About Penniback

About Us

It All Started With A Dream

Julian Montano and Luis Ho started going to $5 shows at The Smell and the Church on York at the height of the Burger Records scene, where they received their first dose of DIY culture. It was a place unlike any other, a refuge from school and home, full of inspired LA youth just like them. And at the young age of sixteen, they were motivated to start their own thing.

Penniback began as a music review website where Julian and Luis would do write-ups on music they liked. But this idea was scratched when they started their own bands, discovered other local acts, and wanted to release their music. Penniback Records was born, and they began booking “Penniback Presents” shows at local DIY spaces like The Smell. Julian and Luis were slowly learning the ropes of running a record label, and the more shows they put on, the more people they met, and Penniback shows were drawing an audience.

Since it’s founding, Penniback has made connections with LA venues such as The Teregram Ballroom, The Echo, The Lyric Hyperion and Café, and Rarehouse, and has collaborated with collectives such as Burger Records, Dirty Laundry TV, Smash Club, Danger Collective Records and Minty Boi. Penniback bands frequently play live sets on KXLU radio and UCLA radio and independent filmmakers and students have featured Penniback in several documentaries. A number of bands have also toured the East and West Coast, made possible by the work of Luis, Julian, and Maddie, the primary organizers of Penniback shows and tours.

We Kicking All The Asses Out Here In These Streets

Aye We Out Here Fam!!

Penniback Records has hosted two major festivals at The Echo and Echoplex and even founded a campaign called “Save the Smell,” in response to the announcement by the city that the historical Downtown LA venue was soon to be demolished. Through Save the Smell Fest and sold out shows at the Teregram Ballroom featuring Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees, Penniback raised thousands of dollars to benefit The Smell.

The project that began with Julian Luis has rapidly expanded with the help of a long list of artists and contributors that make up the Penniback family. Videographers filming and editing Penniback TV episodes alongside artists designing T-shirts and creating digital flyers makes it more than just a record label. 

Penniback has not only drawn local artists, but also inspired many to write a song, pick up a camera, become an artist. Most people involved in Penniback have personal relationships with one another, the common phrase being “Penniback family.” The personal and supportive yet professional and business-like attitude is the driving force for Julian, Luis and Maddie to help their bands achieve wider recognition.

Penniback represents the DIY spirit, empowering young people to take things into their own hands, which is what Julian and Luis did in 2014. Penniback is and always will be an all ages community, with the belief that anyone regardless of age should be able to appreciate music. You can catch a Penniback show in LA almost every week, so buy a shirt, come to a show, and join the community!

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