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Strata Continue XXXMas Tradition at Ritz

In Music
BAND OF BROTHERS: Strata frontman Eric Victorino says he and his bandmates don’t take each other for granted anymore. Photo by Lam Nguyen.

BAND OF BROTHERS: Strata frontman Eric Victorino says he and his bandmates don’t take each other for granted anymore. Photo by Lam Nguyen.

In the run-up to this year’s XXXMas Fckfest, Eric Victorino, frontman for South Bay alt-rock heroes Strata and The Limousines, started to hear murmurs through the social media grapevine. “People would get on Twitter and ask, ‘Are you going to do the show this year?’” he recounts.

The answer to him was obviously yes. This is the first time Victorino has headlined the long-running pre-Christmas show—which began at The Blank Club and continues at The Ritz—with Strata. But he still plans to keep things sexy. That means dressing up as an erotic elf or BDSM Santa Clause is not only welcomed but encouraged. And it also means, there will be naughty stage antics and a more than a little bit of holiday-themed porno projected behind the bands as they play. Even in the post-Weinstein era, Victorino doesn’t see anything wrong with that.

“It’s weird to me that just because a few powerful men can’t keep their dicks in their pants that this is going to become some kind of puritanical environment,” he says.

For die-hard fans of Strata, all of this is likely beside the point. After first reuniting with his old band in 2015, the group reconnected in a big way and now they are working on a new album. After more than a decade as a professional musician Victorino knows better than to give a firm release date on when Strata might drop their next LP, but he says it’s in the works.

Inspired by many of the bands that they looked up to in the mid-2000s—like Thrice, who recently put out a new record—Victorino says he and his bandmates thought it only made sense to make more music. Plus they were having a blast jamming together.

“Some of what we’re doing right now is some of the heaviest music we’ve ever made,” Victorino says, noting that the current political climate has encouraged the band to crank up their amps. In fact, it’s similar to how they felt during the Bush years. “We’re expressing the frustration that we’re all collectively living through right now,” he says, adding that he isn’t sure he could scratch the same itch with The Limos or with his solo music. “There’s a national anxiety—it’s like a global migraine. I don’t think dance music is necessarily enough for me. I can’t escape just by dancing a little bit. I gotta scream a little bit and break shit.”

Strata
Dec 22, 8pm, $13+
The Ritz, San Jose
theritzsj.com

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