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Known as much for their consistent touring as their prolific output, San Diego's instrumental rock quintet Tristeza formed in 1997. Guitarists Jimmy Lavalle and Christopher Sprague, keyboardist Stephen Swesey, bassist Luis Hermosillo, and drummer Jimmy Lehner came together after playing in bands like the Locust, Crimson Curse, Swing Kids, and Gogo Airheart among others, and recorded their debut 7", Foreshadow/Smoke Through Glass, soon after. In promotion of the single, Tristeza toured three times, making the 7" a best-seller and proving that the band could pull off their intricate, involved instrumental sound onstage as well as in the studio.The group's first full-length, 1999's Spine and Sensory, added subtle jazz elements to their style; just before hitting the road again, Tristeza released their volume of the Insound Tour Support series, a series of CD EPs intended to help promote touring indie bands. Another tour and another single -- the Macrame 7" -- confirmed the band's swift musical development and their electronic leanings. Tristeza stopped touring just long enough to record Dream Signals in Full Circles in Chicago with the Pulsars' Dave Trumfio; the album was released in the fall of 2000 by Tigerstyle Records. The following year, the group returned with Dream Signals in Full Circles. Heather Phares

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