UC Students Past and Present Perform in Local Bands


Josh Click

Members of the Proctor Valley Monsters Alumni Paloma Bareño and Cassandra Bristol, and Senior Josh Click (left to right) play at the Casbah on Ketner Boulevard.

Francisco Rogel, Staff Writer

   Former and current UC High students are members of local bands, contributing to the San Diego music community, playing shows across the region and creating growing conversations.

   Proctor Valley Monsters (P.V.M.) is a recently established San Diego band that was formed by UC High Alumni Paloma Bareño and Cassandra Bristol, and UC High Senior Josh Click.

   “Our sound is inspired by ‘70s punk rock, but we sing about issues like the modern condition of capitalism. Our song, ‘Weight of the Wallet’, is about how capitalism bases people’s worth on how much money they have,” said Lead Singer and Guitarist Bareño.

   “I first picked up a guitar when I was 16, right before the pandemic. I played guitar for about a year before we started Proctor Valley Monsters. We were inspired by bands like Wire, X-Ray Spex, and the local San Diego band Rocket From The Crypt,” said Bareño.

   “I love music. It has been a constant through my whole life, and it has also been my main creative outlet. It helps that I can play guitar, bass, and drums, since the variety makes it hard to get a creative block,” said P.V.M. Drummer Bristol.

   “In high school, I continued with [UC High’s] marching band, and P.V.M. began to emerge towards my senior year,” said Bristol. The band has played shows at UCSD’s Che Cafe and the Casbah.

   “The band formed together two weeks before our very first show. In 2021, I was invited to perform at a house show, but I didn’t have a band. I asked around and eventually found a drummer, Cassandra Bristol, who was very excited to be a part of a new project,” said Bareño. “I had no idea that [Bareño] even went to UC High, but I was super stoked to finally meet someone who wanted to start a real punk band,” said Bristol.

   Bareño said, “Cassandra’s friend, Josh Click, picked up a bass and learned how to play in two weeks. We played twelve songs at that show, only having two practices as a band, and it was a success! The rest is history.”

   “I get a big adrenaline rush when I perform live, but at the same time, I feel like I can really be myself…. It’s all about being unapologetically yourself and doing things your own way,” said Bareño.

   “One of our songs, ‘Balls Machine’ was recently played on 91X and is available to stream on bandcamp right now. And our Instagram is @proctorvalleymonsters,” said Bristol.

   Like P.V.M., Full Strength Funk is a local funk band that plays around San Diego. According to the band’s YouTube channel, “Our unique format ensures that the party never stops” (youtube.com). UC High Senior and Trombone Player Nathan Fishman is a member of the band.

  “I’m not a founding member of the band, but [Full Strength Funk’s name] is a good arbiter of the feeling of dance music that brings people together. It’s really an engrossing way for people to have fun, I think the ‘full strength’ really embodies that fun,” said Fishman.

Full Strength Funk’s most recent performance including Fishman was on April 8 at Tio Leo’s, on Napa Street. Their upcoming next performance will be at Jamul Casino, on Campo Road, on April 21 (fullstrength.band).

   “The band’s been around for a long time. A lot of the founding members are still there; they’re just excellent people, musicians. They all have jobs not in the music industry. I think [the band began as] just a group of friends who got together a couple of years ago, who were adults and had other jobs, but who really shared this passion and wanted to explore it with each other,” said Fishman.

   “I’m really lucky to be close family friends with one of the lead female singers, Pamela Gallo. Her daughter goes to UC, and I’m very good friends with her. She knew I played the trombone and she knew her funk band needed more horns and she called me up and I started playing,” said Fishman.