"I...build a stage. It takes me all day to set up for a show and all day the next day to put it back the way it was."
By day Nicholas Lynch is a carpenter. On some nights, his Vista carpentry shop becomes an all-age venue for local and touring punk bands.
"We've had seven shows since August," said guitarist Lynch about Hellfire House. The sporadic club is named after his band Hellfire Trigger. "We've had no fighting. We've only had to kick out two kids who we caught drinking in the parking lot. There is absolutely no drinking. The bands aren't even allowed to drink."
Lynch said he has "no idea" about the legal capacity of Hellfire House. "The most we ever had was 200. We had room for another 150."
Lynch, who plays guitar, was co-founder of SAFE (Scene Against Financial Exploitation).
"We put on our own shows at coffee shops, record stores, and clothing stores."
And why is Hellfire House better than, say, Soma?
"The price. Plus it's way more personal. It doesn't have a high stage that's far away. Every time someone over 25 comes here, they all say the same thing: 'This is the way it used to be when I was a kid.' "
This month the Hellfire House hosts its first big names. "The Weirdos were L.A.'s first hardcore punk band," said Lynch. "Duane Peters was one of the most important skateboard figures of all time. In the early '80s, he was the first skater to circumnavigate a full pipe."
The Weirdos, Duane Peters' Gunfight, Movie Addiction, the Lowdowns, Angel City Outcasts, and Hellfire Trigger appear 7 p.m., February 26 at Hellfire House, 1338 North Melrose Avenue #B, Vista. Admission is $10, all ages. Agent Orange ($10) appears March 26. For more information, visit www.hellfiretrigger.com.