By Alex Distefano
By Daniel Kohn
By Aimee Murillo
By Nick Schou
By Nate Jackson
By Nate Jackson
By Dave Lieberman
By Daniel Kohn
Fast Dragon breathe new fire into the local scene
Mike "Brown Dragon" Garcia of post-punk band Fast Dragon knows what bathrooms are for.
Do you want to go by Mike Garcia in print? Do you have a stage name or anything like that?
We're trying to use dragon names. We haven't solidified them yet. Use my real name, but Brown Dragon would be hilarious. Matt Guy, the other guitar player, is Math Dragon. Thad Paulson's was weird because he's usually angry, so I was going to call him Grumpy Dragon, but he likes BreakFast Dragon. I don't get that one. Josh [Teague] is Heavy Dragon.
You were in the Days End for years. What's the story of Fast Dragon?
Originally, it was a four-track project. With a four-track band, you can only go so far unless you're going to plug it in and play it somewhere. We started practicing, and it was like wildfire. In two or three weeks, we finished eight songs. It's been the most productive, fastest process I've ever been through. We just finished our recording—nine songs—which we did in one day. Even the guy who recorded us was like, "Dude, that just doesn't happen." We're not fucking around here. This is what we want to do, and we know how to do it. [laughs] The Days End was cool, but it was a heavy, emotional band. Plus, those guys have so much going on. Fast Dragon—these are dudes. Our primary concern is playing these songs well, and then getting a beer. It's not really complicated. We were all friends before, at least two or three years before we touched instruments. It was like hanging out with your buddies.
Did you have anything in mind for Fast Dragon coming out of the Days End?
It's faster. The Days End stopped doing stuff for whatever reason, and I'm sure it will happen again. We'll find one another. It's like going out with a different girlfriend. She's a different lady, and you've got to find out what she's like. It's going to be different no matter what. You take rock and soul in their purest forms, and it's so simple. It's not how many notes you're playing, but how you're playing them. I love that. Fast Dragon developed out of that.
Are you a "Long Beach band"? How's Long Beach for a band like yours?
Long Beach is weird. Way back when Sublime and all those bands were around and putting us on the map, it was a very "in it to win it" kind of town. There were a lot of bands, but nobody wanted to do shit with one another because they were like, "I'm trying to make it, bro. I'm trying to get signed." What? What are you talking about? You're from a port town. We were the younger kids coming up in that. "We'll go see your band play, but you're full of shit." Then we started playing and bringing in kids from the outskirts.
For lack of a better word, the scene has grown. There are definitely a lot of good bands in this town like the Bolides, Telomere Repair, the Bugeyed Sprites and the Soft Hands. These bands just started popping up in the past five years, and they're good. We don't like going to LA, for the most part. It's pretty unfriendly, and they have their own clique. It can get very douchey and contrived up there. I watched a dude do his hair for a fuckin' half-hour in the toilet. Dude, if you're doing anything in the toilet besides pissing or shitting, you should just be jerking off. Long Beach is a workingman's town. What's sad is a lot of us can't work here because the job market's so horrible. But there are some great clubs. We love Alex's Bar. We're going to play the Puka Bar, and that place looks rad. It looks like a fun place to be. It's in a shitty part of town, but what isn't around here?
Fast Dragon perform with the Bolides, the Bugeyed Sprites, Fifth Story Tenants and DJ Clamor at the Bull Bar, 3316 E. Seventh St., Long Beach, (562) 433-6282. Sat., 9 p.m. 21+. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/fastdragon.