Behind the Band: The Fresh Preps


The Fresh Preps

Daniel, Josh and Joseph of The Fresh Preps

By Josh Fukumae, Staff Writer

The Fresh Preps are an indie rock band from Mililani that was formed in 2013. They were the winners of the 2016 Hard Rock Café Honolulu Battle of the Bands. The band is made up of Josh Stephens (vocals, keyboards, and guitar), Daniel Lyons (bass), and Joseph Stephens (drums). Although they each have their roles in the band, they aren’t set, as each of the members will do their share of vocals and switch around their instruments and roles in the band as they see fit. I was able to sit down with Joseph and talk a little bit about the history of the band, their music, and what they have in store for the future.

Josh and Daniel met through a mutual friend, and began to play at open mic events at Surfers Coffee Bar, which is a small coffee bar located in Wahiawa. Joseph later joined and they started to write and make music together. They also had another member named Aaron Garcia, who has since left the band. They started off as The Juicy Fruits (as a joke), but one single event would change them and contribute to their current band name. Whenever they played shows they always dressed up and often referred to this as “suiting up”, which is a reference to Barney from the show “How I Met Your Mother.” One night during one of these open mic events, a homeless man got up on stage, grabbed the mic and said that they should call themselves The Fresh Preps. Ever since then the name has stuck.

When I asked Joseph about his influences and what he was currently listening to, it turned out that we liked to a lot of similar music. He listed off projects like Kaytranada’s “99.9%”, Toro y Moi’s “Anything In Return”, Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires of the City”, and Darwin Deez’s first, self-titled album. I can see how a few a few of these artists have musically influenced The Fresh Preps.

According to the Fresh Prep’s Bandcamp page they describe their sound as “Kind of like if Vampire Weekend and The Beach Boys had a baby, who was then adopted by The Beatles and babysat by The Black Keys.” I would have to agree. I also hear hints of The Shins, The Strokes, and Darwin Deez in their music. The tracks “Don’t Ask Me Why” , “Sing Too Much”, and “The Way It Should Be” are a few of my favorites from them. Their harmonies are always on point, their instrumentation is great, and their music is pretty lively, upbeat, and infectious.

The Fresh Preps play shows at Hard Rock Café in Waikiki every Friday and occasionally play at other venues around the island. They also have some of their music available on various music platforms. They currently are working on their first album, and are fine-tuning and putting the final touches on it. The Fresh Preps have also been live streaming on their Facebook page so that they can raise money and get donations on their Kickstarter for labeling, physical copies, graphic design, and the many other costs of releasing an album.

It’s inspiring to see a band that is passionate in trying to raise funds so that they can better share their music with the world. Their new album is called “We Are Alive” and it will be digitally available on Dec. 10. They also plan on releasing physical copies sometime in February.

“A lot of the songs on the album have to do with life, death, and other important things,” Joseph said. “There’s a lot of deep meaning in the songs.”

The Fresh Preps currently have a few of their singles up on iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud. They also have a few videos up on their YouTube channel, and also have some other good stuff on their website. Also, feel free to check them out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.