Mike Watt painted the name of his hometown on his bass and everybody started calling him “Pedro.” It is apparent when talking to Toys That Kill singer/guitarist and Recess Records founder Todd Congelliere that he carries the same sense of pride in his San Pedro, California roots. The California punk heroes will depart from Pedro later this month when they begin a series of live dates in support of their forthcoming record, Fambly 42, which drops via Recess Records on May 15. Check out what Congelliere had to say about the town before perusing upcoming live dates below:
1. What’s your town’s nickname?
2.What’s your nickname for your town?
Pedro (pronounced Peeeeee-Dro).
3. Why do you live there?
Because it’s the ghetto by the sea
4. Did you grow up there? If not, what brought you there?
I grew up in Torrance. Chachi was born and raised here. Me and Sean have been here for almost 20 years. I opened a record store here and ended up having to move into it, sleeping in the back room. Pedro mornings were soooo nice I had to stay for good.
5. What’s the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you there?
Something weird happens to me every day here.
6. What is your favorite local attraction (monument, park, etc)?
Sunken City. It’s where a portion of the city fell into the Pacific Ocean. We take out of towners there. Broken up sidewalks right on the beach.
7. What is your favorite local event or festival?
Wailing of a Town-Craig Ibarra’s fest.
8. What is the best time of year to be there?
It’s Southern California. Always. I like winters though. Cos I like jackets a lot. I have five of them. Ok maybe 15.
9. Who is your favorite local celebrity?
10. Where is the best place to drink and what’s their specialty or happy hour?
My living room. $1.78 Guinness.
11. Who has the best jukebox (and what’s in it)?
For me to say there is a “best” jukebox in Pedro, or even a decent one for that matter, would be criminal. I “almost” convinced Reagan over at Godmother’s Bar to let me redecorate their jukebox, but they we’re too attached to that one Indigo Girls song.
12. Do you play music there? If so, where is your favorite place to play?
Yes. Cali Mucho.
13. Does where you live influence your music?
Totally! Pedro inspires creativity. We have a close knit of friends always creating stuff. Whether it’s art, music, crafts, skateboards there’s always inspiration from friends.
14. What is your favorite place to see live music and what was your favorite show there?
Babe’s Warehouse. Just on the outskirts and closed but by far the best place to play and see bands.
15. What is your favorite local band?
Cabrillo Beach Boys
16. What is your favorite diner or restaurant and what is their best dish?
Rex’s Cafe. Eggs Cabrillo (English muffin, Eggs, Avocado and special sauce-named after Cabrillo Beach)
17. What is your favorite record store and what was your best find there?
Williams Book store. SSDecontrol Get It Away.
18. What is your favorite local publication (alternative weekly, zine, website or blog)?
Rise and Fall (of the Harbor Area)
19. What is your favorite local shop?
Sunken City Skates, Union War Surplus, Mcthrift but they all closed!! Hey consumers!! Get with it!!
20. If you could live anywhere else, where would that be?
Pt. Fermin (South Pedro)
(Catch Toys That Kill live at one of these upcoming shows:
May 25th Oakland,CA at the New Parish (1234go Records Fest)
May 26th Sacramento,CA at Luigi’s Fun Garden +
May 28th Las Vegas,NV at Punk Rock Bowling
May 29th Albuquerque,NM at the Gasworks
May 30th Denton,TX at Rubber Gloves
May 31st Austin,TX Chaos in Tejas at the Parish $
June 1st Austin,TX day off at Chaos in Tejas
June 2nd Las Cruces,NM at the Trainyard
June 3rd Phoenix,AZ at the Meat Market
July 15th Los Angeles, CA at The Fonda *
July 26th-29th Hawaii (TBA)
October 26th – 28th Gainesville, FL at The Fest
+ = w/ the Bananas, Ennui Trust and RAD
$ = w/ Pierced Arrows,Tenement,Gun Outfit,Teenage Cool Kids and more!
* = w/ Screeching Weasel and The Queers)