Celebrating Alex's Bar 10-Year Anniversary: A Q&A With Alex Himself
|We won't even tell you what we cropped out of this photo, but here's Alex Hernandez himself!|
OC Weekly: You said once that bars are recession proof--'whether they're working or not, people drink.' Now that you've weathered the closest America has come to a second Great Depression, do you still think that's true?
Alex Hernandez: Definitely--we're profiting off other people's misfortunes.
Is that written into your business model?
You know--if you don't have a job, you get bored as shit and get drunk at a bar in the afternoon.
|John Reis of the Night Marchers (Rocket From the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu).|
I'm happy that business has been increasing to this point. As far as touring bands, everybody knows where I'm at--they definitely know there's a place in long beach for them to play that actually promotes shows and pays bands fair wages and is basically a good place to play. When I started, the Foothill has just closed and Java Lanes was ready to shut down--I was pretty much the only game in town for a couple years then.
Who among the touring bands qualifies as an honorary regular? The Riverboat Gamblers seem like they should have their own barstools.
John Reis is one of my favorites of all time. [The Night Marchers] have been coming off other shows and rolling up here at nine without even a soundcheck because they know the room. There's always something every couple of months. Like, 'Ian Svenonious is coming in!' Or Hugh Cornwall, who I'm very excited about. It never ceases to amaze me who ends up playing--Joe Jack Talcum! Jack Oblivian is starting to do stuff again--he's got a new band and a new album. He's gonna probably tour out this way so I'm gonna be all over that!
|Psychedelic rock/country/cowpunk/hardcore punk/you choose outfit the Meat Puppets play to a packed crowd at Alex's Bar, Jan. 14, 2009.|
How are the new Alex's regulars different from the originals ten years ago?
I don't recognize as many as the faces. But we're definitely attracting a broader demographic. We're not just one specific genre anymore. [Booker] Jackie [Ojeda] definitely brought a broader taste to the bar. Country's doing well--it's all over the place.