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The Mice embrace the weird

Twenty-year punk trio and their bar the Bancroft bring a new sound to East County

The Mice now bring old-school punk to its band-owned Bancroft bar in East County.
The Mice now bring old-school punk to its band-owned Bancroft bar in East County.

The three punk Mice have been playing for 21 years.

“We actually started two years before as Billy Club,” explains singer/bassist Travis Poe. “Our lead singer Matt went away to rehab and never came back. We started saying, ‘When Matt’s away the Mice will play.’ He never came back.”

Part of the reason the low-fi punk trio has lasted is that Poe and singer/guitarist Rob Logic have flexible day-jobs. “We’re both managers at a casino,” says Logic. Drummer Raul Campuzano is a stay-at-home dad who markets thrift-store treasures on the internet.

Video:

The Mice

...live at the Bancroft (2014)

...live at the Bancroft (2014)

Logic, who like Poe was a Granite Hills High grad, says he moved back to the La Mesa area from North Park ten years ago. “But there was nothing to do here. There weren’t a lot of bars you’d want to hang out at.”

So, three years ago he took over Fanny’s in Spring Valley and renamed it the Bancroft Bar. “When I took over, there were a lot of tweakers.” He says he used passive-aggressive mind games to get them to move along. “It was a slow process. Just having an owner onsite is a good way to get them out.”

Logic put in a stage and P.A. and started hosting the Mice and other local bands. Word spread and now he gets calls from touring bands who are happy to play his no-cover venue and get paid on a whatever-seems-fair basis.

“I’m very clear up front: if they want a [guaranteed] amount I can’t do it.” Band pay is based on how well the bar does.

On Friday, Hooka Hey from Texas appears with Wild Lips from Washington. “We’re still trying to get a local band for that one. The hardest part is finding locals who fit the music [of the visiting band] and who haven’t just played.”

Local punkers Scatterbombs, Horsefly, Twitching Fingers, and the Pope Version play the Bancroft on Saturday. Logic doesn’t say slam-dancing is prohibited. “If it gets a little wild there is security.”

It’s not all punk.

Place

Bancroft

9143 Campo Road, Spring Valley

“We had a girl with an acoustic guitar and a loop pedal. We’ve had performance art. There was this one guy who crawls in a cardboard box and busts out. Fruit is involved somehow. This one girl tied herself to a ladder and crawled around trying to get undone. We had a 16-piece marching band with three tubas from Rhode Island.”

Poe said the “East County rednecks” were leery of the Bancroft Bar culture clash.

“But as time progresses the locals have come to enjoy that they don’t know what they’re gonna get,” adds Logic. “They are starting to embrace weird things more.”

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The Mice now bring old-school punk to its band-owned Bancroft bar in East County.
The Mice now bring old-school punk to its band-owned Bancroft bar in East County.

The three punk Mice have been playing for 21 years.

“We actually started two years before as Billy Club,” explains singer/bassist Travis Poe. “Our lead singer Matt went away to rehab and never came back. We started saying, ‘When Matt’s away the Mice will play.’ He never came back.”

Part of the reason the low-fi punk trio has lasted is that Poe and singer/guitarist Rob Logic have flexible day-jobs. “We’re both managers at a casino,” says Logic. Drummer Raul Campuzano is a stay-at-home dad who markets thrift-store treasures on the internet.

Video:

The Mice

...live at the Bancroft (2014)

...live at the Bancroft (2014)

Logic, who like Poe was a Granite Hills High grad, says he moved back to the La Mesa area from North Park ten years ago. “But there was nothing to do here. There weren’t a lot of bars you’d want to hang out at.”

So, three years ago he took over Fanny’s in Spring Valley and renamed it the Bancroft Bar. “When I took over, there were a lot of tweakers.” He says he used passive-aggressive mind games to get them to move along. “It was a slow process. Just having an owner onsite is a good way to get them out.”

Logic put in a stage and P.A. and started hosting the Mice and other local bands. Word spread and now he gets calls from touring bands who are happy to play his no-cover venue and get paid on a whatever-seems-fair basis.

“I’m very clear up front: if they want a [guaranteed] amount I can’t do it.” Band pay is based on how well the bar does.

On Friday, Hooka Hey from Texas appears with Wild Lips from Washington. “We’re still trying to get a local band for that one. The hardest part is finding locals who fit the music [of the visiting band] and who haven’t just played.”

Local punkers Scatterbombs, Horsefly, Twitching Fingers, and the Pope Version play the Bancroft on Saturday. Logic doesn’t say slam-dancing is prohibited. “If it gets a little wild there is security.”

It’s not all punk.

Place

Bancroft

9143 Campo Road, Spring Valley

“We had a girl with an acoustic guitar and a loop pedal. We’ve had performance art. There was this one guy who crawls in a cardboard box and busts out. Fruit is involved somehow. This one girl tied herself to a ladder and crawled around trying to get undone. We had a 16-piece marching band with three tubas from Rhode Island.”

Poe said the “East County rednecks” were leery of the Bancroft Bar culture clash.

“But as time progresses the locals have come to enjoy that they don’t know what they’re gonna get,” adds Logic. “They are starting to embrace weird things more.”

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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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