Wednesday, October 6, 2010

An Interview With a Show House Owner

We met up at the Allston Cafe, a central hub for many of the kids that hang out in Allston. He sat there, reading a hand-made skate magazine while answering many of my questions, his eyes flitting up and around every once in a while, but mostly staying glued to the page.

I ask What made you decide to move to Boston? For school, I'd always wanted to go to The Museum School. I was considering moving to New York, but I lived so close to New York that I wanted a change. I guess I wanted to live in a city that wasn't as hectic. Plus I didn't like any of the schools in New York, anyway.

How long have you lived in Allston? 4 and a half years.

Have you ever moved away from Allston, and then back again? If so what brought you back? I didn't move away from Allston for any particular reasons, mostly just for health stuff. I always came back.

What made you decide to open up your house to Basement shows?
I'd been wanting to do that since I was 15, or so; mostly because I was going to garage shows in my home town. Like this place called "The Garage". It was run by some old punk dudes, and I remember seeing bands like The Assistant play there. It just made me want to get more in the underground scene where you can have DIY and Punk and Hardcore shows, without having to go and rent a hall which I think is ridiculous when you can have them in a basement or garage to make it more intimate. Rather than catering for everyone else in that environment. I'd been planning it since checking out the house [that I live in]. I moved into the house with 8 original people, now it's about 17 or 18. Originally we only owned the left half of the house, after a year, we took over the whole right side of the house as well. We suggested it to the landlord that another 8 friends of ours should move into the right side. During the second year [all the original kids] stayed there, progressively they all moved out or left. Since 2006 I'm the only original person living there.

What was the craziest thing that ever happened at a basement show? I'd have to say probably me and three of my friends getting arrested at the Eunuch last show at my house. And then getting bailed out and trying to catch the end of the show after it had been relocated to [location removed]. Seeing everyone just completely go crazy tearing apart the walls while moshing. tearing out insulation and tossing couches down the stairwells, and the air was almost visible because of the amount of debris and, I'm assuming, asbestos or insulation from people smashing the walls. Got there while my friends Chris & Jason's band was playing, and people were swinging from lights hanging from the ceiling in this small room that was probably 14X20 feet with enough people to pile on top of each other, people still moshing, tearing apart walls. That shit was ridiculous. Too bad I didn't get to see Eunuch's last set, but, eh, shit happens.

What do you think is the biggest problem about the Allston show scene? One problem is cops, but that's inevitable anywhere with underground scenes. The people going to shows need to learn to respect the space a bit more, and respect the space around the house and that would probably lead to less cop involvement. Such as 50 punk kids hanging out on the street during a show, if a cop drives by a show he's going to be more suspicious seeing 50 dirty punks than 50 brodudes or floozy college girls. There's always smaller problems, but that's the main one; and that's never going to go away, at least in any major city.

What do you think is the best thing about the Allston show scene? There's so many houses, so many spaces and so many people getting together and pulling the scene together even through the struggles we've had the scene is still really strong. Like, if a show has to be cancelled at a house, we can always move it somewhere else and it almost always works out. You can usually find a space for that show to be moved to. We usually can always find a place for touring bands to play and stay at, like if they need a place to crash. I feel like we have a rather welcoming community for people. There's always shows happening, people can go to a show every night here.

What is the most memorable show you've been to here? Cock E.S.P., Corephallism, Suffering Bastard, Crank Sturgeon, Sauce Party, Sanguine Piss, Typical White Male, Rexor. It was at [location omitted]. It was memorable because Cock E.S.P. is just a bunch of noise weirdos dressing up in costumes. They've been doing it for about 10 years, they always put on an amazing show. Oct 22, 2008 was when it was. There was a great crowd, especially for a Wednesday. Everyone but Crank Sturgeon was on tour. Most were from the Midwest, and those guys are big fucking imaginative weirdos, and they love to drink and party and they always have some crazy new projects they're working on. Sauce Party was like cowboy noise, that shit was amazing. I've never seen a cowboy noise set, like a dude with a cowboy hat and shirt, and pins and boots and stuff. Sounds like we're going to the Wild-west with blasts of crazy loud noise.

Who do you think is the band with the most potential currently? Why? That's a hard question, because there's, I mean, granted there's a lot of different genres of music and what not, I mean, I could be thinking of like, some noise projects or some grimy crust band, and they're both going to be coming out of different scenes and y'know, they aren't going to be put out on the same labels, they are pretty much separate. So, I mean, I mean a band that I hope gets big is my friend's band Fuckheads, my friend Carl's noise project Sharp Waste is just him doing dark industrial kind of noise with screaming vocals over it and it's just really powerful. Nurture Abuse which I believe is all from Providence, two dudes, one of the guys is from Suffering Bastard, basically one dude does noise and the other one does vocals while cutting himself on stage with whatever is around and they're usually wearing crazy amounts of bondage gear and full covered face leather masks. It's pretty intense, it's like really fucking creepy shit. Really heavy. They're bleeding on stage from ten parts of your chest screaming at everyone with blasting noise. Puts off a, I dunno how you say it, you get sucked into it. Like you, it's like terrifying in a way, but you just can't stop staring.

If you could describe allston sub culture in 5 words, what would those words be? My subculture? dirty, forty, ringer, basement, a-bit-absurd, intense. That's six words.

Is there anything else that you feel would be important to know for this interview, or interviews in the future? [typed by the interviewee]
or actually...
don't trust cops,
keep skating. Keep playing music, blast that shit as loud as fucking possible.
Support your local scene, do whatever you can, and if you skate, build some sick cement bowl somewhere and invite me to skate it. xo.

Photo Credit to: The Assistant's Myspace Photo Gallery

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