A Latinx Punk Band Provided Live Soundtrack to DTLA Protest From a Moving Truck

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Read more

Right now, all over the United States, demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality are occurring and are getting reported, without rest, on social media. It’s refreshing that amid the injustice and oppression, some things can still put a smile on our faces.

According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, on Friday May 29, protestors and onlookers from the buildings around Downtown’s Historic Core in Los Angeles were treated to a soundtrack of fast and furious riffs to uplift the message of the demonstrators. This was provided by a guitarist and a drummer playing in the back of a track as it drove around the area; it was a surreal, but fitting addition to the protests. Soon enough, videos of the band ripping punk riffs started circulating online.

Turns out there’s more to the story than a band saying “fuck it, let’s ride.” This Latinx band is Vandalize from Pico Rivera, California, a recently broken up outfit that specialized in hardcore punk and power violence. They had played on the local backyard circuit and released an EP in 2018. Guitarist Mario Rosas tells the Los Angeles Times how he talked to his former bandmates —drummer Jeorge and vocalist Josh Alexander, plus another friend riding shotgun— about joining the protests and soon hatched a quick plan to get a truck and a generator, and play their old tunes again to show solidarity to the cause.

Once they drove off, they encountered solidarity from the protestors. People in cars honked in approval as they screamed “Black lives matter” and “fuck the police.” At one point, a caravan followed them for a while and even an impromptu mosh pit formed around them while stopping at a red light. However, once police violence escalated, they had to return home.

While not together anymore, Vandalize’s self-titled EP is still up at Bandcamp where you can buy it for an amount of your choice. You should also donate to the various bail funds and organizations supporting protestors and causes in support of solidarity with the Black community.

In these times that call for resistance in every which way, Vandalize has proven, in their small way, that punk is as relevant as ever; as well as reaffirm to us that POC remain integral to the genre. After all these years, punk can still inspire the revolution.