Cal Poly Pomona alumnus tears down stereotypes in new punk album

By Cristian Reyes, Mar. 8, 2022

Almost three years after graduating from Cal Poly Pomona, Alejandro Sisro is an alum who is making a name for himself after his band Grudgepacker released their latest album self-titled “Grudgepacker.”

Earlier this year, the hardcore punk band Grudgepacker released an eight-song album, their first album released as a band, yet not the first album for Sisro himself.

Sisro described the album to be a hardcore punk style or even a crossover, which is thrash metal, punk and metal all in one. Alan Yaxon, creator and lead singer for Grudgepacker, shared how he once played a song from the album for a friend and that person blurted out “This is good, it sounds like gay, hate breed.” While Sisro compares the style to the band Ten Yard Fight but gay.

Courtesy of Matthew Gomez

For the album itself, Yaxon said he had the idea for the project back in 2016, but he was not able to find the right people who would dedicate their time to this project. Yaxon shared “I just wanted to create a queer band and create something for queer people in hardcore… it should never be an event to see a queer hardcore band, it should be something that’s part of the scene.”

The album was created in only two days and debuted in early 2022. Yaxon said a third of the album was reused songs, but the rest of the album was filled with new songs they created. Sarah Dullas, drummer of Grudgepacker, also mentioned they had so much enjoyment from creating this album and it was easy to record in those two days despite being crammed into a compact room.

“This record I had a lot of fun with also because it was just very raw… we were also pretty tight on the record,” said Sisro.

Before the album was released, Yaxon revealed “I just want people to know that there are queer people in hardcore… I was always into punk, I got into punk at 16, but I just didn’t know any queer people in punk.” His goal is to bring down stereotypes in music and help young queer people realize there is other people like them who enjoy hardcore and punk music.

The band members are looking forward to the future as they have planned trips to Sacramento, California, in May and Philadelphia in June to perform their newly released album. Yaxon revealed they are also looking to spread the brand through either merchandise or music videos.

Sisro graduated Cal Poly Pomona as a graphic design major in 2019. Although he graduated as a graphic design major, he has talent with music, such as being able to play drums, bass, guitar, synthesizer and even produce music electronically.

“I was 11 years old and there was an after-school program called After-School All-Stars and I go to it, and I just learned rock songs, I started on drums,” detailed Sisro. “We would play cover songs but then there were too many drummers, so I switched to bass and then I just played bass for the longest time.”

After leaving Cal Poly Pomona, Sisro saw Yaxon post on his Instagram story in need for a fill-in bassist for the band. Sisro had heard of Grudgepacker through some of his friends, so he ended up playing a couple of shows for the band.

Sisro explained that his favorite element of being in Grudgepacker is performing live. He feels immersed every time he performs that he usually forgets he plays music, which he calls a surreal feeling.

Courtesy of Matthew Gomez

“I feel like what I like about this band is that it’s about the performance, how convincing you are, because you can play notes, but you also have to play and put yourself into it, and I feel like we really did that on the record,” said Sisro.

Eventually, the prior bassist decided to leave and Sisro was given the bassist role in late July 2021. Yaxon described that he always wanted an all-queer line up for his band and convinced him that Sisro would be a perfect fit due to his sexuality and his talent.

“He was a perfect fit honestly. The energy levels across the board went up a little bit with him and just clicked in place,” said Dullas when asked about Sisro’s impact on the band.

Currently, Sisro still has a goal of getting a job in graphic design, but the pandemic has derailed his prospects. However,the pandemic did allow him to be more open about other opportunities and not limit himself. He is looking forward to new opportunities and hopes to further his career whether it be in graphic design or music.

Sisro has always had a passion for music, even as an 11-year-old. His love for music and acceptance as bisexual allowed him to find a thrilling band that made him feel very comfortable. He feels joyful in this new chapter of his life and is proud to be a part of Grudgepacker as they break barriers in the hardcore punk music genre.

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