Long before he became a worthy challenger for Ted Cruz’s Senate seat in Texas, Beto O’Rourke was playing around his home state with a punk band called Foss. O’Rourke played bass alongside Cedric Bixler-Zavala, who would later be a founding member of At the Drive-In and the beloved, Grammy-winning rock band The Mars Volta.

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Thankfully, footage of a few of these performances survives, which shows O’Rourke and the band absolutely thrashing through some experimental punk songs on an old El Paso cable access talk show called Let’s Get Real. You can see a then-21-year-old O’Rourke and his bandmates messing with the stuffy local TV host.

“We have a group here stretching the term—no we have some fine young men here,” the host of Let’s Get Real says while introducing Foss. “Some of them are not wearing shoes. It’s kind of a jumping band. We have the Foss with us tonight. And the Foss stands for what?”

“It comes from Icelandic, and it means waterfall,” one of the band members off camera yells. (According to Google Translate, they’re right!)

They introduce the song. “This one’s about god,” they snicker. The next few minutes are absolute chaos with the band hopping around and people screaming—you can imagine elderly ’90s Texans turning this on and being absolutely terrified. Eventually, the guitarist sits down for a hilarious interview with the host as the vocalist runs onto the set to do a flip on the couch. There’s also a commercial for Disco Inferno, which is incredible.

Some other old footage of the band live at a regular show has a few more melodic songs—something closer to a post-punk sound.

In all honesty, some of their guitar lines aren’t bad and the drums are in the pocket. Hell, if I was in El Paso in the early ’90s, I’d absolutely go mosh at a Foss concert. I’d also like to imagine a ’90s Ted Cruz—who’s somehow only two years older than O’Rourke—at a Foss show, wearing his old man suit and tie, standing alone and praying for the noise to stop.

Before O’Rourke went off to Columbia University, the band released an EP called The El Paso Pussycats on Western Breed Records, which is thankfully still available on an old MySpace page.

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And on Tuesday evening, the band officially became part of O’Rourke’s campaign for Texas Senate. But not because O’Rourke himself brought it up. The Texas GOP attempted to troll O’Rourke with an old band photo of Foss, which turned into a hilarious self-own.

The tweet became immensely popular—not because it was funny, but because it made O’Rourke look so unbelievably cool. It’s kind of like that dumbass Cruz comment about The Simpsons earlier this year.

Even though he eventually put on a suit and tie and entered politics, O’Rourke still gets some good music gigs. In fact, as he grew out of his slacker punk phase, his music taste matured as well. Earlier this year, he played alongside Margo Price, The Head And the Heart, and Willie Nelson at the country icon’s annual Fourth of July Picnic in Austin.

O’Rourke’s badass history aside, his politics are pretty good, too: decriminalizing pot in Texas, access to education, and smarter gun control.

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