My great-grandfather walked here. He came from a family of 15; a couple wars broke out after the Mexican Revolution & he just walked here as a teenager.

Even though it was political in nature, I don’t think it was political in his mind. He was just doing what was right for him personally. & by extension, his children. Look at me now, man. I’m out here in LA, under the sun. I mean, there’s no such thing as utopia, but I have to feel a sense of gratitude. Through his efforts, I made it simply by stepping on the land thousands are trying to reach. I try not to think about it too hard ‘cause my heart ends up breaking & shit, aching.

From our July 2023 Issue Release Show @ The Smell DTLA. All photography by Cole Beldyn Larsen.

Being third generation, a lot of culture has been lost. My family already started speaking English by the time I was born. I have family in Mexico that I only hear stories about. I don’t know if I’ll ever even be able to meet them because my grandparents are gone now. I never got names down, never got locations down. You don’t think about those things when you’re a kid.

Growing up in heavily Latino areas, a lot of my friends spoke Spanish. I always felt this disconnect; I felt too white for my Mexican friends, but then I’d feel too Mexican for my white friends. You’re just in this weird line & space; where do I really belong? That’s the crazy part about living in LA: it’s really just a big cesspool of different people. But I really wouldn’t think too much about race until… Well, I think you’re really oblivious to all that until someone teaches it to you. Being young, I didn’t really think about what someone else looked like.

Eventually I started picking up on these things: Wait, what the fuck? What am I? It was always a struggle for me. I wouldn’t really be able to identify & it’s still like that to this day. When people ask me ‘What are you?’ I’m just like, fuck, I don’t know man. What am I supposed to say, American? I was born in California, but I can’t relate to some upper-class Californian.

That’s the thing about America though; I think it’s less about race & more about class. That’s the real divide. Race feels like an easy way to not talk about classism. I can meet a white guy who’s just as poor as me, & holds the same ideals, values… He’d be more relatable than some upper-class person of color. Could easily be my best friend.

I do know upper-class POC, or at least upper middle class, & it’s hard to relate to them. We don’t come from the same planet. It’s not the same experience, not the same struggle. We’d be unstoppable if we all could band together. But so much of it is performative.

People might agree or disagree with me, but I’m all about gatekeeping. Naturally, what you do with the things you love is protect them. There are so many outside sources that misinterpret, & that’s when meanings get lost.

Gatekeeping isn’t about keeping everyone out, it’s about keeping the wrong people out.

If you don’t, people with the wrong intentions are gonna start showing up around your scene, your communities.

Everything’s getting monetized now, DIY is getting monetized now. The whole bedroom music attitude? All those top hits are performative. I’ve met a lot of people I used to look up to, who appear DIY, but don’t even make their own music. You can tell when you meet them, they have so much outside help & none of it is broadcasted. Like fuck, what are we left with now? Keep CEOS & PR out of there, let those kids do their fucking thing. Let them find their own way. Let them play their own shows. Let them figure out how to produce their own music.

Fracture prides itself on that. We’re a working class band. Our promo was a process; weeks of retracing steps, re-recording tracks… We’re our biggest critics, but I’m fucking proud of it. We did our fucking best. & it’s been working out for us, man. I mean, we only have two songs on Spotify, but those 2 songs have a few thousand plays. To me, that’s love right there.

What more could I ask for?

-Diego Gonzales.

Cover by kromosome3.
Spread by crythengrind.
Spread by .
Fracture excerpts.
Back cover by .
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Dead Relatives July 2023 Issue with this story featured is available now!


By Hector Zaldivar

Professional magician. @hexzald