Celebrating 100 episodes of Los Angeles Nista

Congratulations to my friend Eddie Solis on his 100th episode of Los Angeles Nista. I was already a big fan of his heavy-as-hell skate rock band, It’s Casual, when he started the Internet radio show, Los Angeles Nista, in November 2012. Of course, the program is all about his hometown–the neighborhoods, the subcultures, the public transportation of L.A. I was honored to be an early guest, on the heels of local heavyweights such as Keith Morris, Chuck Dukowski, and Ed Colver. A couple of weeks ago I was on the show once more, with the mic still warm from Tony Alva and Lee Ving. How did I crack a rotation like that, anyway?

It’s a big deal that Eddie broadcast his 100th episode last week, with topics that include food, history, art, and tourism as well as punk rock and skateboarding. And on top of that, It’s Casual is headlining a free show at the Troubadour on Monday, January 6. Sounds like a good time to catch up with the man. (Photos courtesy of Adam Murray.)

MW: You recently passed your 100th episode. Did you treat the milestone as something special or is just another show?
ES: I treated it as a milestone. I had to hit it out of the park. My in-studio guest was Hunter Burgan (bass player of AFI) and Ryan Seaman (drummer of Falling in Reverse and I Am Ghost). The co-host is Efrem Schulz (Death by Stereo).

MW: What are some things that you’ve learned or ways that you’ve grown as a host since the first episode?
ES: Don’t be so rigid. Be  intuitive. As Bruce Lee says, be like water. And research, share, and find commonalities that connect people.

MW: Now that you have this sizable body of work, do you recognize any categories or trends? 

ES: Good question. Yes, the categories of los Angeles nista are geography, destination and a curriculum on how to be car-free in Los Angeles, California. The trend being everything is connected.

MW: What’s your secret to cranking out this many episodes this quickly, without burning out or running out of ideas?
ES: This is my secret: I come from the world of skateboarding. It’s not a team sport. You draw inspiration from within. You get up every morning, create a vision, and then take the necessary steps to make that vision a living, breathing reality. You create your world. I apply these ideals to everything in life. A past in-studio guest, Salman Agah, professional skateboarder and owner of Pizzanista! and calls it the “skater’s advantage.” You don’t rely on others to motivate you. Everything you do is out of a passion and love for it. You cannot do things with such conviction, confidence, and authority unless you love it. The passion and love lead to endless motivation. The motivation leads to a full tank of gas. That’s how I keep it fresh and full of ideas!

MW: The topic of Los Angeles can go on and on. Can you share some dream stories that you’d like to address?
ES: Well put, Martin. There is an endless amount to talk about. Dream stories, yes indeed. I wanna highlight and tell Art Laboe’s story. Bobby Castillo and I wanna use Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, and the late Johnny Ramone–three mega New Yorkers who came here and never went back–as examples why L.A. is better than New York City. It’s an ongoing debate, but to me they can provide testimonial as to why L.A. is a better place to live. If Gene and Paul can testify, that will end the debate. Everything goes back to KISS.

MW: Meanwhile, It’s Casual is going strong. Tell me about your new record label as well as the upcoming show at the Troubadour…. Bongoloidz is an inspired choice as an opener!
ES: Thanks. My label Stoked Records is inspired by the eclectic taste of Greg Ginn and SST, and all genres will be released. And It’s Casual is stronger than ever. Our last show was with Black Flag at The Vex back in July. We played in front of 1,000 people. Now we’re headlining the Troubadour for the second time and the show is free.

Check out Los Angeles Nista at skidrowstudios.com, including my recent episode on Chinatown and Save Music in Chinatown.

It’s Casual plays the Troubadour on Monday, January 6. Get your free tickets (just three bucks if you’re under 21) at the venue site.