A few weeks ago I happened to have the opportunity to be in Prescott at the same time the "Party Bus" arrived. WTF, is the party bus and what kind of trouble could I cause mocking and ridiculing a 100 drunkarads that decided to travel from Phoenix to Prescott to engage in mindless debauchery. I was schooled. What I found was probably one of AZ's best hopes of creating independent musical collectives.
I sat down with Ted Organ of Dogass Productions and Darkness Dear Boy and Gavin Washburn of Headroom to discuss life, music and the political viewpoints of unicorns...
THE PRINCESS: So who put this together?
TED ORGAN:Me personally.
THE PRINCESS: So fuck everyone else it's all about you?
TED ORGAN: Yeah.
THE PRINCESS:What made you put it together?
TED ORGAN:Well it's hot in Phoenix right now and it's cooler up here, so we figured we'd get the whole crew out this way. The first time we did this there was another band and there was a bus trip. When it started we had our fans and they had their fans and by the end of the trip we all became...that's when we all started hanging out, right after the bus trips. That's when everybody just started becoming everyone's friend. It just started becoming one big fan base. It's happened with the other bands that have come along subsequently. At the beginning of the trip I see a whole bunch of people I don't know and by the end of the trip, everyone tags everyone.
THE PRINCESS: I'm actually amazed by that because to me, that makes sense, but a lot of bands don't get that...networking and and making friends. Is it natural for you, is it a marketing ploy?
TED ORGAN:Kinda. Well, we choose the bands. Bands we enjoy playing with.
THE PRINCESS:I noticed you didn't ask my band to play.
TED ORGAN:All the bands we play with, are the bands we think are great. So by having them come on this, we play shows with them and then they play shows with us, it's just about networking. We are working together. We're all selling tickets. All your fans are now going to be exposed to each bands music.
THE PRINCESS:You should teach a class.
GAVIN:It's easy man, it's all about community. We're all doing the same thing, we all have the same passion. We're all similar artists in the fact that we all play instruments and we all get on stage and play live music and we're recording artists. If we can come together and make a streghth in numbers kind of thing, that's what it's about. That's how anything happens. Any community, or industry or lifestyle, it's all about a belief and community and brotherhood and coming together and family....
TED ORGAN:It didn't use to be this way. It use to be us versus you versus you versus you....
THE PRINCESS:That's what I'm use to and it doesn't make sense to me.
TED ORGAN:Yeah. Like bands show up and when they're done playing they leave.
GAVIN:It's not a competition.
TED ORGAN: If you're friends with everyone you're playing with, I want to stay just to check out my friend's band and support them, because I like thier music too.
THE PRINCESS:Does any of this have to do with the behavior of some promoters?
TED ORGAN:It started out by playing shows where promoters would just take money at the door and tell you what time you go on. It's never the right time and they never pay you what they say they will. So fuck that. It's not a controlled scene like Los Angeles or I don't know, New York or something. You just come up with something and you just do it. There's no hoops you have to jump through.
GAVIN:It's wide open. Artists rule it. It's everything goes. Anything goes. Artists rule it in Phoenix. That's the best thing about Phoenix, anything you want to do...it's wide open.
TED ORGAN:There's so much cool stuff going on. Like a couple of summers ago, some guys from Analog were like we're gonna throw a concert in the middle of the desert. So they just got a couple of bands together and got a generator and they threw a big ass concert in the middle of the desert. Didn't bother anybody. Everybody there had an awesome time. And like this trip, at the beginning nobody knew anyone, but they did something that brought everyone together and expanded their music scene. Apache Lake is another thing. Canyon Lake. A lot of people are coming up with ideas and just doing it. That's why our music scene right now is awesome. There's a lot of good bands, just people with a lot of good ideas just making it happen.
The PRINCESS: So what's your favorite Headroom song?
TED ORGAN: Um....
THE PRINCESS: Just seeing if you're legit.
TED ORGAN: No, we like them! (Laughter)
GAVIN: Let me tell you, Ted is one of the foremost instigators in bringing people together and making a scene. More than any other person I've seen. There's people that say they're doing this or doing that, but I go by the fruit that's on the limb. Ted's fruit is ripe and it's juicy, and sweet. He has a great band that he loves.
THE PRINCESS: I'm very curious about Ted's juicy fruit now....Does your mom like your music?
TED ORGAN: Yeah. My mom plays banjo and upright bass in her own Dixieland band in California.
THE PRINCESS: How do you feel about unicorns?
TED ORGAN: I'm for 'em....We play every Wednesday night at Long Wong's in Tempe.
THE PRINCESS: Are there any bands that you had bad experiences with?
TED ORGAN: Oh yeah, a lot. I started putting on shows 3 years ago or so at Last Exit. You would have bands show up and leave. So when i would do a show I would know a month before a show- what bands are playing, what time the bands are playing at. I would have them all show up to my house and meet each other. Everyone is required to be there for the first band. Not only that but stand up front. Nothing draws a crowd like a crowd. So we would show up and have some beers. I would have one of the local radio people show up at my house and we would record acoustic and they would broadcast it. That way you got some radio exposure. The bands that suck and have a people but didn't want to participate in our real marketing...our movement....I only enjoy working with people I enjoy.
CATCH BOTH DARKNESS DEAR BOY AND HEADROOM PERFORMING ACOUSTIC SETS, ALONG WITH ANOTHER ONE OF OUR FAVORITES, LEE PERRERIA @ LONG WONG'S IN TEMPE ON WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 20TH @ 8 PM.