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SAVE FERRIS is a ska-punk band formed circa 1995 in Orange County, Southern California. Their name is a reference to the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The band formed after the dissolution of a number of Southern California bands. With Monique Powell as manager, front person, and co-songwriter, the band began to book shows around Southern California to a great underground response.
Financed by Powell’s sister, the band released their debut EP Introducing SAVE FERRIS on Powell’s label, Starpool Records, in 1996. They ended up selling close to 20,000 copies of their EP out of the trunks of their cars, with huge support from Orange County independent record shops and fans. That year, Powell provided vocals on the Reel Big Fish song “She Has A Girlfriend Now” on their album Turn the Radio Off (Mojo).
With Powell as manager and lead, and as favorites of KROQ radio’s legendary Rodney on the Rock, SAVE FERRIS created a presence on LA’s KROQ radio, possibly being the first unsigned band to do this in LA alternative radio history. Later that year, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences gave the band a Grammy showcase award for best unsigned band, earning them a recording contract with Epic Records (SONY).
The band released their debut full-length album for Epic in 1997. It Means Everything featured several re-recorded tracks from the EP, several new songs, and, on Powell’s urging, a cover of Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ “Come on Eileen,” which the band released as their first official single, and what was to become their most successful single. The band also released “The World is New” as a single which was featured in the film The Big Hit starring Mark Wahlburg. Olympic medal winner Tara Lipinski used “The World is New” in her debut program as a professional skater in the nationally telecast 1998 Skate TV Championships.
The band toured extensively in support of It Means Everything, opening for bands such as Sugar Ray, The Offspring, and Reel Big Fish. In April 1998, they made their television debut on HBO’s music series REVERB and made an on-screen appearance in the cult classic teen film, 10 Things I Hate About You. The album sold over 400,000 copies, and spawned three Top Ten hits in both Japan and Mexico. With two singles in the Billboard top 100 and full rotation on alternative radio all over the world, SAVE FERRIS has managed to go Platinum internationally.
Winter 1998 saw the departure of their drummer. After a thunderously successful main stage tour with the Vans Warped Tour, the band began writing their follow-up to It Means Everything. The appropriately-titled Modified was released in October 1999. The album saw the band moving away from their ska-punk roots and into pop-punk territory. The band toured nationally with the band “Lit”, of hit single “My Own Worst Enemy” fame. SAVE FERRIS continued to tour in support of Modified throughout 2000 and 2001. In August and September 2001 the band did a short tour of the UK. Winter 2002, SAVE FERRIS had the rare opportunity to play front and center at the nationally broadcast Winter Olympics Snowboarding Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Still fronted by their original lead singer, SAVE FERRIS has been through a number of changes in their musical lineup through the years… Powell self-financed what she called the “For the Fans” SAVE FERRIS US tour in 2003. On March 29, 2003 at Ska Summit 2003 in Las Vegas, SAVE FERRIS played on the main stage to a thunderously positive response.
Other appearances of note Ms. Powell has made: Mayor of the Sunset Strip film, Roswell network television show, The Conan O’Brien Show, Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, MTV’s Loveline with Dr. Drew, the Keenan Ivory Wayans show, and the Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. The sold out Pacific Amphitheater at the Orange County Fair 7/27/13 marked the first appearance of SAVE FERRIS in ten years. Keep an eye out for Save Ferris’ return to a town near you soon, as well as a new EP, due out Summer of 2016…