Meet Jackie Ojeda, Long Beach's busiest musical booster
As part of Fidotrust Records, a member of two bands (Knives of the Official Disappointment and Bella Novela), a rock & roll summer-camp counselor, and talent buyer for Alex's Bar, Jackie Ojeda takes multitasking to the next level.
What's Fidotrust Records?
It's Oscar Rey and myself. Oscar had the label going for about seven years to release music by bands he was in. Then it lay dormant. Last summer, Oscar and I were working at a rock & roll band camp, like a kids' summer camp. We were driving home from it, and we're both in bands, so we figured why not start our own label and use it as a vehicle to launch not only our own bands, but also some of the up-and-coming bands around Long Beach? We want to start off with a compilation and expose the cool things that are going on in Long Beach.
Is there a specific idea or vision for the label?
Both Oscar and I have toured all over the country, and there's something in Long Beach that isn't going on in other towns. I think a lot of that is because there's this camaraderie here that's not found in other places. Bands are really looking out for one another instead of just saying, "I want to get big. Screw everybody else." There's a real brotherhood here. That's what we've been trying to focus on with the label—to give this brotherhood a place to show off what it's doing. And Long Beach has some really strong local venues that people believe in. I think this is a true musician's playground. People are allowed to experiment and focus on being a musician as opposed to selling tickets to play the Key Club or that kind of thing.
What are the details on the compilation you're releasing?
It has 23 bands hand-picked by Oscar and me, really an eclectic mix. It's got everything from Los Mysteriosos, which is almost a rock en español band; Slippers, a funk band; Tijuana Knife Fight, a punk band. We weren't necessarily trying to find so much diversity, but that's what's here.
You're also doing something called Fidotrust Fest this month?
The release of the comp will be April 15. Following that, from April 17 to 20 will be four different shows. It's kind like an "F you" to Coachella. Coachella is the following weekend. You could go spend more than $100 to go and sit in the desert, or you could come to Long Beach and see some amazing music right up close for $5 a pop. It's something we're hoping to do once a year. I do a lot of talent buying at Alex's Bar, so I have my hand firmly in promotion and booking.
You're also in two bands, Knives of the Official Disappointment and Bella Novela.
Yes. They're pretty different. Knives of the Official Disappointment—three of us used to be in a band called Sexytime Explosion. Bella Novela, we were all actually in band camp last summer together. When the kids would go to bed, we'd jam together. I play keyboard and sing in both of them, but they're different kinds of music. Bella Novela, we say, is Journey meets Ennio Morricone. Knives of the Official Disappointment is more noise rock, more experimental.
And you also do talent buying at Alex's Bar?
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Alex [Hernandez] and I do all the booking there. It's nice to have someone to back you up and that other brain to bounce ideas off.
What was the rock & roll band camp?
It's called Power Chord Academy. You're working from 7:30 in the morning to 11 at night talking music. You live, eat, sleep music for a month. With our downtime, we'd be so amped up with the stuff we were telling the kids, we'd be like, "Why aren't we doing this for ourselves?" So as soon as we got home, we [said], "Let's go. Let's make it happen." It was inspiring.
Fidotrust Records' Trust Us: A Long Beach Comp drops April 15 and will be distributed at local independent-record stores. Fidotrust Fest happens at the Prospector, 2400 E. Seventh St., Long Beach, and at Alex's Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. April 17-20. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/fidotrustrecords and www.fidotrust.com.