Don't Start A Band... Actually, Go Right Ahead
Where There Is Sound, It Is Good at AvantGarden
Photos courtesy of Nathan Quick
Rocks Off hasn't been too good about updating our Don't Start A Band blog. But we have an excuse: Houston musicians, at least the ones we've talked to, are surprisingly positive. It actually made us feel bad, because we thought all artists were as bitter as we are. We've talked to Nathan Quick before, and when we caught up with him last night, we were pleased (and envious) to see that he's keeping a positive attitude and is excited about his band members coming back to town. "It's hard to play shows when everyone's away," Quick said with a laugh. Quick is still having trouble getting people to come to his open mikes Wednesday nights at Fioza Cafe (where we caught him), but he keeps a positive outlook. "You have too good of an attitude about this stuff," Rocks Off said, irritated with his good mood. "Me, I complain." Quick has, however, like every local musician, played shows that didn't go quite the way he wanted. And we got him to talk about them...
"Super Happy Fun Land was bad," Quick said in reference to South By Southwest Overflow Fest. "I was scheduled to go third, and I got pushed back to last because there were touring bands. I was supposed to go on at 10:30, and I went on at like 1 in the morning. And there was no one there." He lit a cigarette and leaned back, grinning. "Everyone I invited had already left, because it was a Thursday." Quick's die-hard fans are a mix of high school and college students, so most of them had self-enforced curfues due to school the next day. "The whole schedule got fucked for that day... but since I was a local act, they were like, 'Oh, well you can just play last.'" Quick lives in Houston, so he's low-priority apparently, which is funny because chances are half the crowd came to see him. Super Happy's attendance was never very high for South By Overflow, at least not that we saw. "I've been doing it for so long that shit doesn't surprise me enough to get pissed off anymore," he said about dealing with musician-related troubles. "It's like, 'You know what? Fuck it.' This shit's going to happen, and there's nothing I can do to stop it."
But at least Quick and his band are playing music venues. Our band seems content staying off the local music radar, playing shows at hookah bars, pool halls and anywhere else people don't want to hear local tunes. His bandmates will be back in town in a few short weeks, and they've already booked multiple gigs at Dean's and Notsuoh. "You've got to come from an understanding point of view, but you can't let the people there push you around," Quick said about dealing with venues. "If you take a small loss and you know you're being underpaid a little bit, I would brush it off. But we've been fucked over on money before... [one time], we got $60 and there were about 300 people there." It reminded Rocks Off of the time we got paid in hummus. But besides being occasionally upset with the money situation (which isn't much of a new thing for starving artists, though it's still frustrating as all hell), Nathan Quick keeps a smile on his face and a drink in his hand, and it helps him brush off the little things and focus on the music. And in spite of the band members' workloads, they are all determined to make time. "We're all really flexible with each other," Quick said. "We'll have about an hour every day to practice... it should be all right." Where There Is Sound, It Is Good, Quick's newest project, is scheduled to play Notsuoh on June 12. Shortly thereafter, the band will be working on its first album, which they hope to complete by the end of summer. He even suggested a place for us to master our album. Quick offered our band a spot with his at the Notsuoh, so we might just take him up on that. There will, after all, be a lot of people there who want to hear local music. It's a novel concept for us, but it just might work.
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