Pennywise's Jim Lindberg to Curate Acoustic Speakeasy Stage for L.A.'s BeachLife Fest

Jim Lindberg of Pennywise
Daniel Boczarski/Redferns

Jim Lindberg of Pennywise performs during Riot Fest at Douglas Park on Sept. 13, 2019 in Chicago.

There comes a time in every punk rocker's life when things need to be broken down to their simplest form.

Enter Pennywise frontman Jim Lindberg, who is helping fellow punk and thrash singer/songwriters redefine some of their most well known songs, stripped of their thundering guitar riffs, ripping bass lines and distorted amped up vocals that have come to define the L.A. punk scene.

"All we're going to have room for up there is a place to sit and an accoustic guitars," Lindberg says of the new Speakeasy Stage project, which aims to connect artists and audiences with the more personal side of their craft at the second year BeachLife Festival in L.A.'s famed South Bay, May 1-3.

"It's a natural progression to include music from the punk scene in a way that works with the vibe of the festival and fans maybe can actually hear and understand the words of the songs," Lindberg explains. "It's a stripped down, bare bones, authentic and real experience that seems like the perfect way to represent this big part of the local culture."   

Artists confirmed for the outdoor Speakeasy Stage include Linberg, Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett, Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller, Trever Keith of Face to Face, Jason Cruz of Strung Out and former pro surfer and musician Timmy Curran.

The South Bay -- home to the cities of Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and El Segundo -- has a "long, rich history of producing great punk bands," explained Lindberg, including Black Flag, Circle Jerks and the Descendents. Lindberg's band Pennywise was the most commercially successful band to hail from the South Bay and one of the biggest bands in punk rock through the 1990s and 2000s, solidifying a skate-and-surf-centric message of positivity and open-mindedness.

The band is still hard-charging — their 12th studio album Never Gonna Die in 2018 debuted at No. 8 on Billboard's Independent Albums chart and Pennywise is currently touring Australia before heading to South America next month and then moving on to Europe for a number of summer festivals.

Lindberg was creative director of last year's inaugural BeachLife festival, organized by longtime friend Allen Sanford with Hermosa Beach venue St. Rocke and LiveList's Rob Lissner.

"The Speakeasy ?Stage will be in the western most corner of the festival, tucked away from the bigger stages," says Lindberg. Musical performances will be accompanied by an art show from San Diego-based art and design firm Punk Rock & Paintbrushes with artistic works from artists like Blink 182's Matt Skiba and veteran pro skater Steve Caballero.

"Like a speakeasy, it's a hidden-away space where you can experience something different," Lindberg said. "And in terms of the music, everyone started on the acoustic guitar and you eventually come back to that. And I've always believed that a good song has to sound good on the acoustic guitar as well."

This year's BeachLife festival is being headlined by Steve Miller Band, Counting Crows and Ziggy Marley and Stephen Marley’s Bob Marley Celebration, as well as are UB40 feat. Ali Campbell and Astro, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Fitz and the Tantrums, Live, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, WAR, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Grace VanderWaal and the return of Foo Fighter Taylor Hawkins' cover band Chevy Metal performing the music of Queen.

Tickets for BeachLife are on sale now. Learn more at beachlifefestival.com.

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