The Crumbles was inspired by the real-life experience of playing in a garage band—and the ego battles, minor successes, unfulfilled dreams, and life lessons that went along with it. The film was completed on a shoestring budget with the help of many smart and talented friends and UCLA film school classmates. It was shot by James Yuan using a Canon Rebel T2i fitted with Nikon lenses from the 1980s, and edited on an iMac in a garage in Eagle Rock. The music was composed and performed by Quetzal Flores with assistance from his musician friends. Long live rock 'n' roll!

Album Notes

This is the official motion picture soundtrack for THE CRUMBLES, featuring music by Grammy winner Quetzal Flores of the band QUETZAL.

THE CRUMBLES is a slice-of-life tragicomedy about a talented but directionless indie band that is stuck in their garage. The film is not an idealized portrait of what it means to be in a band—it’s grounded in reality. This includes battles with oversized egos, personal demons and insecurities, but also everything else that is great about pursuing a creative endeavor with friends.

While writing the script for THE CRUMBLES, I didn’t know exactly how I’d create the music for the band in the film, but I always intended to ask one person to be involved – Quetzal Flores, leader of the East LA band QUETZAL.

I met Quetzal in the early 90s, when his band was first starting to become noticed in the burgeoning East LA music scene. I’ve had the privilege of making several music videos for his band over the years, and I knew that Quetzal and I understand each other and work together well. Even though the type of music his band plays – Latin Alternative/Chicano Roots Rock – was not what I imagined for THE CRUMBLES, I knew he had a deep musical knowledge and was capable of capturing the vibe and style that I wanted for the film.

After Quetzal read the first draft of the script, he agreed to do it without hesitation – even though our budget was practically non-existent. I felt fortunate that he was willing to take a leap of faith with me from the beginning, and I knew that the film would eventually be filled with great music.

Quetzal suggested that instead of spending money on hiring a band and paying for expensive studio time, we should purchase recording equipment and he would write and record everything himself. We would then own the means of production, and not have to rely on anyone else.

At this point, it was my turn to take a leap of faith. I had to trust that Quetzal would be able to create original songs for a 3-piece indie rock band, all by himself. When I placed the order for the recording equipment and handed over my hard-earned cash, I was finally placing my bet on a long-held dream.

I didn’t know exactly how THE CRUMBLES’ music should sound, but I had a clear set of influences – mainly female-led bands like Cibo Matto and Buffalo Daughter, and other well-known bands like The Clash, The Kills, The Stooges, and The Ramones. The Rolling Stones’ “Exile” album was on auto-repeat the entire time I wrote the script. I also wanted the music to echo the early 90s, when bands like The Beastie Boys and Rage Against the Machine were seamlessly meshing musical genres and expressing feelings of rebellion in righteous and funky ways. Because I don’t have the ability to write music, my reliance upon Quetzal to deliver on this idea was complete.

Every time he sent me a new track, I was blown away – they always exceeded my expectations. He was able to write and record music that fit the tone of the film, the personalities of the characters, and the development of the storyline.

THE CRUMBLES “sound” became characterized by strong female vocals, a beefy electric guitar, an other-worldly keytar, and solid, funky drums. It’s upbeat, driving and catchy, with an authentic underground vibe. It’s sometimes happy, sometimes crunchy, and always compelling.

Quetzal stretched far beyond what I’d previously heard him do. When I told him how everyone who heard the tracks couldn’t believe that he was capable of writing that kind of music, he said it was easy. The songs came naturally because they were inspired largely by the music from his teenage years – bands like The Smiths, REM, Los Lobos and The Pretenders. Even though that’s where the inspiration came from, the finished tracks sound completely fresh and original.

Whenever we shot scenes of The Crumbles playing a “live” show, our audience extras went wild over the tunes. There was no need to hype up the crowd because they already loved the music. Just like I love the music. And I hope that audiences who hear it and see the film will feel the same way.

Akira Boch

The Crumbles Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

THE CRUMBLES Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was composed by Quetzal Flores. Featuring Original Songs and Score by Quetzal Flores.

Services Provided:

  • Production
  • Musical Composition

Writer/Director: Akira Boch
Producer: Gena Hamamoto
Co-Producers” Lisa Nguyen & Franciso Hernandez
Director of Photography: James Yuan
Editors: Akira Boch & Azusa Oda
Music: Quetzal Flores
Production Sound Mixer: Curtis X. Choy
Post Sound: Jon Oh


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