Talk Music: Stout City Luchadores will play Downtown Bar and Grill

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Jan. 15, 2014 at 3 p.m.
Updated Jan. 14, 2014 at 7:15 p.m.

Stout City Luchadores with Fantastico, Funeral Horse and The Swamps will perform 10 p.m. Friday at Downtown Bar and Grill in Victoria.

Stout City Luchadores with Fantastico, Funeral Horse and The Swamps will perform 10 p.m. Friday at Downtown Bar and Grill in Victoria.

With wrestling masks and a hero's attitude, Tim Lara and Stout City Luchadores are building up the Crossroads' punk scene.

Lara, who goes by Tim Danger, caught up with Get Out to talk about a once-in-a-lifetime recording experience, starting a record label and the progression of punk.

What role do you see the band playing in Victoria's music scene?

It's really weird how the band has changed since 2005. When we first started, we had a cleaner sound - almost radio-friendly and melodic punk. Now, it's more gritty. I like it. Even our last album had things about what we saw going on in the music world.

I don't know as far as where we belong here. I know that we're not going away, and we've been here. We have a very dedicated group of people that come out to see us play. The cool thing is every six months, there's new people out.

With a lot of bands over the years, I've seen them play, and sometimes, their crowd grows up or dies out. I think this band has been really lucky because as the years have progressed, people leave the "scene," but there's always new people at the show.

The thing I like about Victoria is we're all in it together. Your genre doesn't really matter anymore. We can play with metal bands and funk bands.

We'll throw all-punk shows, but sometimes, being cool with your local neighbors is good.

We're really good friends with Vincent's Betrayal, Folly Collage and Poor Favor. It's not like it's a war with other people; we're all in it together. We go to each other's shows and have a good time.

And the wrestling masks?

There's this really drawn-out story how I grew up watching wresting and was in love with Luchadores.

In the '80s, there was always the good guy and the bad guy. I always wanted the band to look like the good guys. Luchadores are hometown heroes. That's what I wanted for the band.

With what you said earlier, that's one of the things I love about Victoria. There are so many people supporting each other.

There's always this elitist attitude with people who are here but don't want to be here. They hate where they're from and think nothing cool can come from here. They don't even give it a shot.

You wake up every day with a choice. You decide where you want to work, who you want to wake up with every morning. You decide what you want to do on a Friday night. ...

We've thrown some crazy fun shows. Touring bands from Houston, Austin, San Antonio - our town is getting known as a stop.

It's a testament to what we're doing here and the success we're having with these shows. Sometimes, it's just as much fun for a band as it is the concertgoer.

The shows we've been having lately with the crowds have made bands want to not just play here but come back.

What's your dream with the band?

I think everyone would like a tour bus at some time, but we'd be happy with a van that runs. The goal now is to just play and be happy and inspire other people to do what they want to do with it.

I'm 37 now, so that's pretty old in musician years without being famous. Whatever chances or windows I had are probably closed; the goal now is just to play.

I have a lot of friends that in the past five years have passed away. We record everything we can, and we make every show as fun as we can because one day I won't be able to do it.

Someday, the arthritis in my hand will get so bad I won't be able to play an instrument anymore. The goal is to keep playing and leave a legacy behind, and hopefully, other people will continue to carry it on.

I've been playing since 1994, and I'm not finished yet. Now, there's younger kids coming in, and that's good because we won't be able to do it forever.

I started the band in 2005 with a different lineup. The goal then was to have CDs sold in stores and be on the Warped Tour.

Now, our goal is to make as many friends as we can, have a really cool photo album to show people and really cool fliers on the wall.

Is it fair to say the band has launched a war against the hordes of cover bands around here?

I think you could say that. It's not to say that we've not been guilty of doing covers ourselves. There's definitely a chasm between the bands that we play with and the other bands in town. It's an actual business for them. It's just that we play because we have to.

I think there's a big difference between someone who does it for money and someone who does it for love. There's something really cool about not having any commercial expectation and having that freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want.

Tell me about your experience recording with Never Records during the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival.

First off, Ted Riederer, the guy from Never Records, is a musician. He played in a band called Thumper, which I was a huge fan of in the 1990s. That by itself, getting to meet him, was cool by itself.

To have these guys come from New York and all around the world - and they've done so many cool things, and their documentary is so cool - to have them come here was a treat.

When he came to town, for about two or three days we got to get to know him. By the time we recorded with him, it was really cool. I had never recorded a one-take live thing like that, that quickly and off the cuff.

It's still one of our favorite recordings. We haven't put it out in too many places, and we haven't put it for sale. We'll probably just leave it as a bonus track.

Now you guys are starting your own label? How did that come up, and was it inspired by Ted Riederer?

The label is modeled after two different movements, the Antagonist Movement from New York, which Never Records is part of.

They publish writers and artists, collaborate, and they build each other up.

The other people we are modeling ourselves after is a record label out of Bryan, Texas, called Sinkhole Records. They put out the Luchadores' EP the year before last, Sept. 6, 2012.

Those guys had a really cool idea when they put out records; they put these bands on their label, that way they can archive their music scene.

When they put the CDs out, they have the band come and play a show for free for them, but as payment, they'll give the bands like 100 CDs to do whatever they want.

We were so impressed with the idea because this is such a DIY project, we decided to collaborate here.

We've been trying to make this collective of bands and artists - we helped put out a poetry book; we help people throw shows or help with bands and sound people.

We help these local bands, hook them up with a sound guy or recording guy; we help put out their CDs; we scored a screen-printing press so we can press our own stuff; we can help make merch, buttons and stickers. We'll put their stuff out in exchange for them playing a show for us.

It's grassroots. We're really lucky because in this day and age, digital music is king. We just want to make merch for them, and bands can have the rights to that.

Wow! You're like the generous grandfather or maybe crazy uncle of the music scene here. Anything else on your mind we should talk about?

We started a new band, TSS. That's made things a little bit harder with booking, but the three people I play with, the woman of my life and the other guys are work horses.

As far as the show coming up, that's going to be pretty cool. We have The Swamps and Funeral Horse; they're both from the Houston area. They've had really good shows here. One is a garage punk rock, and the other is southern style, down-tuned rock and roll.

We're going to have an all-girls show in April. In March, we'll do a punk versus metal show. It's a bit of a rivalry, but it's just fun, and everyone comes out and has a blast.



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