Create to Destroy! Remote Outposts

3 09 2014

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Greg Harvester is a punk I met at the MRR HQ when I first moved to SF. I had no idea he did a tape blog or what he describes as “a barely functioning record label” until I saw an ad he’s put in Mothers News, a rag out of Providence, RI. So, I thought after Robert Collins’ Terimal Escape tape blog interview why not cover another MRR shitworker and keep the tape blog love going? Here is Greg Harvester (who you may know from NEON PISS) talking about Remote Outposts for Create to Destroy!

Greg in Iceland

Greg in Iceland

What are your ties to the East Coast? How do you know all these rad people like FUNERAL CONE?
I guess it’s mostly from traveling a lot throughout the years. Besides going to NYC, I never really paid too much attention to New England for the longest time. A really good friend of mine, Mike Leslie, is from Worcester, MA, and I started making my way there to hang out with him. Over time, I just kept going back and I’ve fallen in love with the whole region. There’s so many great people and bands, such as CLEANSING WAVE, SKIMASK, THE TERRIBLES and all of those Boston bands that people always talk about (rightfully so). Plus, I just love the season of fall and if I could spend every fall there, I could die happy.

How’d you wind up in San Francisco?
I originally moved here in 2002 from Chattanooga, Tennessee, where I was living on a dilapidated houseboat. My time there had kind of run its course and I was ready for a change. My good friends in SF were starting a band called ALLERGIC TO BULLSHIT and they needed a drummer, so I decided to move out. The bass player, Cinque, and the singer, Ivy, were in town so I hopped in a van with them and a bunch of other maniacs and drove across the country with no money at all. I lived in a van on Alabama Street and at Mission Records (RIP) during that time. I left in 2003 to travel and do other stuff, but was drawn back here in 2008 and haven’t really wanted to leave since. I’m a fairly transient person, but this is the only place that has felt like home in years.

RemoteOutposts_grumpies_tape

How’d you wind up at MRR?
I hung out at the compound a lot in 2002 because I didn’t really have other places to go that were free. I did a lot of shitwork, like filing records, taking out the trash, doing the radio show, etc…. I did some book reviews, but they didn’t let me write record reviews because I told them that I hated all music, which was maybe true at that time. When I came back in 2008, I just showed up and insisted on being a part of the magazine again, because I want to be actively participating in print media…especially in a capacity that is so anti-corporate…for the most part…as anti-corporate as things can be in 2014.

Is the name “Remote Outposts” a reference to anything?
Yes. When I was first starting the blog, I didn’t think of a name until the last minute. At the time, I was obsessed with the idea of living in Antarctica (still am) and I loved this 1985 article from the Wall Street Journal about people losing their fucking shit while working there. The first line says, “It is Saturday night at one of the world’s most remote outposts…” I liked the sound of that. I liked that the title didn’t tie things down to any certain genre of punk or to anything at all, really. I guess that’s it.

Looks like you’ve been doing this since 2011. How has your “blog” changed since then?
I started the whole thing primarily to catalog and archive virtually unknown punk bands from the Southeast US, because that’s where I’m from…Alabama, to be exact. I think that, in my experience, some of the best punk has come from Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida, Arkansas and Georgia. Mississippi too, but not South Carolina. I wanted to provide the back story and sounds of a whole scene of bands who may have only put out one tape and may have only made 20 copies of that tape. I think those bands are the best shit, and I realized that I’m not alone in that thought. I wish that the majority of the blog wasn’t just my perspective or my experience, but that’s just how it happened. I try to get other people to write for it as well, but people are slow or flaky or just not interested and that’s fine. Over time, I archived most of the southern punk tapes that I wanted to, but I still have hundreds of other tapes. I think the only way it’s really changed is that I spend a little more time on the writing because I don’t want it to be like, “Hey, here’s a band from Gnawbone, Indiana,” and not provide context. I realized that people actually read it, so I try to make it interesting. Also, I decided recently to stop posting any bands who use crowd-sourcing in any capacity.

Has Remote Outposts always had a presence on Facebook ?
Not always. I’m not even sure why I started the FB page, but I realized that people pay attention to it. Its only purpose is to tell people there’s a new post, but they could just as easily sign up for an email alert and get it that way. Or just bookmark the blog. I try to update it pretty often. Whatever works.

RemoteOutposts_SpawnSacs_DrillerKillers_tape

Why do you do it?
I think a lot of these bands are important. I looked at some music blogs before I started this and they didn’t provide a lot of context. It would just be a link to a download. I want to know the backgrounds. Where do the bands come from? How do they get by? Have they ever had to sell plasma to get gas money? Did they almost die from heat exhaustion while having to breastfeed their kids in a tour van in Mexico? Have they ever killed anyone? Were any of them placed in youth detention centers when they were growing up for trying to burn down their school? Besides that, a lot of music blogs I saw mostly covered metal or hardcore, which is great, but I wanted to also see the more melodic or noisy or arty or fucked up side of music being represented in some small capacity. Besides that, it’s fun. When it’s not fun I’ll stop.

How do you do it?
I’ve always said, “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing,” and I mean that. There was a cord at my house that I plugged into my stereo which allowed me to digitize stuff. I don’t know what that cord is called. I’m not trying to be elusive. I really just don’t know. My house got a free scanner on Craigslist and I use that to scan any art that comes with the tapes. I use Audacity and iTunes to make the MP3s and then host it on whatever file hosting service works, which has been a real learning experience that I don’t want to discuss publicly.

Have you made new friends doing this?
Yeah, I meet people while traveling who like it, which is very encouraging. I haven’t, like, met my best friend in the world or anything, but most of the interactions that have come from this have been really positive.

Where do you get your tapes? Do you get a lot from reviewing demos for MRR?
I already had a fairly huge collection because I just don’t throw things away. I still have mix tapes from my teenage years and a VOMIT SPOTS tape that I originally got in 1989. I also hold onto tapes that I review for MRR, but only ones that either blow me away or have a few indispensable songs on them. Some people have given me their collection to sift through rather than trashing them. Some bands mail me their tape because they like the blog, which is amazing to me. I always buy tapes from touring bands that I like. I’ve found a few of ‘em on the street and in free boxes.

RemoteOutposts_PTC_tape

Not so much hardcore?
I fucking love hardcore. There’s a misconception that I’m not a fan of hardcore because I rarely cover it on the blog, but that’s just not true. I grew up on it and it’s still close to my heart. Also, the few times that I have posted hardcore on the blog, no one pays attention to it. BRAIN KILLER demo? No one cared. QUESTION? Nope. HARUM SCARUM? IRON LUNG? THE KNOCKABOUTS (Alabama’s first hardcore band!)? STOCKHOLM SYNDROME? Fuck it. Great fucking bands but I don’t think people read my blog for hardcore, because there are many other places on the internet that have that genre covered. Terminal Escape and Music Not Noize are much better outlets for that kind of stuff than me. Coincidentally, those are the only two music blogs I look at.

What is your punk forte, I mean like…what sub-genre of punk or genres do you mostly focus on?
I wanna just say “PUNK,” but the punk world has split off into so many sub-genres that I can’t (don’t want to) keep track anymore. Before I found punk, I stumbled into the world of performance art which was such a freak zone in 1980s Alabama. Because of that, I gravitate towards bands who are in true freak zones, whether they are arty, melodic, hardcore, drone-y, fucked up noise or whatever. That being said, I also love ultra-precise, no-fucking-around pop stuff like the MARKED MEN. I don’t care about grindcore. Is that an answer?

Zines?
I don’t even know what’s out there anymore. I like Asswipe, Cometbus, Spare Change and Absolutely Zippo, but honestly I’ve read Harper’s and journals more than zines in the last couple of years. I sometimes do a zine called Rice Harvester and another one called Disunderstood, which is just a journal of me writing down what I think hardcore bands are singing about at shows.

Tour stories?
So many. Two come to mind. Once, our van broke down in the South, so we left it at a mechanic with our roadie and just hitchhiked to our next show after sleeping on the ground in a gravel parking lot. The show sucked but we didn’t have to cancel it. Another time, I was in Jonquiere, Quebec, and the entire audience was on PCP. Our bass player quit mid-show because it was so fucked up, but we finished without her. At the end, the guitarist was passed out, dead to the world, and I had to carry him out like a little baby. On my way to the van, I had to dodge a dude who was crying and bashing himself in the head with a hammer, as well as a woman who was trying to make out with me. Oh, and in Budapest, Hungary, the audience ripped the pick guard and the bridge off of two of our guitars and then got upset when we couldn’t play any more. I’m afraid that I have stories like these for days.

That sounds very Quebec. Any last words?
Thank you. Look at the blog or don’t. Stay punk or don’t.

remoteoutposts.blogspot.com

September 3rd, 2014 by Amelia


Create to Destroy! Robin Wiberg

21 08 2014

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You may know Robin Wiberg as the drummer for DISFEAR, or from his Instagram account where he regularly posts his punk art. His drawings are stylistically very raw, which is fitting as he hails from Scandinavia, which is the birth place of “raw punk.” Here is an interview with Robin for Create to Destroy!

 

RobinWiberg_1

What was growing up like for you?
Well, I was born and raised in a small town called Nyköping, Sweden. My childhood was good, I guess, with secure surroundings and supportive working class parents. But when I got into my teens I outgrew my small town…having long hair, wearing studs, ripped jeans and Doc Martens was not very popular among the older raggare (greasers) and skins who beat me and my friends up on a regular basis and tried to cut our hair. I sang in my first punk band called REVOLT when I was 12, and later began playing drums in various punk and hardcore bands until I finally ended up in a band called DISFEAR. We started to tour Europe on a regular basis and we had a blast! During this time (1997) I met my wife-to-be, Linda, at a party with mutual friends (Jallo from NO SECURITY/DISCHARGE and his girlfriend). We moved to Gothenburg, then a few years later to Stockholm. Now we live in a house with our 6-year-old daughter and we are pretty satisfied with our lives.

Did you grow up listening to Swedish punk?
Yes, I did! The first punk band I heard was SEX PISTOLS, when I was around 11 years old. Before that I only listened to bands like KISS, Iron Maiden, Wasp, Accept and Mötley Crüe. I was totally blown away by the simple structures and the roughness in the Pistols and wanted to explore what punk was. Some older friends introduced me to bands like ASTA KASK and THE EXPLOITED. Then I discovered DISCHARGE (we called it thrashpunk at the time) and I couldn’t believe my ears! I was amazed over how fast they played and how raw as fuck and bleak the production on the Why 12″ was. After that everything came natural, and bands like ANTI CIMEX, TOTALITÄR and MOB 47 became my gods. I was going to gigs as often as I could, and I lived and breathed punk and hardcore.

RobinWiberg_3

When did you start drawing?
I started to draw at a very early age and drew very often as a kid, but when I was was around 14 years old I completely lost interest. It wasn’t until maybe a year ago when I rediscovered drawing and started to think that it was fun again.

What’s it like being a punk dad?
Well, it has its ups and downs for sure but it’s pretty awesome! I’m trying to introduce her to the scene and sometimes she likes the music I play and wants to “dance,” but mostly she’s like, “Why are you always listening to that angry music!?” Haha!

Does your kid draw?
Yeah, she draws more than me and she’s really good! I really enjoy the times when we sit down and draw together.

RobinWiberg_8

When did your art start mixing with punk?
In the 6th grade I think…I always drew punks and crusters whenever I got a hold of a pencil.

When did your art start getting recognized internationally?
Maybe a year or two ago when I started to publish my drawings on Instagram and the response was very positive. I work with mentally challenged adults that like crafts and to draw. So I am very lucky to be able to sit at work and draw at a daily basis.

What punk artist has influenced you the most?
I have to say Pushead. He’s art is close to perfect if you ask me. But I try to do my own thing!

RobinWiberg_9

Where was your art first used on a record release?
I think the first person who wanted to use my art was a guy called Martin (HERÄTYS, INSTITUTION). He wanted me to draw a picture for his hardcore/käng band named MISÄR-83. That release is not out yet though, due to his many other projects. The first band that actually released anything with my art on must have been WARVICTIMS. I have also collaborated with a couple of record labels who wanted my art for flyers/webpages/t-shirts and upcoming releases.

Where was your art last used?
The last commission was for a T-shirt design for the American band CHAIN SHOT.

What inspires your style?
The struggles in everyday life — the system, injustice, war, music and so on.

What are you currently working on?
I just finished a gig poster for the club Dead Rhythm with such bands as: DISTRESS from Russia, FREDAG DEN TRETTONDE, MYTERI AND UTANFÖRSKAPET. I have more stuff in the making but it’s to early to mention at the moment.

How can we best stay up to date with you?
If you need anything done for your band or label, you can email me at: final.agony {at} gmail(.)com
Check out my stuff on my Instagram account at username: fear_my_nerves

Any last words, punk?
This past year has been overwhelming with a lot of assignments from bands and labels who want to use my art for their releases. I really enjoy doing this, so don’t hesitate to contact me for whatever reason. Thank you for the interview, Amelia!

August 21st, 2014 by Amelia


Create to Destroy! Brooklyn’s Burning

14 08 2014

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Dano is doing a two-day punk event (not a fest) in NYC called Brooklyn’s Burning, featuring a ton of great bands, from UK crust legends DOOM to my favorite Oakland rockers, LECHEROUS GAZE. I met Dano through the NYC booking community, where we’d all pass shows along to each other if we couldn’t help out a band for one reason or another. Bottom line was that we tried our best to take care of all punks passing through, and Dano is still in NYC doing just that — whether through his work at the Acheron or events like this. Brooklyn’s Burning takes place September 19th and 20th. For more details, keep reading…

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Why do another fest in New York when there’s NY’s Alright?
Great question! I wouldn’t really call this a fest per say. In the future it will become a more expansive multi-day, multi-show thing but for now we just wanted it to be a couple of really fun shows around the corner from each other.

Do you expect a lot of out-of-towners?
Yes! I’ve already been hit up by a bunch of people traveling in for this. DOOM was so fucking good when they toured here a few summers ago I think people will be making the effort to see them since they’re only doing a few shows in the North East this time around.

Yeah, I was lucky to see DOOM twice at Chaos in Tejas in 2011 and in Brooklyn when they passed through then. How did you come up with the idea for this two-day event?
Bill Dozer, who I help run Acheron with, and I had talked about doing something like this since the Wick was getting close to opening a year ago. It felt like a great opportunity to use two cool and punk friendly spaces to bring a bunch of bands and friends to town. Chris from the Wick approached us about that time with a similar idea so here we are. I really like that it’s only a few shows this time around. I think it will keep things relaxed and let people coming easily see all the bands they want to without running around like maniacs.

Tell us about the venues. What is the Wick? And it’s cool the Acheron is hosting, too. Are they just hosting the after gigs?
I’ve been a part of The Acheron for a few years now and it’s been really awesome to see the place grow and become more and more a part of the scene here in NYC. Growing up here there weren’t always that many proper venues that would be overly welcoming to punks and metalheads so it’s nice to see that The Acheron can be that for so many bands and members of different scenes. For Brooklyn’s Burning the plan for now is to have a show at Acheron on Friday and then an after show for the DOOM gig on Saturday.

The Wick is a newer spot right around the corner from the Acheron. It’s quite a bit bigger so works well to have a main show at followed by something more intimate at Acheron. It’s a great space though. For me one of the biggest draws is that it’s a venue of that size without being part of any corporate entity and still feels like you’re just at a big warehouse show. There’s already been a handful of punk shows there (NYs Alright in April and INFEST in June) and they’ve gone well so I think it will work great for this.

Growing up we had Coney Island High and Wetlands, which both got shut down when we were in our teens. But yeah, there was definitely a lack of “proper venues” over the past few years in NYC. I spent a ridiculous amount of time at CBGBs and ABC No Rio as a kid, but they really did have specific crowds, definitely not as diverse as the Acheron is today. So, is the fest all ages? How about the kids?
The Wick is all ages and The Acheron will be 18+.

Hard Skin

Hard Skin (photo by Konstantin Sergeyev)

I’m glad the Wick exists, NYC needs more all ages venues! How’d you get these amazing headliners like DOOM and HARD SKIN? Were they already going to be in the USA or did they fly out just for this?
I’ve been wanting to see DOOM again since they were here last and figured after the release of the new LP they’d be into coming over for a few shows. Luckily I was right! They’re just coming for this and a warm up gig in Philly a few days before. HARD SKIN, who continue to be the best band in the world, are thankfully always down for a good adventure. Once we had a few things lined up it didn’t take much convincing to get em to return and do a short tour afterwards.

Who is playing the fest?
DOOM, HARDSKIN, EEL, ASPECTS OF WAR, NOMAD, LECHEROUS GAZE, KICKER, CRIMSON SCARLET, and a few others that will be announced shortly.

How much is it and where can we get tickets?
It’s $20 for the six band main show at the Wick on Saturday and tickets are available here. Tickets for the Acheron shows aren’t up yet, but will be shortly.

Where is the profit going or do you just expect to break even?
The profit is going towards paying the bands. Flights aren’t cheap at the moment!

Are there going to be several tours that come out of this?
Yeah, HARDSKIN and KICKER will be doing a week long tour together following this. CRIMSON SCARLET will be on tour around this time which EEL will be joining them for a few days of. That’s it, as far as I know.

How can we best stay up to date on the fest?
We’ll be making updates on the Facebook event page and on the Acheron blog.

August 14th, 2014 by Amelia


Create to Destroy! Terminal Escape

6 08 2014

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Robert Collins is a Bay Area character — you may know him from numerous bands he’s been in or tours you’ve spotted him on. I first remember him from Chaos in Tejas in 2009 when I bought a Judgment shirt off him in a sea of punk buying frenzy. Mr. Collins has reviewed many cassettes for MRR and has uploaded many of them to his tape blog. I know I was honored when my old bands’ tapes got posted and I’m sure you felt the same way when yours was or you were just stoked to discover a new gem band that never made it to vinyl or sounded way better in their demos days. Here is MRR’s very own Robert Collins of Terminal Escape

US punk/HC (to be ripped, section 1 of 4)

The Terminals Escape tape shelves: US punk/HC (to be ripped, section 1 of 4)

How long have you had a tape blog, Terminal Escape? Sorry to call it a “tape blog” that makes it sound like a trendy cheap experience.
I started Terminal Escape in June 2009, and Escape Is Terminal about two years later. No need to apologize — I mean, they are tape blogs after all. If it’s a trendy thing then so be it.

Why tapes?
The initial motivation was perhaps different than the current one…I received a vault of ’80s cassettes and demos, the result of an old(er) friend’s trading over the years and he no longer wanted to deal with them. There were countless bands I had never heard of and couldn’t find any info about, and the blog seemed a logical way to share the sounds. Through that initial blast I ended up corresponding with members of LUMPS OF MERDE, CONVULSIONS, SNAPPIN’ BOGSEATS…heaps of bands that never released vinyl during their relatively short existences. Punk got passed around like this, on tapes, for twenty years pre-internet, and there is definitely something special about the medium.

Now, however, I kinda view tapes and records as the “things,” the tactile objects that we like to hold so that we feel closer to the sounds and the artists that make them. Simple economics says that if people are going to primarily digest your music digitally anyway (and let’s be honest, much more efficiently) it makes sense that punks in lesser known bands would gravitate towards the cheapest way to have a “thing” that makes your music “real.” You make 50 tapes so you have a “release” then put the fukkn shit on the internet, it’s a lot cheaper than making a record no one is going to buy. It’s a bit fatalistic, and I’m dodging the fact that the cassette is considered a retro and/or hip format, but for bands who can’t afford to dump cash into vinyl and think CD demos are utterly disposable, then the format works.

But why do I stick exclusively with cassettes? I’m five years in, I suppose it’s my thing now…

Do you consider yourself a bit obsessive?
Obviously. But mostly I would consider myself enthusiastic, often to a fault.

How do you record tapes to MP3 format?
Tape deck RCA output –> 1/8″ computer mic input –> record and edit in Audacity (free software) –> dump into iTunes –> convert to MP3 and zip via BetterZip –> upload to Opendrive, Box and/or Zippyshare.

Why a tape blog? Why not just make bootlegs and send them to the other 5,000 punx worldwide? Or is the internet more effective?
Effective is a trick term. Efficient? Yes. But face to face is way more effective than a bunch of files. Why? I just started the ball rolling and haven’t decided to quit.

What tapes do you put on your blog?
Whatever tapes I want.

US punk/HC (posted)

The Terminals Escape tape shelves: US punk/HC (posted)

Is it only punk?
Definitely not. It’s mostly punk, but there are artists and labels outside of that realm that I find extremely compelling and it seems that visitors to the blog appreciate occasional detours.

How do tapes get into your hands? It always seemed mysterious and like an underground movement, the Robert Collins connection…

I buy a lot of them. Sometimes people give me old collections that are taking up dust hoping that the sounds will be eventually shared and not be merely stuck on a shelf (these are always welcome, of course). I do get submissions from time to time, and they are overwhelmingly good ones…though I confess that I feel really bad when someone says “Man, I dig your blog and want to send you my band’s tape because I’m really proud of it and would love to see it on Terminal Escape” and then it’s total crap. I have been a demo reviewer for MRR for years, so that’s an obvious source as well.

How do you feel this supports underground punk?
That’s tough. Does it? Or does it just stroke my ego and the ego of the bands I like? I’m not sure. I know bands that have been “discovered” by labels via the blog, I know bands that have had tour offers after I shared their tapes…but does it support underground punk? Terminal Escape is a way for people, regardless of geography or scene affiliation, to have access to (what I humbly think of as a) wealth of new and old music that they might not otherwise hear. So I guess it encourages underground punk. And hopefully supports it as well.

Why not CDs?
Because I do not like CDs. There are still places where the CD (and, sadly, the CD demo) are still utilized, but thankfully my home is not one of them.

Do you only collect tapes?
No. I like records. A lot.

How many tapes do you think you have?
Too many. I live in a pretty small flat and I am constantly purging, if only out of necessity.

Do you consider your collection an archive?
No, though the UK collection I got that prompted the start of Terminal Escape would certainly fit that description…and that stuff is in my collection, so maybe it is? It will be someday, but it’s hard for me to think about things I’ve accumulated through my own time going to shows as archival — even if many of them are, by now, rather old.

Where will it go when you die?
To the thrift store. Someone is gonna be stoked.

Do you still do mail trades?
No, and I never have done so with any efficiency. I am really bad at mail, really bad at correspondence. Really bad at selling stuff. I am a terrible person to trade things with.

How can we stay up to date on Terminal Escape?
terminalescape.blogspot.com (updated daily)
escapeisterminal.blogspot.com (updated sporadically)

Any last words, wizard?
Not really? I’m ripping a live YOUTH RIOT tape right now and it’s pretty awesome, so that’s cool.

August 6th, 2014 by Amelia


Create to Destroy! L.A.’s Berserktown Fest 2014

31 07 2014

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East 7th was seriously holding it down in Los Angeles as a haven for punk and creativity. Unfortunately it was recently closed, but the East 7th punx’ Beserktown Fest is still happening at Los Globos, August 15th through 17th, with affordable tickets. This is a true community effort with the purest of intentions and a backbone of punk ethics. Please support the punks who organized it and the incredible array of the most potent acts from all over the world that will be performing. (This interview was not done with any particular person as it takes a village to organize a fest, so individual names are not being used.)

What was East 7th? Does it still exist without a physical space?
East 7th was a DIY punk club in Downtown Los Angeles. There were underground gigs happening from January 2013 to June 2014. It’s just one unit (building) rather than two now and there are plans to open a punk shop. Check out the shop at East 7th during the fest days from 11am to 5pm.

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Do you consider yourselves a collective?
East 7th has always been a small crew of people investing ideas, money and time into the space, events, distro, and resources. The group of people supporting it has changed over the short time it’s been around.

How has the community of East 7th changed since shutting down?
A lot of shows that we’re booked at East 7th ended up at Los Globos. It definitely changes things going from DIY space to legitimate business. East 7th was becoming too big for itself and it got harder to mediate conflict and prevent violence at shows. People feel a loss for East 7th who’ve been there or wanted to go. Nothing lasts forever. Los Globos is a different vibe, but it’s cool enough to be all-ages and offer 75% percent of the door to touring bands.

How is it tied to the Beserktown Fest?
Beserktown is a new thing happening. East 7th’s involvement puts more DIY punk and hardcore bands on the bill: friends who have supported East 7th or would be cool to see live. There are genres/bands involved that in most cases might not be on the same bill. Beserktown has funding/investment from the club and East 7th is organizing most of the punk and hardcore given the budget. It’s not a “DIY” fest, but has a lot of underground bands on it from different backgrounds. There’s also an opening art show Aug. 14 in Downtown L.A. at Superchief Gallery, featuring different punk art and photography that begins at 6pm and will be up through the weekend.

I understand it was originally supposed to be at East 7th, how has it been working with Los Globos? I have a friend who remembers that place when it used to be a disco club…
East 7th was going to do another Solo Para Punx fest like last summer, but cancelled the idea once the space closed as a venue. The opportunity to get involved with a fest at Los Globos was offered to East 7th—they asked us to book bands. Since it’s a new project, not entirely punk or DIY, it became BESERKTOWN.

Los Globos is a regular club. So far there haven’t been any major problems. Bands on tour get or split 75% of the door. It’s all ages. There’s times where people get asked to leave for sneaking in alcohol which is expected but no real violence. It’s possible with so many different people there can be issues during the fest weekend. Hopefully everything will be handled right and people have a good time.

Who are the headliners?
Some of the “headliners” are early L.A. punk bands THE ZEROS and THE WEIRDOS, CHROME from the Bay Area, DAWN OF HUMANS (first time on the West Coast), HOAX, FINAL CONFLICT, UNA BESTIA INCONTROLABLE, IRON LUNG, A GLOBAL THREAT, etc.

L.A.'s BLAZING EYE. See them at Berserktown Fest! (photo by Beanzattack)

L.A.’s BLAZING EYE. See them at Berserktown Fest! (photo by Beanzattack)

With such a diverse lineup — from PHARMAKON to A GLOBAL THREAT to GREEN BERET to THE ZEROS to WOLF EYES to UNA BESTIA INCONTROLABLE — is this considered a punk fest or more of just a showcase of all the amazing music going on internationally today?
It’s a fest with mostly underground music, a lot of punk and hardcore and it’s at a business which does all kinds of music events and nightclubs. It’s definitely a diverse lineup, and I’m not all too familiar with every artist on it since it’s collaborative. There’s two rooms up stairs with bands playing back to back, sometimes at the same time, but usually different styles. There’s also an outdoor patio if you need a break.

How big is the venue? What do you expect the turn out to be like?
The venue holds around 500 people. The turnout might be between 300-500 people each night, it depends. It would have been nice to organize this much earlier in the year, but it was an opportunity that came up mid-June. It’s surprising what’s come together so far despite the time crunch.

How much is it? Do you think they’ll be tickets at the door or should we buy in advance?
There are 200 fest passes for $45 that you can buy online. Each show has individual tickets in advance for $18 online. If you buy them at the door on the day of the show, they’re $20. Buying a pass or tickets in advance is somewhat cheaper.

Do you plan on doing this annually?
Not sure. It’s possible it will happen again next year. It’s an experiment, like everything. Thanks for the interview, Amelia.

East 7th St. shop!

East 7th St. shop!

BESERKTOWN FEST • Los Angeles, CA • August 15-17
Los Globos • 3040 Sunset Blvd. • Los Angeles, CA 90026

TICKETS: Fest Pass (all three days) $45 • $18 daily tickets: Aug 15th, Aug 16th, Aug 17th

East 7th Shop will be open during the days of the fest:
1725 E. 7th, Unit D • Los Angeles, CA 90021

Superchief Gallery will be hosting a punk art and photo show during the fest in the day: 739 Kohler St., Downtown L.A.

Current lineup (check in HERE for the most up-to-date info)
A GLOBAL THREAT • AUSENCIA • BETA BOYS • BEHAVIOR • BLAZING EYE • CHROME • CRAZY JOE DEVOLA • DAWN OF HUMANS (NYC) • DESTRUCTION UNIT (Arizona) • DIRTY WORK • FINAL CONFLICT • FUMIGADOS • HIGH FUNCTIONING FLESH • HOAX • IRON LUNG (Seattle) • KOWARD (Boston) • GREEN BERET (Boston) • NEEDLES (Bay Area) • NUKE CULT • POLISKITZO • SURVIVAL (NYC) • UNA BESTIA INCONTROLABLE (Spain) • THE WEIRDOS • THE ZEROS

Also: AARON DILLOWAY (Ohio) • CONTAINER (Rhode Island) • HIVE MIND • PETE SWANSON (NYC) • PHARMAKON (NYC) • SKATE LAWS (California)

July 31st, 2014 by Amelia