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33 West Biography

Last updated: 09/03/2007 12:00:00 PM

Andrew Gorski- Lead Vocals
Joe Nelson- Guitar, Vocals
Ken Barnum- Bass, Vocals
Nick Hughes- Drums
Dave McGraw- Trumpet Vocals
Jacob Walters- Trombone, Vocals

There are certainly no lack of rock bands striving to climb up from the nether-regions of the music industry and achieve musical recognition and success in its upper-reaches. There are few bands, however, who have the persistence and drive to aim for such success without the help of a record label. 33 West, from Fairfax, VA, is living proof that a band can record, tour and play entirely on their own. And it is certainly not for lack of offers that 33 West chooses to be independent, but rather due to the amount of freedom being unsigned allots them.

33 West, who have been together under their current line up since 2000, will release their first full-length album, So Far Off to a Bad Start, on May 11, 2004. This release marks an extraordinary accomplishment on the part of the band.

"The 16 tracks that appear on this album represent almost three years of hard work and dedication coming out of myself and my five best friends," explained guitarist Joe Nelson. "We've spent the last three years of our lives on the road together, playing, writing and growing as musicians as well as people. To me So Far Off to a Bad Start represents learning, growth and progress."

The new album, which boasts 16 songs written and produced by 33 West themselves, is an independent release. On four of the tracks, 33 West enlisted the help of producer Jim Ebert, who has previously worked with SR-71, Meredith Brooks and Marvelous 3. The four songs, which include fan favorite "The Tijuana Song," were recorded at Cue Studios.

While So Far Off to a Bad Start is 33 West's first full-length album, it is not the band's first release. In 2001 they released a four-song EP called No Cash No Problems, which was called a "fresh sounding disc that shows a promising future" by The Music Korner. In 1998 they released an EP entitled Snacks that was acclaimed "one of the year's snappiest local records" by The Washington Post. 33 West has also appeared on several compilation records.

Lead singer Andrew Gorski, bassist Ken Barnum, drummer Nick Hughes, trumpet player Dave McGraw and trombone player Jacob Walters started playing together in high school back in 1995. Their band underwent several different line ups until it became 33 West in 2000 when guitarist Joe Nelson was added to the mix. Since then, 33 West has been constantly touring to build their fan base and gain more exposure.

33 West has won numerous awards and honors, including first place in the Ernie Ball National Battle of the Bands in 2002 and second place in the National Hard Rock Cafe Battle of the Bands in 2001. In 2001, Gorski was named "Best Male Vocalist" at the Wammie Awards, a Grammy-knockoff ceremony based in Washington, D.C. 33 West is currently sponsored by LeVel 27 clothing, an apparel line started by Billy Martin of Good Charlotte fame.

33 West was lucky enough to play 10 dates of last year's Warped Tour alongside bands like Less Than Jake, Simple Plan, Thrice and Rancid. They have also shared the stage with Good Charlotte, Reel Big Fish, Sugarcult and more.

33 West's unique blend of rock, punk, reggae and ska, along with their incredibly energetic and exciting live shows, are sure to appeal to a wide variety of listeners. The band's sense of fun and enthusiasm is evident both on and off the stage. Critics have hailed the band as "one of Virginia's rising stars" with the "distinct reputation of having one of the best live shows of any unsigned band."

"Bands come and go and there are a lot of bands that sound alike," said bassist Ken Barnum. "I think one thing we can honestly say that no one can even really argue is that we are unique."

33 West will be hitting the road this spring to promote the release of So Far Off to a Bad Start. For a list of confirmed tour dates, visit

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