Radios Silent figured it was easier to get two drum and bass rigs rather than transport them back and forth across the border.
Radios Silent, four straight-ahead rockers whose members reside in Point Loma, Tijuana, and Ensenada, embrace the idea that being a borderland band means twice the opportunities. A recent weekend saw them play Friday at the Black Box in Tijuana, the Tin Can in Bankers Hill on Saturday, and a downtown Tijuana food fest on Sunday.
“We started playing ten years ago in high school,” says singer/keyboard player Victor Santana, the lone member of the band who calls San Diego home. The four met at Lázaro Cárdenas High School in Tijuana.
“We started playing covers ranging from Dream Theater to Pearl Jam in Tijuana coffeehouses. It wasn’t until we won a battle of the bands at the Hard Rock [in Tijuana] in 2007 that we started getting better gigs.”
The bilingual band now has four music videos, a self-titled EP, and a full-length album, Borderless, and subsequently, the gigs have improved on both sides of the border.
“There was a time when tourism went down because of crime,” Santana tells the Reader. “The media hyped it way more than they should have. People are coming back down now.”
- Saturday, September 13, 2014, noon to 10 p.m.
980 Marina Way,
- Thursday, September 25, 2014, 8 p.m.
House of Blues,
1055 Fifth Avenue,
But crossing the border is not always easy.
“We rehearse each Tuesday in Tijuana,” Santana explains. “One month I had to go into secondary [inspection] three out of four times [crossing into U.S.]. They ask me if I can prove that it’s my equipment. I tell them ‘I have pictures of my band...here’s my CD.’ They sometimes get a kick out of it. They say, ‘Are you famous?’ I say, ‘No, I’m not famous, but we’re playing a show and you’re keeping me from playing it.’”
Santana says that to make things easier, his band now maintains a drum kit and a bass rig on each side of the border.
Radios Silent play Saturday at the South Bay Pride Festival in Chula Vista and on September 25 at the House of Blues’ Voodoo Room downtown.