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Do you have a favorite memory of playing Monster Island Basement?
Back in May, we had a release show for our 15 Minute Exorcise VHS. It was the first time we ever screened it, and we were amazed by the audience participation. Very gradually, everyone just started moving their bodies in sync with the video. The sound was so loud and blown out, and we were all bathed in each others' sweat, doing calisthenics with each other. It was really surreal. Then Quiet Hooves played and tore the house down, and Pikachu Makoto climbed up the water pipe wearing some sort of belly-dancing outfit and jumped down into the crowd.
How about of another band you've seen play there? Anyone in particular stand out?
I remember seeing Amen Dunes play there and was moved to tears. It was such a beautiful show. Woods were really amazing too. They played acoustic, and it felt so intimate, so magic.
With Market Hotel and Monster Island now closed, not to mention the recent troubles Silent Barn has faced, there's been some talk about the death of Brooklyn's DIY scene. Do you feel as though it's as vibrant as it once was?
I don't really believe in the death of anything. Everything is made up of energy, and energy cannot be created or destroyed. As long as there is energy being put towards the growth of a DIY community in Brooklyn, that energy will carve out spaces for itself with the right conditions. And it already is. After Silent Barn got robbed, a small fortune was raised from donations by a community committed to help rebuild it. If that isn't a testament to the power of DIY, I don't know what is. I also just heard Market Hotel received a sizable grant to remodel itself so that it can legally hold shows. Perceived setback is a galvanizing force. I think in the face of these so-called setbacks, people have been reacting in such positive ways to transform show spaces into something more sustainable.
If not, does that bum you out, or do you chalk it up to the natural progression of any so-called music scene?
I kinda see the DIY scene like mycelium. It's an energetic network, and as long as that network is intact, physical extensions of it will pop up from beneath the soil and manifest themselves when the conditions are right. I think the Brooklyn DIY scene is experiencing a lot of changes right now, but the way people have been responding to these changes seems really positive. A community that can change and grow together is a sign of a sustainable force, and I feel pretty good about that.