From then I was hooked…like a cod

Surfboard of choice?

My most favorite surfboard of all time is definitely the 9’4″ square nose that my brother Tanner Prairie shaped. It was the 4th one he had ever made. But someone stole it off the beach so if anyone sees it please bring it back to me. I liked that board.

What comes first…music or surfing?

Smurfic, musing, they are tied in the lead. I can’t choose.

One thing about Levi Prairie that everyone should know that they may not know already…

Gnomes rearrange my house everyday and I can’t explain it.

For more info on Levi and his band Gantez Warrior, check out:
Myspace.com/gantezcm

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