Chico punks cut wide swath for live compilation
On a blustery evening I ventured to the front portico of a downtown rock club to learn about a concert series being produced by local punks. Greeted, I gave my name and was quickly swept up into the world of the West Coast Warriors concert series and CD compilation.
Organizer Ray Dehated explains the premise of the concert series as being about the international community of punks: “This is going to be a series that highlights the best bands, on an international level, that we’ve ever encountered. The West Coast Warriors isn’t about a particular [touring] circuit. It is just about a section of the macro punk scene and who comes through it.”
Produced by the Manifest Destiny D.I.Y. Press and organized in part by Dehated, the West Coast Warriors compilation is described as a celebration of the larger punk culture in a series of 12 concerts performed in a local studio and captured with film and recording equipment. The results will be pressed to a CD and passed throughout the world of punkdom via word of mouth and at live performances.
Dehated describes this in terms wholly unlike one’s expectation. More than a series of rock concerts, the series is representative of a way of living, he says. “It is just really about people who have internal strength and integrity to unite all these independent little scenes under the umbrella of the macro scene and say, ‘Look, you’re not alone in your frustrations of the status of society.’ And it is people who have really committed themselves to a rejection of materialism and a rejection of the status quo that emphasizes competition.”
The bands included on the compilation have been playing their music for years and have logged thousands of hours touring in their vans across towns, states, even nations. “It is packed with a lot of personal investment,” Dehated says, “not my personal investment alone, but a collective or coalescing effort that has been occurring since the late-'70s.”
Dehated suggests that this sort of activity, touring to reach one another, is integral to the maintenance of punk culture. The bands are committed to being “…basically the blood of the body of punk culture and to keeping that circulation going throughout the body.”
And, he adds, since punks can be found internationally and are unified in their commitment, why not make a compilation that acknowledges that international group?
“It is really easy to get sucked into your particular scene. The West Coast Warriors is trying to get those who are active in the punk culture in a very regional sense to understand that it is really just part of something much, much larger.” Those in attendance at the concert series can expect to hear bands such as the Parisian Sens Interdit, the Helsinki band Hero Dishonest, various touring American punk bands and, of course, a handful of Chico bands.
The setting of these events is the Black Lodge, a Chico recording studio (see Backbeat, page 22, for more about this studio). Although this is ideal because it provides the opportunity to record the music, the size of the venue does limit the available seating. And though it is in a recording studio, Dehated assures that those attending the event will witness a concert, not a recording session. “It is in a recording studio, but the bands have to be good enough to bust it out live. And we document with photography and sound.”
Once the series is complete, the CD will be produced along with a booklet that will provide an overview of the event. In the true punk spirit, everyone involved will appear in the booklet, even the crowd. "It will help commemorate Chico area punks’ acknowledgement of a greater scene than just Chico or Northern California," Dehated says.