Monica Sierras used to play bass in Cranial Vacancy and sang for Dodgeball.
What is the state of the scene?
Monica: It's hard to say. I know that for a while there, there was a big fanfare about people getting into bands. It seems like it's relaxed a little bit more which is kind of nice, not because I wouldn't want people to get into it, because that's great if people are inspired, but some more serious people are out there, are sticking it out.
Is there anything wrong with punk music in San Diego?
Monica: There's just not enough venues for actual punk music. There used to be some underground and now there's just not too much, San Diego being very conservative and all. There's a couple of places to play and there's a lot of people who don't like to play those places. It'd be nice to have options. Punk is supposed to stand for doing your own thing, and a lot of these places kind of have you to a uniform way of going about playing and you often got typed if you play at, say, SOMA. You get stereotyped. If you play at the Casbah, you're one or the other.
What's good about punk music in San Diego?
Monica: Like I said, there was a good infiltration. A good amount of people got excited about it and got into it and I think that the cool thing about punk is that it was showing people that anyone can get out there and try. That's the cool thing, just get out there and try. I think it's brought a lot of interesting music out.
How do you think people act at shows? Do they seem to be having a good time?
Monica: It all depends on where you are, who the bands are. Some places, like if you're in Pacific Beach or if you're playing down by the beaches, sometimes it's hard to get people going unless they've heard that other people think it's a cool band. That's kind of rough and I wish that some of these people would have a little bit more of their own minds of whether they want to have fun at the show or not. Or if you're playing at bars, you have to wait for people to get drunk at the shows before they start having fun and that's kind of a bummer because if you're one of the first bands, you're not going to have that chance.
Do you see any problems with the crowds and the people who go to see bands?
Monica: Well, mainly that type of problem that I just mentioned. I wish it didn't take people a couple of drinks before they could show whether they like it or not. It's like people are too afraid to show that they like it before that point or before somebody else says "This is a great band."
What can we do make the scene better?
Monica: That's hard to say. I would like to see some more airplay of local bands, and have it so that it's not necessarily the band that has the big draw. They're in there and that's great and all, and they get some airplay out here, but some of the smaller bands that are really good, you hear their names and you're like, "I don't know if I want to pay five bucks to see a band I haven't [heard]." A lot of people are like that. I think if they were heard on the radio a little more, people might go, "Oh, I heard them and it was really cool. I think it'd be worth five bucks to go see them."