Photos by Angus Johnson

April 17, 2023 – Los Angeles, CA

Train Breaks Down is an LA-based three-piece consisting of lead singer and guitarist Ian, bassist Diego, and drummer Ian. Before the music began, Ian asked through the mic, “How much noise can we make?” KXLU DJs and friends encouraged them not to hold back. Their first song shook the room. Distorted bass and crashing drums were brightened by Ian’s warm guitar, a staple of their sound, finding its place within the hardcore emo while simultaneously sparkly. Lead singer Ian wailed into the microphone, and combined with the repeated crash of the drummer’s cymbals, his voice set the studio ablaze. The climax crashed with a wave of distorted guitar, hitting you square in the chest.

When the band announced they would play “Pillbug,” faces around the room lit up. Before the band began, KXLU staff hummed the tune. Twangy guitar cut through the distortion with a riff that was contagious. We may have made them play it for a second or third time. The station couldn’t get enough.

As the band announced their last song, a chorus of disappointed “the last one?” reverberated around the studio. They closed with the track “Glimpses of Your Insecurities in the Eyes of Others.” Ian and Ian scream back and forth over a fuzzy bassline and bright guitar. Applause filled the station.

Train Breaks Down showcased their full range of talents through their set. With a mesh of heavy instruments paired with peaceful moments, the band has solidified a standout sound in the emo sphere. As you left the station, there was a ringing in your ears, a smile on your face, and the “Pillbug” guitar riff stuck in your head.

Filmed and edited by Lauren Cassiano

Listen to the KXLU Live Session with Train Breaks Down here:

Engineered and mixed by Mada Harper

Written by Claire Hunter (@_letmeclarify)