The 2/5ths recipe...
Scott Ruiz: lead vocals, guitar, keyboards
Brian Vaniman: bass, backing vocals
Martin Lozano: lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Steve Cole: drums (acoustic & electric)
Former band mates...
Jimmy Davis: lead guitar
Arash Sadeghian: drums, percussion of all sorts
Rusty Scheier: guitar
Craig Donaldson: vocals
Stuart Kobata: drums
Ted Lai: guitar
What is it, this 2/5ths?The saga begins in 1996. Brian and Martin are working together and find out they have a mutual interest in rock band type stuff. So they decide to get together in the garage and jam once in awhile. Then Ted and Stu joined the fray, and voila!, we have a garage band. With no name, mind you, but a garage band all the same.
In the early summer of 1998, Steve Cole is looking for some guys to join him on-stage at the St. Bruno Carnival in Whittier. So Brian and Martin teamed up with Steve on drums and Craig Donaldson on vocals. The group was billed as The Poppas 2 for the Carnival gig, a reference to the previous year's Carnival, when Steve, Craig and Martin played as The Poppas. The guys played together at a couple of other gigs after that.
Also around the 1998 timeframe, Arash and Rusty joined the company, and shortly thereafter the band as well. Arash brought a world view to the percussive elements of the band, with outstanding fills and great creative instincts on our originals. Rusty, being a good southern boy from Louisiana, brought a solid rock'n'blues background to the band, as well as a healthy partying attitude. With this lineup of Brian, Martin, Rusty and Arash, the band got it's first real name... Redeye. A great name, suggested by Rusty's brother, with so many possible meanings. But we won't spoil it by telling you our favorites. :) Steve would still play with the band occasionally, as a guest drummer at the St. Bruno Carnival gig, or when Arash was unavailable. Redeye had a good run for a couple years, playing backyard parties, and an occasional bar gig. But as it happens so often in band dynamics, creative differences began to tear at the group. The fallout was the loss of Rusty from the band in the summer of 2000. The three remaining continued to play as Redeye for most of the rest of the year.
Later in 2000, the trio was playing at a gig celebrating the 100th Space Shuttle flight at Boeing in Huntington Beach, and the organizer introduced us to Scott. It was obvious that we were in dire need of a lead singer, and Scott was willing and able to take up the challenge. Scott’s vocal chops and background in musical theater brought our game up considerably. And his songwriting ability and inspiration gave a big injection to our creation of original music. Not long after connecting with Scott, we were introduced to Jimmy, who was a neighbor of Brian’s vet. Jimmy blew us away with his amazing technical ability and improvisational skills on guitar. With this lineup of five, we decided it was time for a new band name. A late night Del Taco run after practice was the inspiration we needed, and we became… Bink and the FatCats (BFC for short). It wasn’t always smooth sailing, but we managed to keep it together a few years and play some really memorable gigs, and created some killer original music.
It was a wonderful time for the band, but alas all good things come to an end eventually. In 2003, other priorities and relocations led to the departure of Arash, Jimmy and Martin. It was depressing to lose the magic of BFC, but inspired by friends Tom and Robin (The Over-Reactors), Scott and Brian decided to carry on and began playing as a duo. It was at a gig at the Long Beach Art Walk in early 2004 that we first used the name 2Fifths, and we’ve stuck with it since. This big change also inspired a very creative period, with Scott and Brian producing several new original songs. After a short break, Martin came back out of early retirement and began to join us on the streets of Long Beach, and adding his unique flavor to the new originals.
In the summer of 2004, we reunited with Steve on drums for the carnival season. We even got Jimmy to come back for a few gigs that summer, but then he moved further away, making it impossible for him to play with us. This lineup of four (Martin, Scott, Brian and Steve) have been playing together continuously since that time. Over the years, we have honed our skills and brewed our chemistry to the point where the music flows naturally. It’s not uncommon for us the pick up a new song one week, and perform it the next. And we look forward to many more years of our musical journey together. We hope you will join us!