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 No Idea Records, Alan Licht, David Bailey, and The Brokedowns.
Var (No Idea Records)
SPB: As No Idea has become an established DIY label, what is the more tiresome stereotype you’ve encountered as a result of that success?
Var: The short answer would be that "all the bands sound like Hot Water Music." *
The long answer is that "success" is a tricky word. Our daily lives and work on the label/mailorder/distribution are filled with an unending flow of tiny successes and failures. It's hard to say which we learn more from; sometimes a well-timed stubbed toe allows us to protect ourselves from falling down a mine shaft. Do we weep over a bruise or toast an averted disaster?
* Or perhaps that we all have beards. I do not have a beard. I cannot grow one properly, even if it were my keenest dream. I didn't shave for a month just to see what would happen. Itchy happened. Dirt-scraggle happened. I didn't start hanging around the arcade selling clove cigarettes, but I certainly felt relieved and liberated when I cracked and put the razor to use.
Alan Licht (Solo, Run On, The Pacific Ocean, more)
SPB: What is your least favorite genre of music? Is there an artist who is an exception to that rule?
Alan: Opera is my least favorite genre of music (meaning traditional western classical opera, not including Peking Opera, or certain avant garde operas like Einstein on the Beach or some of Robert Ashley's work). To be more specific, it's the vocal style in opera that I dislike; the main problem I have with heavy metal, which I like for the most part, is that the vocals are essentially operatic.
David Bailey (CAGES/Gas Chamber)
SPB: Who is your favorite band or artist from the 1980s?
David: G.I.S.M. from Japan. They released two furious documents in the eighties, Detestation and Military Affairs Neurotic, both of which are heaving with violence. As a teenager I had picked up a bootleg cd of them based on the terrifying cover artwork, and after hearing Randy Uchida's GUITAR(!!) and Sakevi's VOICE(!!!!), was hooked. Here was all the instability, hatred, grossness, and internal disgust transformed into sound. However, and this is current through all of their work, an underlying sense of beauty and majesty can be found (this is especially evident if you witness any of the Beast Arts video editing). Add this to legendary live actions and you have a truly important grouping of individuals creating something of substance.
Mustafa Daka (The Brokedowns)
SPB: Are there any Albanian bands you’d recommend?
Mustafa: Unfortunately, Albania hasn't produced much in the way of rock, metal or thrash bands. There are a few that I'm like, "Yeah, these guys aren't so bad..." but that's kinda like when you go to Big Lots and you buy a turntable/cassette player in a box that looks like it was made in 1944 for $60 because everything else in there blows. I can't talk too much shit about their pop music since my distant cousin is like Albania's Christina Aguilera.
Anyway, I'm a sucker for traditional Albanian music. Look up "Vaske Curri." Great stuff. You have to listen to it. I don't know what I find soothing about the haunting, in-and-out-of-tune drawn out harmonies. Maybe it's because it reminds me of when I realized my people were unique and out of the ordinary or maybe it reminds me of my mom when she laughed at the way my dad's face looked when he was crying when he listened to this music. I get my sour crying face from my dad. It's an awful face. He's an emotional guy. I get that from him, too. When traditional Albanian music gets played, you got a maximum of 20 seconds before my dad breaks into "awful cry face." Minimum 5 seconds. Specifically the song, “Kenga per Laver Bariun,” which translates to "Shepard Song for Laver." Beautiful song. Might not be your thing, though. It's an acquired taste. I speak a little Albanian on the new Brokedowns album. It's more like Albanglish, though. Maybe I can convince the dudes to do a whole album of songs in Albanian. Then we can be added to the pile of mediocre Albanian bands nobody has ever heard of.
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