Nick Sucks (Moonraker – bass/vocals)
SPB: Basements or bars?
Both. They both have their appeals and drawbacks. Basements are normally DIY and all ages, essentially a subterranean house show. Since we live in California, we love to play basements because those types of shows are pretty rare here. Cops aren't usually called because of the sound being contained in the basement. That also means the hardcore band that somehow drilled a tunnel large enough to get their ridiculous 8x10 bass cab down there will be destroying your ears. The PA sound quality is normally nonexistent as well but that's not what you go to a basement show for anyway. You're there to get just as sweaty as the band and scream out every word to a song you don't even know the lyrics to in the most intimate space.
Bars are alright but you definitely remember the good ones: if the house music is rad or the bartender has a Lawrence Arms tattoo or just fun regulars, all cool things you look for in a bar you play. Unfortunately bars can't do all ages shows which kinda sucks. Normally the bar also has to take a cut if there was a cover charge. You also run the risk of playing a bar that didn't know what they were doing and thought punk meant you would play mostly covers of Sublime and The Offsping's later discography.
The best place I can recommend is the best of both worlds: The Millhill Basement in Trenton, New Jersey. A punk rock dive bar in a basement where the bartenders are rad and we normally drink way too much. Cheap drinks, stickers everywhere, and music that reverberates off the concrete walls loud as fuck. Go there.