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Guide to San Jose: Zack Alves of Rivals

In Music
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Zack Alves has been tearing up South Bay clubs for over a decade with his band Rivals. Originally a positive-hardcore band, their most recent album We Live Electric shifts gears and moves in the direction of old school punk rock in the vein of the Misfits.

Rivals have become infamous in the South Bay for their crazy, energetic shows, particularly their annual Halloween shows, complete with a killer costume contest. They they return to the stage at Blank Club on July 7th, opening up for the Flames. We asked guitarist Zack Alves to give us his insight into San Jose.

What part of San Jose are you from and what’s cool about it?
I was born and raised in the Berryessa area of East San Jose, and my band Rivals practices near Alum Rock park. I love the East Foothills; it still looks a lot like it did back when I was growing up there in the 80s, with undeveloped lots, rolling hills and rad mid-century homes.

What’s your favorite place outside of San Jose?

I really like Hawaii. I’ve been told that it’s the only place that people have seen me relax.

What’s the best show you’ve seen in San Jose?
My fondest memories of shows in San Jose are from the late 90s, when the SoFA District, including the Cactus Club, was the place to be to see the area’s best bands. One show that stands out in particular was one of the SoFA festivals where Dredg rocked the Cactus, Onelinedrawing played in front of the Metro building and most every club featured an awesome local band. I remember leaving the festival totally inspired.

What is your favorite local band/musician?
Relapse. They are awesome, weird and heavy. I mean, what other bands are rocking guitar talk-boxes right now? We’ve become very close friends with these guys over the years. Last year, I sat in with them to do a cover of “Those Shoes” from the Eagles. It was random and fun as hell. Our singer Matt Reed is also doing a project with them called “Ray Frankly.”

What’s your favorite place to get a drink in SJ?
Taqueria Tlaquepaque off Curtner Ave. I can’t pronounce the name, but nothing beats an ice cold Chavela on a hot San Jose day.

Where’s a cool spot to get clothes?

My style is fairly simple—rock T-shirt, comfy jeans or Dickies shorts, Converse or Vans. I’m always on the hunt for better deals on my “uniform.” Tilly’s of Blossom Hill, Lucky Brand Jeans at Oakridge, local shows for my rock shirts.

What’s your favorite spot for a cheap meal in SJ?
Super Taqueria. Did you know that they will grill your burrito for a few extra cents?

What’s the best thing about living in SJ?
It’s close to everything—an hour on the road could get you to the beach, at a show in SF, or record shopping in Campbell.

Where’s the best place in San Jose to go relax?
It sounds weird, but the San Jose Flea Market. I have been repeating the ritual for years. I wake up early on a weekend and spend the morning wandering the flea market digging for retro junk, instruments, old school video games and records. I get in a zone and my brain just shuts off.

Where’s the best place to see a show in SJ?
It depends on the show. I love the in-your-face element of the Caravan, but the Blank Club has been the most consistent local venue that San Jose has seen in a long time.

What’s San Jose’s best kept secret?

Freshly Baked Eatery off N. 3rd Street. My fiancé hyped up this place to the point where I almost didn’t want to go in fear of being totally disappointed—it was anything but. They are only open for four hours a day during lunch, and the lines are long, but it’s a small price to pay for the best damn sandwich on freshly baked bread you’ll ever have.

The Rivals play the Blank Club in July 7th at 9p. Tickets are $8.

 

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