Club Fallout, a burgeoning local industrial night, is one of four uniquely subversive underground club nights that Oxnard-based promoter/producer/DJ Jacob Gonzales organizes in Ventura County. The 29-year-old pied piper of underground sound throws a variety of events with live touring and local bands, DJs and full thematic décor at unexpected venues such as El Miramar Nightclub Dining and Dancing in Oxnard.
“I do these clubs once a month and rotate them out,” Gonzales explains. “That way I keep it fresh.”
The four club nights under the Club Fallout umbrella are the original Fallout, which is mostly industrial music (an experimental, often electronic subgenre), hip-hop and trap night Ghetto Blaster, death-rock and goth night Coven, and Tribes, for which Gonzales brings in performers like belly dancers and fire spinners, who groove to the sonic strains of witch house, a subgenre characterized by unsettling, chopped-and-screwed technique and occult-heavy imagery.
Along with El Miramar, Gonzales has thrown events at Bombay and Golden China in Ventura. For each of the nights, he has a different co-conspirator deep in the respective scenes to help coordinate.
While clubs like those under the Fallout umbrella may be more common in Los Angeles and San Francisco, they’re relatively unique in Ventura County. Gonzales notes, however, that people do come up from Los Angeles and down from Santa Barbara for his events because of their unique lineups.
Finding local venues willing to take a chance on them can be difficult, says Gonzales, noting that these types of events can’t happen in backyards the way Nardcore (Oxnard-born punk) shows started. Gonzales grew up listening to hip-hop but also attended those backyard punk shows starting in high school. He began listening to industrial music around the same time and later started making his own. He now DJs under the name DJ Necro_Mechanical and is half of the duo Artifact Corruption with his friend Ken May, in which they “play with grinders and oil drums.”
There are other challenges besides location: “When it comes to underground music in this area, it’s hit or miss. I’ve wanted to give up a long time ago because I put so much effort in it. I design my own fliers, I go out into the streets, it’s all DIY — and then sometimes there are only a few people. But then the next show it’s wall-to-wall packed, and that’s my motivation to keep going.”
That said, he isn’t doing it all alone. He’s got the co-conspirators plus a tight-knit crew that supports him, as he supports their events, he says.
“We want to keep underground music going in the 805 and create a music scene we can call our own,” he adds. “Even though it’s dark, heavy music, the message is full of love. We take care of each other.”
Gonzales’ next event will be his biggest to date: internationally recognized experimental musician Author & Punisher will play Fallout on Friday, March 31, at El Miramar, alongside six other acts, including Gonzales’ Artifact Corruption. The show will include industrial, punk, hardcore, doom metal and death metal bands with DJ Seppuku from Santa Barbara spinning in between.
Author & Punisher’s Tristan Shone just last week self-released his newest five-song E.P., Pressure Mine. The San Diego-based musician creates an industrial doom and drone metal sound using custom homemade machines.
“When I first made them, I came up with practical yet fetishized versions of how I’d want to control a sound based in sci-fi and fantasy,” says Shone, “and some of them are just based on . . . something someone would have used in the Industrial Revolution.”
He may have an affinity for the mechanical past, but his music is always moving forward; his current set is totally new. “It was a year of transition. In between new sets of machines, I wrote this new E.P.” The new instruments he was building aren’t on the E.P, but will be on full-length release next year on Relapse. He says the songs on Pressure Mine are transitional as well, less harsh and more danceable.
His music has a dystopic sense of doom but at the same time, he says, there’s a hint of optimism layered over the top. “I really want things to be beautiful and heavy; it has to evoke a feeling of morose rather than a feeling of angst.”
“I think live, that translates to really pounding people with sound in a good quality way, bass tones that are layered and shake somebody’s chest but in a satisfying way, rather than just a stack of Marshall amplifiers. . . . I’m trying to optimize the heaviness.”
At the Fallout show, he plans to play a few songs from the last album (2015’s Melk En Honing) then all of Pressure Mine. He’s coming to Oxnard fresh off an international tour and in the midst of another that takes him up the coast then back to Europe.
“Bands come from all over the world and play L.A. — we’re an hour north,” says Gonzalez. “We can get them for just an extra day while they’re out on tour. That’s exactly what I’m doing with [this show]. To be able to bring Author & Punisher here, it shows this is real.”
Club Fallout with Author & Punisher, Artifact Corruption, COGEX, COLPOLSCOPY, Easy Death and more happens on Friday, March 31, at 7p.m at El Miramar Nightclub, 653 S. Oxnard Blvd., Oxnard. For more information visit www.facebook.com/ClubFallout00.