Thursday, 19 June 2008

The McDonalds and a Gun Plan Fanzine Not For Resale Interview
(Also known as The Full Body Dunk and now The Fighting Drunk)

Conducted June 2007 - reposted for posterity

How did you get started promoting?

I write for the Brighton Source magazine, covering local band and label gigs, demos and releases which keeps me involved and in contact with a whole load of amazing music so we started Not For Resale in the upstairs bar of Fitzherberts in the middle of Brighton as a way for people to hear each other’s sounds and play the bands we find most interesting and exciting. We’ve put on acousticy stuff with a small PA and laptoppy things, though we did also have The Robot Ninja Dinosaur Bastards play up there once which was probably the loudest, heaviest thing to grace that pub ever - and it’ll probably never be topped either. I was asked by the manager of a club if we wanted to expand a bit and the prospect of being able to put on full band shows in a club environment was a done deal for us, it’s exactly what we were looking to do. That’s pretty much the story. Not much too it, you’ve just got to take the chances when you can.

How long has NFR been going?

NFR has been going almost two years now. We started the NFR Live! club nights in April this year, so they’re pretty new, though the two shows we’ve had so far have been absolute stormers. We’re just about to have My Device play their new aalbum in it’s entirety live, we’re putting on Marnie Stern for a one of international guest special with Skill 7 Stamina 12, Ashley the drummer from Charlottefield’s other band and Towering Breaker with their freak noise fizz and crackle supporting, we’re having The Flesh happening and Robot Ninja Dinosaur bastards together at the same gig which will totally flip people out, we’ve got a black/death metal band playing but I haven’t figured out what other bands should go with that yet. Got to keep it mixed like some freaky compilation, not enough people willing to take risks and we’re one dangerous liability waiting to collapse under it’s own ambition but we’ll keep it that way until we do.

What are the goals of NFR?

Our goals are manifold really. We want the Fitzherberts’ DJ nights to be a place for people to come and listen to a whole load of freaky music and hear what other bands around town are doing. We hope it serves as a place for bands to begin and collaborations to form out of hearing each others work, which it has to some extent because the whole ethos behind it is to celebrate creativity not just to stand around getting pissed (though there’s massive sofas too, so if you want to sit and get lost in deep conversation you can) We want bands to be noticed by audiences and go off and see them live and pester them for demos – just get the whole thing moving along and keeping everyone enthusiastic. It’s a place for people to hear stuff they’ve never heard before and, though we don’t really like to say it because it sounds pretentious and is kind of implicit in the aesthetic of the night, we play a lot of obscure and very limited releases that people probably won’t be able to hear anywhere else. We love it when bands we’ve been playing demos of start to get big and the ball rolls out of control, like with Klaxons and the Horrors. It’s not something we brag about, it’s just what we do. I don’t know, maybe we should shout about the fact that we’ve been playing this stuff and it’s got massive, but that’s not our style, there’s really no need for it. Words getting around at a welcome pace The NFR Live! night is there to showcase bands that we’ve been playing at our bar night, putting our money (though it’s all free) where our mouth is and giving people the chance to jump around, dance and sometimes cry. It’s been known to happen.

What should anyone coming to an NFR night expect?

They should expect to get their heads wrecked. We give people a damn good time and they come away exhilarated and enthused about the infinite possibilities the universe has to offer. We crack open minds with mysterious new sounds and people love it. The other week I played demos from Extinction and Bone Awl – two very different Black Metal bands, back to back, watched as half the crowd went nuts and a few faces went deathly pale, then the whole place flipped when we dropped Holy Fuck on them straight out of Bone Awl.. Everyone went ballistic, running all over the place like their minds had just blown out their eyes. See, it’s mixing it up, grabbing people’s attention with stuff that we really enjoy and our people enjoy it too – sometimes they may not think so for a while, but then the moment takes them. Causing physical and psychological reactions – just getting people into the mind set of experimenting; offering them stuff they can’t hear anywhere else. A sense of mischievous aural terrorism coupled with the desire to include everyone works for us and the people that come to our nights.

The MGP’s idea of a Promoter differs from many other people’s idea of one - what do you think a Promoters job should be?

A promoters’ job is NOT about rinsin’ kids and bands to make a tidy profit. I’ll come back to that later. Money? You’re in the wrong game man, but I hear that’s what a lot of people are after. Promoting should be all about creating environments for people to hear stunning new music, finding it and giving it to people, making the most hard to come by stuff accessible, challenging people and creating that buzz in their head where they’re running off pure excitement. Picking the right combinations of bands to play gigs, giving bands opportunities to play and audiences the chance to hear them. It should be about making beautiful artwork and atmospheres, setting up the future, broadening horizons and setting new standards. You think a promoters’ job is to put on a gig? That falls way short of what we expect and deliver at Not For Resale.

Just how hard is it to keep a good night going?

Haha. Ask me in a year if we’re still going. How do you rate success? Keeping a night going is all about pushing yourself to find new and exciting stuff, simple as that. You’ve got to get out there and watch bands, get demos off them, scour the internet, go see stuff, don’t sit on your arse, be active, get involved. It takes energy and commitment, but it’s not hard. It would be hard if you didn’t really want to do it and if you don’t really want to do it then you’re not going to deliver and surpass peoples’ expectations. Every week I have something new that’s really worth getting worked up about and I often wish the nights would come round quicker so I can play stuff to people. Enthusiasm is contagious; I can see it in peoples’ eyes when I’m cuing something up and they’re wondering what the hell it’s going to be. Challenge people, but don’t come over all pretentious, play stuff to people like you know it’s about to become their best friend for life – shit, it already is their best friend, it’s just waiting for them to hear it.

What question would you most like to be asked?

The red pill or the blue pill?

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Right now I’m listening to some demo riffs for my band The The The Repeat Peters – but that’s not what you meant is it? A lot of Heavy Winged, absolutely the most essential band of the moment for me and everyone who comes in to contact with their records. Bone Awl, Furze - loads of Black Metal always, you’ve got to keep going back to Burzum to understand how to make beautiful music caustic and keep the emotion there; BM is on a totally essential cutting edge right now, especially the noise-BM crossover like Wold, Genital Tomb and Extinction; loads of psychedelic and Krautrocky stuff from Europe, like Tivol, Dungen, Circle, total headshaking multicolour drone bliss – American stuff like Wooden Shjips, Grails, Goliath Bird Eater, freak pop like Of Montreal, Candy Bars, Battles, Parts & Labor, all that psychotic dance like Justice, Digitalism, Knifehandchop, Para One, Black Strobe, Dandi Wind, Grabba Grabba Tape, Gui Boratto,…All that Ed Banger, Kitsune, DFAWrong Music, Gigolo stuff…Anything that Aquarius Records in California tell you to get, GET. They know their stuff. Anything from labels like Jagjaguwar, Not Not Fun, Todestrieb, Sathanas Rex, Battlecruiser, Nuclear War Now!, Battle Kommand, Code 666, Southern Lord, Polyvinyl, Brille, Snakes & Ladders, Kemando, Bella Union. This is making my head spin. There’s so much stuff around.

Can you recommend any new bands to the MGP?

That’s what we do. I’ll give you a load from Brighton, then we’ll move further afield:
The Flesh Happening – absolutely essential, like the first days of the Stooges when everyone was too scared to understand it; Robot Ninja Dinosaur Bastard – puke-tronic metal D&B dino-core; Revenge Of Shinobi – melancholic guitar dance with vocal loops and added disorientation; Old Mayor – the most amazing two piece Doom band ever, amazing vocals delivered at such a crushingly weighted pace; Zettasaur –they’ve got angles and they’ve got droney riffs hypnotically smashed together; The Mekano Set, gothy electronic effects heavy mood music like New Order zombified; Enid Blitz – wonderful full on indie stuff that goes straight for the heartstrings; Coin-Op - are back and meaner,. Faster, harder than ever; Vile Imbeciles – death jazz they call it and you’d better agree; Catnap – rioutous guitar scree with BEATS!; The Miserable Rich – beautiful folky pop, really sounding and overwhelming; Ben Parker – one name, whole band, awesome surfy melodic summer tunes with cheeky lyrics; Bearhead – one man effects heavy guitar drone genius; Dreamer – sub-bass black metal riffing on epic scales.

Let’s move on.

From London - The Be Be See - channel baiting spite-pop; Shock Defeat! - Urgent urgent rage wrapped melodi-core; The Roaring Twenties – yeah, they roar and it’s a beautiful noise;

O.K. I’ll speed up the tour:

Turbowolf from Bristol are fucking immense, and we need a band to replace DFA 1979 and they’re IT!, plus Kotki Dwa’s weird out pop and Love Team’s electro rock, Hasting’s Data.Select.Party do a similar thing really well, The Middle Computer from Southampton – totally fucked up noise, heavy dance beats and guitars, blessed out instrumentals, funny lyrics, the real deal, Curtis from Liverpool – heavily overdriven gorgeousness; Bucks & Gallants from Virginia, USA – like Oneida but more direct, totally pumping; Bay Of Creatures from Canada, real murky psychedelic freaky stuff……..

Come back to me if you need more, I live for this stuff.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

In 5 years time? We’ll have a record label that’s putting out all the stuff we love and runs of records will be selling out faster than we can print them. We’ll be putting on free gigs in massive venues with bands no one’s heard of to ecstatic audiences with their minds wide open in rapture. And they will be dancing. Industry people will be battering down our door demanding to know how we do it and we’ll tell them to ‘Fuck off’ because this is for the people, not for their pockets Other nights will be springing up all over the country playing demos from their town, invigorating every fucking scene everywhere, the nations mindset will shift from consumerism to activism, middle men like profit making shops that give shit all back will be cut out because people will realise they can go straight to the label or the bands themselves and the NME and Radio 1 and all that crap will become redundant when people realise they don’t need a seal of approval stamped on what they can listen to, people will absolutely not accept paying £140 for a ticket to a festival and the corporate bands that demand those fees will be buried under the DIY aesthetic and vigorous love for music in and of itself. The climate is right but the mass audience need to realise it’s there for the taking, we just need to tear down that veil that’s confusing them into not being able to take the initiative themselves. Every indie band member will have to work in a call centre, at least part time to talk to the man on the street and find out whether he really is a cunt or not. Not For Resale will be the catalyst to all that.

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