Interview: Audio Karate

by catheryn dumas

San Gabriel foursome Audio Karate stormed through Hemet, CA after a whirlwind trip on the Van’s Warped Tour and I snatched them away for a few minutes to chat. I met with the band, which consists of Art Barrios on guitar and vocals, Jason Camacho also on guitar, Gabe Camacho on drums (yes, they are cousins), and Justo Gonzales on bass, in their shiny new van with matching equipment trailer. A far cry from the Seattle’s old heap they had back in 2002. I couldn’t get an exact answer about who paid for the van but they did say that their label, Kung Fu Records, is treating them very well and they plan on staying with them. “We love them” says Art, “they treat us too good.” A household name on the Warped tour for the last few years, AK was ecstatic to be a part of the first Japanese Warped tour. “It was great. They (Japanese) are really good to the bands there. We shared a dressing room with Andrew W.K., because of the alphabetical order, and they were really cool too. We had a great time!”, says Jason. The Hemet show was just a “one-off” from the Warped Tour to promote their upcoming sophomore album, Lady Melody. Named for its title track, the album is to be released May 18th. Produced by Bill Stevenson of the Descendants, the band is very impressed with the outcome.

“They (The Descendants) are one of our greatest musical influences.” says Justo. “We are big fans. Bill had his opinions about the (tracks) but also listened to what we had to say. He’s done a lot of albums so he knows how to work with people.” he added. Together as a band since high school, Audio Karate is now in their 20’s and has written this album as young adults rather than teens. “Lady Melody, the song, we compare to women because they drive us crazy both emotionally and sexually.” Justo said. “Yeah, it’s a sexually motivated album about touring the world” Jason added. While the entire band writes the songs, the lyrics are mainly Art’s department. If you know him you know that he is very quiet and reserved. When he gets on stage, however, he talks to the audience like they are close friends. The band is very tight-knit and spends alot of time together. Like family, they had all the same answers to my questions. From sports to video games to music, Audio Karate is very close and deeply intwined with each others lives. I doubt they have much trouble writing songs about it.