MONTH OF THE WOLF: Talk about the beginning of The Che...
CHE: Well, way back it was located on a military base. It was moved, repurposed and put over here. The building itself to be used as a dining hall. After that it became a hangout space for facilities like the school and the staff. I believe what happened was students were looking for a space to make their own and fought to take it from the staff to create their own student board and succeeded. I think that was a battle to get originally at that time.
MOTW: What year was that?
CHE: In the 80's, it was all part of this movement of cooperative stuff that was forming on campus. Students wanted to carve out their own space for themselves that they could call their own, something that they could operate themselves. It's managed to run ever since, with a variety of different identities all under the same CHE name. It's always had different identities because it's a collective. It's always changing identity and shape depending on who's involved. All collectives and cooperatives fluctuate based on the volunteers involved.
MOTW: When did it start to feel like you guys were making an impact within this area?
CHE: I think it has ever since it started. I know it was really big for punk and reggae music in the 80's.
MOTW: Reggae music?
CHE: Reggae music. I think it was more politically aligned. Those were two things that were coming from marginalized people who were striving at the time. There's a history of that here. I know in the 90's it took on the radical punk identity, I know in the early 2000's it was really big for the developing screamo scene that was happening. It's still seems to move with the times.
MOTW: Talk about the people behind the sound and the booking...
CHE: Well, we have always tried to get independent music and support local music. And also because of the space that we are and because we are a free DIY space where you can come and get involved we definitely cater to that culture. There's kind of a sound that's developed around those cultures over time as always everywhere. There is a bit of sounds that grow here that maybe don't other places. Organic to the circumstances of the space itself.
MOTW: Bands that stood out...
CHE: A lot of really aggressive music when I was young were really important. Bands like Cursed, City of Caterpillar, Agent 99 would play here. Those were all really important for me.
CHE: I don't know that band. As far as nowadays like in the today a lot of bands that get their start here and play here a lot I'm in LOVE with. There's so many local bands, that I'm just... (Long Pause) great people, great community of artists. A lot of bands down here I've seen flourish and grow.
MOTW: Like who?
CHE: MAN VS MAN, I book them all the time. Band called AGE OF COLLAPSE, band called GRIEVER play here a lot. I also like bands like BURNT, GATEKEEPER. So many bands like that. I love supporting all those kids, there's a really funny band called DIRT SQUAD. There these little kids and they're just so fuckin' funny. Even on the lighter side, cool stuff that's come out of here... a person who's put a lot of work in the scene here Matt Bear he's gotta project called LITTLE BEAR I really enjoy. Bands that have been born out of here.
MOTW: Zack de la Rocha of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE wrote and helped you guys out. Talk about that...
CHE: He's one of the many artists that shows solidarity with us, that recongnizes us as a space and our cultural and historical importance. He made that statement to put a light on how important spaces like this are. Like I said, in the 90's the radical punk scene was really big in this area. He was definitely a part of the space with bands he's been in and stuff like that.
MOTW: Zines like France, Youth and Tactics, Industrial Domestication, and Debunking Democracy. What's the main objective behind those and who are the authors?
CHE: Well, we have a vareity of zines of all different types of people from all different types of cultures. We have a lot of leftist leaning literature, literature on oppression, a lot of literature on equality. Those are aligned with our politics. HERE WE REALLY BELIEVE THAT EDUCATION IS A WEAPON AND PEOPLE SHOULD BE ARMED IN THAT SENSE.
CHE: I'd say we have a pretty wide range of people. We have artists, we got activists, we got educators. Our way of functioning is radical in it's own way. Were a non hierarchical senses driven space so that applies to the types of bands we book, the way that we function, and also the literature that we put out.
MOTW: Saving The Che, where and how?
CHE: First and foremost you can continue to support the community by hosting events here, dispelling rumors, letting people know that were not dead. Starting bands, organizing events, hosting workshops, being physically present. Other things you can do is write the university. We have a letter writing and email campaign you can read on our website. We also are fundraising right now, there's a breakdown on the website on what the money goes towards, a lot of legal actions we have to take. Another thing is to keep your eyes and ears open about actions in the future, being present for them. We have a sign-up list that we have here if you come to a show.
MOTW: Relationship with UCSD?
CHE: It's always been a struggle for the students you know? Community members need to hold space here and be able to exercise their freedom of assembly and their freedom of speech. I think the uc... unless it has a paradigm shift will always be that oppressive figure. Those in charge don't like losing control.
MOTW: What do you think of when I say the word, intersubjectivity?
MOTW: People who can connect through their minds without speaking to one another. Being able to conceptualize that psychological relation and understand it without losing control...
CHE: This is definitely a hub for expression, thought and idea. Spaces like this are really important because ideas can flourish and you can actually have praxis with places like this and you can learn to grow and change your ideologies, your visions, your thoughts, so I definitely feel like there is an element of something very special that is involved within spaces like this that allow growth, whether it be a political idea, relationships between people or in types of expression within art...
MOTW: What does Truth mean to you in terms of Art?
CHE: There is something very sincere that happens when people are allowed to work together and collaborate without constraint. With processes that allow ultimate freedom and equality. I think there is a really wonderful thing that happens.