Loc Dawgs interview

Loc Dawgs Members Christian Pelonis, Tyler Kelly and Ben Badillo Share How DP Impacted Their Music


Christian Pelonis(middle), Ben Badillo(left) and Tyler Kelly(right) are the members of a rock band called “Loc Dawgs.” I wanted to interview them because they are one of the more unique bands in IV and they are made up of almost all DP alumni. Their music is a grunge and rock type fusion. Pelonis started writing his music here at Dos pueblos. Even though Pelonis and Badillo went to different schools, they bonded over similar music genres with Badillo playing drums and Pelonis singing and playing guitar. Kelly later joined to play bass and brought an intense stage presence with him. Photo by Chris Cuffaro.

Joaquin Santamaria, Reporter

Joaquin: Hello everyone, I have to say I particularly liked your guy’s energy on stage, it was intense. How do you keep that energy when you play?


Tyler: I feel like the energy is the most important part of every show. If you’re just standing there the whole time not doing anything, everyone is gonna do the same thing.


Christian: Crowds feed off good energy, so if you put good energy out, you’re gonna receive good energy back, and you can’t put in energy like that without songs that match that energy. It’s a good outlet. There’s a lot of stuff that I kind of just keep in my head that I can’t put out there on a day-by-day basis. 


Joaquin: Playing all these shows you guys are around each other a lot you must have good chemistry, when did you realize that you three are the ones to start Loc Dawgs?


Christian: Fun fact, Ben and I used to be in a different band back before Covid started. We listen to the same music and if I just play a riff he knows how to play it on the drums. Then we started jamming with another bass player and it was working well for a while, but once Covid hit it fell apart really fast. The other bass player wasn’t into it that much, so we had to kick him out and it sucked. But sometimes in life you have to make hard decisions that could hurt someone. But after Tyler joined and we got this lineup going. It just felt different. Everyone was so stoked to be there every day!


Ben: It’s good to have a consistency of energy and chemistry because they affect each other.


Joaquin: Since this band started in 2019, how did the early stages feel vs now?


Christian: I recorded a bunch of songs with no intention to do anything with them and then I said ‘This sounds pretty decent I’m down to put a band to it.’ So I asked him [drummer] and before Covid we played some cool shows and party gigs. But during covid, we had some new members and we kinda did a rebranding. And now we’ve been playing a lot in IV and it’s a total DIY area, people just set up shows and they just happen. 


Joaquin: I understand you are an amazing trio but how do you deal with artistic differences?


Christain: We all come into songwriting with an open mind, we don’t have a specific genre that we are trying to stick to. You know, we are not sitting down going ‘Oh we can’t have that riff, that riff sounds too proggy and we’re a hardcore band.’ We all like so many different kinds of music and I feel like that kind of makes it special for us because there are no limits. You know, we write what sounds cool to us.


Joaquin: Did your time at DP have a lasting effect on you/your music?


Christian: Yes, but I wouldn’t say directly Dos Pueblos, but that time of my life was very interesting as it is for many people and a lot of it was spent at Dos Pueblos. So a lot of the songs I wrote about were about the times I had in high school like hanging out with people I met at DP. And honestly I was pretty anti-social so it’s hard for me to say ‘I loved High School’, but honestly if I was at another High school I would have hated it, as DP did me good and I appreciate it. But yeah I wrote about a lot of things that happened every day from me in my junior and senior year. 


Tyler: I feel like high school, in general, is pretty emotional and you find yourself most of the four years you are there and who you are for the rest of your life so 100% yes you have ups and downs no matter what day it is. So yes it very much influenced me and Christian.


Joaquin: Did you develop any hobbies or personal interests at DP?


Christian: Personal hobbies? Actually yes, I learned that I love photography very much and a huge shout out to Ms. K because I sat in the corner and would not talk to a single person and she would come up to me and ask me what I’m working on, and compliment my photos. She was probably one of the best teachers I’ve had ever!


Tyler: I second that! She was the best!


Christian: I didn’t know a single person in that class but she made me feel like she was almost my friend. 


Joaquin: Thank you and I have one more question, what do you guys have to say to anyone at DP starting or getting into DIY shows or anything to say to DP in general?


Tyler: Play live and be unique, do something different and do what makes you happy!


Christian: If you have an idea then go for it, who cares if people think it’s stupid. In every band in history people have said they sucked and their ideas were stupid. If you are passionate enough about something and you put in the hard work you’ll be successful. Consistency is key no matter what you want to do. Do what you love and don’t get caught up in yourself, I was that person who never talked and hated everything. If I could show my high school self now I wouldn’t believe it. I love what I do because I am so consistent with my passion. Invest in your passion and remember that life only gets better.

Photo taken by Joaquin Santamaria

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