Scene Point Blank:What are your expectations for this year's MACRoCk, as this is the first time it's completely student run and has cut ties with the University?
Ben Schlabach: I hope that MACRoCk's new relationship with the Downtown Renaissance and The Arts Council helps them overcome some of the past issues they have faced. The budget might not be as grand and they are defiantly rebuilding this year, but the line-up looks great. There are so many good regional bands that are playing that have been overlooked in the past.
Scene Point Blank:What bands are you looking forward to seeing this year?
Ben Schlabach: There are a lot of great bands that I can't wait to see again. I am really looking forward to Donny Hue and the Colors, The Catalyst, Owen, Snack Truck and Cinnamon Band.
Scene Point Blank:What are you looking forward to besides the music at MACRoCk?
Ben Schlabach: I love seeing old friends who come back to town for the weekend, which is always a highlight. I also really enjoy the label expo. The panels look good again this year; hopefully I will make it to a couple.
Scene Point Blank:As a resident of Harrisonburg as well as someone that plays in a local band, what are your thoughts on Harrisonburg's independent/punk scene?
Ben Schlabach: Harrisonburg has a lot of great musicians and lots of great bands that pass through. The biggest problem with our music scene is a lack of venues. We have a number of places that can be rented for shows, as well as some local restaurants that are willing to hold events, but no true independent venues. We have a pretty good house show scene but Harrisonburg kids (and maybe everybody?) tend to spend their money on beer instead of bands, which is a shame. It has really hurt the availability of houses for shows, because people are finding it hard to cover bands expenses without pulling money from their own pocket.
Scene Point Blank:Mild Winter just released some new material, what are the future plans for the band? Any out of town dates or new releases planned?
Ben Schlabach: In February we released our first full length CD, A Wanderer's Home. We just reordered more for the spring and plan on playing out as much as possible. We are playing Festival Fest at JMU on April 19th in Harrisonburg. We are also in the process of booking a few weekends around VA and up to PA.
We have some material that we are looking to get recorded and put out soon. We have some live tracks and demo tracks that we are looking to put on a tape or CD, and we have four new songs that we would love to put on 7" but we are hoping to find some help for those projects. We could also use some help booking weekends around the east coast.
There is a Pre-MACRoCk show planned for the afternoon of Friday April 4th at Plan 9 in Harrisonburg. We will be playing with a number of local bands, so please come by if you get into town early. More information can be found at http://www.mildwinter.com or http://www.myspace.com/mildwinter