It’s weird because we’ve been around for a long time and we’re still trying to get on all the cool hardcore shows. Like, we want to play For The Children – it would be cool to get that reach and put Harbor Area on the map, but we’ve heard through people that we don’t get put on big hardcore shows because we’re just a ‘backyard band.’ You play too many punk shows, so we can’t take you seriously.

That’s crazy because we come from straight punk, backyard, DIY every day. You’re taught to throw your own f****** show, especially here in LA. I guess some promoters and labels look down on that. But it’s punk, like, what’s the f***** big deal?

Deviated State for Dead Relatives December ’23 release show. Shot by @colebeldyn

Hearing you can’t be taken seriously… That’s pretty crazy, because if you look at some of our footage, it’s pretty f****** popping. We thought that’s what happens… How else can we prove that we deserve a shot? We’ve been around, we got pull, and we can prove it. But the footage is from a backyard show so it doesn’t mean anything? Those shows mean everything to us, and more to our communities.


Photo by @capturasdominique. Deviated State MV Release Shoot. 2022.

Ricky (returned/current drummer) & I started Deviated State in high school around 2009, 2010. We’ve been playing backyard shows throughout LA pretty much since we’ve been around. A lot of us are from the Harbor Area so we give a lot of love to our neighborhood because it’s one of the most historic parts of LA there is; we wanna put our community on the map.

The greatest venue we had for like a year was called the Crac Brewery. They didn’t close down or nothing, but there was a period where they made every show all ages; it popped off and we’d have hundreds of people show out, people listening outside the spot, but I think it got too crazy – something happened about a year in where the owners made it back to 21+ which kind of killed it. We had people jumping off the bar and stage diving… Pretty hectic. That was a big loss for us because it was a spot we could play often that wouldn’t get raided, with the risks of a backyard and s***. 

Deviated State for Dead Relatives December ’23 release show. Shot by @colebeldyn

In the Harbor Area, every band sounds completely different and does their own thing. So no one’s trying to be a clone of, say, Dimebag. They’re dope as f*** and completely different from PISS who’s also dope as f***, who’s also completely different from our homies in M.A.D.D. Everyone’s original, but you can still play together too. Just do your own thing.

Photo by @capturasdominique. Deviated State MV Release Shoot. 2022.

We don’t subscribe to any type of genre either, we’re just assigned to hardcore punk. We could do a power-violence song if we wanted to, same with a street-punk jam; we’re not trying to put ourselves in a box. 

Older hardcore heads used to not f*** with us back in the day, but this new generation is more flexible. We used to play a punk show and every foo thought we were a hardcore band. Or we’d play a hardcore show and they’d think we were a punk band. Up until a few years ago, we used to get a lot of hate from being on bills like that… We’ve heard the comments, but we’ve been seeing people f*** with us without judging based on subgenres, but on how we perform. 

Lately, the shows have been more fun than crazy because I remember gigs back in the day would be f****** violent. I remember one time we played a show in South Central that got raided as we were playing. The helicopter light was on us as foos were pitting… Cops were running in, people jumping the fence… Pretty f****** sick.

Photo by @capturasdominique. Deviated State MV Release Shoot. 2022.

If you ask us if we’d rather open for a big band with only 10 people at the start, or if we’d rather play a cracking a** show in a small room, I’d always take the room show.

We’re not trying to get bigger or nothing, we just wanna play more buckass shows.

I think what happens with more industry bands is some of them know where to play to get discovered. You know what I mean? So it’s easy for them to pop up and they’re already friends with people who are friends with people so it makes it easier, as opposed to us, who had to start from scratch. But we’d rather play shows with homies. Maybe that kept us in the box, but we’re about building our community and area up, as opposed to making connections.

-Joey Ibarra. VOX for

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Featured in our December issue, available now. All proceeds go to keeping our content free to read online.


By Hector Zaldivar

Professional magician. @hexzald