Thursday, July 23, 2009

Interview: Ilyse and Patrick from This Is Tightrope

In a city full of amazing talent, thankfully it is also full of amazing individuals who seek to promote that talent. The Cage the Animals all day event happening this Sunday [flyer above] is a showcase for great music, but it is also more than that. The event is presented by This Is Tightrope, a collective made up of Amanda Van Goethen, Alyssa Van Breene, Ilyse Kaplan, Patrick Presto and Zach Best. Patrick explains, "We originally all started as interns together at Filter Magazine and kept in touch over the years and always had the vision of having our stamp and ideas about good music go through us rather than other superiors." In anticipation of Sunday's event, we present our interview with Ilyse and Patrick...

What is This is Tightrope, and how did the idea originate? What are your future plans?

Ilyse: We though, why not take all the good and bad things we learned from that [interning at Filter] and start our own company? Our motto is "yes we do that," which leaves things pretty open to interpretation. We don't want to be limited with our endeavors. Each of us is really passionate about music and the best way to act on that passion is to involve ourselves directly with the music scene. We first met with some of our friends' bands (Intricate Machines and So Many Wizards) and started to help promote them. Things jumped off from there and we ended up making connections with people who have the same vision of us of what the music industry is doing wrong. We want to put the industry back in to the hands of the actual fans, the people who are truly passionate about music, because we ARE those kids. Right now, we're focusing on promoting bands and starting a small label. We'll be putting out a record by Hotel St. George soon.

Patrick: And look out for more impromptu events that are creative!

How did this event came together, and why did you decide to make it something more interactive as opposed to just a show?

Patrick: Because collectively we've gone to our fair share of shows and we know how people interact at them. Especially with so much talent out there we needed to appeal to not just people's music tastes but their food tastes/fashion tastes/ fun tastes. Once you hit them all then you're event becomes more than just a show.

Ilyse: At first it began as just a day party but as we kept discussing bands that we thought would work well at the event and they kept accepting our invites to play, it turned in to a slightly larger event than anticipated. We wanted to make it interactive so it could be a place to come hangout with good people and see live music. It is not just about showcasing the talent of our bands, we want to showcase our other talented friends by having them set up art, jewelry booths whatever. We would have had a full-fledged carnival if money would allow but homemade games and art booths will have to suffice this year.

This strikes me as a community-building type event - do you think LA's music scene makes it establish strong for community-building events?

The problem with the music scene is that instead of being about great bands, certain movements happened to make it about being seen or "scene." People would go see bad live music or shitty DJs only in hopes of being photographed. I think right now, the community needs strength again. It needs people who are music fans themselves pushing for people to hear great local acts because they are great local acts, not because of how big they are or whose blog they're on. Right now, you have great companies like Manimal Vinyl attempting to build the scene back up but it's more challenging this time around because instead of moving FROM something organic we have to move the scene BACK to something organic. That is what we hope to do with our event.

It definitely is a community building type event. During the production process we took in many considerations that we thought would seclude people and figured out ways to welcome them and this dealt a lot with location, bands, stuff to do, etc. We figured in order to put something on like this we needed to get a little bit of everything out of LA and provide it to those coming.

Regardless of how much you end up paying, this is a pretty cheap event AND these are tough financial times. Do you think times like these call for events such as this? or are events like this just awesome and necessary - no matter what?

Patrick: Awesome and necessary no matter what. It's easy to see many of the big companies come crashing down during these times and slashing some awesome events AND/OR screwing people over by hiking up the prices for an experience.

Ilyse: Yes, this event is definitely awesome and necessary. Our goal in all of this is not to make money but to promote great bands, see great live music, and better yet--to have fun with great people!

Patrick: All events are just experiences. With that said, what better way to enjoy your Sunday with affordable fun? Come to Cage The Animals!

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