Straight outta Yuma, A New Challenger Approaches goes all in on San Diego.
Touring bands and booking agents will tell you local opportunities are few compared to the thriving hard rock scenes in L.A., the Bay Area, or Texas.
But the five guys in A New Challenger Approaches gave up everything to rock in San Diego.
“Some of us quit school, others quit jobs,” says singer Jon Loera, whose metal/hardcore/punk band came straight out of Yuma. “We sold all our gear so we could afford to all move into a one bedroom apartment in O.B. Right after we moved here that blackout happened. That’s how we met all our neighbors who told us they didn’t mind if we practiced there. We did it for a year until we moved to a practice room.”
Except for the bass player who left to move back to Yuma to get married, the ANCA lineup has been the same for six years.
“There are bigger scenes in other cities but a lot of our favorite bands — As I Lay Dying, blink-182, Pierce the Veil — came out of San Diego.”
ANCA spent its first year in O.B. writing new songs and practicing. “We all got jobs and bought new, professional gear. We waited a year for our first show to do it right.”
That first gig, at Soma in December, 2012, was some 160 miles away from their longtime Yuma fans.
“We would go out and hustle, go to the malls, and find kids wherever we could. If they were wearing band shirts, we’d give them a flyer. We’d go to other shows. You hear that the Internet is 50 percent of the [promotion] game, but I think face-to-face is always the most effective. Some venues use pay-to-play. No one wants to be at those shows. All you get is bands playing for other bands.”
- Friday, January 2, 2015, 6:30 p.m.
3350 Sports Arena Boulevard,
ANCA released an EP, Dead Inside, produced by former Lambesis Studios engineer Daniel Castleman.
“A lot of people talk about having a plan B. This is our plan Everything. San Diego is near Orange County and L.A., but you don’t have to live where you play. We’ve played the Warped Tour and got to open for some big bands, but the competition here isn’t fierce and cutthroat. San Diego is more of a community.”