Warming up Full Throttle

A Q&A with GM Angel Castorena

Jacob McFarline, Trae Martinez, Chasity Valerio, and Keanu Molina at Full Throttle. - BRYAN RINDFUSS
Bryan Rindfuss
Jacob McFarline, Trae Martinez, Chasity Valerio, and Keanu Molina at Full Throttle.

In February, the space formerly known as Skybox Sports Bar became Full Throttle Bar, an art-focused music venue in the foothills of Joe’s Volcano (“Come and feel the eruption at the hottest nightclub in San Antonio”). About seven weeks ago, Backbeat publisher Angel Castorena took over the booking and is now Full Throttle’s general manager. On the eve of the recent Krum Bums tour kickoff show, Casotrena shared his thoughts about his new project and SA’s expanding music scene.


Is this the first touring show here?

We did Los Skarnales about two weeks ago; we sold out the club. We had Piñata Protest, Viet-Ruse. The local scene just sort of fell in love with the idea of not having to play downtown all the time.


What about the artwork?

That’s a very important part of what we’re doing. Thomas Vasquez is the curator for the art. We have an opening every two months on the final Friday. We try to get between five to seven artists. What’s cool is we’ve sold about 20 percent of the pieces. But being a rock/punk bar you never know what to expect with that.


So is the focus going to be punk?

No, actually no. We do cater a little more to punk, and ska, and reggae, but we’re definitely open to indie-experimental and up-and-coming young ones. It’s definitely going to be a local venue, but we’re also trying to keep it still a bar atmosphere. Monday through Thursday there’s never a cover. Friday through Sunday we do shows. We give the bands the entire door here so they can make money.


So you’ll have dance music?

Dance music on Wednesday nights and Thursday’s our reggae night. We’re definitely providing an alternative to your typical Northside bar. And that’s kind of what we were shooting for.


I know you’re involved with the Korova …

I’m still full-time with Korova. My company’s a little bit different. I have a production company called NSD (Never Say Die) Media. And basically what we do is come in, we help venues with booking, we do the whole thing, the promotion, the marketing, all aspects of it. And we provide them what we think works in a bar. This one came to mind because Jiggers shut down a while back and no one filled that void afterward. … It’s well-lit, it’s on the highway, I couldn’t pass it up. And I was already pretty busy ’cause we just launched Austin with Backbeat. It’s a whole other edition — all Austin writers. The point of Backbeat is to be by the community, for the community. The only thing I did was partner with Red River Media and Eye in the Sky Collective, which is the equivalent of Local 782. And we partnered with them because we needed someone to have the pulse and just immediately just hit it off.


The last one I noticed had a flip cover with a tattoo theme.

We were going to do a special tattoo-only edition, and I guess our eyes were bigger than our mouths, so we kind of combined it. We’re going to keep it annually. I love the issue personally because I focus on poets in the city, which is where I came from. I went to ReVerb, PuroSlam, like back in the day and that was my first exposure to our city. ... Our city’s growing and I want the music to grow with it.

Full Throttle Bar

6820 Ingram

Prices: Beer cans: $2; domestic bottles: $2.50; imports: $3.25-$4.25; mixed drinks: nothing over $6

Happy hour: $2 wells, $2 domestics, $1 off everything else

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