Uni: When I started drumming for this band, a lot of people knew me because I used to shoot and film shows. As I documented the scene, I noticed that a lot of these people who used to be in the crowd graduated to playing their own shows, becoming their own promoters, creating their own zines, etc, etc. And then those people graduated to running their own businesses, mastering their own trades, managing their own recording studios, whatever, whatever. I realized that DIY is a cycle; there always has to be a new person to fill in that spot in the crowd.

But right now it’s like the blind lead the blind. The OG’s we looked up to had the core values of what it was like to gather a community and lead by example, down to the smallest things – you see someone fall in the pit, you pick ’em up… You got an extra snack or beer, you offer… Whatever. Or how about just not charging for water? A lot of the people around now don’t have that in them. You bump into someone at a show and the most you’ll get is a dirty look. What the f*** happened?

Andres (vox/guitar): The DIY scene can be fun, but I feel like if you stay here too long, it’ll end up killing you. One minute they love you, the next minute they just fucking toss you to the gutters. We pour our hearts into this just to make music. We put in work – hours on hours, money, resources… It’s a thankless job. And it’s hard, dude. Right now I feel like it’s a dog-eat-dog world. Nobody wants to help each other.


U: We’re in that part of the cycle where people in the crowd look at us and go, I could play what you play. That mentality of if you could do it, I could do it. Which is something we try to encourage, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t always understand that it also takes professionalism. It takes a little bit of honor. It takes a little bit of not being a f*****g a*****e when someone comes up to talk to you. It takes not being a nationalist and having the best intentions for your community.

Some of these younger people are getting more aware. I see it on Instagram, people are coming up with more artistic, creative, political art, which is great. It’s always a give-and-take thing.

A: Not to diss on anybody, we should all be happy for each other, but you can tell when a band is true to what they post, promote, and present themselves as, and you can also tell when bands are just doing it for followers or likes. That’s when music starts to feel like a popularity contest: look at my patches, look at my septum… It’s like concert highlights get turned into election campaigns.

To me, punk was always supposed to be about uplifting marginalized groups – minorities coming together and trying to bring each other up through music. One of the reasons I wanted to start playing music is ’cause I’m a gardener – when you do outside work, a lot of homeowners look down on you for that. Some people are really sweet, but some just explode on you because they think you’re expendable.

Being 12, 13, being told you can’t do anything right, over tiny mistakes that happen when you’re doing a job… Or hearing your dad being told off like there isn’t a kid in the room. Complete power trips. The ones that do that don’t even work hard – you go to your office, you tell people what to do, and you get money somehow. You’re a middleman, and you’re overpaid for it. Some people don’t understand that we don’t have to be there, dude. I’m doing this ’cause you hired me, but that doesn’t mean you get to own me.


Leo (Bass): These were the cards that we were dealt and we just gotta make the most of it, you know? Not everyone can go through scholarships and university for the whole traditional guide society paves for you. There are other opportunities out there, like the working force. We’re the ones that really make the world go round – the whole hood, all the little local shops, our communities.

I’m really in this work mentality, it’s to my roots. I grew up with a dad working construction, taking me to job sites since I was like five years old. It taught me to respect the working class.

I’m out in Palm Desert right now, but LA is my home. That’s how dedicated I am to this music stuff, man. I drive out here every weekend for practice and shows. And the reason for that is because I am a firsthand victim of gentrification, big-time. My family & I got kicked out of our house, the one I was born & raised at, in South Central so the landlord could build condos there <laugh>. It was the only house on the block. And for what, bro? For what? For more privileged people to come here and complain about fake people? My guy, that’s you. You replaced the real ones.


But gentrification happens in the scene too, like when ticket prices started going up. There’s no more $5 shows.

U: There used to be $3 shows on Thursdays & Sundays, $5 gigs on Fridays & Saturdays.

A: Backyard shows these days are $10, $15 minimum. I wouldn’t mind paying that if I knew it was going to the bands.

L: To me, LA is the mom-and-pop shops, the señora selling tamales and having a conversation with her, paying her extra for your food. Making that effort to keep your community – we’re missing that right now.

I wish a lot of the kids that go to shows had the core values that the people before them had. They see the whole party side of it and don’t really retain the whole community aspect. That’s why I love that vendors are popping up at shows more, do your own thing! Fuck working a corporate job or something, you know? When I started playing, there weren’t many, except maybe NOS foos or some random foo in the corner selling beer out of a 24-pack or something.

A: I feel like in one way that could have been our fault, ’cause we started out playing shows with NOS just out of control & whatnot. If people wanted to see us, those vices were basically in their hands. That’s why we’re not trying to play those type of shows anymore – too many backyard shows designed to get people, typically kids, fucked up. That’s not what we’re trying to stand for, and this magazine partly helped us realize that. But it took us a minute because that’s all the shows we could get, you know?

Now that we’re getting a bit of traction, we’re starting to host our own events. But it can be really hard to navigate gigs because a lot of bands are trying to find an outlet, but the outlets we have access to end up leading people down a bad road.


I’ve come to terms, for my sanity, that there’s no making it in this scene. All I’m really trying to do is to leave my handprint while speaking on what I believe in. I want the next generation to look at us as a band that was pretty sick for standing for something. That’s a self-rewarding thing, having peace & history, I guess.

I don’t see any money in this, I know we’re all struggling. I’d hate taking money from something that I’m passionate about anyway. And if you do you just put it back into your scene, you know? I’m just doing this ’cause I love music. <laugh>

To be featured in our December Issue – drops this Saturday at our release show. All proceeds go to bands.


By Hector Zaldivar

Professional magician. @hexzald