Our newest feature here at Scene Point Blank is our semi-daily quickie Q&A: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook or twitter and we'll post one interview every Monday-Thursday. Well, sometimes we miss a day, but it will be four each week regardless.
After our social media followers get the first word, we'll later post a wrap-up here at the site and archive 'em here. This week check out Q&As with Escapist Records, To Live a Lie Records, Sundowner/Lawrence Arms, and Paper Tiger of Doomtree.
Michael Phillips (Escapist Records, former Scene Point Blank editor and writer of 500+ reviews)
SPB: Basements, bars, or both?
Phillips: Bar shows verses basement shows has been a long running debate in the DIY community. And while I have yet to ever skip a show because of location - heck, I have even been to a show at a log cabin - I would have to say between the two options given I would have to give the victory to basements.
There is just something about the intimacy of being packed into an enclosed space of a basement, where the intensity of the band’s performance is concentrated by the limited space. The same can be said for all house shows, living rooms shouldn’t be excluded from this discussion. Sure, it may me hot and sweaty or even stink, but those are all things you should expect when attending a “punk” show. If you don’t want your shoes getting scuffed and your perfect hair disheveled, then stay home.
I can no longer count the number of basement shows I’ve attended in my hometown and abroad, but I certainly find myself reminiscing about these shows, oftentimes as they are among the first shows that established acts played when they first hit the road. I recall seeing artists such as Into It. Over It., Daylight, Now Now, and many more at It’s A Kling Thing! House in Akron, OH prior to playing the much larger venues they are frequenting these days. These spaces have brought local and touring acts into their homes and created a blossoming scene around them. The basement shows I’ve attended have primarily acted on a donation-based system, which one might feel would hinder the touring artist playing these spots. But when you’ve got a close-knit community that supports these house/basement ventures, its patrons are surprisingly more giving to provide [support].
So the next time the opportunity presents itself to you to see a basement/house show I highly suggest you venture to the space. While I won’t say you wouldn’t enjoy that same show at a bar/venue, I will say you may find yourself enjoying it more and creating a memory you’ll cherish forever.
Will Butler (To Live a Lie Records)
SPB: What’s your favorite music-related film or documentary?
Butler: Most of the time I respond to a question and ramble off all the potential ones until I arrive at a conclusion. To save you me actually mentioning ten movies before I get to the one I've chosen I'll just go ahead and give you the most influential music-related film that I discovered in my early years. I want to remind you that there are some very un-PC parts of this movie but I never thought they were done to glorify what they were showing, but more to just show parts of life. Either way I don't condone those parts of the movie. The movie is 1983’s Suburbia. It was done by the same director who did Decline of Western Civilization but I never ran across that movie as a kid and, to this day, have only seen pieces of it. Anyway, Suburbia always made me think of a more punk version of Lost Boys for some odd reason and it was my first time hearing the band D.I. and gave me a deeper look at T.S.O.L., who I thought were awesome at age 14. The Vandals are also featured in this movie but not very prominently and this era of the band was definitely the best. Overall, an influential movie that showed punks as punks and was way better than what other major movie chains offered as “punk” movies that were more on the cyberpunk edge like Hackers. Don't make the mistake and watch the 1996 movie with the same name and don't waste your time seeing the very unrelated SLC Punk.
Chris McCaughan (Lawrence Arms, Sundowner)
SPB: I take it by the multiple baseball references in your songs that you're a fan. What are your thoughts on the recent doping scandal?
McCaughan: Hold up! There's cheating and steroids in baseball?!! C'mon. Are we really so surprised by all this?
It's certainly unfortunate, as I think a lot of us felt like the doping era was slowly becoming history. But alas… What I love most about it all is just how full of shit guys like Braun and A-Rod are. Amazing!!! I love baseball for the tradition, the folklore, the history. For me sports are, in essence, about narratives and characters and baseball is filled with both.
But I should be clear about something here. I love sports (as a side note I can't stand the cynical internet dicks on the day of some big game who post… yay sports!!! or something equally witty. How droll!! Yeah, we get it, you're too cool for sports) but I don't watch baseball so much these days. Perhaps, growing up a Cubs fan has slowly eroded my desire to watch. I feel like it should be noted here, since I don't get much of an opportunity to talk sports in this forum, that basketball has always been the sport I loved, and played, the most. The NBA is the major American league I care most about and follow religiously. I live and die Chicago Bulls basketball, man. The rest… well, I'm just a sucker for a good storyline.
Paper Tiger (Doomtree)
SPB: How does Doomtree travel? Do you all pile into a van or bus?
Paper Tiger: We have a van named Mountain. If the tour party and merch/gear are too big for the one van we will rent a minivan to roll along as well. In order to tour on a bus you need lots of money. I once lived in P.O.S.'s van for an entire summer with no AC. Sleep, eat, everything. It may have taken a few years off my life, but I enjoyed myself.
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