With a mess of influences, Shiva Trash is rocking the Southland.
  • With a mess of influences, Shiva Trash is rocking the Southland.
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When the Sess split up in late 2008, members went on to form Beaters, Ale Mania, and most recently, Shiva Trash. Mark Rivera (guitar/vox) of the Sess joined his girlfriend Lisa Phelps (guitar/vox) of Xerox, Branden Parish (Casio keys) of the Atoms, and drummer J.J. Jimenez to form Shiva Trash. The group played their first show last November at the Tin Can Ale House and has since Trash’d Tower, Ken, Soda, Eleven, Ruby Room, Slab City Fun Fest, Vegas, TJ, and countless house parties. Many of the shows have been with ’77-style punk band the Last Years, with which they share a practice space in Mira Mesa.

“Most of us are bass players,” Phelps says over the blaring jukebox at Live Wire, “and now we’re in a band without a bass.”

With keys and guitars (one clean, one with Big Muff distortion) filling out the bottom end, Shiva Trash carries the garage-punk energy of the Sess and Atoms to a more psychedelic, shadowy place, which Jimenez calls “dark surf slash punk slash weird.” Think the Velvet Underground, Wharton Tiers, Thee Oh Sees, and early Stereolab. Lyrics tend to revolve around occult themes inspired by ideas from sources such as the film Holy Mountain and author Aleister Crowley.

“It’s imagery,” says Rivera, “and ideas like the union of opposites. It’s about throwing yourself in the coals and molding yourself into what you want.”

Jimenez shows me the recent illuminati stick-and-poke tattoo on his forearm, which mirrors the triangle and eye pin on Phelps’s jacket. The band has a repertoire of about seven songs, two of which have been recorded by Pandemonium Recorders and are available to stream on reverbnation.com. They hope to press a seven-inch platter later this year and possibly tour in late fall. Their next gig is June 19 at Dragon Rojo in Tijuana.

“J.J. and Branden were terrified the last time we went to TJ, like, they were going to be shot on sight,” Rivera laughs. “But, it’d be cool if more people went down there. It’s super relaxed.”

No passport? You can get Trash’d June 22 at Tower Bar. The show is a benefit for the renegade “Snatch” skate park in Mission Valley, which Jimenez has been helping construct.

You got a wicked-pissah new band? Let’s get them in the next installment of “Now You Know.” Just send the band’s interweb address to bmonk@sandiegoreader.com for a sniff test.

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