SoCal Tennis Pros Get Grand Slammed at Band Practice

Categories: Locals Only

Becky Sheibe
Serving up devil horns like John McEnroe
Garage rockers SoCal Tennis Pros' band house--a quaint, midcentury home in the middle of a quiet street west of downtown Fullerton--is a punk-rock paradise. It's owned by front man Carlos Torres, and he has gutted the living room and filled it with drums, amps, guitars and a PA system. Outside the glass sliding doors is a surprisingly clean pool. The cinder-block wall that fences in the back yard displays a colorful array of graffiti, and on any given weekend, the patio hosts beer-and-barbecue parties for the Pros and their friends, many of whom are familiar faces on OC's DIY music scene. "Our practices consist of wax hits, booze, shit talking, occasional jumps in the pool, brainstorming and a shitload of laughing," Torres says.

A fun-but-productive unit, SoCal Tennis Pros have been tearing up the local scene this year with two EP releases and constant gigs on the dive-club/underground-venue circuit. They're gearing up to record a full-length, with Ikey Owens (of the Mars Volta fame) already enlisted as the producer. Torres expects a February 2014 release, and he couldn't be more stoked.

"We are going N.W.A on this bitch," Torres says in reference to how the band is tapping into West Coast inspiration for the new record. "I don't want to give away too many surprises, but I can say the caliber of musicianship in the songs will have everyone getting down and dirty."

Torres moved to Fullerton from Long Beach almost three years ago and immediately began forming the band, almost by coincidence. "I went to the neighbors' house to tell him that I play music and to not call the cops," Torres says. "Turns out he was a drummer from Texas who had just moved down here. We smoked a shit load of weed and jammed that day. That was it for us--we knew."

After drummer John Ericson, he found guitarist Riley Youngdahl (also in Chad and the Meatbodies) at an epic party at the house. "Riley blacked out at a party I had. I didn't know of him until the next day, when he hit us up--he had woken up [at his house] wearing a bunny mask," Torres recalls. "He came over and returned it to us. I was on 'shrooms, met him and started jamming with him." The band's sound is defined in part by Youngdahl's approach to guitar, with his angular riffing and chord inversions uncommonly used in garage rock (see: "Sour" from the Fault EP).

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