Sometimes so laid back I could literally lay back on The Venue Couch (you know, that couch that’s in every venue… Even if you don’t see a couch anywhere, it’s there somewhere), and sometimes so energetic that even the sound guy is jumping up and down in the booth, a T.Rexico show never disappoints. Catch them at a house show or the Che and you’ll see Thomas rocking those summery surf rock guitar progressions we all love, Bryce bringing major Buttertones vibes on bass, and Tristin on drums laying down beachy beats straight out of the 60s. When we got to talk to them at this particular show, we got to hear Kiara on organ too, which added a whole new element to their sound that we totally dig. Stay tuned for deets on their Spacy Dinosaur Rock sound, some notes on the scene, and how this local San Diego band came to be.
These guys met in middle school, and like many SoCal friendships spark (mine included), they bonded over surf rock bands like Weezer and Wavves. They also cite Girls and The Beach Boys as major influences of their newer sound. “We’re very inspired by 60s groups, mainly Brian Wilson and the production of the California sound,” Bryce told us, which can’t be hard to believe when you hear those classic sunny riffs that just make you feel like you’re cruising Sunset Cliffs in your friend’s baby blue VW bus.
Now… the name. “We had a different name before, the Coatis,” Tristin explained (thats ko-ah-tees), “We decided that it wasn’t reflective of our newer sound, and no one could pronounce it.” After throwing out other pending names like The Robo-Saurs, they felt T.Rexico was more representative of their self-proclaimed Spacy Dinosaur Rock genre, which we definitely don’t disagree with.
We also asked them to ponder how music has changed them as individuals, and it’s fair to say that we can all agree on one thing that will stand until the end of time: music brings people together, man. More specifically…
Kiara: Shit, I mean, we got a lot closer. Like, I feel like if you guys weren’t in the band we wouldn’t be as close and I’ve met a lot of people from just watching your guys’ shows and then, like, now playing them, yeah.
Thomas: It’s helped me as a person to be more social, I guess, I wasn’t outgoing. I’m still not outgoing but… life is interesting.
Bryce: For me, I feel like playing in a band has given me definition, like, to myself. Like, now I think of myself as a musician.
Tristin: Music, as Thomas said, has brought me a lot of friends. Back in elementary school I did not have a lot of friends, I wasn’t really a social person but going to shows has sort of helped me break that and become more social. And also, music has taught me to be more responsible with stuff. Because I’m still in high school, I have to juggle school and music as well, so, yeah.
Apart from the social scene, these guys described local music as “aggressive guitar and lots of cymbals.” This made us laugh; it’s true and it’s what we love about a lot of the bands in this scene, including T.Rexico. When we asked what sets them apart from those other bands, it sparked a discussion on inclusion in the scene. “That’s one thing that’s kind of irritating, ‘cause music is supposed to be inclusive to everybody, no matter what race or gender you are. I feel like the more popular bands are lacking that variety. And being the only Asian group out there that we know of playing American music… I think that’s what makes us different.”
Music should definitely be the one thing that isn’t exclusive in the petty world we find ourselves living in. That’s one refreshing aspect of this band, but it makes me want more… more girls on the stage, more people of color, more diversity, more equality, more love, more beauty all around the scene.
On one last note, T.Rexico wants to let you know that they’ll be taking a break from playing shows to put their focus on their next album. The strict showgoer in me is so looking forward to new spacy beats to dance to. But in even more exciting news, in case you missed October’s interview with Fake Tides, the two legendary locals are working on a split to be released in the near future. Get your ears ready for some aggressive guitar, lots of cymbals, and lots of bliss.
Be sure to stay on the lookout for their upcoming tracks and check out current jams on their BandCamp. We were stoked to chat with these guys, big thanks to Thomas, Bryce, Tristin and Kiara. Stay spacy.