Season 1 - Ep. 4 - Bearing the Torch of the New Guard of NorCal Punk Rock with Tristan Martinez of Decent Criminal



In today's episode, I have a great conversation with Tristan Martinez, the lead singer of Northern California-based punk band Decent Criminal. We talk about how they are part of the new wave of punk music, what artists influenced their sound, and even some cool tour stories.

If you have never heard of Decent Criminal, well, this is your lucky day, because they are truly one of the best BANDS (not just punk rock bands) out there right now, and they are still young enough to have the energy to rock shows all over the world!

Get stuck in and check out this interview for a chance to hear directly from the source more about how the band is grateful for what they have, but, hey, wouldn't mind rising to the fame level of a band like Blink-182 as well. 

Intro Music: "Colorado" by Birds Love Filters

Decent Criminal on Bandcamp:

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Isaac Kuhlman 0:01
Hello and welcome to the Powered By Rock podcast where we're gonna be speaking with Tristan Martinez from a band that I was recently just told about that blew my damn mind Decent Criminal.

You’re listening to The Powered By Rock podcast with your host, Isaac Kuhlman. The Powered By Rock Podcast was created to help showcase some of the best rock musicians in the world, and to pass on to future generations the rock music that has inspired rock fans around the world for decades. We want listeners to be able to hear great stories and life experiences directly from their favorite artists as well as dig deeper into music theory and talk “rock” like no other show you’ve ever heard. This isn’t about looking cool. It’s about getting real and having a great time. Without further ado, let’s start the show!

Hey, Hey, welcome to the Powered By Rock podcast. I'm super excited today as I get to speak to Tristan from Decent Criminal. The reason I'm so excited is because I really enjoyed the music you guys are putting out. I feel like you guys are probably one of the best punk bands on the scene right now especially years old. And you're bit of the new guard of punk music and I'm you know, so happy to hear that younger bands and punk are kind of out there and not letting the genre die off. As you know, it feels like it's just kind of for like old white guys like me or something like that. So, welcome to the show.

Tristan Martinez 1:21
Thank you so much for having me. Yeah, happy to be here.

Isaac Kuhlman 1:25
Awesome. So let's talk about this kind of like New Wave right? So like, I was actually introduced to you. Oddly enough by Angelo Celli from Brackett, who has been one of my favorite bands for the last 30 years. He's like, you gotta check these guys out. And I was like, these guys are amazing. Like, I'll talk to you more about how amazing I think you are as the album Bloom in particular, has just, I just nonstop play that album. Like it's my favorite album by far. It's just, I'm addicted to that one particularly. Cool.

Tristan Martinez 1:57
Thank you so much.

Isaac Kuhlman 1:58
Yeah. So, you know, obviously if you're if you're talking about kind of the younger generation of punk bands out there, do you feel like there's like you're kind of in some way, leading this or in some way part of this bigger, like movement of people who are just out there playing punk. And you know, you're not getting paid much to do this, right? I mean, it's something you have to be really passionate about. And to make this good of music at this at this kind of early stage in your life. I mean, do you feel like this is something that you're kind of growing as a part of bigger, a bigger part of the whole scene and genre in general?

Tristan Martinez 2:33
In some ways, it felt it feels like we've had to sort of pave our own way, which is kind of cool. But yeah, I think I think, yeah, there's tons of bands that are doing sort of like it's like, you could call it a punk because it's called like, offshoots is like, I don't know. And as the more the further you dig, the more you see that there's really punk influences, like never really got away a lot of different variants and shit. So yeah, so yeah, I don't feel like we're like leading anything by any stretch. But we're stuck. We're super excited. We've been having a lot of fun lately, and we're excited to be back playing shows again, it feels great.

Isaac Kuhlman 3:15
Yeah, but I just got back from Punk Rock Bowling, which is a big one here in Las Vegas. It's one of the bigger punk rock festivals actually in, in all of the US. So I go, I mean, I saw you guys post some stuff on Instagram. And, you know, I think from the short clip I saw those people weren't rocking hard enough to to your music.

Tristan Martinez 3:34
Yeah, people. I don't know. It was rad. It was awesome. We had one of the best days out there. Yeah, just like playing and then like watching all these bands who grew up listening to you know, hanging out backstage drinking beers, yada, yada, you know, just having a blast. So had a lot of people from like, all over the country that were like, you know, come by merch and say what's up and want to take pictures? So it's cool to you know, feel that love and state. I'm a little hoarse to you. I don't know if you could tell. But yeah, we just did like four shows. And yeah, it's a good time.

Isaac Kuhlman 4:11
So if you're a little hoarse, we'll have to call you pony then because that's a little horse. That's terrible, terrible joke.

Tristan Martinez 4:19
I appreciate it. I'm glad you went for it.

Isaac Kuhlman 4:24
So before we get into some of the bigger topics and other things I want to bring up I first want to ask you guys about your journey. Like what was the reason you first started playing music? What artists were some of the influences that got you into it? And when did you kind of decide that this is the path that you're going to be pursuing for, you know, just felt this point in your life?

Tristan Martinez 4:40
I think I've wanted to play music my entire life. Hunter and I's dad was, I don't know that our house is always full of music in different kinds of music, and I think it's always sort of been a, I don't know, a sweet little place for everybody. I think. So yeah, just just growing up. I mean, my dad was really Like T rex and like Mott The Hoopel like you know stuff with like the 70s like English stuff like that and yeah man I just want to play music My whole life and that's what we're doing for me I think like like growing up I was my other brothers were into like Ramones kinda like Green Day like sublime I don't know just it's just a combination of all kinds of stuff that we like listen to yeah

Isaac Kuhlman 5:32
Yeah I mean same same with me I mean listen to you know at stuff like Screeching Weasel and Pixies and then you go into like Nirvana and whatever all the pop punk stuff and you know there's just so many other bands out there there's endless amounts of bands that you could be influenced by even if you only heard them like once or twice that spill over into your music and stuff to you but

Tristan Martinez 5:52
yeah, so we had everything from you know, 60s through 90 stuff was born 89 so so yeah all that was a part of our stuff so if it's like in some ways it's found its way into our music one way or another. Yeah, yeah, cool.

Isaac Kuhlman 6:09
So from memory now this is from reading like a bio somewhere I think maybe on one of the label files that you guys have out there but you guys didn't originally start out in the same lineup that you have I think you guys actually kind of switched instruments at some point so can you kind of explain how that came about and what was going on with that?

Tristan Martinez 6:28
Yeah, I think if you if you really want to dig into Decent Criminal's pass Yeah, it goes back like 10 years or so. So the initial lineup I was not even a part of and then we my old band at a band called Violation that was more like a hardcore punk band. And we were doing a tour Decent Criminal but they needed a bass player so I jumped in on bass with them. So 2010 I joined the band and then that version of our band fell apart. It's a Hunter and I, Hunter switched from playing guitar and singing to play drums. This is like 2014 I think, and then I was writing most of songs at that point so I took over singing and playing guitar and then we got Alex and Brian in the band and it's gone from there. Now we have Jessie and third guitar player now Randy so we're in it

Isaac Kuhlman 7:30
it's not like a brotherly feud like in Oasis where they just couldn't get along and eventually break up because they just cried all the time.

Tristan Martinez 7:37
We're doing good so far man.

Isaac Kuhlman 7:41
Like you can't be more famous than me I'm the famous one

Tristan Martinez 7:45
Yeah, I don't know it's probably different at that level of success I mean, who knows?

Isaac Kuhlman 7:48
But yeah, well cool. So as I mentioned, obviously Angelo from Bracket kind of introduced me and told me to check you guys out but I just wonder like, does that kind of feel like any sort of like level of coolness just to say that about you?

Tristan Martinez 8:04
Fucking rad for me and yeah, we didn't know until later on but that Bracket's actually from Sebastopol which is the town like next to Santa Rosa

Isaac Kuhlman 8:14
Adjacent, yeah

Tristan Martinez 8:15
Forestville whatever Hunter says But yeah, so like right there whatever so that was pretty cool to find out but yeah, we've always loved brackets music and I think he could tell like the love of like harmonies and both of our bands and yeah, very very melody German.

Isaac Kuhlman 8:35
I was gonna bring that up in my next part.

Tristan Martinez 8:38
Yeah, yeah, for sure. I played the shit of Tony Hawk growing up. Yep. So yeah.

Isaac Kuhlman 8:44
I mean there is a lot of similarities in the vocal harmonies and even the kind of and I brought this up with Angelo like you know how you might play like a lot of bands will play like a straightforward chord progression to get that kind of sound of like pop punk sound but then you guys kind of might play a different chord to kind of bring it down a little bit to kind of change that you know dynamic to make it a little less Poppy and I always love that about Bracket and I'm finding that with your music and then you guys have just kind of taken it and just added more energy to it it seems like

Tristan Martinez 9:14
That's awesome yeah, I think that's just abusing the major to minor deal you know yeah, I appreciate that about Bracket too. But But yeah, I think I mean, we grew up playing and you know, harder kind of bands so Decent Criminal for me was like a relief of, you know, no longer playing just like crazy aggressive, fast music. Yeah, like, you know, I love like Bad Brains and that type of shit growing up. So I was like, always writing really angry, like, fast stuff. And then and then I guess, yeah, 2014 or so I started writing more like surf melodic, yep, type of type of stuff. And so I think some of that old stuff still kind of blends in So I don't know it's cool it's cool look sort of Yeah, have everything come together that you've ever loved to do you know?

Isaac Kuhlman 10:06
Yeah and I mean I've kind of noticed that over the course of your guys's music is like the first two songs on the first album actually start with like a surf rock kind of style guitar for sure and kind of been blends more as the as the album goes and a little bit more of the pop punk stuff and then you put in some of like the acoustic stuff and then not so you know, musical driven stuff it's more acapella or acoustic right and you know then you kind of the second album, you just went absolutely bananas and just made it loud rocking and I friggin love it that's absolutely my favorite album oh it's just it's just so awesome and you know in my opinion it's not just the loudest most rocking but there's there's like a lot of nuance in there between how you go from the the you know verse to the chorus and then how you build up to like the you know the even the screaming parts yeah it's not really screaming but it's you know the the controlled yelling I would say yeah which is you know, pretty awesome you know, I think so did you feel like you know, in the first album It was kind of like raw, more vulnerable and kind of you're just kind of you know, making it because you know, it's just the first album right like these are all the songs I have I want to put them on an album is that right? How the it goes and then on the second album kind of more prepared you have more of a thought process behind the writing or how did that go for you?

Tristan Martinez 11:29
I don't think it was conscious at all I think it's just like that's where this is where I was at at the time for the first album and I still think I could have you know if I could go back and probably shorten it maybe we could like an EP or something

Isaac Kuhlman 11:42
yeah. Take out four of these songs and now it's better. I do the same thing I put out a song and think, "Why the shit did I put that out?"

Tristan Martinez 11:50
Yeah, I mean not that I think they like they suck or something but it's just like you know, I just feel like I get all whatever so yeah, so for Bloom I was just I think songs just came out the way they came out. So it was it wasn't a conscious thing and then say with Bliss and everything we're doing now so I'm trying to get this. Yeah, it's alright. But yeah, no, it's just it's just where it's not a plan and it's just how it goes.

Isaac Kuhlman 12:18
Yeah. Now obviously between the first album The second album, you guys probably started playing more live shows. Maybe being more active and stuff that's my guess. I mean, that's usually how it goes. Once you put out an album you feel like you have to go out and play that music to share it with other people. Right? What did you feel like on the second album? Did you have any thought about like, Hey, we got to put out some more crowd pleasers. You know like you can't sit there and play like an acoustic slow slow, slow song a punk show most the time. People are like, What the hell are we listening to you? So did you feel like you had to go kind of put up some more crowd pleasers more energy driven songs, or was that just because you had been playing? That's kind of where you went to?

Tristan Martinez 12:53
Um, yeah, they're really yeah, I don't Yeah, I don't want to sound give you the same answer. But yeah, I mean, it's kind of Yeah, it's not even I don't I don't think I've ever thought about trying to do a crowd pleaser it's it's just more I this is what I was doing. Just songs like Deviant and Neurotic. And like, what else is like kind of? Yeah, there's songs that kind of happened in the moment and I think deviant we had to cut it up a little bit. And then there's another version of that song that the producer we worked with at the time, like made and it's wild. Maybe I'll send you his idea. It's pretty wild but essentially, I told him like no, we're not going to so that's the way it turned out. But now it's just so we just yeah, we just I guess we just roll rockin right there.

Isaac Kuhlman 13:56
Yeah, well, you know, that controlled yell I kind of kind of caught like the battle cry yell or something like that. So who actually implemented that into the few songs on on Bloom. And it's probably why I liked that album so much. I feel like one of the Manley's things you can do as a singer is just like you know just do like a loud yell and not like stranger crack your voice right? It's like bench pressing a gorilla and you

Tristan Martinez 14:20
just let it rip. Yeah, I mean there's plenty of voice cracks recorded on another takes. I think that song Void is like the fourth song

Isaac Kuhlman 14:31
My favorite song you guys have ever done

Tristan Martinez 14:33
Oh really? Thanks to you I think we really should probably try to get that one in our that one and Expectations and still I think we want to try to get into our setlist again. Yeah. Thanks man.

Isaac Kuhlman 14:45
Actually three of my favorite songs. Yeah, void, like, beyond the sun part. We just like Yeah, yeah, it's fun for punching stuff.

Tristan Martinez 14:58
Oh, yeah. Yeah. I accomplished what I needed to accomplish there

Isaac Kuhlman 15:02
yeah exactly what actually got you to the point did you just decide fuck it let's try it let's see if how how crazy I can get with this or right and other songs mean something you kind of had before no

Tristan Martinez 15:15
no no that song was actually could have been on the first record cuz that's like the same time it was written like both at the end the song Numb off our first record is a was the last one written for that so I feel like that will kind of leads into like that could have been on Bloom as well

Isaac Kuhlman 15:34
it's like the transition period

Tristan Martinez 15:35
right that little transition yeah but no Void was just yeah I just had that like the main riff or whatever and then yeah i think that just the screaming part just really escalates the whole entire song so it's like yeah, yeah we're like here and

Isaac Kuhlman 15:51
so actually my infant son and holding them like rock out to me just like going crazy during the whole song

Tristan Martinez 15:58
that's rad man. Yeah, yeah, there's some there's some more of that there's a there's a pretty good amount of we just finished recording a record in LA like we did like 13 days in a row couple months ago but there's there's a good amount of that on there. Hopefully you dig that?

Isaac Kuhlman 16:18
Yes. Obviously you have another album after Bloom. Bliss I believe it's called right lists. Yeah. Fantastic album as well. Like I don't want to discount that or the original album Decent Criminal. Yes, absolutely. Like obsessed with bloom. I am like this punk rock gem that I've never heard before. The other ones have awesome songs. It's just when when I hear like void and you know some of these other songs like Expectations, which is so incredibly catchy that it gets stuck in my head for like, literally days after I hear it. I'm like, you know, the end of Alone gets stuck in my head as well. I'm just keep hugging melody. It just keeps going over and over. And I'm like, Alright, well, okay, cool. Like, I can't stop listening. Now I'm addicted. I'm gonna go back and listen, the whole thing again, say, I appreciate a song that is essentially punk rock mixed with a decent amount of like that pop. Yeah, trying to figure out where the fine line is. Between like that and being too catchy because, you know, punk rock and pop don't kind of always align. I know. Yeah. When I try to write music, like I'm like, Is this like, this? Is this is country music. What the hell am I doing? Like, yeah, no, I don't want to like jump genres and just like, be totally off base or whatever. But yeah, that has that kind of has like, happened to you before.

Tristan Martinez 17:26
And I feel like, I've always I've always, I grew up with a lot of punk rock and stuff. And like, I always love punk rock, but it's like, I'm not really concerned about what its gonna be anymore. You know, I also love this good music and all genres. I feel like in like, so. Yeah, I don't know, it's not really about that. For me. It's just about, you know, writing something that I think is cool. And that sounds good. And I think I think at some point, everything that I've written and put out is I was excited about and I was like, you know, so like, Alone. Like, I wrote, like, five, five minutes. I just like, it was just freestyle. It's just sit on the couch. And let's just like what I had. And I mean, it doesn't really fit. I feel like, like, we've never tried to play that live or anything. Yeah. But I just thought it was beautiful. So I think it's cool. Then I'm just gonna do it. I can't really care if, you know, whatever.

Isaac Kuhlman 18:22
Don't listen to producers who try to make weird versions of your songs. Right?

Tristan Martinez 18:26
Right. Yeah. That was That was funny. But he's a he's a good guy. He's chill. It's just Yeah. It's just funny when someone someone tells you that a version of your song is better, the way they have it. And then you're just like, like, he said that to me and Hunter

We just laughed. I don't know. Like, yeah, you're not just, like, calm down. It just felt like some LA bullshit,

you know? Like, whatever dude, I think the song is good the way I like it. So

Isaac Kuhlman 18:56
that's funny. So another thing I noticed about you guys's music is that you don't seem to like shove guitar solos in every song because like, you know, a lot of people do like a lot of bands live and die by guitar solos. And I know you can try it. I've heard it. But do you feel that like sometimes solos take away from an energy of a song or a certain feel of song.

Tristan Martinez 19:14
I've noticed the more I've been writing the less I'm thinking about a guitar solo going in there. Yeah, you know, the new record has the least amount of guitar solos I've ever done. So it's just been a slow progression of like, my old band was like, just rip in a lot. And now this is like or. If you do do guitar stuff. It's more of like, some sort of dual harmonized guitar thing. Like

Isaac Kuhlman 19:39
a dual riff or something where you're playing together Yeah,

Tristan Martinez 19:41
yeah. So So yeah. I forgot how I was gonna answer that exactly.

Isaac Kuhlman 19:48
But yeah, no, I get it. I mean, I when you when there's two things I talked to like the guys from Death By Unga Bunga. And I was like, you know, when you write a guitar solo, you're like, to actually go play this now I have to remember it every single time and there's also that part of it too, which is like, Yes, yeah, that sounds cool. But then it's like I've just complicated the song. possibly more than I want to as well. So it's like, Is it just kind of like there for the sake of me trying to like look cool, or is it there for the sake of the song? You know what I mean?

Tristan Martinez 20:18
Yeah, for sure. I think yeah, it's gonna it's gonna all be there for the sake of the song. I think the drums everything's intentional, you know, the drum parts the bass parts, also like we try to cut the fat. Like, let's we always just try to like, if everything feels long or drags or something we try to just like, I think the only song that I wish I'd been able to cut a little bit was a song, Nostalgia it's on Bliss. I just listened to so much oasis. And so it was always it's all there. So yeah, guys, that's just like the one I was like, Alright, well, this is just like, it's not that I feel like it is misplaced. But after like three and a half minutes, or I cry, this could have been a little shorter. But uh, but guitar solos are fun to write because you just you can just have like a song like playing in like your headphones or something. Yeah. And then, you know, I just, I just fuck around and do something right. Feels good. And yeah, exactly.

Isaac Kuhlman 21:15
Yeah. And not only that, but like, sometimes it's kind of like cool to not put on the album and then go shred a guitar solo on a live set that wasn't on the album and just blow people's minds as well. Yeah,

Tristan Martinez 21:27
yeah. Or the solo just changes year after you after you are recorded it. So it's one way on the hour, and then you go play it live, and it's different. And it's kind of fun.

Isaac Kuhlman 21:36
Yeah, exactly. So I do have to ask you about the song titles. They're all one word long. Any reason for this? Or do you just find it a waste of time and effort to come up with a song title that like, just is more meaningful, more accurate or something?

Tristan Martinez 21:52
I was gonna give something away but

Isaac Kuhlman 21:55
away telling your trade secrets. Oh, they're probably a two word song.

Tristan Martinez 21:59
now. I'll be honest, the new the new record is our first time with more than one word song so so look out for that. I think there's a band from our hometown called Semi Vol simians that, uh, that was doing that. I thought it was a cool idea that I started you know, under your setlist you you know, you're gonna write one word anyway. Yeah. And I kind of liked that there was like a mystery to the one word thing. So between those three things, that's why I started doing it. And so whatever.

Isaac Kuhlman 22:37
Kind of like that. It's like, you know, when you watch a movie, they kind of tell you what happens at the end, but then you have to go through the whole thing to figure out why it's why that happened. It's kind of like, here's the name of the song. Now go listen to it. Why why it's called that

Tristan Martinez 22:49
right and hopefully that's intriguing, you know? Yeah. So but I mean, we've been asked about that quite a bit. So I guess it's created some sort of, you know, whatever.

Isaac Kuhlman 22:59
I like it. I mean, I prefer to actually listen to a song try to figure out what's going on. See what the subject matter is talking about. Yeah, just you know, I haven't talked to Angelo from Bracket about this. They have a song called Everyone is Telling me I'll never win if I Fall in Love with a Girl from Marin. But that pretty much tells you what the song is about. Right? Do any detective work there? Like it's all in the title?

Tristan Martinez 23:23
Totally. Yeah, I kind of I kind of like that kind of one word titles. Yeah, I think it's cool.

Isaac Kuhlman 23:29
Yeah. So you released so you've released bliss 2019 I believe in that or 2020 I can't remember exactly but then you released the DC EP in March of this year that was behind you know doing what you know basically during lockdown and stuff. So what was the idea behind doing just a three song EP, which obviously still rock but was it just to kind of get back to making music after like a shitty year of a lockdown?

Tristan Martinez 23:55
No, we actually recorded those songs in February of 2020 okay so before though so right before everything went down and then we ended up mixing them during quarantine like via like zoom we'd like listen to the track and then we'd go on zoom together back Hey, this goes up this goes down. So it's kind of interesting process. But no, so those songs were going to be the beginning of what would have been another album. So I basically basically had written like another like probably 12 songs that would have been an album, but we basically scratched a bunch of them and so there's actually four songs we recorded for the EP and the fourth one didn't turn out how we wanted so we recorded again for this next album and then yeah, so yeah, that's it. So we just had we had the songs we had four songs we're gonna do just to sort of like do that and then also kind of shop out to like labels to see what they were think about. You know, These four songs that are potential album. But then COVID happened. So we just ended up with an EP.

Isaac Kuhlman 25:07
Yeah, yeah. So actually, I've never really asked any about anybody else about this. And I kind of have ideas about what an EP is, and what an LP is in my own head. But when you actually create an EP, do you go in thinking like, hey, I want to create an EP? Or is it just like, Hey, you know what, we've got some songs, they don't really fit on an album, let's just make an EP, put it out there, give some people you know, give our fans something to listen to. I know that certain bands actually, you know, they'll even do concept EP, which is just like, it's so much effort for an EP. I'm like, why are you doing this? But what's kind of your take on an EP versus a full length?

Tristan Martinez 25:45
I think I think EPs are cool. I think it's, I think the idea of going into make something that's like three or four songs, as opposed to, you know, taking on an entire album, like 12 songs, maybe, you know, from the, from my side of things, it just feels like less stress. Like, you know, we could we could bang out four songs and, you know, a couple days. Yeah. So I think that's cool. I don't know, sometimes an EP is kind of keep people's attention a little better to not everybody is like, I don't know, I prefer the album. Because, you know, I like, knowing that someone gives a shit about how it flows about how you know how the entire thing is. So, you know, that's what I like about an EP. But, uh,

Isaac Kuhlman 26:30
yeah, same, I mean, I think most people right now only listened to like one song at a time before you know, the living wasn't the whole song, they're like, skip it halfway through, because their attention spans like, Oh, I'm gonna go listen to this new Justin Bieber song or something like a minute of it, skip the next skip. Like, I will just listen to a whole album, because that's how I've always enjoyed music, because I like to understand why one song flows into the next, you know, how that all works together. And I'm assuming, like, when you put an album together, like when I put an album together, I consciously think about what's coming first, what sounds good. Next, what should be the end song, which should be kind of, you know, you know, it's not going to always be the best song at the end of song is gonna be the best time of beginning it's just how that album flows with the music and, you know, as an artist, and a creator, like, I'm assuming you guys go through that process as well about an hour an LP versus an EP, which might not have to have any sort of order at all. It's just, here's some songs, great to listen to quick paced. Already done, go enjoy your day kind of thing,

Tristan Martinez 27:27
Right. 100% I yeah, I've always been a fan of full length stuff, and the way it goes, and same way as you're saying, just like, just loving the thought process that goes into it. So like, even like, like, the new record, for example, is like, there was like, I think we there's probably like 30 something songs written for it. And then you kind of break those down. So like, just even just for me, just for fun. Like, I do that shit all the time. And just like, where you pick your the songs you think should go together, and then I'll be on a walk or something like, like an idea for a tracklisting comes up. So by the time we put something out, I've thought about that tracklisting for probably six months, you know? So if anyone appreciate that, I mean, that's, that's what's more could you could you want, you know, for being in a band and all that stuff. And yeah, I love that type of stuff. But it's like, you know, it's your art. It's your, it's your life, you putting a lot of yourself into it. And so yeah, it's all it's all thought about.

Isaac Kuhlman 28:33
Just like I mean, you wouldn't put a book together and just arbitrarily put the chapters in random order. Right? Exactly. In a way that makes sense to you totally not make sense to everybody else. But at least if they hear it together, it'll convey the message that you were trying to send anyway.

Tristan Martinez 28:48
Totally. Yeah. And also, I mean, if as long as it sounds where I want it to sound, it's like, you know, so I don't know that. That sounds like a fun thing to say. But at the same time, it's like you want you know, if I'm happy with it, and people like it, that's cool. But if they don't, it's like, Yeah, I was happy with it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. All right.

Isaac Kuhlman 29:10
So I fully consider you guys one of the best punk bands out right now, I mentioned that already. But you guys actually review just one of the best bands in general. Like, if I hadn't known about you guys, like 10 years ago. I'd have been following you this whole time. I actually did a Top 40 List of my favorite artists, I probably would have put you at like number 20 something in the top 40. So I was I'm always curious about like, you know, first of all, like, you know, what your guys's goals are, like going from here? Like, how big do you want to take this thing you guys want like, Blink-182 level success or is there like a certain amount where you're like, Okay, maybe like let's just slow down here. Let's kind of get going, or does it just like, you know, see where it goes. And obviously, just get where you can?

Tristan Martinez 29:54
I think yeah, I think I think it'd be lying to say that like, you know, any any Anyone that grew up listening to Blink-182 when we were young, like who doesn't want to be at that level of success either like yeah we're gonna push as far as we can and yeah that means a lot of touring a lot of just just going for it you know I think there's bands like more like modern bands like pop or something where it's like I you know you just like watching that type of success happened for bands that are happening now where it's like I just watched them they sold out like the Fillmore in San Francisco which is a place like I went to growing up and damn like that's like the dream is like to sell out film or something like that you know yeah and

Isaac Kuhlman 30:36
but it is probably like the Hollywood Bowl but same thing for San Francisco

Tristan Martinez 30:39
exactly exactly for the Bay Area and just like yeah so I mean yeah I'm fucking I'm enjoying myself, grateful for whatever the hell we get into it's only getting better from here it seems like and yeah that's our that's our intent. Push as far as we can but also you know be proud of what you're doing and be excited because you know, regardless of where it goes I want to enjoy myself and yeah,

Isaac Kuhlman 31:05
yeah, I think I recently saw that you're going to be or you already did I can't remember if the dates already passed but you were opening for Joey Cape from lag wagon on his new solo.

Tristan Martinez 31:14
Yeah, that was on that was on Sunday. We just yeah, just did that. So

Isaac Kuhlman 31:18
you did Joey Cape, and they need a Punk Rock Bowling. And now you're like fucking awesome like that.

Tristan Martinez 31:24
Yeah, yeah, I love I loved that album Let's Talk About Feelings a lot growing up Oh yeah. Yeah, so yeah, it was cool it's cool to meet him and we're playing with Lagwagon November 4 in San Francisco which is cool.

Isaac Kuhlman 31:38
So why don't you tell him that you want to come to Las Vegas for the Double Plaidinum one that they're doing here and watch

Tristan Martinez 31:44
is there I wish I think you're gonna get Mercy Musical for that one

Isaac Kuhlman 31:48
Yeah, great. Yeah. Good band. Yeah, you can come for free you can stay in my house that's fine

Tristan Martinez 31:55
for that next next book Oh boy. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I mean it's Yeah, we're excited for that. So should be cool. I would definitely I would have been on the whole tour if I could.

Isaac Kuhlman 32:06
Yeah, I mean Lagwagon they put on an insane show and like you know they've been around for yeah and what like since 89 or something like that so yeah, totally

Tristan Martinez 32:17
you know before that I mean yeah, we talked about the other day it's like playing with Lagwagon now to like is the closest you get to play with like RKL who we loved a lot growing up as well. So you know, watching watching those guys rip so good. I have you seen that documentary? Still Flailing After All These Beers?

Isaac Kuhlman 32:37
No, I haven't seen that one.

Tristan Martinez 32:38
It's an RKL DVD. Just just nuts. It's funny. Yeah. Because you know it's cool to to jam with dudes that you grew up listening to.

Isaac Kuhlman 32:49
Yeah, that's cool. So I'm gonna ask you this because I you know, you might not have like anything insane yet but I have to ask what's like the craziest thing you've ever experienced? experienced either on a tour or at a show that you made you think like fuck me. This is like the rock star lifestyle right here.

Tristan Martinez 33:07
Hmm. The craziest I don't really have at the top

of my head, but

Isaac Kuhlman 33:16
never been like hey, I'm all of a sudden sitting next to a guy who's smoking crack for some reason.

Tristan Martinez 33:22
Oh, I've seen that

Isaac Kuhlman 33:26
Pass me the crack pipe I'm good. Let's go

Tristan Martinez 33:28
No, I've never done crack. See certain certain drugs they're just too It's too obvious to stay away from Yeah, crack doing meth and heroin were always the two for me like it just destroys your life was enough people love people's fuck shit up doing that.

Isaac Kuhlman 33:49
Yeah. Especially rock stars, right? I mean, Oh, for sure. Spoke about Sublime Bradley Noel, right?

Tristan Martinez 33:57
Yeah, or Sheesh. Anyone that just like, I know, like Layne Staley's got one of the saddest drugs stories of all time. Yeah, you know, but I think I mean, not really. It's not the crazy one of the best times I think that we've had so far was like, we played a festival in Paris. And it was like, sold out and our first time in Europe. And people were like, crowd surfing singing our songs going like the place was going fucking nuts. Like, I kicked into Deviant and it was like, like, Whoa, but it's the first time we got we are like, after that show. We're like whoa, like we could we could fucking do this. Like, yeah, like, we can make this shit happen. And so that's that was the craziest like, Damn, like, I'm, you know, I'm in a shit and a band is doing pretty good. So

Isaac Kuhlman 34:51
it's weird when you like might go to a festival like internationally and they know the songs better than, you know, nationally here like domestically at home. Yeah and you could be like you know you weren't like obviously the probably the headliner of that festival but on the on the list and you know for people to come to a festival where they're probably going for more of the headliners and who knows what other bands are want to see but then there that mix crowd is still singing your songs versus like people who come to your show now yeah your song It's it has been mind blowing

Tristan Martinez 35:21
yeah it's trippy I mean Punk Rock Bowling is pretty good with that too you know it's like it's a it's a combination of a ton of people that have seen us all over the states come in and like you know it's awesome but I was gonna say yeah but I think doing it internationally just kind of reminds you to that like even if you know you play for five people in St Louis on a Tuesday somewhere like you know like just to kind of keep going because like you You hit you know you hit different places differently and that should exist you know you can you can play rad shows and just keep doing it so I wasn't exactly what I wanted to say but whatever you know what I mean.

Isaac Kuhlman 36:05
Yeah, so I have to ask you it's like so my wife is actually her parents are both from Mexico like she's fully Mexican you have Alaskan Martinez obviously is that your is it you know you guys have is your dad Hispanic your mom not or how does that work? Because I know that there's probably you know, there's not a lot of Hispanic heritage in punk music at all right? The ones that are like you know, you know them like El Hefe from NOFX you're like there's so few that like you can almost point them all out and be like well those are the No no, those are like the notable ones. But right is that kind of been like any has there been any like things that you have to break through or anything like that or do you get like more kind of love because you have that heritage or anything like that?

Tristan Martinez 36:48
Um, I think for the most part people don't really even think about it I don't think I don't know the the Mexican kids that I grew up with like in school would always call me like you know, it'd be called like white boy like during roll call. Yeah, or like or like they didn't know my last name is Martinez or something like oh what you say Who cares? Yeah, but you know they are our mom our mom is or our dad is Mexican. Our grandmother's from like Guadalajara area but yeah, no we don't really I mean it's Yeah, I think if anyone appreciates you know, someone like Mexican descent like being you know, in the scene or like doing well or whatever, like that's awesome. But yeah, I just I think I think it's about just yeah, I never really felt like my ethnicity or anything like says anything about who I am, you know what I mean? Like, we didn't like our family like was it like super like, you know, like Catholic or anything or like we were like doing like traditional like Mexican things or anything? I don't I'm not sure about you. But yeah,

Isaac Kuhlman 38:07
I mean, the reason why I asked is because my son is going to be one he is he's not going to be he is you know, half Mexican half basically German ethnicities and so you know, it's an interesting question to me because you know for sure you know, he's gonna grow up to learn Spanish and English because my wife speaks to him in Spanish and his my wife's family's speaks to in Spanish but you know, you know, you don't have to throw mariachi music in the music to make yourself you know, Mexican and a punk rocker right like you know, all this stuff to be obvious you can just do it and and it's good that like, you know, especially like in California, I think that you're gonna get much backlash there. But you know, like you said he played in St. Louis. If anybody didn't know that you were like, half Mexican. Maybe maybe. Yeah.

Tristan Martinez 38:53
Like, we were we were in Ohio and this guy asked me asked me what it's like to be in a band of color, but he's referring to me and I thought that was pretty funny. Yeah, but uh, but yeah, I mean the most Mexican thing about me is they grew up eating Pozole because my grandma spread sky like Yeah

Isaac Kuhlman 39:15
You don't like Pozole, you just don't have taste buds. Yeah,

Tristan Martinez 39:19
totally. But yeah, man it's for us it's like I'm such a combination of like so many things. I think we did like a ethnicity thing whatever you check on like, DNA thing? Yeah, like 25% Mexican like 24% Scottish Irish like we're just I'm just a bunch of things man. So yeah,

Isaac Kuhlman 39:39
I think the more people can become mutts the better the world's gonna be

Tristan Martinez 39:45
Yeah, just you know, just I don't know I don't think we dependent better there right. I don't I had something but I forgot it whatever. Sometimes I think that type of shit just like divides people. And that's like, you know, I think you should be proud and appreciate different cultures. And then everything like that but you know but it's it's sad to that we see so much like racism and shit still in Division and you know so i think the division of things is really the saddest part about people when somebody is not the saddest thing but you know what I mean it's like one of the Saturday things that'd be frustrating divide ourselves over like beliefs and skin color or this type of shit like yeah you know i mean

Isaac Kuhlman 40:27
Just listen to music and jam out

Tristan Martinez 40:30

yeah i mean i'm happy to be from you know from my family and everything and but I don't as far as being Mexican as far as being Irish or anything like it really I just want to be appreciated for being me and appreciate my family for who they are and that's awesome then appreciate others for the same thing.

Isaac Kuhlman 40:49
Yeah, so obviously you guys have shows coming up and you did mention an album so do you want to talk about any of the shows that you have coming up and obviously the album

Tristan Martinez 41:01
yeah we have sheesh I don't know when this is going to air is this right now is this live?

Isaac Kuhlman 41:07
it well this no this will be probably actually next week so it's not it's not too far So okay, like a fifth of October or something like that.

Tristan Martinez 41:17
Okay, well by this time we will have played we're doing a benefit for a venue in our hometown Santa Rosa on Saturday. Excuse me. And then we're doing we have we're doing like a Halloween party in San Diego we're doing like so Lagwagon in San Francisco November and then we have like three tours in the works already up to April next year so January March and April we'll be we'll be getting out there doing stuff

Isaac Kuhlman 41:54
all US based or

Tristan Martinez 41:56
2 are US based and one is UK in Europe if we can go over there.

Isaac Kuhlman 42:02
Nice. Yeah, that'd be awesome. Yeah, pretty stuff. Yeah. And then how's the album for you? Is it you know in the process of being finished gonna be released this year or

Tristan Martinez 42:14
no, it'll be released next year. At this point it's it's really just kind of tweaking things and just adding different things that we want to do to kind of like what I said I have a goal I have a goal with this record to have a distinctive like flow to it. And an idea as to how to make it flow so recorded in the studio and then I've kind of been just like working at home on it too. And yeah, just adding things I don't want to add in. Yeah,

Isaac Kuhlman 42:42
No mariachi music though.

Tristan Martinez 42:44
No Mariachi. There's some there's some surprises the stuff we haven't done before so like I know like you said to it's like there's maybe you didn't say this but I think it's implied that like every record kind of has like its own thing that's like progressing in some way. Yeah. So this one's no different it's got some fun stuff on it. So we're excited.

Isaac Kuhlman 43:06
Yeah, I mean, the music that you have had has evolved every single record and you know, I think that's the good thing about Bliss is it kind of pulled from both of the other two albums and had very distinct songs like Bloom and other songs that kind of even harken back to the vulnerability and and rawness of Decent Criminal. So I do like that. I mean, that's, that's why I like to go through the whole catalogue because it's like, you hear songs here that kind of sound similar to songs, you know, two albums later, you know, six years later, or whatever it is for sure. So it's been an awesome evolution and I definitely look forward to you know, the 2022 release of the new album which I'm going to go ahead and put it out there for the rest of all the other bands that you're gonna have to come really hard in 2022 because I'm probably gonna put decent criminal in for nomination for Best Album. Ah,

Tristan Martinez 43:58
well, I'm gonna make sure it gets to that point and hopefully, you know, I don't we're just gonna keep cracking out of it but uh, but it's it sounded really good so far and we're excited but I do appreciate you listening to the first record because I feel like to say it's raw and emotional is is rad because that's I think that was the time and that is you know, it is a very raw recording it was recorded and like we always say a shack. But it was recorded and then like a like a shed on the Prairie Sun property in cotati. And but yeah, so we just did it with our friend is like super like lo fi kind of just like whatever, but it's cool when it's appreciated. I feel like yeah,

Isaac Kuhlman 44:49
it's awesome. Cool. So we'll put some links to the music in the show notes below. Did you have anything that you want to kind of say to fans or, you know, anybody, you know, put it out there so that way people know Tell him anything that you know especially to the fans that haven't heard you yet before we know maybe maybe these guys have been talking long enough I'm gonna actually go check them out now

Tristan Martinez 45:13
I would say that you know if we had like a million of millions of people like you man I mean great million people that listen to our band by like you fucking awesome

Isaac Kuhlman 45:25
well i think it's coming it's just it's gonna take some time but putting yourself out there and appearing in places obviously gonna help

Tristan Martinez 45:32
well i mean i want to do anyways you know regardless of where it goes I'm grateful for it already and stoked and where it's heading and yeah, I hope that you love the new record hope that you fucking you know yeah, I appreciate it. I

Isaac Kuhlman 45:47
know I'll be like what did you do here you shit the bed man.

Tristan Martinez 45:49
No shit this shit sucks. We always the sound the sounds are rad. We're still telling them it's going to be different it's

Isaac Kuhlman 46:01
well I want to thank you Tristan for you know coming on the show today the awesome conversation. And guys if you have checked out their music, yet, it's never too late. Check out the show notes below this episode for links to their music. If you like what you heard on the show, make sure to subscribe to the podcast and share it with your friends on social media. You can also find us on YouTube and Instagram. And also if you want to check out some of our written content or any of the products or merge that we're that we have available. Go to to read our absolutely free rocking blog full of album reviews, interviews and lists to keep you entertained and find our gear as well so you can pick up some items to play and look like a rock legend. That's our show for today. We'll see See you soon for the next episode. Until then rock on. 

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