Monday, July 16, 2018

Death to Emo

by Gary Schwind (writer), Laguna Niguel, October 15, 2007

What do you get when you pair a bluegrass band with a thrash band? I sat down with Gary Finesilver of Pure 'n Talent to find out.

What is Pure'n Talent?
In the end, it's a state of mind. Basically, bands that just go balls-out on stage, bands that have good songs. It's an attitude. We put on any kind of music anywhere, anytime. We're not genre-specific. We're very likely to do a show that's a combination of bluegrass, soul if I could find it, which I can't, metal, punk, blues, rock, rap, country, bluegrass, rockabilly, psychobilly, garage rock, glam rock. You can see three, four, or five different genres in one night. Pure n Talent does have its war cry we announce at our shows. We say "Death to emo", because their mutant spawning must end. And death to nu-metal because they have forsaken their forefathers and desecrated their legacy. Basically, putting on top-quality shows, not business as usual. You go to LA, you're gonna see one band and the other two to four bands are gonna suck. No one wants to go to LA because they know the show’s gonna suck.

I'll get to the emo thing later. Describe your ideal show.

Utter chaos. The great shows have a glam rock band. They're all dolled up and have their costumes going. They're putting on a show. A band very similar to New York Dolls, they're called The Hitz. Very New York Dolls. Throw them in with a thrash metal band like Tyrant, Witch Haven, Dismantled. Throw that on top of a rockabilly/psychobilly band like Drop Dead Beats, Devil's Advocats. Throw that in with just straight-up hard rock bands like Tyrannis or Motor Gun Hotel. On top of that, a bluegrass band like Los Duggans, high-energy bluegrass. Sausage Grinder, who are more traditional, and The Pine Box Boys from San Francisco. They actually play blackgrass. All their songs are about murder and death. Then maybe for shits and giggles, you throw in an accordion player named Squeezebox Sam who sings about murder and death and has his own cover version of "Boyz N the Hood." Then if I can get lucky, you throw in a Micky Champion or a Dancettes. Micky Champion, she's more on the soul side. The Dancettes are out of New York, they're as Motown as it gets these days. They just have a true Motown sound that you’re not hearing anymore. That’s the ideal show, where people are like “What the fuck have I just stepped into?” That’s the type of show we hope to put on. Doesn’t always work out that way, but that’s our goal.

Give them a little taste of everything.

Exactly. And the best of everything too. No one wants to do that anymore, it seems.

I imagine you get a lot of interesting responses when you pitch clubs. What’s the most memorable response you’ve gotten when you’ve told someone about the concept of Pure F’n Talent?

I'vve been pretty lucky in the fact that I usually don’t get laughed out of the building at least. Although I do get the occasional club that says, “Why don’t you just put on one type of music?” Quite frankly, it’s kinda cheap. I put on Band A, Band B, and Band C, and their fans already know each other. I want to get credit for doing something different, where people are like “Wow! That took courage. That took some balls, putting on this garage band, with this metal band, with this bluegrass band. That’s unique." I’ve been lucky. Those that have given me a chance, I’m thankful for. Mal’s Bar in LA, they’re really cool. We don’t always bring in the most people, but they know I bring in top-notch talent. The Cocaine in LA, they’re pretty good people. Fern’s in Long Beach, although in October, we’re doing our last shows there. We’re having other issues with them. They’re good people. The fans are a little narrow-minded though, I have to say. They are. It’s more of a punk club than anything else. The Tropics, that’s just a great place to play. They’re really good people. We’ve been lucky. We’re looking to find new venues to see if they’re willing to go along with the concept.

And there have been some that you have sworn off?

Surf City Saloon, I’ve sworn them off. The owner’s a nice enough guy, but to him it’s dollars and cents. Bar’s gotta make money. No doubt. But when I walk into the place and I try to get drinks for the bands, he’s like “Before I start handing out free booze, let’s see how many people you bring in.” The vibe’s not good. The Marlin Bar and Grill is another story. I understand that I have to set up the PA. I accept that. Their particular PA literally took an electrician to put together. I was lucky that there was an electrician in the place. If there had not been an electrician, there would not have been a show. It’s one thing to say that I’m supposed to put it together, but at least tell me how to put it together. The following Sunday, they were like “What about your other shows?” I’m like, “We had difficulty setting up the PA, not to mention a couple of the bands were treated pretty badly and I don’t have a need to do another show here.” She said,“We feel the same.” I told her I understand that I have to set up the PA, but some instruction would have been nice. It took a master electrician. She was like “Well, the other bands didn’t have a problem.” Marlin Bar and Grill, it’s consistently on my Myspace, don’t play here. It’s there until the end of 2010.

You mentioned part of the creed that emo must die. How should emo die?

Bloody. Painful. Public. It has to be done. Emo’s black heart must be exposed. I don’t care about you dying. I don’t give a shit. You whine, you moan, and I don’t care. I don’t want to hear about your stupid girlfriend that you loved for five years and she broke your heart blah blah blah. And I’ve had my heart gutted by a girlfriend, but that’s my pain. I don’t want it in song, unless the song is really good. And it usually isn’t. The music is pretty lame too, it’s very bland. There’s no balls to it. Scrawny little bastards, they have no stage presence. If you have Mötley Crüe at the Whisky or the best emo band going today at The Whisky. Who are people going to go more crazy over? They’re gonna go more crazy over the guys Mötley Crüe. They’re gonna rip that stage apart. Hell’s gonna break loose. And with emo, I don’t know what the hell they’re going to do. Sit around and cry? Fuck them.

Who’s the most wanted?
Fallout Boy. I don’t even know if they’re emo, but they’re still wanted anyway. They’re the epitome of everything that’s wrong with this thing called rock n roll. They’re essentially a boy band with instruments. You look on MTV, and every band is set up the same way. You have the good-looking guy, you got scruff boy, and then you’ve got the two, one’s more scruff and one’s more good-looking. You never hear that he had three women and there was a mountain of cocaine on the table and eight bottles of Jack Daniel’s and he did it all. He did it all by himself. He didn’t even share with the girls. You hear about social responsibility. Leave that to Bono. That’s his bag. I want some bands that are gonna raise fuckin’ hell. They’re around, they’re just not in the public eye. I think at some point, people are gonna realize they’ve been had. They’ve been hoodwinked. The Fallout Boys of the world are gonna fall off the face of the planet. It’s gotta be ordained.

About the Writer

Gary Schwind is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on Death to Emo

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By Joseph "J-Lo" on October 19, 2007 at 01:08 pm
Wow. That right there was a blunt article. Good job. I think that the concept of Pure F'n Talent is different, but a realistic one. While I'm into some emo sadly (irony) it does get tiring after a while. Great article!
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