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 Ancient Shores, MDC, Full of Hell, and Destroy Nate Allen.
BJ Rochinich (Ancient Shores, SPB columnist)
SPB: What got you interested in film beyond casual observation?
Rochinich: I took a psychology of cinema class in college that showed me what I'm seeing when watching a film. The audio and cinematography that construct a film can be looked at closely to gain a better grasp on the intent of the film. Like the lower-third in the news or used in documentaries, there are interesting consistencies in film-making that have been affected by years of progress in the art. The combinations of those variables are things that I enjoy looking at, reading about, and discussing.
One of my favorite pieces of analysis comes from Jim Emerson regarding the truck chase scene in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight.
My late uncle who held an artistic and intellectual influential post in my life, graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in the ‘70s. I received all of his reading material from this part of his life. Over the years my ability to comprehend film analysis has improved based on re-reading these books, in addition to taking film classes in college. Comparing the use of extras and budget now against the early 20th century has been a particularly interesting subject. Eisentein's creation and application of the montage makes for substantial comparison to its use in decades since, and it's one of those things that is often mentioned in modern terms for the song playing over it.
Film has an enduring affect on cultural history. It's evolution is constant and broadens every day. Analysis of film beyond casual observation makes for a fulfilling exploration.
Dave Dictor (MDC)
SPB: What was the largest and smallest crowd you’ve played to?
Dictor: The largest crowd was at the With Full Force Festival in what was East Germany with Motorhead, Agnostic Front, US Bombs, The Distillers. There was said to be 50,000 people there. Ozzy Osbourne was the next night's headliner at the festival. We played the smaller of the two stages yet I would say half of the people at the event were paying attention to us.
From there the attendance slides to between 5 and 7 thousand...both outdoors and free with the Dead Kennedys at Yippie events in the year of 1983. One was July 3rd at the Lincoln Memorial and the other at Dolores Park in San Francisco. In 1982 we got to open for the DK's in Europe for 17 shows that had between 1,000 and 3,000 in attendance. These were our biggest shows to date and there was something very satisfying to realizing we could handle a crowd that large and that basically didn't know who you were ‘til you played.
As far as tiny shows go, ]there are] almost too many to announce for a band such as ours. I must say the urge is to forget these non-events is strong...When we started out we played parties for 10 to 15 people all the time. And the Tuesday 9:30 slot at the famous old Raul's Club in Austin in 1980 could easily have less than 12 people in the club.
We just played Adelaide, Australia for 57 paid. Our motto for these shows is " Never have so many, traveled so far, to play for so few" (a rewording of Churchill's comment of the debt England owed to the RAF fliers of WWII). There are the shows where the advertising never made it into the paper, the date was advertised incorrectly or whatever. There are various reasons for extreme low attendance...one is plain old over-playing one's market which we have done a plenty in Portland and San Francisco through the years. We have played to groups of 5 to 10 people more than a few times and you just have to suck it up and pray it builds character.
On the other hand, I play acoustically for smaller groups all the time. We have played the Red And Black Cafe here in Portland for 20 people or less more than a few times. Sometimes a relatively small amount of people can give you more energy and positive response than much larger crowds. Enjoy your music and accept the ups and downs out there in the gig world. And face that many of us out there are never totally quite sure when it might be time to throw in the towel versus it just being a speed bump and you’re about to take your band to new heights. To me it is very sad when a person or group throws in the towel prematurely and a lot less sad when a band sticks around past it's due date.
Dylan Walker (Full of Hell)
SPB: What do you think when fans run onstage and sing into the mic during a song?
Walker: I think it’s cool. It means the kids actually enjoy the music and the lyrics mean something to them.
Nate Allen (Destroy Nate Allen)
SPB: What’s the story behind your band name?
Allen: I had played music as "Nate Allen" for a few years in San Francisco. Nobody really cared. I had done a few northwest shows but for the most part the music was just mediocre Johnny Cash and Social Distortion worship and nothing special. After a while, I started dealing with heavy amounts of fear and depression. I decided to quit music and try to figure out why I was feeling so bad. I didn't know if I'd ever play again.
Over the course of a year as I began to heal, new songs started coming out. They were different. Things had a much more accessible indie/folk tone. I played a few shows and people sang-a-long. I was in shock.
I came up with the idea of "Destroy Nate Allen" because somebody owned nateallen.com. I thought of buying destroynateallen.com to make fun of myself. I hoped someone might pay attention. I told Tessa (my now wife and bandmate) about the idea. She asked "Is that going to be your new band name?" I hadn't thought about it but the more I did, the more I liked it. I realized a change was needed to mark the new season.
That was 7 years ago. Over time, we have become a much more extroverted and silly band. I took my punk rock upbringing and fused it with an acoustic guitar. The results are that I now can't stop moving when we play and that have to wear knee-pads and tape my fingers for each show. I'm more likely to be hurt playing music than anything else. In a way you can say I am "Destroying" Nate Allen.
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