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Meet ... Stranded

Standard’s music is intense, but the group isn’t. “We take our songs but never ourselves seriously,” says singer-guitarist Paul Jensen.

Monika Paradox Photography

Standard’s music is intense, but the group isn’t. “We take our songs but never ourselves seriously,” says singer-guitarist Paul Jensen.

Left behind: Paul Jensen, guitar and vocals; Robert Harris, guitar and vocals; Chris Jones, bass and vocals; and Steve Judd, drums and vocals.

Their sound: The guys joke that they play a more traditional hardcore sound that's gone out of fashion; anthemic, hard and melodic like Bad Religion. Regardless, they bring energy and raucous humor to venues like the Skatepark of Tampa, Pegasus, the Punk House and other Tampa spots. Crowd participation is a big component, with big numbers of people all ages waving their fists and bottles and jumping on stage.

Different moods: "We take our songs but never ourselves seriously," Jensen says. Stranded tunes like Bottle combine the lighthearted beer party sing-along with underlying reflections about why folks need to self-medicate. Petri Dish is a song Harris penned in 15 minutes about a girlfriend who cheated on him with his friends (plural). The title jokingly refers to the woman's acquired mix of, ahem, specimens. Harris says he doesn't like to play it that much because of the unpleasantness it recalls but keeps playing it because it's a crowd favorite.

Suitcase City Refugees: They became friends while living near USF in Tampa, and working at the same Pizza Hut. Harris says they decided to take kung fu together and stuck with it a few years. In 2001, after each quit the dangerous delivery job, they sat around scheming about what to do next at the Greenery Pub and that's when they decided to form a band. All knew how to play except Harris, who learned some bar chords in two months. "Now, I'm learning stuff from him," Jensen shares.

The Stranded House: From 2002 to '07, the guys all lived at one time or other in a northern Seminole Heights rental, which became party central for the Tampa punk and metal scene.

Harris: "Sometimes, I'd be annoyed because the noise would wake me up, and I'd be annoyed because someone's playing drums in my dining room, and I looked and it would be an all-star band of guys from local bands."

Jensen: "I had my 27th birthday party there, my first birthday party in my life, because I grew up Jehovah's Witness. All these people showed, up, Dave Disorder was there, drunk. The Dukes (of Hillsborough) were there, drunk. The Pseudo Heroes were there, drunk, and they all started using our equipment and playing together in our band room. Around 150 people came. The free cigarette people even showed up."

Day jobs: Harris repairs electronic biomedical equipment; Judd works in a specialized field of construction that involves power stations and traveling out of state; Jensen is an upholsterer and Jones is unemployed.

Hear them: 8 p.m. Saturday with Orchestra of Munitions, the Rest of Us and the Dukes of Hillsborough at the Basement House in Seminole Heights, Tampa. Show starts at 8 p.m. Free.

Meet ... Stranded 06/11/09 [Last modified: Thursday, June 11, 2009 4:30am]
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