Ian has been the go-to person for promotion in Michigan for me for some time especially during my Domestic Genocide days. Since then, he has gotten so entrenched in the local and international music world that it made for good conversation during one of those lonely nights on the road.
So, I saw you do a PSA awhile ago about drinking. Are you a former alcoholic?
I don't necessarily identify as an alcoholic, but I definitely let drinking get the better of me.
Was it something that had to with the big drinking culture in the live music scene?
I don't think so, it hasn't been an issue since I quit. I liked drinking. Unfortunately I made terrible choices when doing so.
It was something I was curious about since the day I saw you mention it last year. That seems to be how it usually goes. This may be an odd question, but I can't seem to remember. Where are you located? How is the music scene there?
I'm in Port Huron, MI (about an hour north of Detroit). The scene here is on a major upswing. It's a smaller area so it kinda goes in waves, but a lot of kids are getting into music again and are starting bands. And some of the old school bands that have broken up are reforming or members are starting new bands.
What generation of music fans do you hail from you in your region? How has it changed now that you had that lapse and revival?
I became active at a weird time. I worked at a gas station and some of the old school guys used to stop in and invited me out to a bar to see them play. So I joined the scene as a fan then joined a band (Dick Hickey) when I was older. Through that band I got to meet a lot more of the "younger generation" of music in the area. Then as DH played more we met friends all over the state.
What's your favorite thing to do as far as music promotion?
Meeting new bands from all over the country/world definitely! I've been able to host some amazing bands from all over the country this past year. Lawskof from Ohio, Symptoms from Oregon, Multicult[/url] from Maryland, Mugen Hoso from Osaka Japan just to name a few.
That is definitely a highlight. So, what exactly do you do in the promotion area?
I started booking bands in my town when I lost my license. I got tired of missing out on seeing great bands so I booked some bands (Break Anchor, The Amino Acids, The Failures and Dick Hickey) at the Roche Bar which is a local punk rock dive bar. It was amazing, one of the best shows I'd ever seen let alone played.
It went so well it inspired me to keep it going. Now I book shows (at least one a month) bringing bands from all over to my town. I've been able to hook up my friends with shows and get them out of town show trades as well. It's really cool when your band has a great show but it's amazing when you can help your friends out too.
It is one of the best things out there. What instrument do you play?
I'm a bassist
Another bassist! What made you pick up the bass in particular?
I met Dick Hickey at a party, they were getting ready to boot their bassist and I said I'd play for them as a joke. About a week later I got a call and I knew I was their new bassist.
You ever play an instrument, much less bass, before that?
I played guitar, but nothing serious.
So it was a learning experience for you when picking up that bass..was it difficult?
I was more nervous than anything. I had NEVER listened to punk let alone played it and this was a real band that was actually playing shows.
What was you first live show like?
It was horrible. I was embarrassingly nervous, I had the volume turned almost off on my bass. But my second show was an hour and a half later and that was much better.
How long did it take for you to get over your jitters enough to play without it bothering you that much?
I still get nervous before shows sometimes. I think it's a good thing.
Keeps you on your toes. So, you said that you were never really into punk before you started with DH. What kind of music were you into before? Before even frequenting that bar?
I was a death/black metal guy.
What got you into that kind of music and how long were you into it?
Slayer, and I still am. I just expanded my pallet even more.
How were you first exposed to Slayer?
A friend in middle school gave me a copy of "South of Heaven."
What was your first reaction to listening to it? Was it dramatically different from what you were used to listening to?
I listened to whatever was "the heaviest" then (so nu-metal) and I was blown away by how fast it was. Been in love ever since.
Speaking of which, has your stance on nu metal changed since getting into punk and other metal?
I still love the albums I loved then.
Well, at least you are consistent in that way. Any hobbies outside of music that you are as equally passionate about?
It's all music. I play, I go to as many shows as I can and I'm an avid record collector.
Speaking of which, who comes up with the lyrics and themes for DH? Does each member contribute equally in that arena?
99% of it was our guitarist/singer Nick.
Where does your contribution come in? Just laying down bass tracks?
I basically play the guitar parts and then just add my own flair to them.
Ever consider creating your own pet project eventually?
Oh definitely. Some day I will, but I try to keep myself busy with multiple bands.
Quick question before I wrap this up, what is it about the music scene or music in general that drives you so hard to dedicate your life to it?
Every band I've ever seen has touched me in some way, inspiring me to try a new technique when I play or write. And all the various bands I have been in have let me express some emotion or exorcise some different demon. The bands I've seen have led me to meet some of my closest friends.
It was a total life changer for you, huh? You just bleed passion for it. No regrets? Feel like it's changed you as a person or just enhanced who you were before?
No regrets at all. I don't know who I would be without my involvement in the music scene but I know that it has most definitely made me a better person. Everything I do is dedicated to the people who have helped me, those who inspired me who are no longer here and everyone in the future who I'm going to meet.
I know the feeling. Hopefully you keep on growing along with the music you produce and help promote. I'll leave this space for you to add in any stray thoughts and/or bands you want to give a special shout-out to.
Snakewing, Lower Lifes[/ur], The Hangdowns, Lake Effect, and Hellmouth. I wanna thank all of my previous/current band mates from Dick Hickey, Smackmadam, Cult of Apophis, and CST. Also Jen Koss from Hell City Records!
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