BOSTON — Saxophone player Justin Walker has fulfilled his childhood dream of “being able to just sort of stand around and wait” professionally, after recently joining a local ska band, elated sources confirmed.
“When I was a kid, the options available for a guy who just wants to stand around were limited to doorman, or security guy at a department store or something,” said the 25-year-old Walker of his longtime desire to be idle for excessive stretches of time. “But a lot has changed — I saw an opportunity I just didn’t work my ass off to get, and now I can hang out on stage, grooving with my buddies and waiting for my part to come.”
“If it’s that one song I’m on, I mean,” he added.
The recently laid-off seasonal lifeguard found the opportunity with local ska-punks Skappa Roach after answering a call for applicants on Craigslist. News of Walker’s position as a “technically” working musician, however, came as a surprise to those familiar with his performing experience.
“He must have picked up the sax later on,” said Walker’s high school music teacher and bandleader Cathy Gonzalez. “When I had him, all he wanted to do was stand by the gong and hit it once in a while… until he quit the band to play a tree stump in the school play, that is. I guess kind-of-performing is in Justin’s blood.”
Meanwhile, several scene veterans reached out to Walker, insisting that the potential downsides of being the least utilized member of a band are outweighed by the advantages.
“You’d be surprised what you can get away with,” said Peter “JR” Wasilewski, who has played saxophone in Less Than Jake since joining the band in 2000. “I dipped out for a few years once and no one noticed. When they asked where I’d been, I just said ‘the bathroom.’ I don’t think they realized I hadn’t been there since 2002.”
After joining the band on the road and playing several shows, Walker reported that he was having the time of his life so far.
“This tour is so cool,” he said, speaking from the band’s merch table at last night’s show. “Great bands, great times, standing around… livin’ the dream, frankly.”