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 Sundowners, The Black Lantern, Razorcake, Modern Radio Record Label.
SPB: What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you on a tour? Have you ever been stranded or forced to cancel?
Jared: Great question! and really annoying memories to look back on. Hahaha.
Sundowners were on an eight-to-ten hour drive to Salt Lake City maybe three weeks into the tour. We had already been missing our tour mates Shang-a-Lang [and] feeling a great depression after we separated earlier in the tour. We missed their faces, their jokes, and really missed hearing guaranteed rad tunes every night. Unfortunately, good bands are not mandatory every night of tour. Actually, no, that's a good thing they are not. So we are driving to Salt Lake City on our way to play a house show. We finally get there and we all have different levels of hangovers, some of them weirder than others. We hit the beautiful rolling hills on our longboard, each taking turns bombing it. We head to the house and we don't see any sign of activity what so ever which always brings a smile to the face. We knock. We knock again. Someone comes to the door and looks like he just smoked a monster joint and took too many pain pills. Another smiling moment. Hahaha. "We're here from Minnesota to play the show here," I say. The dude is like, "Oh yeah, shit man I totally forgot about that. Do you want to like set up and play for us and just like jam your set?" I then forgot to answer him and walked back to the van and grabbed a beer to relax and not blow up on the guy. I started talking to my bandmates and accidentally dropped the bottle and it broke. Ooops. So I grabbed another and set the rest on the top of a garbage can and while I was opening the new one the other four started rolling off so I reach for them and accidentally dropped my new one while staring at the remaining amount hit the concrete. God dammit. At this point we all just started laughing ‘cause it was that kind of shitty where that's all you can do. I went back to the kid and told him we were gonna start heading on our next lengthy drive. He then offered us his Gamecube and games to go pawn. I almost said yes and took it from him to just smash on the ground right by his feet but instead just said you better keep it. House shows are great but this story is far too common. Bottom line if you are booking a show for a touring band that relies on show money to keep going please just don't forgot about them.
Jesse (The Black Lantern)
SPB: How do you choose your album art?
Jared: Our music is trying to be chaotic but still have a common thread of rhythm. We were all drawn to glitch art and started following Rob Sheridan and also the Year of the Glitch tumblr. We got apps on the phones, most importantly Decim8, and started making content. The cover of our 7" is one such photo. We had about 20 options, and chose the winner. The other photos got turned into flyers, live visuals, etc.
Sean Carswell (Razorcake)
SPB: How has working on a zine changed how you listen to or value music?
Sean: When I first started doing record reviews for Flipside back in the '90s, I learned to really listen to music in a way I hadn't before. Doing reviews taught me to sit down with an album and do nothing but listen, to consider what the band was doing, to pay attention to the lyrics, to hear every instrument, to trace influences, to think about the packaging, everything. It taught me to experience the complexity of punk rock. I know it's basically three chords and eighth notes and a lot of screaming, but that's way too simple of a view of the music. That's like saying that Moby Dick isn't all that original because Herman Melville only used twenty-six letters when he wrote it.
When we started Razorcake, I got first dibs on the records for review, so that exponentially increased the number of reviews I did. After doing well over a thousand of them, reviews started to weigh too heavily on the way I listened to music. I found myself reviewing everything in my head. It was no fun. I finally stopped doing reviews and started just buying the records I wanted. Now, I have the best of both worlds. I've learned to really listen to music, and I don't have to tell anyone what I think about it.
Peter Mielech (Modern Radio Record Label)
SPB: You re-released old STNNNG records on the Playbutton format. How did you decide to try that format?
Peter: It's an experiment of sorts. We've always tried to stay on top of the different ways people listen to music. Although we've always stayed true to the only time-tested format in vinyl, we were one of the first in town to embrace digital retailers and adopt the idea of including a download card with the vinyl. The Playbutton we thought would not only be an interesting way to reissue those out-of-print STNNNG albums, but to also present our artist's music in a new format that appeals to a younger audience. The company that produces the Playbuttons have had a hard time ramping up to drive down costs, but we think it incorporates cool elements from multiple formats. We've always stressed the importance of strong, compelling album artwork on our releases, so the idea of a wearable button displaying that artwork, combined with the convenience of the digital/ipod style platform seems like a nice combination. So far, it appears others agree, since every time we set one out with ear phones for people to try out it gets stolen.
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