Monique Powell embraces Save Ferris’ ‘Checkered Past’ with new EP

Four years ago, things were messy for Orange County ska-rock band Save Ferris.

The group originally got together in 1995 and put out an EP and two major-label albums before calling it quits in 2002. The band was known for high-energy and fun shows as well as its horn-filled cover of Dexys Midnight Runners’ “Come On Eileen.”

However, when a Save Ferris gig at Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa in 2013 was announced with vocalist Monique Powell as the only original member, lawsuits soon followed. It became an ugly battle of she said, they said that even became fodder for TMZ.com.

Despite all of the controversy, Save Ferris, led by Powell and her new group of players, headlined and sold out the 8,000-capacity show in Costa Mesa and eventually went on to settle the lawsuits by former band mates, giving her the legal right to use the Save Ferris moniker for future tours and albums.

“It’s all mine now, girl,” Powell said with a laugh and a sigh during a recent phone interview. “It’s because I stuck with it even though some days I just wanted to give up. It was really, really hard. That was a very hard time. By sticking with it and getting through it, I won and yeah, it does feel good.”

Now, Save Ferris has issued its first batch of new music in 17 years with its “Checkered Past” EP. The band has been out on tour in support of the record and the jaunt ends with a hometown gig on Sunday, March 26, at the new House of Blues at the Anaheim GardenWalk.

“I’m having so much fun out on tour right now that I’m excited for the hometown show, but I really don’t want the tour to be over,” Powell said during a stop in El Paso, Texas, last month, noting that it had been 15 years since the last time she was on the road with Save Ferris.

“I’m basically traveling like (expletive) Dolly Parton because I have all of these wigs now,” she continued. “I have a full wig closet and I spent like two weeks packing because I wanted to…

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