Band has a vendetta for music

REVENGE—Team Vendetta rocks out at the Di Composers rock concert series January 11 at the East Los Angeles College Performing Arts Complex.  Photo courtesy of Di Composers

By Martha Raya

Team Vendetta, a band whose name reflects all the struggles and hardships that the band members have encountered, has managed to stay positive and focused on what their hearts desire, which is to change the course of their lives through music.

This local band consists of bassist and vocalist Erik Gonzales, Drummer and vocalist Diego Javier and guitarist and vocalist Andrew Gastelum.

Team Vendetta was officially formed in 2009. It was in middle school where their passion for music united them, and ultimately led them to meet Gonzales.

“We used to hangout around musicians,” Gonzales said. “One of our teachers used to lend us guitars, and we would just have fun and hangout.”

It was in middle school were their love and interest for music got them closer, but it was not until a year after they graduated from Roosevelt High School that they began to play as a group.

They initially began playing in their hometown of Boyle Heights with several different bands. However, the responses they were getting from the audience were not what they expected.

The band’s diverse musical expression, which consists of reggae, blues, hard rock, and rock ‘n’ roll was not appealing to many of the audiences in Boyle Heights. “People were more into black metal, and we wouldn’t get any recognition,” Gastelum said. “People wouldn’t dig rock ‘n’ roll,” Gonzales said.

After dealing with the frustration of not being recognized by the audience in their own hometown Gonzales, Gastelum and Javier decided to create Team Vendetta.

“The word team represents the unity among us and just us as being a team and working together. and Vendetta is like our revenge,” Gastelum said. “We are a team, a unit and looking for revenge on the injustices,” Gonzales said.

A revenge that they say symbolizes their persistency of them not giving up on their passion for music, and the injustices of their music genre not being recognized.

One way that Team Vendetta establishes the unity and work effort amongst the band is when they compose. “We each contribute to make a creation. The best songs we came up with are when we are all together and we come up with a beat and go on from there. There is this flow and consistency,” said Gonzales.

The unity among the members of Team Vendetta and the desire to better themselves and their families is what has been fueling the band.

Javier describes how he has been playing since he was four years old and how his family has always loved music. “I’ve always been surrounded by music. My brother is my biggest inspiration,” Javier said.

The ambition of improving themselves and their families is what has allowed this band to take initiative and go after what they want. Gastelum says he used to hesitate on getting gigs for the band, but he has learned that hecan’t be like that. “Now I just go out there and ask and keep pounding those doors,” Gastelum said.

They went from playing around their hometown to now playing at places like the Whiskey a Go Go in the Sunset Strip, University of Santa Barbara, The Five Star Bar and other places around South Whittier. “We’ve come a long way. These are the memories we are going to remember for the rest of our lives,” Gastelum said.

Team Vendetta’s future plans are to keep being persistent, and work on getting their music out there. “We want people to say that we’ve come a long way,” Javier said.

Team Vendetta says they will continue fighting for their music to get acknowledged. “Everyone has to start somewhere. All mainstream bands were once where we are now,” Gastelum said.

Team Vendetta’s show dates can be found on their Facebook page.

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