Beginning as subway buskers, NYC’s Funk/Punk band LTrain’s story, is a New York story. As featured in The Noise Beneath The Apple, an art book about the city’s street performers written by Heather Jacks , the band began in January 2011 when Crystalla Gonzalez (vocals) and Gabriel Castellar (guitar/vocals) started busking with a few songs that were written about characters they came up with. These characters were influenced by people they would see riding the L train everyday.
From public performances on the L Train, both Gabriel and Crystalla created the concept for the band LTrain. They wanted to write songs about the thoughts and experiences of an everyday New Yorker, (very similar to the concept behind the “Humans of New York” photography blog created by Brandon Stanton). Their goal was to write about topics that affected people in the city and all around the world. In December of 2014, LTrain debuted their first EP “Can’t Pay Bills”, which is a concept record depicting the high’s and low’s of N.Y.C. life. They also released a single along with a music video of “The Rent Is Still Too Damn High” featuring, 2010 Gubernatorial candidate, Jimmy McMillan of The Rent Is Too Damn High Party; who has been parodied all over the world, including Saturday Night Live.
From taking topics head on such as gentrification in a funky tune like, “The Rent Is Still Too Damn High”, to dealing with poverty in their ballad “Healing” and even mental anguish in the 70′s influenced Punk Rock song “BiPolar”; LTrain is not afraid to push the gauntlet of being a band that can talk about any topic from romance to politics. Stylistically speaking, LTrain is as diverse as the city they come from; by combining styles of Punk, Funk, Jazz and Hip Hop. With that combination, the band has an alternative rock flair that has been compared to the likes of Paramore, No Doubt, Red Hot Chili Peppers and even Led Zeppelin. The Rock and Soul vocal style of Crystalla Gonzalez to Funk/Punk Guitar style of Gabriel Castellar, and with the addition of gospel/rock drummer Tristan Green in 2013 and Jazz/Rock Fusion Bass player Louis Padilla in 2014, the band has been working hard to hone in on a sound that they can call their own. They are in process of working on their first studio album set to debut this summer. LTrain has performed over 200 shows in NYC including this past fall’s CBGB Festival (2014) in which they were filmed and interviewed by German PBS Station ARTE TV for a film about the music history of NY called “New York. The Music City”. They have played venues such as Gramercy Theatre, Knitting Factory, The Studio at Webster Hall and Santos Party House. They have also been featured in the short film “From Street To Studio:New York City edition” by Heather Jacks, which was about a group of subway buskers coming together to record Billy Joel’s “New York State Of Mind”. Beginning as subway buskers, Queens funk/punk rock band LTrain’s story is a New York story. As featured in The Noise Beneath The Apple, an art book about the city’s street performers, the band began in January 2011 when Crystalla Gonzalez (vocals) and Gabriel Castellar (guitar/vocals) started busking on the L Train platform, the subway connecting Brooklyn to Queens and Manhattan. They were later joined by Tristan Green (drums) in 2013 and Louis Padilla (2014) together, they took their infectious sound and dynamic performance all across the city. LTrain has release their EP, Can't Pay Bills, in December 2014. They have performed in the TCS NYC Marathon, CBGB Festival, CMJ Festival, & for Rock & Rawhide's Gala at iHeart Radio Theater hosted by, Z100. Last but not least Crystalla Gonzalez was featured as a contestant on the 2016 farewell season of American Idol. They are currently writing songs for their debut album and gearing up for 2016!