Calixto Hernandez – Guitars/Vox, Jimmy James – Lead Guitars, Pete Lyman – Bass/Vocals, Mark Benquecha – Drums
Origin: Los Angeles, CA
Genre: Rock (Punk, Garage)
RIYL: Supersuckers, Rose Tattoo, The Damned
If The Los Angeles Times cherry picks your band from the punk rock maelstrom of their city and describes you in quote for as an “L.A. punk band which adheres to the brash, short and dirty side of the genre, and is known for its particularly incendiary live sets”, you have done something right. Barrio Tiger earned that statement the hard way through traversing the seediest dives and festival stages across the United States and into Mexico, and are on par for more accolodades with their debut album on Ghost Highway Recordings, Ave Maria ready to be unleashed amongst the faithful.
Rooted in garage punk, Ave Maria’s ten cut selection ranges from abrasive (“Pete’s Dragon”, “Special Purpose”, “Dying To Live”), soulful (“Fading”) and anthemic (“Let’s Play Dumb”). With first impressions being lasting, this record’s creation was carefully assembled and impressively produced with sessions recorded at the prestigious Rocket Carousel Studios by Ian McKlennan and mastering handled at Infrasonic Mastering by Barrio Tiger’s resident bassist and Grammy winning mastering engineer, Pete Lyman.
When The Hellacopters first toured the US, they played an unannounced gig along with The Supersuckers. A bar fight between both groups resulted in an emergency room visit for Dregen and Eddie Spaghetti, however the group knew as true professionals, the show must go on. Putting their differences aside as well as a few drinks down, Ron Heathmen donned second lead during The Hellacopters opening set and Nicke Anderrson plugged lead vocals and bass for the headlining Supersuckers. Unbeknownst to each group, Paul Westerberg was in the audience and was invited on stage to perform a number with each group during their close out, a hell of a show indeed and something that won’t happen again. The result was an ensuing label war that dragged on for three days, resulting in Sup Pop winning both groups and the rest is history.
That event never happened but if it did and those switches happened, it would sound something that Barrio Tiger closely resembles. Formed in 2009, the grand magus’s of this attack and Los Angeles rock stalwarts Calixto Hernandez and Jimmy James who’ve been long time friends and admirers of each other dating back to when Jimmy’s band The Hangmen would rehearse in Calixto’s garage. Starting a band together was imminent between the two and upon first rehearsal; both knew they had a working formula amongst themselves. Upon first plugging into an AC outlet in front of a live audience, Barrio Tiger’s rambunctious reputation grew throughout the city and eventually caught the ears of local imprint Couch Tour, who subsequently released their fiery debut E.P. Laugh Now, Cry Later. The quartet wasted no time and trekked across the national front from the Pacific coastline to the Southeast, playing to whomever and wherever they could within earshot. The bands that have had the privilege to make noise alongside them include: Red Fang, Fatso Jetson, Mike Watt & The Secondmen, Man Or Astroman?, Boots Electric and The Vibrators and local Los Angeles legends The Superbees along with many more. Alongside with establishing their decibel level against the prior names, their notoriety for their intense and brash live gigs has garnished attention from large local media outlets such as The Los Angeles Times (previously mentioned) and multiple LA Weekly spots along with securing themselves on festivals such as SXSW twice, The Las Vegas Shakedown, The San Diego Music Thing, Echo Park Rising and The Eagle Rock Music Festival.