I don’t know if I’m too overwhelmed or enthusiast but each time a band asked me for a record review, I ended up interviewing them. Maybe I like to impose myself some extra work.
A few times ago, I received a review request, following my INFEST’s Crucial Records article, and here we are with a full interview ! My bad.
Disclaimer : It’s a bunch of classic questions but it’s a new band and I didn’t find much informations about them so I declared it was alright.
DxR : “How are you, who are you and how’s life in San Dimas ? Is it a big city ? Can you introduce any other bands coming from that area ? Do you skateboard like it’s the cliché in the California punk scene?”
Anthony Kattan : “Howdy! So far I’m doing pretty good, I got my health, I’m almost done with community college (for the most part), and I got back to power lifting.
Who am I? Welp my name is Anthony John Kattan Gallegos, but you can refer to me as Kattan or as the guy no one likes at shows. I was born and raised in Southern California and have been living here since I was born. I am the throat destroyer of RELEVANT ANGER. Aside from the band shenanigans I work at a cleaning service with my pops and write for this snazzy web zine called In Effect Hardcore. That’s really about it for me, I don’t really do anything that important. I actually live in Chino which is about 20 minutes away from San Dimas. If you want to know about the San Dimas life, Dustin(guitarist) and Stephen (former drummer) will answer that question. They’ve been living there for god knows how long. What I can tell you about San Dimas is how similar it is to Chino. It’s a middle class town dominated by conservative white folks. Even if the people here aren’t white, it is most likely that they’re conservative Christians. Oh and Mark (bassist) and Marco (new drummer) live in Covina/Azusa which is very close to SD.
I wish I could introduce you to some bands from that town, but there isn’t really any hardcore/punk bands from San Dimas specifically. There used to be a scene like 10 years ago, Skate punk was huge in Southern California that even San Dimas had a scene, but not necessarily bands from the area. All those people who were involved either grew up to be obsessed with nature (nothing wrong with that) or moved on to start experimental bands. Some thought that they were too old to play basic hardcore which that’s just bullshit. The biggest band in Covina was BADMOUTH, but they’re long gone. I can try to name you a few current bands that are remotely close (say 10-15 minutes away). There’s TRIXBEAM and PENALTY who are located in Covina. The city of El Monte has CONVICT which includes members of DISAPPROVAL/NEW BRIGADE and they’re definitely out of obscurity. There used to be a ton in Pomona such as WHY WE FIGHT and this hardcore band I briefly played bass for called SELF-ESTEEM, but they’re done unless they decide to get their shit together. I really wish that SELF-ESTEEM had better recordings and it sucks knowing how we had a lot of great songs that never made it to a recording studio….oh well that’s partially my fault. Anyway Marco has this project called CUTTHROAT. They just released a song that’s worth checking out if you’re into the Mosher’s Delight Records style bands. Another band worth mentioning that’s from my town is NOISE COMPLAINT. They’re really unique with their fusion of ska and hardcore. Who really does that anymore? Jordan who’s the vocalist/guitarist used to play guitar for RELEVANT ANGER. They released a new EP not too long ago. Dustin just became additional guitarist for the band which is pretty cool. Yeah sadly that’s all I can name. San Dimas/Covina/Azusa doesn’t really have much unless it’s crappy street punk or garage rock. Los Angeles and Orange County, however, has a ton of great bands.
As for skateboarding, I was never into it. I tried it once, but it wasn’t for me. Mark skates though and I don’t know about the rest. It is pretty common here in Southern California.”
DxR : “Favorite nowadays cali band”
A.K : “Well it USED to be DISAPPROVAL, but they’re done for and I wouldn’t consider their other band CONVICT my favorite even though they’re pretty good. If you’re talking about California in General I’ll name you my top 6 favorites at the moment.
1.BUSTED OUTLOOK from San Francisco/San Jose. Everyone should know who they are by now.
2. CRIME DESIRE from San Diego. They just put out a new record that RIPS. They show obvious influences by DEATH SIDE and BASTARD. I’m glad to see the attention they’re receiving.
3. LAST WARNING from Orange County. This is for all the ABUSED/AGNOSTIC FRONT fans. They sadly broke up but it’s still worth listening to.
4. SCALPED from San Francisco. Their breakdowns are punishing. Probably one of the best bands out there right now. They have a 7” coming out!
5. CRUSH from Long Beach. It’s been a while since someone played good 2000s style hardcore. The vocals is the best. They just got back from a year long hiatus.
6. PROLETARIAT YOUTH from San Bernardino. If you love UC as much as I do then you’ll love this. Their new EP is a must. Their shows never disappoint. Played with them like three times.
7. STRESSORS from San Ramon. They are just unbelievable.
8. NO STATIK from Oakland (?). If you haven’t listened to them, then stop everything what you’re doing and get a hold of their records. It’s members of LOOK BACK AND LAUGH, SCHOLSTIC DETH, and many other great bands.
9. IMPULSE from Chula Vista. It was great to see these guys get a lot of attention. They’re fast as fuck and worthy enough to open for INFEST quite a few times. Word is that they’re playing shows again. Too stoked!
10. REPLICA! Another great band from the Bay. They have been one of my favorites for such a long time. Reminds me a lot of Life’s Blood the more I listen to them. I haven’t heard from that band in a while. Hopefully they didn’t meet their demise. That’d be a shame.
DxR : “When did Marky Mark joined the band ? Why did you record the first EP without a bassist ?”
A.K : “Marky joined literally a week after the release of ”Enough of This.” I met him through Jordan at a PROTESTER show . He messaged me regarding his interest in playing bass for RA a day after seeing us perform at this skate shop. I’m surprised that he was remotely interested since that show was our worst we have ever played. It’s funny because Mark unintentionally went to our first show without us knowing he was there. It was like some sort of sign that he was meant to be in our band…..spoooky.
So there’s your answer to why we recorded ”Enough of This” without a bassist. But there’s more to the story. We were a three piece for about a month and a half. Dustin played bass at first then switched to guitar after Jordan left the band. Jordan’s reason for leaving was because of his internship at some recording studio in Los Angeles, but I believe that it also had to do with NOISE COMPLAINT finally picking things up (no pun intended). He said he was going to be gone for the time being until he’s done with his internship, but it seemed like it was a sugar way of saying that he wasn’t coming back. It did bum me out that he left, but it was his choice and his life. His departure was during the writing process of new songs for our first show since we decided to move on from the demo. This mainly had to do with Stephen replacing our old drummer and not being able to play the songs from the demo since he couldn’t play the same tempo. Oh and don’t bother looking for the demo because it’s not on bandcamp anymore. So we played our first two shows as a three piece. A week after our first show, Dustin wanted to record so that’s how ”Enough of This” came about. Most of that information was probably not very necessary, but I love telling stories.”
DxR : “Relevant Anger against what ? Do you consider yourself a politicized band ? “
A.K : “Well I can’t really speak for the rest of the band, but I’m against the obvious nonsense such as institutional racism, homophobia, sexism, authority abuse, rape culture and all that other garbage people should be concerned about. If people don’t see the problem with those occurring in this world let alone this generation, then I fear for the future of this planet. That doesn’t mean that I will get out of my way to verbally shame them for it. Especially if they’re just kids, but they should still take to consideration on what’s harming society. My other major concern is people who claim to be about social justice when all they do is spend their lives on social network sites marginalizing anyone for such a ridiculous reason. They just want to shame people out of insecurity, well at least that’s how I see it. Also keep in mind that people most likely change once they experience or witness such acts of racism or homophobia. It’s really fucked up, but that’s the only eye opener. I’ve had some friends who thought it was hilarious to start these atrocious bands with misogynist lyrics until they got older and realized how despicable that was. That’s why I take it with a grain of salt when a little street punk kid yells ”faggot” at a show. But we should still educate people anyway, some people just need that more than anything. Come on it is 2015, people should know by now how important education is.
What also really makes me tick is the regurgitating bullshit that goes on in hardcore/punk. I know everything has its flaws, it’ll never be perfect and I understand. I know it’s been like this for decades, but it gets really annoying when you realize how cliquey this subculture can get. It feels like I’m in high school again. It also upsets me seeing these people preaching during their set about how we need to support the scene and how we should stick together, then those same people exclude themselves from those who aren’t part of their or aren’t in bands that live up to their standards. It’s just the hypocrisy within this subculture that really gets me. I got into this to get away from that jock mentality that I had to put up with in high school. So to see the same thing happen here is a little nauseating. But I try to be more optimistic about it and appreciate what we have. Southern California is really spoiled with all these touring bands playing like 5 shows here. So I am thankful for that and it sucks when people take that for granted.
Politicized? I can see that you’ve been reading the lyrics. I never labeled my band political despite what my songs are about. The stuff I write is what currently upsets me as well as other stuff that upsets punkers. Politics do come in play when it’s personal stuff or whatever I experienced, but I’ll never really consider us politicized.”
DxR : “With songs like “drug control” or “years of habit” and all the x’s on your e-mail adress, are you Straight Edge and is this a Straight Edge band ? If yes which era of Straight Edge hardcore are you the most into (But you can stil lanswer this question if it’s no though)? Vegetarian/Vegan ?”
A.K : “Here’s the twist….we’re not an edge band. From what I’m aware of, Dustin barely drinks. I think Mark drinks, but I don’t know if he intoxicates himself. The only person in the band who’s edge is our new drummer Marco. I don’t know how long he’s claimed it, but he’s all about the X’s. I guess you can say I ”broke edge” like two years ago. In fact, I wasn’t really ”straight edge” for that long. The reason why I went edge was that alcohol was coming close to ruining my life. It was also due to the fact that I was losing some of what used to be my close friends since they thought getting high was more important. Straight Edge was starting to be something really important to me since then. I had a beer two years later and that’s how I broke edge (god just reading this sounds pathetic). But nothing happened after that, I wasn’t drunk and I never plan on it. I have like a handcrafted beer like once every 6 goddamn months. Intoxication is just pointless. Substances that are used for recreational purposes such as marijuana is dumb. There are people who actually need it for incurable diseases and we have these morons wanting to have it legalize out of selfishness. Whatever though. I guess I’m still edge if the Ian Mackaye rule is still relevant. The email……ummmm yeah your guess is as good as mine.
As for Drug Control and Years of Habit, well INFEST wrote that song ”Mindless” and they’re not even Straight Edge. Do we need to remind ourselves why Joe Denunzio was in jail for a few years? (If I’m correct here, Denunzio was in jail for drunk drivin. Caught twice.)
My favorite era of Straight Edge hardcore? Oh man that’s a great question, I started getting into the Straight Edge bands after listening to early 80s bands like NEGATIVE FX, THE FAITH, VIOLENT CHILDREN, SSD, etc, etc. The band that really did it for me though was UNIFORM CHOICE. ”Screaming for Change” is without a doubt the best 80s straight edge record on the planet. That was something really important to me and it still is. YOUTH OF TODAY’s ”We’re Not In This Alone” was also another inspiration for me. I then moved on to a bunch of 2000s bands that my friend introduced me to such as POISON PLANET, BLANK STARE, COLD SHOULDER, RAZORxFADE, man that list goes on. But the one band from this era that is just perfect will be and always be No Tolerance. They are seriously the perfect hardcore band to ever exist in the fucking universe. I don’t know how DFJ does it, but he knows how to make every band great.
Speaking of DFJ, I was really unbelievably stoked when he said he liked my band. He requested me to send him some tracks when I talked to him at one of the BOSTON STRANGLER shows he played here. It’s awesome that the man behind MIND ERASER, MENTAL, NT, and a million other bands went out of his way to check out RA. I don’t care how pathetic it is, I still have that email saved of him complimenting the band.
I’ve also been checking out a few current Straight Edge bands from out of the United States. There’s CORRECTION from Sweden and those bands from Brazil that I’ve been listening to a lot lately like DISXEASE and B’URST! PODER ABSOLUTO and ABSURDO from Spain are also pretty rad. I’m not sure if ABSURDO is edge (they’re not) but fuck it that ”Tots Sants” record is unbelievably energetic. Oh and there’s this new pretty awesome band from Mexico City called CADENAXO. The demo they have pays great homage to early 80s hardcore.
I am Vegetarian and have been since November of 2014. So far it feels great not consuming animal flesh anymore and I feel amazing. I’m really trying to shoot for Vegan though. The rest of the band is neither of those, but I’m cool with that as long as they’re not being obnoxious about it. “
DxR : “WHY covering a DISCHARGE song and WHY this one ? (There’s a joke inside that question) (sorry for that)”
A.K : “I never heard a hardcore band cover DISCHARGE and that was the first song the band played when Stephen joined after the departure of our previous drummer. It’s simple why we covered that song: it’s one of my favorites. We all grown to hate the cover on the EP. It’s so terrible and it was our biggest screw up in the recording haha.”
DxR : “Did you really record in Dustin garage ? How was it ? Can you tell how did it and the good/bad things happening in the process ? Any funny stories ? Did the neighboors complained ?”
A.K : “Yes sir we did and it was interesting. There’s really not much to tell honestly. The only bad thing was having to record vocals in the laundry room with no ventilation and the lights off. Keep in mind this was during the summer so I was dying during that session. We also had to place the amps in the laundry room since it’s such a small room.
Funny that you asked if the neighbors complained because during one of our practices, Dustin told us how his girlfriend’s cousin’s college roommate complained to her about the noise we’d make in the morning. We practice Sundays at 10AM so yeah I can see why. Other than that, no one confronts to us about the noise we make. I don’t think most of them don’t really care.
Also shout out to Jordan for recording that EP. He may have abandoned us as a guitarist, but he did a good job recording and mastering it. I think that was the first thing he actually recorded. It came out pretty good for a first try. He also played the solo for the DISCHARGE song!”
DxR : “How the new EP will be called and will you record it at the East 7th Warehouse as well ? What can we expect and what do you expect from it ?”
A.K : “The new EP will just be called the ”ST EP” haha. Such an original title huh? It will be 6 tracks and sadly no covers, but I’m still stoked for it.
Actually we recorded all the songs at 7th Street in late January. We recorded everything in one day and had the tracks mastered a few weeks later. Austin who recorded us did a fantastic job and was very cool with us. He and his friend Mike who mastered it knows what’s up with Hardcore/Punk so we knew it would come out really good. Those two songs on the promo are the final product for the next EP. The other songs have been finished as well. The promo tapes were done by my friend who decided to make tapes for a cheap price. I did that funny cover myself. This was really done out of anxiousness due to the delay for the release of the EP. We want a proper release for the it which will also be on tape. So far the album art is done and we just need to do the lyric sheet and a cool insert. Also we’re all saving money to have it done somewhere who makes quality tapes. Fingers crossed that it will be released soon.
Just expect one of the songs to be pure mosh madness and the rest of the tracks worshiping SIEGE and RIPCORD. I hope people dig it and go crazy over us so we can make millions and I’ll own two a castle with two white tigers. On a serious note, I hope people like it.
BY THE WAY shout out to Austin and Mike for the recordings. Also check out Austin’s band BLAZING EYE if ya haven’t. I’m sure you have tho!”
DxR : “Have you toured already or even played shows for that matter?”
A.K : “No unfortunately, but with a drummer who has a lot of free time on his hands (especially on vacations), there is a chance. It would probably be during the Winter or next summer that we could tour.
As for shows? We’ve only played about 5 shows. It would have been 6, but we had to drop a show we were going to play in March because we lacked practice. We used to play at least once a month which the idea started in August. This was to avoid burn out. The last show we played was in November. It mostly has to do with the fact that not a lot of people either know about us nor care to book us. Most of the shows we played were just local shows that our friends would do. The one in October was done by Dustin when his parents were out of town for the weekend. That was one of our best sets yet. It was great seeing people going nuts during our set instead of seeing a bunch of awkward stares. The last show we played was just pure luck. One of the members of TRIXBEAM really liked our band and wanted us on the bill after the opening band dropped. We sold a lot of patches that day. We never got to play with touring bands. We almost opened for VICE and SWAMPS from the East Coast, but unfortunately that was the show we had to drop.
It’s really hard to get on shows. We don’t really know people that well. It also probably has to do with the fact that I burned so many bridges that it’s not even funny. No one died or anything, but I learned the hard way that people cannot handle criticism let alone an obvious joke. It’s also bad enough that we don’t fall in the ”members of” category so the likely hood of kids giving a shit about us is slim to none. I really think, however, it is that none of us have really contributed that much to the scene so that mostly has to do with why we’re ignored most of the time. It really is the only way to get on shows. Unless we’re like really cool with the promoters or some bullshit. I wish it wasn’t always that way, because personally I get really tired of seeing the same openers for every touring band here. Like no offense to those bands, but I’m sure people would want to see other bands. I am thinking about booking shows. I’m actually booking my first show featuring my band and a few locals. Hopefully that goes somewhere.”
DxR : “Favorite INFEST song, record and piece of merch (boot or OG)”
A.K : “FAVORITE INFEST SONG? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ugh that’s such a tough question, but I can answer what my favorite record is which is Mankind. Ironically that was the record I used to skip over most of the time. I would listen to like a few songs, but they ended up being so forgettable. Then I introduced Jordan to INFEST one time and later on he would tell me how Mankind was such a badass record. He used to be very picky when he was getting into hardcore so I wanted to see what the hype towards Mankind was about. I listened through the whole record and eventually understood what he meant. So yeah I have him to thank for that. Don’t get me wrong, ”Slave” and ”No Man’s Slave” are really good, but Mankind’s production is so primitive.
My favorite merch from them would be the one everyone jocks (including myself) which is the UC knock off that says Voice Your Opinion. Apparently it’s a bootleg which is strange considering that I bought it at one of their reunion shows from the band themselves (I believe the bootleg one is the one without the label sleeve print). Speaking of, I wasn’t able to find it for months until just recently. So very funny that you asked me this question.”
Thank you Anthony for your time and patience !
And after all those bands links, here’s RELEVANT ANGER.