by Sarah A. Peterson-Camacho
As Fresno band The Tokes approach their first full year of play, the trio (vocalist/guitarist Gabriel Ureno, bassist Christian “Dank Lord Trap God” Miller, and drummer Bryce Lowenthal) look back and look ahead.
KRL: How long have The Tokes been making music as a band?
The Tokes: Almost a year, February 24, 2017.
KRL: What particular genre of music do you play?
Tokes: Garage rock or punk.
KRL: What was the inspiration behind the band’s name?
Tokes: We live recreational lives, and we thought it sounded catchy to the style of music we play.
KRL: Who are your biggest musical influences?
KRL: Whose music did you listen to while growing up?
Tokes: The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Cheap Trick, Talking Heads, Sum 41, and Blink-182.
KRL: Did you always want to be musicians?
Gabriel Ureno: Not really. It wasn’t until I was about fourteen. A kid I knew wanted to learn guitar, and I figured if he could do it, then I could too. That was the time when my grandfather got me my first guitar.
Christian “Dank” Miller: At one point I wanted to be a professional scooter rider, until I broke my hip; that’s when I started playing guitar and got into playing music.
Bryce Lowenthal: I grew up in a household where there was always a drum set. I guess I was destined to always play drums; I’m a third generation drummer, and my dad has always motivated and encouraged me to play drums through school.
KRL: What’s your songwriting process?
KRL: Where have you played locally?
Tokes: We’ve played in many places in the Central Valley, ranging from our own house parties or a friend’s, to Strummers and Fulton 55 in Fresno, the Cellar Door in Visalia, places like that. We used to play at the Dynamite Vinyl Records, too, when it was a thing. Good times!
KRL: What is the best part about making and performing music?
Tokes: Always knowing that we can improve, and the fact that we are able to share our ideas with people through our music.
KRL: Any upcoming concerts, events, and/or projects you’d like our readers to know about?
Tokes: We play a lot of DIY house parties, so there’s always those. We are working on a record right now, and have a label we are in talks with working on helping us release it. Also, we have a few festivals coming up, ShineFest out at The Wakehouse in Reedley on May 25-28 and Vintage Days at Fresno State on April 20 to name a couple. Our shows are constantly being updated. We’ll be making some local media appearances as well.
Check out more local band & musician profiles in KRL’s music section.