Sci-Fi Thrash Group Vektor on Mexican Food in Philadelphia
In this week's issue, we speak with Frank Chin, bassist for former Tempe-based sci-fi metal thrash band Vektor, about the band's recent move to Philadelphia. The quartet may still be settling into their new surroundings, but that doesn't mean they've given up those late-night Filiberto-type cravings. We ended up with more material than we could fit, so please enjoy another installment of Outtakes, where we sweep up all sorts of good stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor.
Vektor bassist Frank Chin has experienced first hand the extent of Philadelphia's "Brotherly Love" motto while skateboarding the city he now calls home.
When talking about the reactions he and the guys have gotten from the locals once they find out they're a thrash metal band from the Grand Canyon State, he recalls a funny story about a run-in at what he thinks is a late-night Mexican food spot.
Frank Chin: There's actually a really random story about that. I was out partying one night -- drinking with a couple people I worked with. We went to some bars in South Philly but I left because I had to get food; I hadn't eaten all day. I was on my way to meet up with (drummer) Blake (Anderson) near Center, and I was just skateboarding when I pass by this Mexican food joint. And being from Arizona, I'm pretty critical in that, I want good shit you know. And by good shit I mean Rita's and Filiberto's. So I found this place -- I forgot the name of it -- but I walk in since the doors were unlocked, but the lights are all off. This lady comes in and says, "Oh, we're closed." So I'm like alright, it's all good.
It turned out they were having some family barbecue and it was literally like 1:30 in the morning. It was really weird. There were kids playing basketball in the streets and it's this like, really tight, I guess Mexican family. They were like, "Well are you hungry?" And I'm like, "Yeah I'm hungry, I came in here to get food."
"... it got kind of weird and standoffish. I could tell these teenage kids started looking at me like, "You're from Arizona huh, what do you think of us?" -- Frank Chin
So they sat me down, gave me a plate full of tacos and a Corona and I was like, "Whoa." I tried giving them money, but they wouldn't take it. And it was so weird because they were celebrating a grandfather's move from Mexico City to Philly. And I was like, how did you guys all end up out here. And then they asked me where I was from and they were like, "Oh." And it got kind of weird and standoffish. I could tell these teenage kids started looking at me like, "You're from Arizona huh, what do you think of us?" Shit like that, you know. But I told them there's some bullshit there (in Arizona), but there's also good people. I started speaking Spanish to them and they got really stoked, so then they started warming up and it was cool after that. But there was that split moment where they were like, "Did we make a mistake by inviting this guy to hang out with the family."
It was just this surreal moment of being in South Philly and seeing a Mexican food joint like back home, and finding this family barbecuing at 2 a.m., it was just interesting. I went from hanging out with a bunch of dudes, to joining these people in this intimate celebration without knowing who they are. It was kind of cool.
Vektor is scheduled to perform Wednesday, September 5, at the Rhythm Room.