A crowd of 40 gathers in front of a four-piece band, setup amongst skate decks, vinyl records and other skate boarding apparel.
Bands in attendance that night included Fullerton band Leisure World, along with SoCal bands Lock and Step 4 Change. It also hosted out-of-town bands The Scare, from Washington, and The Real Cost, from Texas.
“We’ve had over 300 hundred shows. One of my favorite shows was last night, a band from Poland called Government Flu played, “ It was awesome, they played a minute and a half long songs,” Co-owner of Programme, Chris Gronowski explained.
Programme is an all ages outlet for the Fullerton community that offers kids an alternative night scene to the bars and coffee houses in Downtown Fullerton.
Skate and Sound celebrated it’s 5th anniversary this past February. Since store owners Gronowski and Death By Stereo vocalist Efrem Schulz, opened the shop back in 2011, they have steadily turned Programme into a venue widely known for having local and out-of-town musical acts of all different genres perform regularly.
“This venue is sick as hell. The mixture of skateboards and punk rock together is the coolest,” Casey Shaw, of The Scare said.
Brian Sabedra, a patron to Programme buying tickets for another concert, says, “It’s pretty cool because you can stand from outside here, or they have the back door open, you can still see the bands.”
“As long as your cool and not being a bust, drinking, you can chill out here,” Sabedra added.
Gronowski describes most of the bands that play at Programme as, “…Hardcore, but more like that old school hardcore like Agnostic Front thats just fast, and has really cool changes.”
Gronowski had a skate shop 10 years prior to opening Programme, called Shelter, that started in Santa Ana and eventually moved to Fullerton. Being a DJ as well, he wanted to merge the idea of having a skate shop and owning a record store.
That’s when Gronowski decided to recruit his long-time friend, Schulz. They met each other through friends of friends, and both had their share of experience working at local record stores.
Around 2009, Gronowski and Schulz started DJ’ing together, and that’s when they came up with the idea of merging a skate shop with a record store.
The pair didn’t have a huge amount of money to invest in Programme, but taking Gronowski’s experience in the skateboarding industry and Schulz spearheading the music side of operations, they brought both ideas together into the skate-punk monster that is now Programme.
“Most bands that have played here,” Gronowski explains, “were probably skaters.”
Gronowski fondly recalls a time when Maryland hardcore band Turnstile performed at Programme, “ When they played here, Brandon the singer, just hops out of a van on a skateboard, grinding the curb two-hours before they were supposed to play.”
When describing the connection that leads skateboarders into listening the kind of music played at Programme, “The skate kids always listens to music that they see in [skate] videos,” he elaborates by adding, “They watch the new Zero video and they check out that band, and its Cradle Of Filth.”
“Half the kids that like The Misfits probably heard them in a Zero video,” Gronowski adds.
Schulz said that Programme’s role in the Fullerton community is, “…To provide an open, kind of free, creative space…to be a part of it with everybody.”
In regard to recent trends in music, Schulz describes things as the 90s being really popular right now. A trend described as “no-trend.”
“There are so many crazy bands doing crazy things, all these new sounds,” Schulz adds, “I hope it keeps changing and that older people hate young music.”
Programme is so much more however, Schulz, who is also an avid fan of hip hop, says that Programme also hosts nights for bands of other genres such as: hip hop, indie rock, pop-punk and more.