It’s a three-day music camping festival for the entire family, featuring more than 100 bands, a carnival, three stages, skate ramps, tattoo artists, vendors and sideshow acts.
But on Sunday, at about 4:40 p.m., fans from all around Texas will get a rare glimpse at one of Beeville’s very own punk rock founding fathers.
Though the name may not sound familiar to most Beevillians, it’s one that has been plastered on flyers in venues across Texas, from Corpus Christi to Austin to Dallas.
“We try to play here as often as possible, but it’s hard to book shows in this town,” said Albert Salazar, one of the band’s singers and founding members. “It’s easier to book shows in Austin or Corpus, as opposed to our own hometown.”
Adan Gonzales, the band’s other founding member and singer, said, “When you’re the only one playing this type of music, it makes it that much harder.
“That’s one reason we play in this town instead of not at all; because there might be that one kid who’ll look up while texting and notice we’re not playing the same music as everyone else.”
Forming the band
Obliterates was formed from the remnants of another heralded local punk band, Feeling Zero. So, members Gonzales and Salazar were familiar with the stresses of touring and small town life.
Salazar said, “We were only 17, and we lied about where we were at and borrowed our drummer’s mom’s van and booked shows all across Texas.
“It was fun — the usual van breaking down — us going hungry. That was an experience and a half.”
“A lot of those shows weren’t very lively, because we didn’t really know what we were doing, but this time should go a lot better,” said Gonzales. “We’re playing with much better bands this time. Playing a bigger, better show.”
Surge of bands
When the founding members were younger, a surge of bands were coming forth, inspiring them and others to try and play music that wasn’t locally listened to or very much cared for.
So, in this flux of local bands rushing forth, a glimmer of hope emerged for the youths.
“We were going to local shows, because there was a lot of cool bands coming out of the area — Full Scale Riot, The Bradys, Henry the VIIIs and Los Calzoncillos, among other bands in the late ’90s,” Salazar said.
“We went to a show at The Texas Grand, and we thought it was the coolest thing ever.
“A fight broke out; someone got hit in the head with a beer bottle; chairs were thrown around everywhere.
“Ever since then, we were like, ‘I want to do this.’”
But with a mostly marginalized music scene in Beeville, bowing mostly to the Tejano/Country crowd, venues aren’t likely to book a band with such a raucous sound and jolting live show.
Gonzales said, “We have it harder than any other band in Beeville.
“If we want to have a show in this town, there’s only one place where they’ll even look at us, much less let us play a show there.
“Plus, it’s hard to get a P.A. system, because anyone that rents them is used to getting about $500 a show for Ruben and the Jets or whatever Tejano band is coming into town that weekend.”
Trudging through the muck
But with his thoughts on the local music scene, the question surely comes to mind as to why the Obliterates, which have been around since 2007, and still trudging through the muck, are so determined to make a ripple on what seems to be still water.
“The reason we chose to play in a punk band really was because no one else was doing it after a while,” Gonzales said. “And we figured someone should.
“The appeal was that it was something not everyone was doing.
“There was a handful of local punk bands that influenced us back in the day, like Henry the VIIIs, Brisket and the Dead Beat Drags. By the time we got into them, they were already basically not around anymore.
“I figured we had to carry the torch.”
So, as their van rolls out of town on U.S. Highway 181 and into the not so distant punk rock horizon, one is left with these words by Gonzales.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you’re reading this, go and start a band,” he said
For more information about the band Obliterates go to www.reverbnation.com/Obliterates, and for festival and band line-up info check out www.facebook.com/pages/Punx-Picnic-ATX.
Paul Gonzales is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550.