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The Bolts gain exposure through Disneyland performances

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A residency can be a great way for a band to build its audience. And when the residency is at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., there are fantasy-like possibilities that go along with the opportunity.

“Playing Disneyland is like going on tour to 10 different cities every single night,” says singer/guitarist Heath Farmer of the California rock band The Bolts. “There are people from all around the world who come to Disneyland, from every single market. If we were to [do a club] residency, there’s usually one market that comes out to that — one demographic. And that’s good; that gives us a chance [to reach] our proper market. But playing Disneyland, we get to reach out to all sorts of different people. … It’s like a focus group every single night.”

After about a year performing at Downtown Disney — “just to test the waters,” Farmer says — The Bolts were finally brought inside Disneyland for their proper residency. On their scheduled nights, they perform five sets (ranging from 30 to 40 minutes) at Tomorrowland Terrace. In addition to originals, the band throws in some choice covers (with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Give It Away” being a favorite).

You won’t find any outside material on The Bolts’ debut album, Wait ’Til We’re Young. Due Feb. 12 and recorded with producer Guy Eckstine at Kingsize Soundlabs in Los Angeles, it includes all four tunes from the band’s recent Fall EP (including “The Truth” and “Walk Away”), plus seven new ones, which Farmer describes as “our strongest yet.”

Speaking of strength, the bond among The Bolts is quite sturdy for a band featuring three members from the same family. Oldest Farmer brother Adamm is the bassist for The Bolts; youngest bro Austin plays keyboards. But according to middle Farmer brother Heath, recurring sibling squabbles haven’t been an issue. (There are plenty of two-brother rock bands wishing they could say that.) Also, there haven’t been any enduring arguments with longtime friends Ryan Kilpatrick (vocals/guitar) and Matt Champagne (drums) — “they’re like brothers to us,” says Heath, adding that he doesn’t ever expect any major rifts to develop.

“We fight all the time, but it’s like water off a duck’s back,” he says. “We can honestly argue about nothing. We’ve had some stupid arguments, and then 10 minutes later, they’d be over with.”

Heath quickly adds, “That’s actually kind of a strong suit for us. We’ve been in bands before with guys who we really hadn’t gotten to know until we started the band with them. And you really don’t know how to handle those situations; you get into an argument, and it just makes things weird. In this situation, we know how to handle it, and we get over it.”

— By Chris M. Junior

The Bolts concert itinerary (schedule subject to change):

* Feb. 16: The Roxy — West Hollywood, Calif.
* March 22 and 25: Disneyland — Anaheim, Calif.
* April 8 and 14: Disneyland — Anaheim, Calif.
* May 17: Disneyland — Anaheim, Calif.