by Chris Conde
If you threw a chancla into a San Antonio crowd you’d more than likely hit two people who either are, or were in the Armed Forces. This is Military City after all and, there are a ton of folks who are connected to the military in some capacity, be it military brat, spouse or an actual member who served.
The local music community also claims artists like rapper, Carlton Zeus, an Air Force veteran and Sergeant Eric Garcia, one of the two main vocalists in metalcore band Covina. Garcia is currently serving in the National Guard and was just recently activated with his unit, Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) 71st Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade (EMIB), to conduct rescue operations for Hurricane Harvey victims.
Garcia and the members of Covina have been active in the metal and hardcore scene in SA for the last two years and have released a couple albums including their latest Rise.Fall.Repeat out just this April. The band was scheduled to perform at Bonds 007 Rock Bar tonight with Alice's Shattered Sun and on Sunday, September 3 at Paper Tiger for the Second Annual White Rabbit Anniversary show with Darkness Divided and Shaping The Legacy.
According to Covina’s second vocalist, Julian Cruz, Garcia let his band members know ahead of time that if the hurricane became severe he would likely be called to go help.
“We did a show on Friday, August 25 for Shaping The Lecacy’s CD release party, and that was the day the Hurricane was starting to come in,” Cruz told the Current. “Other troops that [Garcia] was friends with were already giving him the heads up [saying] like ‘hey man, they might call us in … and sure enough the next day he was like ‘yea man, we gotta go to Houston.’”
Cruz said that the band looks up to Garcia and are overall stoked to see one of their own band members be able to serve in this capacity. Though rescue missions can run anywhere from six to 24 hours, we caught up with Garcia via phone.
“There’s a lot of cars in ditches [and] they already have started pulling out bodies along the coastal areas of Galveston,” a focused and matter-of-fact Garcia told the Current, who spoke to us from Beaumont, Texas. “We were in Port Arthur last night – the water level in the town down there was flooded out [and] we were still just getting around to getting people out of their homes."
Garcia heartwarmingly explained that the he was impressed how many civilians were coming to aid their fellow Texan neighbors, saying that there were numerous amounts of people with boats and gear wanting to help and serve along the military, fire department and police force in areas most affected by this recent tragedy. “This is what community is all about,” Garcia said, who while mentioning it could be anywhere between two weeks to a month before he’s able to return home.
Even though the band had to cancel their shows the rest of Covina’s members (vocalist Julian Cruz, lead guitarist Nathan Firkaly, rhythm guitarist Ray Asher, bassist Joshua Allen, and drummer Joe Sandoval Jr.), will be at Bonds 007 to help collect donations (canned goods, clothing, water, etc.) as it has turned into a Hurricane Harvey Relief show. Covina will also be accepting $5 donations at their merchandise table in exchange for their first album The Dream with all money going towards Hurricane Harvey efforts. A portion of the event's proceeds will also go to support Hurricane Harvey relief as well.
With Shattered Sun, Memories In Broken Glass, Revolution Terror, Nevallum, Friday, September 1, $5-$8, Bonds 007 Rock Bar, 450 Soledad St., (210) 225-0007, bonds007rockbar.com. Check out Covina's music on their website and follow them on their Facebook page for upcoming events.