Rotting Out Deliver South Bay Straightedge Fury to the Rest of the Country
Growing up in the slums of San Pedro, Walter Delgado developed aggressive instincts that helped him to survive. Between pummeling breakdowns and shrieking freak-outs onstage, the musclebound front man for Rotting Out jumps around as though he's a crazed, sweaty animal. As with their forebearers such as Suicidal Tendencies, Rotting Out purge their knowledge of the roughest Southern Californian streets onto every audience.
Courtesy Rotting Out
As one of the pillars in the current hardcore scene, Rotting Out continue earning respect for their DIY roots. "Everyone's trying to mooch and make a dollar off somebody else. The [fewer] people involved, the prouder you feel about doing everything yourself," Delgado says. "Anyone can record a demo on their computer and can upload that on Bandcamp and have 1,000 people hear it by the end of the night. You can call a pressing company and put out your own vinyl."
Coming of age on the outskirts of LA in the South Bay shaped Delgado's outlook from an early age. "There's one way in and one way out [of my hometown]," he says. "Everyone in the town is super-'locals only'; you can always tell who's an outsider."
In high school, Delgado struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction before getting turned on to straightedge culture by listening to Orange County hardcore band Throwdown.
"[Straightedge] was just the kind of motivation I needed" to get clean, he says. The band's music even lured him into his first hardcore show at the now-defunct Showcase Theatre in Corona. "When the Showcase Theatre got shut down, a lot of people lost hope [in the local scene]," Delgado says. "But people started opening up other venues and letting hardcore acts play."