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Slayed by Slashes

Borderland goth-rock band slashing its way into San Diego music scene

The Slashes’ Esteban Rene: “San Diego seems to be going through an Americana thing. It’s definitely been a challenge to get gigs.”
The Slashes’ Esteban Rene: “San Diego seems to be going through an Americana thing. It’s definitely been a challenge to get gigs.”

Esteban Rene admits this Saturday’s venue of choice isn’t the usual place for a live rock show. La Bodega is located in a converted church in Barrio Logan.

“They don’t have a real setup for bands to play,” says Rene, singer/guitarist/songwriter for the Slashes. “You just kind of set up and play in the middle of the room.”

But Rene says La Bodega art gallery has a better vibe than the regular spots.

Video:

"She Crashed"

Official video from the Slashes self-titled record

Official video from the Slashes self-titled record

“We really wanted to break away from the bar scene,” Rene tells me. “Our band is better suited for people who actually want to see live music, instead of people just standing around posing. La Bodega doesn’t usually have live bands. They took a chance on us in August and we slayed it. So they invited us back for their second anniversary.”

Rene says his sound, driven by gloomy, emotive lyrics and the icy atmospherics of Interpol, hasn’t helped the Slashes make a local connection.

“It’s been difficult,” admits Rene. He says except for love from the Casbah and 91X’s local music DJ Tim Pyles, “San Diego seems to be going through an Americana thing. It’s definitely been a challenge to get gigs.”

But there have been bright spots. Like the show they played with Prayers at jazz spot 98 Bottles in Little Italy (“It was the first rock show they ever had there”), and various shows in Tijuana and Calexico. He says there is some truth to the stereotype that Latino pop-music fans respond to dramatic, emotive music better than their Yankee counterparts.

“Modern music currently doesn’t seem to hit a lot of highs or lows emotionally.”

Slashes bassist Beto Bautista grew up in Tijuana listening to banda, mariachi, and rock. Rene attended boarding school in Ensenada. “My parents wanted me to learn proper Spanish.”

Rene met Bautista while working for Hornblower Cruises.

“I started as a bartender, then became a deckhand, then first officer, then I got my captain’s license.” Rene commandeers party cruises and private charters. “My crew takes care of the guests. I don’t have much interaction. There is literally no traffic in the water at night. I get to spend those three or four hours writing new music. That’s a lot of time to be creative.”

Rene says new drummer Marco Piro (formerly of Octagrape and Wild Wild Wets) is “the animal in the band. He wants to bite heads off of bats. I just try and keep it all together.”

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The Slashes appear January 16 at La Bodega art gallery in Barrio Logan.

Jan. 13, 2016

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The Slashes’ Esteban Rene: “San Diego seems to be going through an Americana thing. It’s definitely been a challenge to get gigs.”
The Slashes’ Esteban Rene: “San Diego seems to be going through an Americana thing. It’s definitely been a challenge to get gigs.”

Esteban Rene admits this Saturday’s venue of choice isn’t the usual place for a live rock show. La Bodega is located in a converted church in Barrio Logan.

“They don’t have a real setup for bands to play,” says Rene, singer/guitarist/songwriter for the Slashes. “You just kind of set up and play in the middle of the room.”

But Rene says La Bodega art gallery has a better vibe than the regular spots.

Video:

"She Crashed"

Official video from the Slashes self-titled record

Official video from the Slashes self-titled record

“We really wanted to break away from the bar scene,” Rene tells me. “Our band is better suited for people who actually want to see live music, instead of people just standing around posing. La Bodega doesn’t usually have live bands. They took a chance on us in August and we slayed it. So they invited us back for their second anniversary.”

Rene says his sound, driven by gloomy, emotive lyrics and the icy atmospherics of Interpol, hasn’t helped the Slashes make a local connection.

“It’s been difficult,” admits Rene. He says except for love from the Casbah and 91X’s local music DJ Tim Pyles, “San Diego seems to be going through an Americana thing. It’s definitely been a challenge to get gigs.”

But there have been bright spots. Like the show they played with Prayers at jazz spot 98 Bottles in Little Italy (“It was the first rock show they ever had there”), and various shows in Tijuana and Calexico. He says there is some truth to the stereotype that Latino pop-music fans respond to dramatic, emotive music better than their Yankee counterparts.

“Modern music currently doesn’t seem to hit a lot of highs or lows emotionally.”

Slashes bassist Beto Bautista grew up in Tijuana listening to banda, mariachi, and rock. Rene attended boarding school in Ensenada. “My parents wanted me to learn proper Spanish.”

Rene met Bautista while working for Hornblower Cruises.

“I started as a bartender, then became a deckhand, then first officer, then I got my captain’s license.” Rene commandeers party cruises and private charters. “My crew takes care of the guests. I don’t have much interaction. There is literally no traffic in the water at night. I get to spend those three or four hours writing new music. That’s a lot of time to be creative.”

Rene says new drummer Marco Piro (formerly of Octagrape and Wild Wild Wets) is “the animal in the band. He wants to bite heads off of bats. I just try and keep it all together.”

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The Slashes appear January 16 at La Bodega art gallery in Barrio Logan.

Jan. 13, 2016

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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