11 a.m., Oct. 17
Sound description: Combining sounds of rock, punk, ska, and even a bit of Americana, with hooks from the darker side of pop.
Inception: San Diego, 2012
Influences: Rise Against, Sublime, Volbeat, Misfits, the Arctic Monkeys, the Descendants
Horror-ska rockers Roman Watchdogs formed in 2012, quickly developing their Sublime-meets-the Descendants style with a lineup featuring Derek Scott (vocals, guitar), Jimmy Fleck (lead guitar, vocals), Josh Vasquez (bass), and Richard Mestaz (drums). Fleck was later replaced by Skylar Carlson.
By 2016, the band had became a trio featuring Scott and Mestaz backed by bassist Elias Saldaña. Even with four years of gigging experience, things didn't always go as planned. "The worst gig we had was probably heading up to Los Angeles for a show, showing up and realizing the venue didn't consider the styles of all the bands that they put on the bill," says Mestaz. "Not one band's sound complimented the other even slightly, so it was a really weird night that just didn't flow. Also, the connections between the mics kept going out and there wasn't a sound guy so our singer Derek just had to keep stopping to fix it."
Their album Death & Romance was released in early 2018, featuring a cover meant to resemble a leather-bound book, with a release party held at the Pour House in Oceanside on January 13.
- Death & Romance