Friday, December 19, 2014

Respect your local music scene!

What was the best concert you have ever been to? And maybe even more important: Where was it? In a stadium, on some festival, in a small, club full of sweaty people or in a DIY venue in some abandoned building?

As I was living in a (relatively) small city last year, with no really big venue and furthermore no big names around I learnt something: The smaller concerts with local bands for cheap money are the best ones. Sometimes also the worst ones! But this is part of the game, also The Rolling Stones can play a bad show (but you probably paid a shitload of money to see them).

Luise Pop in action
How often do people go to concerts: Once a year? Maybe a few times? In my opinion the seldom attendance of music shows has something to do with their price. Bands with worldwide fame can easily sell their tickets for 100€ and more and nobody is complaing. But you should! They fill a whole stadium with people, sell 10.000+ tickets and play almost the same setlist in every city. The outcome: companies not necessarily connected to music make millions.

Most of us live in a city. No matter if big or small, there are always some local music venues and local bands that play there. If you are a music aficinado and REALLY interested in discovering new music, then go there, listen to bands you haven't heard of before, bands that have a few hundred likes on FB and get free drinks at the bar as payment for their gig.

The direct contact of musician and audience is something magical. It creates an experience, you can sink into the sounds, see the emotions created by the music on the faces of both the audience and the playing group. To attend a concert with thousands of other anonymous people is so different to an intimate club concerts. 

Wild Evel and his band The Staggers tearing up culture center WUK
I just feel that people need to get aware more of the music culture that is prospering around them. The money you spend for concert tickets goes to bands that are in need for it, that want to make a living off music and aren't established yet. It is like with food: you should support your local farmer and not Nestlé!

Another point I want to consider is the cultural environment. Everybody knows the New Orleans jazz scene, the San Francisco garage-rock movement or Berlin's vivid Techno playground. These are all local musical happenings before theh received worldwide recognition. Without the support of the local people, nobody would know these groovy scenes around the globe. The bands and musical microcosmos of a region are part of its culture, a culture that should not fall apart because of a lack of interest. 

I love to hear about the music scenes of other parts of the world and to discover new tunes and groups. So maybe we can start something here on the blog, share remarkable music from different parts of the world and show others the diversity and particularity in music of different places all over. To start, I will take a closer a look to the scene of my hometown Vienna and introduce you to some of my local heros.

Ernst Molden (with Resetarits, Soyka & Wirth) - Ho Rugg

The first one is a though one: Ernst Molden, a guy who is incorporating the Viennese spirit like no other, is one of the most prolific Austrian songwriters. Also the lyrics are sung in the local dialect and tell stories about the places and people that make Vienna the city it is.

The Staggers - Wild Teens

The most authentic garage-surf-trash rock combo you will find here. Their shows are wild havoc, you better get a few beers before going crazy in the crowd. 

Luise Pop - Feminist Terrorist

These girls make proper rock with a feminist attitude, that's probably enough to dig their music. Their front-women is not also a well-experienced songwriter but also an excellent guitar player. Listen also to: Time Is A Habit.

Ash My Love - Fire

Yeah, this two-piece band was emerging over the past two years in Vienna and I absolutely love their stripped-down, short and wild tunes. The music of Ash My Love is some kind of mix between punk, early blues (a la Robert Johnson) and garage rock. They recently released their debut album Honeymoon Blues.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Not that stupid

Some time has already passed since Estonian video project Just a stupid video premiered at Montreux this year. Indeed I'm a bit late with this interview with Madis, but the video is a timeless piece so enjoy those lines.
Many thanks to Madis for his time, patience and photos he provided

polaroid by Waltteri Suni


To start with, there is not unnecessarily too many videos from Estonia, but all you guys seem to have strongly individualistic style. Is it maybe because your community is kind of isolated?

You mean Estonians generally or individually?

I've only got to videos from REBEL duders, so having a sight of the whole scene would be great.

Within the past few years I've reached to a conclusion that Estonia is kind of a remote place to be at, like a corner of the world. Heck, it's even almost at the corner of Europe, if you exclude Russia, haha. I mean we do have some trends popping up thanks to the fast internet (people doing kickless rewinds and box-killers doing bs lipslide combos) but yeah. There's something about Estonians and Finnish dudes that make them pop out from the rest, I can tell that.

Well, yeah, all Scandinavian shredders are specific, yet I feel like there's something different about your homescene. Talking about your own style, you are still rippin' as back in the day. 

Haha, who counts whips these days anyway? Speed and style are timeless.

True words being said.
How would you describe the urban environment, as this effects style to a great degree. Also the weather, winters suck over there, it must be screwed at your place...

Haha, dude, you have no idea. We have just about 4-6 months of summer if we're lucky, haha, rest of the year we have snow and have studded tires on cars. Usually we still go riding even if it's like 2-6 degrees out in the spring/autumn, at least it's dry and we're like "why the hell should we not cease the moment we are able to ride and explore".
I mean, yea, it must be even worse in Finland.
Those dudes there have a concrete skatepark in Oulu. It's like 600-700km from Helsinki to North.
And it's like the biggest concrete skatepark in Finland. The catch is that it's only possible to ride it for 1-2 days per year, haha.                           ...the legend says

Sounds crazy, riding while the temperature is below zero sucks.

I think we've never reached that state, when we can ride while it's below zero and dry.
Usually it's wet by rain or we have snow by that time when THAT temperature hits the cities.

To get closer to the video, has all the filming come naturally, or you planned to film it in certain way and this effected the output?

I mean we did have some things on the bucket list that we wanted to land, like that death gap with the dirtscooter which had been done on bikes only so far, and that miniramp-roof which was basically untouched but for the most of the time we just went out, chose an area, improvised and filmed on the spot. Then again we did have a few spots that required more preparation. It really depended on the stuff we were about to hit.
Like that two-tables series with Harley at the beginning: me and Harley were exploring a part of the city for the whole evening until we got back to the car basically having wasted 3 hours on exploring, and then my props-moving-skills from the Skate 3 game started to produce ideas how to use these two tables that are chained together.Thus a spontaneous spot was born.

How heavy was the bail from the clip?

Harley was actually gonna 360 it the same try he crashed. He was allright, not a scratch. Luckily the tables were chained together, otherwise the other table would have flipped to his head. 

I was quite wondering about this one, how the hell is it, that you can take any rail apart?!

Hhhhahhhah, just using stupid tools for tightening SCSs, haha
Dude, the day we discovered they can be removed (well I knew that before but never did that in reality), Arco and I were on our way to the russian-speaking part of Tallinn to explore some spots but as soon as we drove past that, I knew we had to dry out the slanted short ledge. Arriving at that spot we rode the slanted part for a little while till i looked at the bolts and they seemed like pretty similar size. So I was like... "Arco, wait here, i'll get my yellow toolbag from the car." And as soon as I found out that the bolts connected to the ground use a standard 13mm socket and the ones connecting the other rails are 10mm hex bolts, we knew we were gonna take the rail apart so we could make our own spot.The ledge itself needed a lot of wax though, that shit was rough.
Moral of the story: always take some tools with you (especially if you're with your car, they take no room), you'll never know when you might need them in order to make a spot ridable.
That red sign that I frontboarded, that was chained to a giant pole. We used two 5mm allen keys to bend the weakest link so we could move the sign next to the ledge, later on we put it back where it was. Possibilities are endless when you have some extra stuff that could help.

  What about that dirt scoot, have you only used it for terrain that's not ridable for normal one, or you did some actual dirt on it?

Well, yea, i used it for clips where it was impossible to ride on a normal scoot. Since the normal one has polyurethane wheels, it sometimes acts really sketchy on some types of roofs where the surface might be really soft and squishy. Hence the use of oversized pneumatic wheels. Plus I've come to a conclusion that dropping heights with the dirt scooter is way friendlier to my heels since mine haven't really fully recovered from my last long-distance crash in Finland last summer.

I've actually never ridden one for real.

I'd say just get one, even if it's a single scooter for however-many-of-you-are. Having dirtscooters opens up whole new variety of spots: grassbanks, new wallrides, weird rough fences, you name it.

What about filming the Mikael's ender?

Haha, that banger. I climbed it up. Twice. The first time I climbed up there was the night I was looking for a good angle to get the whole thing in one frame. And it was the best place for the view, because the house/roof behind it would have the tree in between the stairs and the place I'd film at, so the tree had to be the spot. The plus side was that it didn't require a ladder to get up there, I could just climb it using the smaller branches to get up to the one stronger at 8-10 meters. I knew that if I was gonna go up there, I had to get some kind of a harness, so we actually called a few places to find out if they rent out and we couldn't get one in time. So the day before I bought myself that orange belt which is actually used for trailer loads, and i spent the evening figuring out a way to make myself a full lower-body strap that wouldn't squish or press violently if I were to fall down and I tested it out on the lower part of the tree. Basically that worked out so fine that i could have attached myself to any part of the tree, but sitting on a fat branch seemed like a better idea anyway and I have the belt just in case. So I climbed up, attached myself, then used a yellow rope to pull the camera up and we filmed. 

  That sounds way too complicated, but totally worth it. I would say, let's wrap it up, just give us some words of wisdom, if you feel like that...

Well we knew that it was not gonna have the same big-size effect if it was filmed with a fisheye and steadicam (and I wasn't up for running up-and-down on stairs anyway with a camera, so that was out of the question. But yea. Totally worth it. I mean like, it's a spot that cannot be hit on skateboards, bikes, nor inlines. Since we had the skills, resources and brains to pull it off, we just had to, haha. 
I should post b-footage of everything. There's just so much more into Mikael's ender which happened in front of the camera. The amount of close calls, freakouts, Harley rewaxing ledges, more freakouts, etc. Plus, I believe it took like 20 minutes and three dudes to wax that whole thing. Overkill, haha.
Wise words... give me a sec
Helping hands: Google Streetview. Two fat blocks of wax/candle. A first aid kit. A camera with a light w/ full batteries. A few drinks. A few friends and a good mood. That's all you need to make any night worth remembering  (:

interview by Juraj Klas