Long Beach, California’s Spider reformed three years ago and have been hitting international music fest stages non-stop. The hardcore punk rock band will be releasing their Energy Gone Wrong EP digitally on July 26th via CPYRT CNTRL RCRDS (with a physical release on August 9th).
Lead vocalist Hector Martinez, guitarist Karl Izumi, bassist Jeff Abarta, and drummer Alf Silva have crafted some of the most raw and relevant music of their career on this EP, which captures the power of Spider’s dynamic live performances.
Hector Martinez kindly took some time out of his busy schedule to get involved in Rebel Noise’s Protest Interview series, which shines a light on the important issues that so many of us face today. Martinez offers his perceptive perspective on staying knowledgeable and standing up for yourself and others when attacked.
Hello! Please introduce yourself and give a description of your sound and vision.
My name is Hector Martinez. I’m the lead vocalist for Long Beach-based band Spider. Our sound is an existential nihilistic blast of raw punk rock. Our vision is to have fun and destroy myths under the specter of death.
What major issue(s) is/are troubling you these days (in the U.S. and/or around the world)?
The way immigrants and refugees are being treated at the border is heartbreaking. Police shootings (and lack of police accountability) of innocent people makes my blood boil. Also, the wealth gap between working class folks and the top 20% is extremely troublesome. The effect of this financial disparity is the perpetuation of a vicious cycle of poverty and injustice.
What song, video, or lyrics quote of yours best represents your current viewpoint on this/these important topic(s)?
Although Spider is not an outwardly political band, our personal views and way we live our daily lives are progressive. With regards to the band's lyrics, I tend to focus generally on the human condition which indirectly touches on the political.
For example, I touch upon the emotional struggle to stay afloat financially in our new song “Energy Gone Wrong”. “The constant attempt / at the experiment / A pig in a poke /who can’t afford the rent” - this is a reference to the helplessness many people face on a daily basis due to their dire financial situation.
Another reference, in the same song, to taking back your life in a moment of desperation is “Hope is best when hope is lost / Hope is luck before the toss”, meaning once you have nothing, it’s time to rebuild. Without hope, you are left up to your own devices. That's your call to action; that's when you muster up your strength and fight for survival. It’s a nod to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s self-reliance principles.
Are you involved in any other form of protest against this/these issue(s), besides through your music and lyrics?
In the past I have participated in mass protests against the senseless wars our country creates. I support everyone’s 1st Amendment right to protest.
Most of my free time these days is concentrated in staying aware of what’s going on in the world around me and staying intellectually sharp. Knowing how to craft a rational argument and being able to articulate your position in the face of a myriad of logical fallacies goes a long way in battling ignorance and standing your ground. I think having principled positions and working through subconscious bias is key to the advancement of any movement.
Essentially my focus these days is more of a one-on-one approach to directly helping those in need when I can, and defending those who can't defend themselves in public situations. Sometimes you just need to speak up and show a bully or oppressor that the person they are trying to take advantage of or mistreat has many brothers and sisters out there that are going to meet them with resistance. That, and staying the course in my lifelong path of searching for the truth is what keeps me going.
In your opinion, what is the best charity or cause to contribute to help fix/stop the problem(s)?
I think Raices is doing meaningful work to help people in need. They provide free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children, families, and refugees. You can learn more about Raices here: https://www.raicestexas.org/
What favorite song, video, or lyrics quote of yours by another act or artist best exemplifies, or at least partly relates to, your current viewpoint?
There have been many songs throughout the years that have informed or reflect my world view. Here are a few that come to mind:
During the last Spider hiatus I recorded with the band Bullet Treatment. I incorporated a stanza of Percy Shelley's epic poem The Masque of Anarchy to Bullet Treatment's music, in the song “Mask of Anarchy”.
"Mask of Anarchy” by Bullet Treatment
My favorite line: “Rise like lions after slumber / in unvanquishable number / shake your chains to earth like dew / which in sleep had fallen on you / We are many, They are few!”
"Big A Little a" by Crass is a timeless rebellion song that I come back to all the time. It's funny, catchy, thought-provoking, and inspiring all in one! This song continues to resonate with me to this day.
"Big A Little a" by Crass
My favorite line: "If you don't like the rules they make / refuse to play their game / If you don't to be a number / don't give them your name."
Later in my life, while working at the record label ANTI- I had the privilege of working with The Coup. That's when I was turned on to their song "Ride The Fence." This song has it all; it's a funky, catchy call to action that doesn't quit. If this doesn't shake you up, nothing will. It's right up there with Crass or The Clash in their political prime.
"Ride The Fence" by The Coup
My favorite line: "Take the system by the throat / that's the antidote."
Let’s end this on a positive note: What gives you hope for the future or inspires you these days?
Our young people inspire me. Fuck the haters; fuck backwards thinking. Fuck nostalgia for the 'good old days.' The next generation is here. They are smart and ready to move our society forward. I'm in.
Where can we purchase/stream your music and find out more about you?
Folks can pre-save our new EP on Spotify at this link: https://presave.io/t/energygonewrong
You can get the EP on vinyl at your local indie record store. If they don't have it, just ask for it.
You can also stay up to date on new music and tour dates:
Jul 20 Long Beach, CA (Record Release Party)
Jul 27 Gloucester, UK
Jul 28 Bristol, UK
Jul 29 Amsterdam, NL
Jul 31 Leeds, UK
Aug 2 Manchester, UK
Aug 3 Blackpool, UK