Undergound Alliance are a really interesting group which plays hardcore. They lives in Los Angeles and there I thought it was only sunny punkbands ;-) Ö.september 2014
Please tell me a little bit history of the group?
-Underground Alliance was formed in August 2007 in East Los Angeles by ...(28 year old at the time)Tony Voltage Singer. After being in the punk rock scene since age 15 and seeing so many American and European punk bands perform, It was a dream to one day form and front a punk band and follow in the footsteps of so many bands. To give back to the scene and keep punk rock music alive in Los Angeles. For us to do this for our current moment in punk rock history.
Please tell me a little about every member in the group right now, age, family, work, interests about everyone?
-Alf Norris Lead Guitar and in the band since 2008, age 33 and has played in a few local punk bands..........Skinner is a drummer, in the band since almost the beginning, but is the 2nd drummer since 2007. He works at McDonalds and U.A is his first band. Ö........Ricardo just joined the band recently and is in his late 20s, he Plays guitar and has played in a couple local bands prior, He is a teacher Aide....................Miguel ďAsmerĒ is the bass player and is about 25. He joined the band in 2009 and has also played in a couple local bands prior....The past and present Guitarists have come up with the sound of the band......... I am Tony Voltage. Currently 35. U.A. Is my first and only band. Formed it around August 2007. I sing and write all of the lyrics for the band. I work in Hollywood for a hotel as a Waiter/food server part time..
The name Underground Alliance how did the name came up??
-Tony came up with Underground Alliance. In the belief that Punk rock was never meant for the mainstream and that it should always remain underground....for punk rockers, outcasts, and curious people to network and form like-minded community. So Tony came up with Underground Alliance Ė in hopes that we can help our current underground punk rock network and community alliance strive...the way the first and 2nd wave of punk bands did it back then.
Los Angeles should be sunny punk or?
-SUMMERTIME.... HATE IT. We are not huge fans of summer. It has been more and hotter than usual the past few years. Global warming? It is nice though to live in a city that does not get extremely cold... I guess we are just spoiled. Hate too hot and too cold! - but we are not sunny punks hehehe...just punks. It sucks to sweat when we rehearse in the house living area because it gets very hot and musky!
Whatīs the best thing with playing live?
-Playing live is an honor. We love to play every week if we can. We play a lot! A good slam dance pit as we perform gives us energy to give a great performance too! I hope we inspire fans to form their own bands as well. We play for the fans!
And where is best to play?
-There are no ďrealĒ punk rock venues in Los Angeles. There are a lot of clubs and bars where punk bands can play, but they are not the best.... and they never pay us to perform. They are business bars and clubs that donít care about the bands.... But we play anyway because that's what we live for. There are D.I.Y spots that pop up every now and then, but they never last a long time because the police shuts them down. When it comes to music in L.A....it only caters to the mainstream.........that does not include punk rock....Unless you are a band like Sham 69 or a touring band like UK Subs that have been around for 35 yrs....then of course you will get paid and a lot of people go.....but newer bands like us that are barely 10 yrs old....No one really cares about us. So we do things the way we can and try to get away with whatever shows we can, but without compensation. The illegal parties or warehouse shows are the best because more all ages punk kids come out and they are cheap.. and they are more raw and rowdy and there is better networking with the bands that play together. We help each other out.
How is it to play punk in USA?
-Itís great to be a punk rock band in the USA, especially in Los Angeles. We donít choose where we re born, so we have to make the most of where we live. As a punk rock band in L.A., we have many options and shows to play every week. Every band should feel proud to represent their own city.....and inspire the punk rockers in that city in order to grow and grow.....So for us to be An East Los Angeles Punk band is an honor. East Los Angeles is populated mainly by Mexicans/Mexican Americans/Latinos.....so for bands to come out of our area and to be doing this as long as we have is hard work. Most bands die after a year or two.....not us! Bands in our part of town get ignored more for being minorities...so we have to work harder to get noticed. As punks we are a minority and as Latinos we are a minority....so we are double fucked! But thatís ok.....Makes us stronger!
How would you describe your music in three words?
-Original, punk, hardcore
What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?
-Punk rock is a lifestyle. A way of life and a mindset. When you are a teenage punk one's brain and experiences are not fully developed so at times punk teens are wild.. Do drugs....fuck shit up..vandalize....hurt other people...fight....and think that mohawks, the more bands you know.....or what you wear make you a punk rocker....now that I (Tony)am older and have been a punk in my own way for years and years... I realize that's not the point.......but itís funny because many adult punks live with that mindset.....the way the teens do. I believe punk rock is the way you choose to live within your own punk ideals, your own punk morals, and your own punk rock community. To each punk....do it your way as long as you are happy!
How do you see on downloading, mp3 and that stuff?
-In 7 years of playing we have not earned much money( we have invested thousands lol).....or had any record labels offer us any contracts, so I donít care......FREE MUSIC FOR THE PEOPLE.....Who cares. We are all exploited in more ways than one.....so for people to exploit the major music and movie labels.....I say Yes. Long live Piracy! We will get our punk music out there one way or another.
How is it to live in USA now?
-Living in the USA is a blessing, because we could be in Syria, Africa or in any 3rd world nation suffering and dying of disease.....We have to make the most of what we have and take advantage of opportunity to make our personal lives better for the way we choose to live.
-I feel any form of government in the USA cant be trusted. The government lies and manipulates our minds.....The system only really works for the middle class and wealthy class. Politicians are there to serve those types of people and get wealthy in the process.
The news medias lie and distort facts......The only way to fight back is by protesting what we feel is wrong and rejecting those in power.....The police too... they take power into their own hands and murder innocent people. Trigger happy pigs.
Is there any good bands from USA?
-There are many good punk bands from Our current Punk rock era (that have been performing in past 8 yrs) Underground Alliance, Violent Affair, Agenda 21, Unstable Youth, Corrupted Youth, Abactive Ramex, Social Conflict, High Gain Fury, The Big Problem, Withdrawal Symptoms, Repeat Offenders, Angels of Mischief, Damaged, Rodents of Unusual Size....
What do you know about Sweden?
-We know that Swedish hardcore has been strong since the early 80s! One of the best sounds in the world!
Have you heard any good bands from Sweden?
-Yes! Mob 47, Anti Cimex, Moderat Likvidation, Disarm,Avskun, Totalitaar, Driller Killer, Skit System....A lot of great early 80s bands and some early 90s bands too
Your lyrics, who does them and what influences you?
-ME...Tony Voltage. I am influenced by current events, punk rock life...racism.....police brutality.....having good times with friends....poverty....Women Addiction...
Do you do any covers when you play live, which(if you do) ?
-The only one we ever did was Historia Triste by Spanish Band Eskorbuto..which is on the album......but we would rather play our own original songs than some other bands cover song.
Politics and music, does it goes hand in hand?
-Yes it goes hand in hand. You can relay your frustrations through music.....Music helps inspire movements and protest too.
Best political band/artist?
-That is Tough. Conflict would be a favorite ...They have always been organized and active in their passion for the things that they believe in. Organizing shows...involved in protests.....brave group!
Do you think that music(lyrics and so on) can change anyoneís life)I mean people who listens to music)?
-Music can change a persons life no doubt.....punk rock changed our lives....if it weren't for us being punks and being exposed to The Exploited and other such bands when we were 15-16....who knows what type of people we would be today...
Have you done anything more than We are..the underground alliance ?
-We have about 13 more songs we need to record....Our 2nd Album......we are just waiting to come up with recording money......but we perform the newer songs lately at our gigs....we play a lot of shows.
Is it important to release your records as ďrealĒ records??
-(TONY)I donít believe in records any more. I am sorry. Most new teens and people donít own record players. Records are only for people who choose to be record collectors...but the ordinary person either gets cds or go online to get MP3s......itís cool to put records out, but itís just another expense to add to a bands cost of getting music out there....itís a matter of choice I suppose. But I donít think so. A lot of punks at shows are broke anyway and donít buy anything. lol.
Please tell me a funny thing which have happened during your career and under some gig?
-We played in Lake Havasu, Nevada back in 2009. We drove up in one car. 5 guys and our equipment in the SUV all together. We got there the night before the show and had a secure place to sleep and party. Our drummer messed around with the wrong girl......so we got kicked out of that house and had to sleep in a church parking lot. The next day at the show, since that scene was so small, the punks new what had happened the night before with our drummer....so they started throwing things at us while we performed on stage. After we got off stage....they told us to leave ASAP...a bunch of guys surrounded us...and chase our drummer down the street. We managed to load all of our equipment into car...but they punched our guitar player and he dropped and left behind his guitar. We lost our drummer....and managed to drive away...We lost our bass drum as it fell off the car because we didnít reinforce it as we sped away. We got chased for a good 15 minutes in the dark streets of a strange neighborhood.....luckily a person calls us to meet up with our drummer at a gas station....so we pick him up and drive back to Los Angeles. Till this day I donít really know what happened...but I guess our drummer couldnít keep his dick in his pants!
How does your audience look like?
-Our audience is punk rock.....or regular looking music lovers.....studs, doc martens, leather jackets, band t shirts...jeans...vans..guys and gals....etc Age range from teen to 40 yr olds.
Which people do you miss on your concerts?
-Since Los Angeles is so huge and there are over 50 punk bands around the nearby cities.....the punks are divided and have so many options to go to whatever show they want on a Friday or Saturday night.....a lot of punks miss our shows because of that.....there are a lot of punk shows every weekend around the radius of los angeles....if an old school band like GBH plays....then that takes away a lot more punks....!
Your music is really angry sometimes, is that so do you think that people who is in band gets out their anger in the music and donīt go and fight in the streets etc??
-Our music sounds angry because we are pissed off. We do not think the world is pretty, perfect, and poppy bubble gum...There are a lot of incidents that occur in the streets that lead people to fight.....but we do not encourage that and our music does not encourage people to fight one another especially the punks.
Do you understand that reviewers always compare bands to other bands? Is that disturbing when you try to something own?
-No its not disturbing. We understand that our sounds come from the bands that inspired us to do what we do, however, we came up with original music and lyrics.....and in no way did we go out and attempt to copy any band in particular....if we get compared to another band thatís a compliment!!
Future plans for the band?
-Record 2nd Album, Start a legitimate tour in the U.S. Tour in Europe.....Play the many Punk Rock festivals around the world.....and to keep the band alive for a long long time....to be a global established punk rock band!
-For all of us ..To keep Punk rocking with Underground Alliance and making it grow larger and larger!
Wisdom of word?
-Punk is not dead. Punk rock only dies when you stop being a punk rocker and you no longer have passion for it in your heart.
Please help expose Underground Alliance to your beautiful country of SWEDEN! We shall visit one day!