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Greg Antista on the Biggest Little Stage


Photo by Harmony Gerber

Greg Antista and The Lonely Streets at The Mint

Antista grew up in Fullerton, CA and once he reached his teens, he became fully invested in the flourishing Orange County punk scene of the late 1970s/early ‘80s. One of the tightest bonds he forged in high school was with Steve Soto of Agent Orange and the Adolescents, a staunch friend and ally who tragically died in 2018 at the age of 54. “I had never thought about playing an instrument until 1979 when punk rock exploded at my high school, Troy High School in Fullerton,” reveals Antista.​

“I had members of the Adolescents, Agent Orange and Social Distortion as my schoolmates and they were all playing backyard parties and their first local club gigs. Being that close to the bands and music made many of us pick up guitars. At 17, I got my first bass guitar from a pawn shop and immediately found it to be the release I had been looking for. I started writing my own songs.”​

Soto wasn’t involved in Antista’s earliest bands, the G-Men and the Bleeding Hearts, but by 1990 Soto was eager to bring his buddy on board with a new project. The resulting band, Joyride, with Antista assuming the role of co-vocalist and guitarist, toured frequently and released a pair of well-received pop/punk albums, Johnny Bravo (1992) and Another Month of Mondays (1994).  In tribute to Soto, The Lonely Streets deliver a sweet, melancholic cover of his 2016 tune “Forever” on Shake, Stomp and Stumble.

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Antista’s goal with Shake, Stomp and Stumble was to make its sound, style and stories quintessentially Orange County. The album provides a snapshot of the lives experienced by those lucky enough to have survived the punk rock explosion of the 1980s. Drugs, alcohol, and tales of heart-breaking Latinas — with just a touch of nihilism sprinkled on top — aren’t the sum total of the experience, but they certainly mark the milestones and are relatable topics from which to draw inspiration.

As for the band name, Antista says “’Lonely’ is just one of those words that has always evoked emotion in me. I love Roy Orbison and when Springsteen wrote the line ‘Roy Orbison sings for the lonely’ it made me feel like I had found a place where I belonged.”


Greg Antista

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