A/WAY: Southern Californian Band Brings DCHC Spirit on Debut EP (PREMIERE)

Photo: Danny Matthews

A/WAY is a harDCore punk band from Southern California. Started as a side project by Raymon Ruiz (and Julio Chavez (co-founders of Extinction Burst Records). The first couple of songs the duo collaborated on were leftovers from their previous band, Marrón and from there, A/WAY was born.

When the pair was unsuccessful at wrangling a full lineup together, they took the DIY approach and released the first demo as a two-piece with Julio on vocals and drums and Raymon on everything else.

The demo was recorded by Brad Racine (Local Man Records, also of Firestarter, Reclaim, Heartthrob), who eventually became the drummer of A/WAY. It was around this time, Chuy Ceballos (Heartthrob) and Cesar Marquez (Reclaim, Heartthrob), joined as well. 

Hear a full stream of their new EP Regresar exclusively to No Echo, in advance of it hitting all streaming platforms on Friday August 18:

How does A/WAY differ from other projects you've done like Esperanza or Marron?

Well, first of all, A/WAY is a 100% High Desert band, which we were really proud of. It’s weird to say that because like most people that grow up here, everyone hates the high desert, but as I've gotten older you learn to appreciate growing up in a town like this and when you are able to do something cool it makes it a little bit more special. I know that sounds cheesy but it's true.

In regards to our other projects, it’s obvious that A/WAY is in the same vein as Marrón due to the heavy DC influence, but I think in this band we tried to let loose a little bit and not be so critical on what we wanted to sound like. And when we added Brad, Chuy and Cesar, it also changed up the vibe and gave it that “youthful” touch because Ray and I are getting old [laughs].

Photo: Danny Matthews

What is the song "Siento Tu Odio" about?

Well, the obvious meaning behind the song is “don’t hate what you don’t understand”. Especially growing up in a town like this, anything that is different is frowned upon. The way people of color are viewed, the way immigrants are viewed… But honestly when I was writing the lyrics to this song I was really looking inwards on how we do that shit all the time.

When someone does something we dont like or something makes us uncomfortable, we are quick to say “fuck that motherfucker” without knowing a thing about them. I also see this shit alot in my work.

I often work with students that deal with a lot of trauma and other fucked up shit, and when you do that work day in and day out, its easy to get desensitized. I see people give up on these students and just treat them like shit because of some of their behaviors, without having a clue about all the shit that they deal with at home. It’s heartbreaking. 

Do you have any upcoming plans for shows or tours?

With this project, it’s hard to plan too far in advance because we all have very busy lives. Brad, Chuy, and Cesar all have different projects that keep them busy and Ray and I have whole ass families. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a dad and that keeps me busy and grounded.

We all knew what this project was gonna look like when we started it, but I think everyone in this band has the same attitude of “shit’s gonna happen when it happens” and we don’t take it for granted when we are able to do shit together. So to answer your question, when all the stars and planets align, we will probably play some shows.


The Regresar EP is up for pre-order via Extinction Burst.