Commercialized DIY in Los Angeles. With Fracture.

We played our first show in Riverside on New Year’s, & ever since then the IE’s been rocking with us heavy. But it’s hard to get that kind of energy out here.

Chris Medina speaking, pictured right-center. Taken at Dead Relatives’ July Issue release show @ The Smell DTLA. By Cole Beldyn on Minolta Freedom with Ildord Delta.

The LA scene is like a too-cool-for-school rat race. Everything’s gotta be presented on a silver platter. When something comes out, it’s like ‘Alright, here’s a tape, here’s some really nice album artwork, here’s a shirt to go with it…’ That’s what it takes to get anywhere.

In other counties, there’s bands like So Concerned who throw up demos on SoundCloud & kids fuck with it; show up to concerts, go hard for them… You can’t do that here. It’s not lax like that. 

Live at Dogpark Riverside, 03/03/23. With Vs Self, Knumears, & Gloria. Full set on YouTube.

But you can’t deny it; when music does well in LA, it does really fucking well. Touring bands always say this city’s crazy. And the people here go hard for the bands that are doing well, ironically… Kind of funny. It’s been a small mission of mine to start bringing all these sick skramz bands from the IE over here: they’re just as talented, & a lot of them are a lot younger. They deserve to branch out. I want that same energy here, but it’s just… Everything is very hardcore & indie-centric right now. I don’t know how to get people stoked to hear this kind of music, & it’s weird because skramz today can almost serve as a halfway point between the two, or at least takes cues from both genres.

LA’s becoming pretty commercialized as far as the production groups that throw shows. Even the groups that present DIY; if you follow the band pages on these bills individually, it’s presented in a very DIY way. ‘Look at our 35mm photos, look at this cool collage-y art thing…’ And the flyers, especially the flyers – it looks so DIY that they’re almost tapping into our scene, you know? Now the standard in this city is a very commercialized DIY, especially in hardcore for sure. For sure.

From The Hideout, 7/15/23. With Amygdala, Quiet Fear, Thieves, & DYSML. Taken by Edder Luna.

I feel like it’s really hard as a person who wants to play heavy music to get your foot in the right door here, you know? You can easily get stuck in a circle of playing the same few backyards over & over. But that’s why we love playing in the IE so much, kids out there just go fucking harder. A lot of people like to say it’s because there isn’t anything to do out there, but that’s bullshit. Realistically, all these SoCal towns are the same, just less concentrated – but people wanna ride for LA really hard. And that’s fine, always be proud of where you’re from, but you shouldn’t diss the neighboring county. It’s literally right next door. Like, Pomona’s considered LA county, but it’s got the whole IE scene cycling through. I think the best example of that is the Haven – that location is paving the way to get both to come together & enjoy good music.

From The Haven Pomona, 8/28/23. With Othiel, Glassing, & So Concerned. Taken by @mk3rsdavid

But yeah man, it’s such a big divide that LA bands have to make a sacrifice sometimes. Do you want to play to the IE & have the crowd go a little harder with a better turnout, or do I play around my city a lot more, & possibly get the right people to show up? But it doesn’t even work like that anymore. As commercialized as it is, it’s not like playing the rock circuit’s going to have ‘the guy’ walk in like ‘I’m gonna sign this band, let’s go on a world tour!’ LA is so far from that now.

But hey, God Awful’s from the IE right? I’ve had a couple of people tell me they’re excited to see them with us this Saturday, which is cool! Historically these counties have been so divided – IE people rock with LA bands, but LA people never really rock with IE bands. I take that to heart because the first band I was in was based out there, when the whole psych-rock & surf scene was big around 2017. It’s been proven to me that the shows are worth playing & the people are genuine & it’s time well spent.

-Chris Medina. Guitar for FRACTURE.

Read our chat from the July Issue with Diego & David from Fracture here:

Article to be featured in our September Issue, to be released this Saturday at Bad Dogg Compound. All door proceeds go to bands.


By Hector Zaldivar

Professional magician. @hexzald