Malibu’s music stars in the making

There has always been a music scene of sorts in Malibu, due to many famous musicians and their offspring living here, but after a Feb.18 New York Times’ article, “Malibu Invents a Sound of Its Own,” the Malibu music scene and its musicians have been the talk of the town.

And what may be unique about the bands that hail from this coastal city, known more for its movie celebrities than the music, is the refreshing camaraderie that exists among the band members of the groups here, which include 2 Cents, Face Humper, Night Vision, Simon Dawes, Whitestarr and 454. The groups not only lend each other their band members, but also encourage each other, helping each other with their music.

Malibu’s 2 Cents has been on the scene about seven years and is composed of singer and guitarist David O’Rourke, younger brother Adam on drums and vocals, and guitarist Dean Woodward.

At the moment, the band is between bass players, which is part of the trials and tribulations of being in a band. Brandon Jenner, who is the guitar player and songwriter for Night Vision, is filling in for the time being.

“We are so lucky to have Brandon fill in,” Adam says. “Within an hour of us playing together, I knew it would work. It’s like having a long, sexy one-night stand.”

David, 26, and Adam, 21, O’Rourke were born in New York, raised in Florida and moved to Malibu when they were teenagers. They met Jenner, who is the son of the Olympian athlete Bruce Jenner and Linda Foster (wife of music mogul David Foster), at Malibu High. Woodward, who was introduced to the O’Rourkes through a friend of a friend and now lives with the two and their parents, Terry and Kathy, has lived in Malibu for two years, relocating from San Diego.


The O’Rourkes started playing music at a young age. While in Florida, Adam worked as a child actor in numerous commercials, his claim to fame-a Pepsi commercial with Shaq O’Neil when he was 11. After the move to Malibu, he lost interest in acting and started playing the drums and fell in love with it.

“It is the most awesome thing I have ever done,” Adam, who seems to be the outgoing spokesperson for the band, says.

2 Cents’ music ranges from thrash, metal and punk rock to acoustic melodies. The group has played all over Los Angeles including the Viper Room, The Roxy, The Whiskey and Hard Rock Caf. Their musical influences are as boundless as their music.

“We like Pantera to AFI to Jeff Buckley to folk artists like Donovan and raunch rap like Blowfly (the ’70s predecessor to rap artists like Easy E and Public Enemy),” Adams says.

2 Cents does not have famous parents, like some of the other bands in the Malibu music scene like Whitestarr and Night Vision. Yet, being in Malibu, it is difficult not to have connections. David Foster has always been somewhat of a mentor to 2 Cents. He lets the band use his music studio to make demos and also gave the group a huge trailer to take on the road.

Night Vision, however, is stocked with strong musical backgrounds, with Jenner as the front man, songwriter Cody Felder on bass and Matt Diamond on drums. Felder’s father is former Eagles bassist Don Felder. Jenner, a shy unassuming young man, is very articulate and serious about his music.

“Hendrix is our main influence, Ben Harper and, of course, punk rock,” Jenner says of Night Vision’s musical influences.

Night Vision has also played the Viper Room and The Roxy.

The band members of Face Humper, the so-called “sleeper band” of Malibu, have been playing together since Dec. 26. The band’s vast musical influences include more of a southern and classic rock edge.

Drummer Pascal Stansfield, 24 (who is also a pro-surfer along with guitarist Brendan Hearne), received a drum set last Christmas and immediately put together the band of six people that includes a martial artist dancer. Within their first year, the group performed at The Roxy and the Viper Room, which might be considered a lucky break since the band members are called the “slackers” of the Malibu music scene.

“We never practice,” says Beau Bright, the singer, who has a rock star demeanor. “We only practice a few days before we have a gig.”

That statement is obvious when you listen to 2 Cents then Face Humper back to back.

“It’s such anxiety to see them play,” 2 Cents’ Adam O’Rourke says. “Like, are they going to make it through to the end of the song?”

In the spirit of the camaraderie spoken of earlier, 2 Cents has helped Night Vision with its music, and in return, as quoted in the New York Times article, Stansfield says, ” … we help them with their surfing.”

“Adam and David taught Face Humper to play their instruments,” says Kathy O’Rourke, mother of 2 Cents’ Adam and David, and surrogate mother to Woodward. “I love Face Humper. They are a riot!”

“Face Humper is a scene all on its own, ” Adam O’Rourke says. “Face Humper is a classic great band, a dirty rock band!”

Whitestarr, which has just been signed to Atlantic Records, is another band with a big music background. Vocalist Cisco Adler’s father is the music producer Lou Adler, guitarist Duane Betts is the son of the Allman Brothers’ Dickey Betts and drummer Alex Orbison’s father is legendary Roy Orbison.

The band’s music is influenced a bit by the members’ parents-a rootsy Southern rock twang. Orbison also plays with another local band, Simon Dawes, which is composed of Damon Webb, 22, on bass, and high-schoolers Taylor Goldsmith, keyboard player/vocalist and Blake Mills as lead guitarist/vocalist.

Another reason why there is esprit de corps between these Malibu bands is they are limited to where they can play locally.

“Malibu Inn is the only game in town and it’s not even all ages,” Adam says. “Malibu is in dire need of an all ages venue for bands to play.”

Mostly, these bands play local parties, so kids of all ages can see them play.

“If it weren’t for parties in Malibu, no one under age would ever see us play,” Adam laments

As for a music scene in Malibu, Adam states, “It’s just like any other local music scene, like in Ohio or Nebraska. We all just like a good time, good music and a good party.”

As modest as this may sound, most of the bands in the Malibu scene are getting recognition. 2 Cents has just been invited to tour the 2003 Warp Tour, which is a big deal. It is a chance for thousands of people all over the country to see them play.

“We are sooo excited!” Adam says. “To be on the same bill with bands that we love, like AFI and NoFX, is so awesome. We want to be able to steal their fans and sell our CD and become famous.”

2 Cents will play next on March 27 for the Warp Tour Kick-off Party at the Key Club in Hollywood. For more information log onto the Web site at

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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