Signing Story: Commando

Date Signed: August 2021

Label: Kill Rock Stars

Band Members: Andy Meyerson, Principal Dammit, Van Jackson-Weaver, Juba Kalamka, Lynnee Breedlove, Krylon Superstar, Drew Arriola-Sands, Honey Mahogany

Type of Music: Metal

Legal: Austin Legal Group

Publicity: Sarah Avrin & Delanee Wilson - Girlie Action Media

Web: commandothebando.bandcamp.com

A&R: Slim Moon

After four years of writing, self-proclaimed gay nü metal band, Commando, have released their self-titled, politically charged album via Kill Rock Stars as a combination of metal, punk, hardcore, hip-hop and pop, that founder Andy Meyerson calls “gay/queer rap metal.” Each of the band’s members feels the project is special and offers potential for real impact in the LGBTQ+ community in providing representation and an authentic voice.

Meyerson (who began drumming at 11), formed Commando in 2015 with guitarist Travis Andrews and bassist Van Jackson-Weaver, seeking to answer “how would the world be different if the nü metal of the late ‘90s had been used to dismantle homophobia, misogyny, racism/white supremacy and heteropatriarchy?” Meyerson shares that Commando is proud to help other LGBTQ+ community members “to know they have a space in this artistic conversation and cultural moment.” Rotating vocalists (including Juba Kalamka, Lynnee Breedlove, Krylon Superstar, Honey Mahogany and Drew Arriola Sands) add to the straight, trans, black and white members, each bringing decades of music experience to the table. 

Kalamka was “reticent to be involved in another band because—as successful as I’ve been—I wasn’t interested in engaging in a primary organizing, management and production capacity.” He adds, “I’ve looked inward and challenged myself as a conceptual artist, producer and songwriter. The continuing education I’m receiving from my bandmates is an amazing and wonderful thing.”

With their self-release mixed and mastered (funded by their non-profit), Meyerson reached out to Kill Rock Stars’ A&R Slim Moon, after recognizing Moon had “put out the music that changed our lives and aligns with our values.” 

Says Moon, “Large bands are frequently hard to work with, but  [Commando] are a delight to work with—very organized, tenacious and devoted. Kill Rock Stars used to be a punk label with some queer bands, but is now a queer label with some punk bands.  The audience and doors we are trying to open for queer artists to reach the mainstream is a perfect fit for Commando, what they are doing, and who they are.”