Locals Only: The Tissues Make Punk Music From the Streets of LA

Bianca Ayala, bassist for The Tissues - Photo by Scott Free
Bianca Ayala, bassist for The Tissues - Photo by Scott Free

Photos and Story by SCOTT FREE

The Tissues, one of the great up-and-coming bands, take their musical cues from the streets of Los Angeles.

The Tissues are Kristine Nevrose on vocals, Jerry Narrows on guitar, Tara Edwards on drums and Bianca Ayala on bass. The music is heavily influenced by punk, hard core and post-punk genres.

The Tissues – Photo © 2018 Scott Free

Los Angeles Natives Create Local Sound

Ayala said much of the music is natural to Los Angeles.

“I was born and raised in Los Angeles.  I lived in West Adams district and later moved to El Sereno/ Highland Park area, so the Los Angeles I know was never pretty or glamorous,” she said.  “I’m familiar with the crime, the graffiti, the segregation, the hood drugs, and the struggle.

Bianca Ayala of The Tissues - Photos and Interview © Scott Free
Bianca Ayala of The Tissues – Photos and Interview © Scott Free

“Because of where I come from and how I grew up I felt like an outsider and of course was angry at the fucked up system and it’s perpetuation of inequality,” she said.  “So naturally I gravitated towards punk/outsider music.”

Ayala did a stint in New York for college, but returned to Los Angeles.

“I truly believe there is something so very special about Los Angeles,” she said.  “It’s always been an outlaw kind of city since it’s inception, a sprawling suburb full of weirdos, and let’s not forget, great weed and tacos.”

The Tissues get inspiration from the streets of LA - Photo © 2018 Scott Free
The Tissues get inspiration from the streets of LA – Photo © 2018 Scott Free

Music Based on ‘Struggle’ of Los Angeles

“Our music is based on the struggle of living in L.A.,” Ayala said. “It’s the segregation, crime, graffiti, the outlaw nature of L.A., gear-and-beer stoner doom. Garbage left on the curbs of the city of Los Angeles.”

How did their popular song “Time Travel” come together?

“‘Time Travel’ started with all the girls,” Ayala said. “We walked into the studio with our gear and beer, and since there was no guitar it started with the bass. At the time (and usually) I was going for something dark and weird but minimalist. You know you hit something good when the rest of the band jumps in immediately and writes with no effort, which is what happened.

Jerry of the Tissues - Photo © Scott free
Jerry of the Tissues – Photo © Scott Free

“I think Kristine wrote lyrics in that moment and later Jerry brought in his magic touches with his guitar,” Ayala said. “I think most of the bass lines I write in the end are just an interpretation of some of my favorite bass lines mostly from punk, post-punk, and stoner doom metal bands.  After all, most music these days is a mere regurgitation of the past.”


A Fateful Meeting for The Tissues

Ayala said she met Jerry and Kristine at East 7th punk house next to the Greyhound station.

“I was making some rounds partying and ended up at their Flaamingos show,” Ayala said.  “I was in line for the bathroom and this girl, now my good friend Dana was at the front and asked if anyone wanted to pee with her.  I never miss a chance to cut in line so I pushed to the front and next thing you know we’re running down to get beer and then she introduced me to Kristine.

Kristine of the Tissues - Photo © Scott Free
Kristine of the Tissues – Photo © Scott Free

“Kristine and I had our first date at a Warlocks show where we talked about music,” Ayala said. “My last project I had with an ex and was officially dead so I was eager to find something new.  I was playing guitar at the time and we jammed a bit together for fun.  Not too long afterwards their band Flaamingos broke up and Kristine asked if I wanted to join her new project playing bass.  I was like, ‘Well, I don’t own a bass but I play guitar and I’ve jammed the bass a few times so, Yes!’  I also thought, ‘What could be so hard?  The bass is like the easiest instrument to play.’  SHIT how wrong I was!!

“It’s been such an amazing experience falling in love with the bass alongside The Tissues,” she said.  “Jerry and Kristine are great musicians who are also serious about writing and playing and I’ve learned a lot from them, playing with them.”

The Tissues most recent release is Veil, available on Bandcamp.