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Indie band Small Crush reflects on national tour with HUNNY and Carpool Tunnel

Singer Logan Hammon, second-year student and bassist Tommy de Bourbon, drummer Allen Moreno and guitarist Jackson Felton (left to right) make up the band Small Crush. The group is ending its tour with indie-rock band HUNNY with a performance at the Fonda Theatre on Saturday. (Sakshi Joglekar/Assistant Photo editor)

HUNNY with Small Crush

The Fonda Theatre

Nov. 20

By Bryan Palmero

Nov. 14, 2021 9:44 p.m.

Small Crush is the one obsession listeners won’t get over.

The indie-rock band, a quartet that includes second-year music history and industry student Tommy de Bourbon, is built on high school friendships. The Bay Area group has less than a week and three total shows left as the opener for and co-headliner with HUNNY and Carpool Tunnel, respectively, with the finale of its tour in Los Angeles on Saturday. But while touring has been a dream for de Bourbon, the bassist said there are parts to the process that he doesn’t romanticize.

“It’s rough being on tours,” de Bourbon said. “(It’s) tiring – there’s not a whole lot of time for music creation. We just wake up, drive, play the show, sleep and then repeat. As much as we are playing music, it’s hard to be inspired and to write new music – but that’s not saying that we’re not having a good time. It’s been the time of my life.”

After completing the penultimate leg of its 18-city tour with HUNNY on Nov. 2, Small Crush embarked on a nine-city set with Carpool Tunnel four days after. Kicking off the road trip with HUNNY in Oklahoma City on Oct. 8, the band’s journey will eventually span about 10,000 total miles by its final performance. The quartet routinely spends 10 to 12 hours at a time on the road, time lead singer Logan Hammon said has brought the members closer together.

While his group has performed in the past alongside other bands, de Bourbon said the opportunity to open for HUNNY marked Small Crush’s first serious tour offer. Yet the musical groups have a shared history. The two bands’ current collaboration stems from an initial short-term arrangement that birthed their two-year-long relationship, de Bourbon said.

“The label we’re signed to, they hit us up either the day of or the day before (HUNNY’s concert),” de Bourbon said. “They said they had a last-minute drop – their opener dropped last minute on the show and they needed someone to fill the slot. Well, I guess we were the band for the job.”

Small Crush had its first concert with HUNNY in 2019 after the former’s label – Asian Man Records – set it up for a single show in Berkeley, guitarist Jackson Felton said. Following that performance, Felton said the two bands fostered a friendship and recently rekindled the performing pairing this year to go on tour during the fall.

As for Carpool Tunnel, Felton said the two groups’ musical history coincided with one another in the Bay Area music scene. Originating from San Leandro, California, the band played about 30 total performances with San Francisco based Carpool Tunnel before the duo’s current collaboration, Felton said. Throughout their numerous concerts together, Small Crush slowly grew alongside Carpool Tunnel as close companions, the guitarist said.

Performing in new cities every night, Felton said touring has introduced the band to new audiences outside of the Bay Area, an experience that has also revealed the extent of their growing fanbase. For drummer Allen Moreno, the newest member of Small Crush, joining the band, playing with HUNNY and touring marked a dream come true.

“I am in love with tour,” Moreno said. “I’m like, ‘Dude, this is all I’ve ever wanted to do.’ … I’ve been listening (to HUNNY) for a couple years now so getting this opportunity, I was so stoked that anything wrong that has happened on the tour, it’s like, ‘Whatever, move on.'”

Moving forward, de Bourbon said he envisions Small Crush to return home after its final show, write new music, record new songs, release its second album and go back to touring – in that order. It’s a goal the bassist said he will assess as he balances the band with being a part-time student. Having taken a quarter off at UCLA for the band, de Bourbon said he has been looking forward to performing on Saturday in front of the community he has fostered new relationships with this past year.

“I’ve got a bunch of friends from school who are coming,” de Bourbon said. “It’ll be the last show of the tour, and it will be a bit of a reunion – like a homecoming show, for me at least. Just the people that will be coming to the show and the community that it’s in make it as special as it’s going to be.”

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Bryan Palmero | Daily Bruin senior staff
Palmero is a senior staff writer for Sports. He served as the assistant Sports editor on the softball, beach volleyball, women's volleyball, men's volleyball and men's golf beats from 2021-2022 and a reporter on the beach volleyball and women's volleyball beats in 2021. He is a third-year mathematics and economics student.
Palmero is a senior staff writer for Sports. He served as the assistant Sports editor on the softball, beach volleyball, women's volleyball, men's volleyball and men's golf beats from 2021-2022 and a reporter on the beach volleyball and women's volleyball beats in 2021. He is a third-year mathematics and economics student.
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