Onstage is the favored setting for local melodic-punk band Western Settings. Since playing their first show in October 2013, the band has played more than 60 gigs, toured twice, and recorded two albums. Their new record, Yes It Is, was released on February 18.
Although the band (whose influences range from Hot Water Music to the straightforward punk sound of the Menzingers) is relatively new, the members are not new to San Diego’s punk scene. Vocalist/bassist Ricky Schmidt and drummer Adam Kissell both played in Man Eats Man. When the former guitarist left, Schmidt and Kissell tapped Dylan Walters from Deadhorse and Will Castro from Threefoot, who also owns La Escalera Records, to play guitar.
“I put out records from a couple bands that [Schmidt, Kissell, and Walters] played in,” Castro tells the Reader. “Ricky and I had talked for months about doing something together. They lost their guitar player, so we decided to give it a go. We meshed pretty well and started writing new songs. We headed to the studio and started playing shows. We decided early on that we were gonna stay as busy as possible and book as many shows as possible and build relationships with all the other bands we play with.”
Since forming, Western Settings has shared bills with punk staples Guttermouth, the Flatliners, Iron Chic, Cobra Skulls, and Bad Cop Bad Cop. The band recently booked a gig on April 5 at Mods Bar in Tijuana, which will be the eighth time Western Settings has played the Baja border town.
“We established a little scene with some local bands down there where we bring other U.S. bands across the border to play in Tijuana and we in turn host shows here for bands from Tijuana.”
The band’s networking has also landed them deals with several indie labels to co-release Western Settings’ latest full-length. The labels include Los Angeles’ Dying Scene Records, Dayton, Ohio–based Rad Girlfriends, Tampa punk label A.D.D Records, Snatchee Records from Washington, Japanese label Eager Beaver Records, and San Diego punk labels Fast Crowd Records as well as Castro’s La Escalera.
“It allows us to get more exposure and keep our out-of-pocket costs down for the physical production of the record — vinyl and CD.”
- Saturday, March 7, 2015, 8 p.m.
4757 University Avenue,
Western Settings will play a March 7 record-release party at the Tower Bar. A few weeks later they will head up to Seattle and then tour down through the Midwest and Southwest.
In August, Western Settings will fly to Mexico City to begin a South American tour, and by the end of the year, the band hopes to have a tour through Japan lined up.