As they wait for the all-clear to record their second album, East L.A. quartet The Tracks have been expanding their horizons and soaking up (some very relevant) wisdom during the COVID-19 lockdown. They share some of it in today’s edition of the Buzz Bands LA series QUARANTUNES, along with a playlist well-grounded songwriting luminaries.
THE LATEST FROM THE TRACKS
The Tracks — Venancio Bermudez, Jimmy Conde, Johnny Santana and Felipe Contreras — came rumbling out of East L.A. in 2016, sounding as if they’d been force-fed a steady diet of Strokes-y garage-rock since birth. Of course, that isn’t true, but the quartet of first-generation Americans have carved out a distinct niche with their sharp guitar anthems informed by their hardscrabble upbringing. Their debut album “Treasured Memories” came out in 2018, and they can’t wait to record their second. Meanwhile, the Tracks recently debuted their TracksTV channel on IGTV. It has archival bits of footage and images from bands they used to play in and ones that inspired them. Updated every Wednesday and Friday, its “aim is to share the story of our humble beginning, as well as the stories of fellow musicians and artists that have helped us get to where we are now,” the quartet says. So as we are in the strangest of “Strange Moments,” Buzz Bands LA checks in with the quartet:
HOW ARE YOU HOLDING UP AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MANAGE THE ‘STAY AT HOME’ EDICT?
Venancio Bermudez: I’d like to start off by sharing a piece of a personal email that writer Luis J. Rodriguez sent me: “There is no word for ‘art’ in most indigenous languages. Why? Because art is in everything, everywhere, the very nature of human beings and a living earth. In time of crisis, the next move is not order, but creativity. It’s time to be in the often-messy place where we contemplate what’s possible, about where the uncertainties and pains are taking us, and how we can activate the most abundant power within everyone: the imagination.”
If it weren’t for my imagination, or my ability to create music, I’d probably jump off the 4th Street bridge. Luckily, that’s not the case. I’ve been managing keeping sane doing my best learning new musical methods as well as for picking up other hobbies like growing weed, fixing saxophones, sewing, working on newer cars, brewing Kombucha beer, “Animal Crossings Pocket Camp” (ID: 82224393550), gluing guitars back together and learning how to shoot a bow and arrow in my back yard.
Jimmy Conde: Sleeping, Skating, Drumming, Drinking, Chilling, Grilling, Cleaning, Exercising, Eating, Zooming, Gaming, Biking, Nothing.
Johnny Santana: School, HW, Guitar, Piano, Cooking, Sleeping, Jamming, Chilling.
Felipe Contreras: Been watching my DVDs (concerts/bands), learning my favorite Kinks songs on acoustic guitar, perfecting my bass lines for the next Tracks album, organizing so many of my videos and pictures on my old Toshiba laptop, spinning records (“The Fisherman’s Wife”), studying, cleaning/organizing, cooking, enjoying power naps, wishing for a brighter future.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO WHEN THIS IS OVER?
The Tracks: Getting into the studio to record our second album.
ANYTHING WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PLAYLIST?
The Tracks: Songs we’ve been listening to.