From the Gut

Sitting in the mixing room of Archival Studios in North Park, the four members of Rats Eyes listen to two of the ten raw tracks they recorded the day before. There’s a discernible SoCal skate-punk sound at its core that recalls Black Flag. In the two months since forming, the members of Rats Eyes have played to a packed crowd at the Tower Bar, booked a handful of summertime gigs around town, recorded the tracks for their debut release, and are planning a West Coast tour.

“That’s right, we are taking the San Diego music scene by storm. I feel bad for the other San Diego bands looking to get shows,” quips guitarist Jason Blackmore, who splits his time playing in local hardcore band Sirhan Sirhan.

“It’s all coming so easy,” says Blackmore, explaining why the band is moving fast to book shows and record. “It’s the music we grew up on. When I was writing some of the guitar parts, I felt guilty that I wasn’t spending that much time on them. It just comes naturally.”

It also doesn’t hurt to have some of San Diego’s most seasoned musicians as bandmates.

“Jason told me he had a couple of straightforward hardcore songs,” says bassist Jimmy Armbrust, who plays in the Bloodflowers and was bass player for the now-defunct Louis XIV. “So we called some friends and sent out some text messages saying we were looking for a drummer and singer.”

Not too long after, John Cota, guitarist for Hostile Comb-Over (whose last show is August 11 at Radio Room), signed on to play drums. A few days later, Gabe Serbian, drummer for experimental hardcore crew the Locust, agreed to try out as front man.

But coming out from behind the drum kit didn’t come all that easy for Serbian. “During the first practice, I think I blew my throat out from screaming. And for the next couple of days I had this sharp pain in my side,” says Serbian while sitting on a black leather couch inside the studio. “But, I went on the internet and found out how to sing from my gut, and I haven’t had any problems since.”

As for the band moving so fast, Serbian adds, “It sounds so juvenile and rad, but we’re having fun and it’s punk rock — it’s what we know.”

Visit Rats Eyes’ MySpace profile at for song samples and a list of the band’s upcoming shows.

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