“Filament” Set For Release 2/19/2016

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On Friday 2/19/2016 Broken Glow will release “Filament,” the band’s brand new full length album! Featuring 9 never-before recorded tracks, this is the band at their best. The tunes were recorded during the summer of 2015 at Habitat Noise Studios on Wilmington Island, GA with Donald Moats (Coeds, Sins Of Godless Men, Habitat Noise, etc) and feature new member Chris Horton on guitars and background vocals.

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The band will host a release party at Southound Brewing Company is Savannah, GA on February 19th, 2016. To commemorate the event, Broken Glow has paired with the brewers at Southbound to create their very own custom brew, on tap at the show! BBXF opens the show with their riffy modern rock, Chazito’s food truck serves up hot food, Planetary Projections will be inducing lucid dreams and Rock 106.1 will broadcast live from the event. $15 gets you in admission to the show, a custom BG/Southbound pint glass and drink tickets, and the first 20 through the door get a free copy of “Filament!” Get your tickets in advance at here.

And if you just can’t wait, check out “Blue Dream,” one of the brand new tracks from “Filament,” streaming right here on Reverbnation!

DIY or DIE

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For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, Broken Glow is a full do-it-yourself operation. From the band’s very first show in a Connecticut living room, to the self-recorded “Watercolors” EP and subsequent release bash in Brooklyn, the band has been self-booked, self-designed, self-reliant. This holds true even now, nearly six years into the band’s career. All photography, artwork and output comes from the dudes and their few true friends. Maintaining artistic control has been the main motivating factor, and the guys have learned over the years that if you really want something done, you’ve got to do it yourself.

Yet even towering titans of tumultuous tunes can get bogged down. Many hands make light work, so few hands must make heavy work. For other independent bands and artists this is obvious. When the burdens of promotion, booking, creative design, networking, and management all fall on the shoulders of a few individuals these relatively simple tasks on their own can grow into seemingly insurmountable lists of things to do, people to call, emails to write, stuff to get done. Adding to the load is that many of us work day jobs as we hone our respective projects, and simply keeping oneself in house and home means we devote full work weeks to tasks removed from our artistic goals, spending precious hours of inspiration behind work counters and office computers. Thus our mounting to-do list is now also heavily time-constrained, and we haven’t even figured in the actual practice of our craft. There comes a time when a somewhat larger organization becomes helpful, if not necessary, in managing the many aspects of pursuing a blossoming artistic career.

Broken Glow specifically has been engaged in various forms of collaborative organizing during their career, all the while keeping in mind the importance of artistic freedom. In the summer of 2010, the band relocated from Hartford, CT to Bushwick, the swinging hipster capitol of Brooklyn, NY at the time. All five then-members occupied a tiny loft on McKibbin St, and were shocked to find in their building an already-existing community of musicians, then dubbed the Potion Collective. They soon realized that most of the hundreds of residents of the large dual-building loft complex were young creative folk too, and they’d organized a loose association of resident creators that provided platforms for performance. In their same building was located Good Friend Electric, a hub of musical and cultural activity. Here the boys found weekly open mic events, showcases and multi-genre music events. The Potion Collective soon sponsored shows at outside venues, organized benefit events, arranged block parties and helped found Mustache Magazine, a volunteer-created cultural publication online and in print which focused on the bands in the scene. Everywhere around them, the members of Broken Glow saw their ideal DIY approach to making their own art being practiced by countless other musicians and artists. This was surely the right environment for a fresh band from out of town to find themselves in, and it was in this environment that “Watercolors” came to be released.

A lot has changed for Broken Glow since that time. Brenner’s death sent the group in separate ways for about a year, with Garrett moving to Savannah, GA to write and reflect. Though Andrew remains in Brooklyn to shred with Cousin Sleaze, it was only a matter of time before Paul joined Garrett in the Hostess City to continue doing what they do best: ROCK. Yet with a new, stripped-down identity and even fewer hands with which to work, the band soon realized what they had to do.

Pale Blue Dot DIY Collective, painted by Garrett Deming

Pale Blue Dot DIY Collective, painted by Garrett Deming

After a few months of getting a foothold in the underground rock scene of Savannah, Broken Glow has been pleased to see a familiar circumstance reemerging through the Spanish moss of Savannah’s SOFO area. In February of 2014, a wide group of variously talented artists and musicians came together under the monicker of the Pale Blue Dot DIY Music Collective. The idea is simple. Each member of the community has different skills, networks, and access to resources. As somewhat fledgeling professionals, many emerging independent artists don’t possess all of the skills, networks, or resources necessary to run a fully functioning organization on their own. However, if everybody involved pools their various talents, the collective can theoretically provide access to those skills, networks, and resources to the members of the community. One band may know a venue contact they can share with everybody, and then know that their show will be promoted. Perhaps someone needs to borrow gear while theirs is in the shop? Maybe this person is willing to pass out fliers, so long as someone with more skill designs it. The combinations are endless, but the central idea remains : if everyone does a little work, together we’ll have accomplished much.

Broken Glow has been heavily involved in the Pale Blue Dot Collective of late, having played three house shows in April with various PBD bands including Lion Slicer, Unicycle Escape Pod, Culture Vulture, Beneath Trees, Feary Teeth and Shapes & Their Names. They’ve seen packed shows at the PBD House, The Warehouse Loft and Emerald House. April 24th saw the release of Sunbeam Music & Art Magazine, a new publication devoted to the chronicling of Savannah’s current DIY scene. Included in the first issue are 3 written pieces by Garrett, as well as a few of his recent paintings. Certainly, sticking to the do-it-yourself ethic is one thing, but the do-it-together approach yields fruit too.

Rockin' till the sun comes up

Rockin’ till the sun comes up

It is with this sense of community in mind that the band continues to prepare more events for the coming months. Don’t miss the band at Barrel House South on May 17th with The Waits of Memphis, and stay tuned for more announcements in the coming weeks.

Savannah Remembers How To Rock

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As we approach January 7th, the boys of Broken Glow are chomping at the bit to release “Taking It To The Hole,” a savage sampling of the band’s blistering live act. With less than a week to go, everyone involved is getting excited – Cousin Sleaze begins their trek from the northern New York winters, bringing fresh recordings and brutal new tunes to disciples of disastrous decibels everywhere; Mysterium sees the incomparable Sara Clash teaming with hubby Garrett to create free space rock, a sonic time machine set to the dawn of creation; Simon of Planetary Projections, having returned from an epic two-week tour with Omingnome, is bringing his A-game and his oils as he prepares to set the visual tone of the show through his psychadelic projection art. And of course, let’s not forget Jeff and Amy, the backbones of The Wormhole, Savannah’s undisputed best live dive. With the help of Drive Vibes we’ll be streaming the entire show LIVE across the world, so even if you’re not in the 912-area code you can catch the madness!

The press is paying attention, too. As Rock 106.1 spins “Sabrina” on Sunday nights thanks to Ryan of Underexposed, other press outlets are picking up on the magic going on south of Forsythe. For evidence, check out this article about The Wormhole on the Coastal Homestead website, and see this brand new DoSavannah interview with the boys themselves, Broken Glow. You really have no reason not to come to this extraordinary event – it all goes down Tuesday 1/7/14 at The Wormhole, and it’s FREE! We’ll be asking for a voluntary donation for Cousin Sleaze as their tour rolls on post-Savannah, and will have CD’s, art prints and other merch for sale. COME ROCK!

12.6.13 ART MARCH SAVANNAH After Party w/ HyperSapien

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Do you dig music, dancing, debauchery and disastrous decibels? If so, you won’t want to miss this month’s Art March Savannah After Party! We’ll be joining our bros HyperSapien once again to bring some insanity to The Wormhole next Friday 12/6/13. Prepare for live art, sexy dancers and sonic orgasms… And for those of you who don’t reside in our fair city, check the whole thing streaming courtesy of South Bronx Savage and Drive Vibes! Doors open at 9pm, it’s free to get in so what have you got to lose?

Live at The Wormhole

Live at The Wormhole

Live at The Wormhole

The last two weeks have been madness at The Wormhole, Savannah’s best live dive. Not only is this place a vibey bar with cheap drinks and a short-order menu, it’s also a killer live music venue with some serious sound. Every Monday and Wednesday the bar fills with wandering musicians of all genres for The Wormhole’s Open Mic Nights, and almost every other night of the week you can catch some kind of live performance. The lights are low, the stage is fully backlined, what more can you ask for?

Garrett at the bar with Dr. Jeff Frankenspanken, sonic mad scientist

Garrett at the bar with Dr. Jeff Frankenspanken, sonic mad scientist

On Friday November 1st Broken Glow joined Mysterium and Hypersapien on the Wormhole stage to celebrate November’s Art March Savannah. A monthly event held every first Friday, the Art March brings performers, creators, artists, vendors and all people through the various cultural stops in Savannah’s thriving midtown district. After each march The Wormhole hosts the afterparty, and with the help of a write-up in DoSavannah our Haunted Time Machine was just the ticket to vibe out a post-Halloween dark and stormy night. With the help of Planetary Projections, the night was groovy psychadelic sludge funk.

Nights later, after showing up and rocking the open mics earlier in the week, the boys got a call from their good friend Xulu with an interesting proposition – play a last minute show Friday night at The Hole? He didn’t have to ask twice! The night came together as Sexy Groovy Rhythm & Mayhem as Xulu teamed up with Soul Q on the mic and Oisin the Irishman on leads, splitting a four-set night with Broken Glow.

You see, it’s not just the awesome sound system, the vintage Nintendo in the corner or the cheap beer that keeps people coming back to The Wormhole. They’ve set up an ideal tool for bands who play to spread their music beyond geographic territories: when you play The Wormhole, your entire set is streamed live and can be viewed by anyone who tunes in. Xulu first started streaming his events from the GalaxyRocker ustream channel, but he soon realized that with a little help from Jeff they could really make something happen. Their set up is such that the soundboard mix is the audio for the stream, thus ensuring a high-res professional sound on all videos. None of that cheap camera buzz or overdrive, just massive sound. To see for yourself, check out this fresh Drive Vibes promo video featuring “The Great War,” streamed live from The Wormhole on Friday November 8th.

So if you didn’t know that shit is going down south of Forsythe Park, consider yourself informed. Broken Glow has been rolling with some real cool cats – Omingnome is about to embark on an epic DIY tour with Simon of Planetary Projections, Mysterium is honing their other-worldy free blues into a psychadelic monster, Xulu is making groovy sexy magic and shaking hips, and Jeff, Oisin and Amy of The Wormhole make it possible for us all to get in the pit and try to love someone. Dig it, come out to an open mic and see for yourself!

The Haunted Time Machine: Art March Savannah After Party

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This Friday November 1st prepare for music, minions and mayhem. The Haunted Time Machine will be an event to remember as Broken Glow makes their official stage debut in Savannah, GA! The boys will be performing alongside Mysterium, an other-wordly international due channeling the spirits of Janis and Bonham, and Hyper Sapien, five dudes who rip funky through rapping soul. Expect psychedlic live video art from Planetary Projections, as well as a variety show at the beginning of the festivities. It is to be culmination of the Art March Savannah, where local artisans and others creatives will be displaying their talents throughout Midtown Savannah. There is no cover, so make sure to don your most twisted thread and join us at The Wormhole at 9pm for a night of netherworld time travel!

Behind The Wildlife: An Interview with Chris Carr

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Broken Glow has been fortunate throughout their travels to meet some truly incredible people. Artists and musicians with talent, work ethic, motivation and inventive creativity, as well as passionate music lovers and devotees of live performance. It’s the relationships you make along the journey that fuel the creative fire, and as all performers know, Billy Shears hit the nail on the head about getting by. We all need a little help from time to time, and it’s good to have friends in an industry that is so often cut-throat.

 

There would be little photo documentation of Broken Glow’s five-year rock romp if it weren’t for some of these friends. Case in point – all of the pictures above were taken by Chris Carr. Since the end of 2010, Broken Glow has spent a lot of time running with Chris – he shot the “Watercolors” album release party, recorded an acoustic jam and interview with the band, performed with them at Brenner’s tribute show, and has shot members of the band for his various photography projects. He is also the founder and creative fountainhead behind Brooklyn Wildlife, with whom the band has collaborated on many occasions. A veteran of the Bushwick DIY culture scene, Chris is somewhat of a modern Renaissance man. He’s a self-sustaining photographer, videographer, rapper, writer, producer, promoter, exhibitionist, gallery artist, party host and thoughtful social critic. With a brash artistic style he provokes thought and gut feeling simultaneously, whether rapping cosmic over stuttering beats or displaying co-ed nude posters 4 feet high on the wall of his loft. That loft has often been the site of open mic events, poetry readings, dance parties, philosophical discussion, orgiastic photo shoots and the like.

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But it’s not just loft parties that Chris throws. Over the last two years Brooklyn Wildlife has emerged as a wide umbrella under which fall a broad range of artistic outlets. The annual 12 Days Of Art events offer a month-long program of live performance and demonstration throughout the borough every January. Though hip hop is the blood in the veins, all styles and formats of music are embraced in an atmosphere of open exchange. Brooklyn Wildlife also hosts free events such as block parties, album release events, live improv jams and photo installments. To say Chris Carr wears many hats would be an understatement.

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And so once again Broken Glow will be participating in what looks to be Brooklyn Wildlife’s most ambitious project to date: The Brooklyn Wlidlife Summer Festival. It’s happening Saturday Septmber 7th 2013 from 3pm-3am at The Paper Box on Meadow St. in Bushwick, this event brings all of those disparate interests under one roof for one day. With over 40 musical acts, live painting, guided meditation and more, the festival is a joyful union of creative outlets. As anticipation for the festival grows, Garrett sat down with Chris to get the scoop. After a long conversation spanning from Gogo Music to societal ameobas, we present for your reading pleasure, Chris Carr.

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GARRETT

So Chris, tell me a little bit about the Brooklyn Wildlife Summer Festival. I know you’ve thrown shows and booked bills before, but this seems like a larger production, a wider vision. Was it difficult finding a venue that suited your ideas?

CHRIS

Well, we wanted to be able to get over a thousand people in one space for the day. It had to be something bigger than just a night club with a bunch of bands. The first space we looked at, man, we were gonna rent for over $8,000, plus sound and lighting was going to be over another $3,000, the talent was going to be thousands of dollars… So we just stopped and said “Wait, what are we doing?” We know we want to go bigger, we know we want to go harder, but what’s worked in the past? Do we pay a lot of money for venues, is that how we’ve ever made successful events? No, not at all. We started doing stuff at our cribs and friends’ houses, somewhat small spaces and building it that way. We were working with people who liked it and wanted to support it so they won’t charge us an arm and a leg. Yo, do we pay people to come in, all this money who we don’t know? No. So we had to figure out how to do it more real for us.

GARRETT

Then how did Paperbox come into the picture?

CHRIS

We had done an event at Paperbox, then the second one went really well. We found out our homies do the sound, it’s still in the neighborhood, and we know the people. One of the guys who runs the spot, Eric, just said, “Dude you should do your festival here.” I told him I didn’t know, we’d need indoor and outdoor space, and he said they have a stage out back, two stages inside. We were like, “Really?” It works because we’ve already worked there so we know the layout, a lot of the people on the bill have already performed there, and everything has just fallen into place piece by piece. We ran into this girl Stylo who lives across the street, and she helped design most of the artwork, which has been awesome.

GARRETT

That artwork is killer. I love the wildlife theme, and images are expressive and have character.

CHRIS

We knew we wanted the artwork to be non-human representative, but not some weird abstract color gradient thing where people might think we’re throwing an electronic festival or anything. We definitely don’t want it to seem uber-masculine or overly rock or hip-hop, or any one genre. So we came up with the idea of all the animals playing together in a field, and she just took that and started drawing. And it’s dope. Things like that kept happening, you know. I’d known her for months, and out of nowhere she wanted to get involved right when we were starting festival preparations.

GARRETT

So with a production this big, you’re obviously working with a lot of new people. Can you tell me about some of the acts that are playing? We’re all excited to see some Brooklyn Wildlife veterans – Tyquan Sounds, Shottie, Ohene Cornelius, Hounds Basket, Chicks Throwing Bricks and, of course, Broken Glow to name a few.¬† I want to know which acts you’re excited to see performing for the first time at one of your events.

CHRIS

Definitely Charly and Margaux. They’re a violin/viola duo. Two young ladies up here from Brooklyn, they’ve traveled to South By Southwest and up the coast. They are awesome, but people would not expect us to book them because they don’t rap or don’t make loud rock music, it’s not dirty basement freestyle stuff. They’re just really talented classically-trained musicians. We want to showcase that we’re into that. At the end of the day, most of the musicians I work with want to be respected for being musicians, not just rappers, not just guitar players or whatever, but as musicians. As people who create.

Then we’ve also got Buckshot. He was part of Bootcamp and Duck Down Records, and I was listening to this dude when I was in high school, driving to school every day listening to this shit. Now he’s performing at our festival. Three days ago I’m walking to the store and I run into him. He lives in our neighborhood, like I see him when I’m out, dude, so it’s like everything is true, it’s cohesive. Duck Down has been one of the only labels in New York to put out good hip-hop in the past couple years. So If I want to say, yo, this is some indie Brooklyn shit, we’ve got over 60 acts. Some of them are international, but I met them because they came to Brooklyn. And all of them are indie acts, except I think maybe two. So it’s exciting to me, man. Making something authentic, something I’d want to go to, but different.

GARRETT

It seems like that’s one of the biggest goals of the festival, to showcase without discrimination of style or genre.

CHRIS

I look at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival and, you know, it’s dope but it’s also a whole lot of guys. There isn’t much of a female voice. But with this we’ve been able to book a bunch of really talented female acts. I look at Afro Punk and it’s really cool, but there’s not a whole lot of punk any more at Afro Punk.

GARRETT

That’s true. Although last year I saw this band Radkey from Kansas City. It’s three brothers, all high school age, and it’s The Misfits playing Thin Lizzy on three Red Bulls. Killer stuff.

CHRIS

It still is a beacon for certain young folks to bring people together, it’s just like, out of, say, 20 performers, it’s not like 17 of them are punk bands. Now the punk bands they get are dope. Rebelmatic is playing this year, and they’re gonna play our festival. They’re sick, I’ve known their lead vocalist Creature for years. And their band is punk for real, they go hard. So Afro Punk is still getting it right, but it’s just not what it was. You know, we’re lucky. We don’t have to do anything for corporate sponsors, we don’t have to try and do better than we did last year, we can just make an awesome event that’s unique and hasn’t been done before.

GARRETT

I’m curious to hear about some of the non-music acts. Your events always strike me as multi-sensory experiences.

CHRIS

For sure. We’re going to have a relaxation area where people will come in earlier in the afternoon and do guided meditation and yoga. We have some burlesque artists and some people who are going to do theatrical performances, contemporary dancers. There are going to be these performance art pieces done amongst the crowd. There will also be some painters who’ll be doing live painting out back, and screen printing on the spot by Silkys. They’re our only sponsor for the event, and we’ve gotten t-shirts from them before, so the only folks we’re involved with is people we’d hang out and drink a beer with. It’s not just one of these music festivals with a little painting on the side. Nah, this is going to be a multi-layered thing, with a lot of elements outside of just music. There is going to be a lot of music though. There are 60 acts, and I think 45 of them are bands. Now, when I say bands, I also mean rappers, poets, singers, just people who are gonna come rock with us.

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GARRETT

Now, I’m curious as to how you started to get a foothold in Brooklyn. Since you’re originally from D.C. can you tell me a little about your early artistic influences?

CHRIS

One big thing: Go-go music. Go-go is really unique to D.C. It’s a live form of music which grew out of funk and dance music, and incorporated rap. So it’s a drummer, congas, live bass, live guitar and usually two or three vocalists. It’s mostly cover songs, some hip-hop and R&B, some of their own songs. But people PARTY. When you go to a show, you may wait for an hour with everybody coming in and out, the DJ playing some garbage… Once the band starts sound-checking people move to the front, and if you don’t go right then, you’re not getting close.

At these shows it’s usually young black folks. You know, it’s something that came out of these neighborhoods where folks were event deprived. For people who were sixteen to eighteen, you could go to a go-go before you could get into a club. So when it came to making hip-hop, it had to be live in the same sense of excitement, it had to be energetic. So even when I would play with a DJ or people using drum machines, I still wanted that intensity. I wanted to get out that aggression and express things in a way I couldn’t using normal social dynamics. At the time my hip-hop influence was coming from Chicago, from New York, from Atlanta, from Florida, from Texas, from Louisiana. I got to hear about The Hot Boyz and Lil Wayne when I was 18, and that was in 1996.

GARRETT

So how did this lead you to New York?

CHRIS

I first moved to Harlem in 2001, lived there for two years, and that was the era when Sean Paul and 50 Cent came out, Interscope was big, Universal music was big, Nelly, Eminem, DMX, you can run down the list. I always listened to other types of music whether it’s triphop, or straight rock music, or classical or whatever. Still, from the time I was about 18-22 I was a real hip-hop head. But then I came up here and I met people who listened to world music, house music and acid jazz, and certain things that were super dance oriented. At that time I was playing around with grind or drum and bass, whatever was around at that time.

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After a few years I moved back to D.C. and threw some events down there. My friend Ty and I formed a group called Rosetta Stoned. By the time I moved back up to Brooklyn in 2008, I settled into Bushwick and my notion of doing music was gone. I moved up here to pursue a relationship and my girlfriend wasn’t really big on me rapping. She supported my photography, but the whole rap thing and throwing shows… It was like, maybe once a month you’d throw something down in D.C, but I didn’t know any rappers up here or people who had connections to spaces.

GARRETT

Where does the foundation of Brooklyn Wildlife come in?

CHRIS

At first, I saw that stuff in the past. I was 28 or 29, and throwing house parties wasn’t what I really wanted to be doing. I wanted to focus on this photo career. Then the relationship ended, and I wound up hooking up with DJ Keith Edwards, we’re making music and it was like, man, we needed to make more music, we needed a platform to find other artists and to get our stuff out. Now, this was around 2011, and I’d been doing music around Bushwick with the Potion Collective, but it wasn’t about rap. Instead of organizing shows I was going to other peoples’ events. I was a heavy participant but wasn’t really involved. I don’t know how many times I’d get asked to rap an event, and I show up and there’s no DJ, nobody who can beatbox, no other rappers… How can you ask me to perform without a platform for rap music?

So we wanted to set something up where there was always going to be equipment, always a mic, always a DJ, or somewhere to plug in an ipod, and it grew from there. It went from us getting added to other peoples’ bills to us creating our own events. We said, nah, we have to book it, promote it, run it ourselves and make it our event. We couldn’t do it at first so we took it back to house parties and basements, We threw events at my crib and other peoples’ houses, and we did as much as we could to meet new artists to see who’s down to put in work and put in effort. After about 6 months to a year of that, we were able to start booking venues.

Good Friend Electric and Brooklyn Wildlife Present....

GARRETT

Booking events in legitimate venues is interesting because you simultaneously expand and narrow your possibilities. With a venue space, you add legitimacy to your endeavors and can attract a more diverse crowd. You’re also somewhat restricted when you’re playing by the rules of a space instead of freely using your own home. Did you find the transition easy?

CHRIS

Well we realized we could do more than book clubs, we can throw events in restaurants and art spaces, or find empty studios and turn them into galleries. Those ideas started pushing the last year of work. For our “12 Days Of Art,” we wanted to do 12 different types of artistic events – music, for sure, but let’s start getting into discussion panels and art talks, something bigger than just an open mic outside of a three-act show. Then we did an event last summer with over 25 bands for the 4th of July. People said we were crazy, but we said nah, wait till you see us book 50 bands!

Through all the changes, though, I’ve stayed steady with the idea that I don’t want to do negative music or make events that are uncomfortable for people. I don’t like to support a violent or rude atmosphere. But in terms of the types of music, it keeps changing. When I was playing with you guys, for that 6 months to a year at Potion, I was never rapping with producers that made rap. I was playing with live musicians and learning how you guys swing.

GARRETT

Yeah, that was a rad time.

CHRIS

That shit was fun man! I miss it. After all y’all moved the whole music shit fell apart in a certain way, man. The reason we’re doing it is because motherfuckers left! If I could still go to Tyler’s house (former venue, recording studio and artistic space Good Friend Electric on McKibbin St) every week I’d have never started Brooklyn Wildlife in the same way. Because Tyler (Yonah, Omingnome) is gone, because the dudes on the fourth floor are gone (bands who also lived in McKibbin lofts) and moved out, because y’all moved out, it fizzled. Because no one moved to a central area. You guys moved into BedStuy, some moved into the city, some folks moved farther out to Jefferson…

GARRETT

And some of us bailed.

CHRIS

Yeah, some folks left the city entirely. And it’s understandable, you know. This whole place is cannibalizing itself. So we said, yo, let’s either build the ark or get washed away. Fuck, I can’t go anywhere yet and I just signed another lease, so we gotta build that ark.

GARRETT

It’s funny thinking about those times when all of these incredible creative artists and musicians all lived on that same block in Bushwick together. I remember the first time Broken Glow worked with you, and we played a song at your birthday party at Good Friend. We’d always wanted to perform “99 Problems,” it was one of our original singer Jon’s favorite songs of all time. So we always talked about doing it, but he was worried about whether or not he could pull off some of the lyrical content, and I don’t think he wanted to broach that subject. When we performed it together, I noticed you replaced “bitch” in the chorus with “chick.” I had no idea at the time that you’re way not into negative music. You’re into things that are creative, and they can be aggressive, they can be subversive or cosmic, they can be spiritual or fucked-up and weird, but it’s never against anybody.

CHRIS

Right on. Me and Keith, we don’t hate on much, man. We didn’t start a blog to talk about all the bad rap and shitty production, all the lame artists we think are whack. We just made a blog to showcase the people we think are good. We don’t do a lot of anti-other people in our presentation. When we do events we don’t bash on other event planners or other artists. But we definitely make it clear that we think the people we work with are better and that we’re trying to be an alternative. Like we don’t need to be in Vice Magazine, we want to start our own thing. I’m not knocking them. And if they do want us we’ll say fuck yeah. I’m sure they’ve got cool people who take good pictures and write interesting articles. But we’re not chasing that.

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GARRETT

That philosophy comes through when you throw an event. I’ve spent a lot of time going to and playing metal shows, and I love to jump in a pit and thrash around, and the power of heavy music. Unfortunately the chaotic atmosphere sometimes attracts a certain element of people who are aggressive, who just show up to throw punches around. I’ve never felt any kind of threatening vibe at any of your events, whether it was crazy birthday parties or 12 Days Of Art rock shows or whatever. It seems like that ideology is not said, but it’s understood by the performers and the attendees.

CHRIS

It’s weird man, I grew up playing football and lacrosse, so I always had that element of aggression and banging your head against someone else’s. When I first got into hip-hop I used to battle, so I have lyrics on some old “gonna rip your face off” shit. But it’s lyrical in my mind. And at a certain point I realized I don’t want to write like that, I don’t want to sit around and think about cool literary ways to humiliate another person, you know? I mean it can be a fun exercise in a way, and it’s tons of fun when you’re in front of a crowd and you smash on somebody when it comes down to some who-raps-better shit. But most of the battles got away from who raps better and got more into who can make fun of the other person the best. And that’s not really my thing.

And when I listen to my old lyrics, I used to say “nigga,” I used to say “bitch,” I had a younger, aggressive self-oriented perspective when it came to what I wanted to talk about in my music. But I think it’s just part of the growth process. I mean, I had to talk to women afterwords, you know? And people who know me would come up to me after I rap and be like, “Yo, why’d you say that?” And I couldn’t be mad at them. I was going into a public space expressing my feelings so I had to be able to deal with the repercussions of that. Now, there are other people who could look at them and tell them to shut up, that it doesn’t mean anything. I can’t do that, you know?

GARRETT

Right. It’s fine if someone else defends you, but the artist has to stand behind his work.¬† At a certain point you need to own what you say, even if it’s facetious or in a creative medium.

CHRIS

And I realized for the music that I wanted to make, I don’t want for people to feel excluded or that they’re not cool enough, or to come off threatening. Now, I may distance myself from people by the way I choose to rap or the subject matter I do explore, but in terms of my goals it’s only about elevation. Even if, like you said, it’s cosmic or it’s fucked-up and weird, it can be all those things. But I never want to be that pig-head, machismo shit.

I always loved hip-hop because it allowed people to get on a record and talk about their faults. I love Atmosphere, and some people call him a clown ’cause he sings a lot. But one thing about when that dude raps, it’s emotional. And when we do our events, I want to include visual artists, vocalists and other performers who are emotive, who want to move people through their creative works. And if it’s authentic, you know, some people have had negative experiences in their lives and I don’t expect them to hide that from their music or their art. It just can’t be fake, or just because it’s what the radio likes, it can’t be because you’re afraid to let people know you’re afraid, trying to be Mr. Tough Guy. I like that most of the rappers and musicians I’ve worked with over a continual basis are all heavily emotive. And when you meet them it matches their music.

GARRETT

It definitely seems that, for every incredible independent musician I know, there’s a severe lack of quality music in the “mainstream.” I can’t speak for you or anybody else, but I know I’ve been way out of touch with what is new and popular, and only rarely do I get a glimpse of what people are listening to.

CHRIS

Well I was lucky dude, I had a breakthrough when I went to Hawaii. It wasn’t like an epiphany hitting me in the face or anything, over the four or five days. I realized I’ve been having one foot in and one foot out for a long time. When I was in college my roommate produced a lot of high profile cats, and this is a dude I lived with for three years. So I knew the type of music he was making came out of his effort to be a professional musician. Now he wasn’t a rapper, so he didn’t have to stand by some of the things these rappers said. Instead he was making the music that he loved in a way that was accessible and that could get him paid. I didn’t really have a way to do that, with the way that I rap. I couldn’t figure out how you could commercialize what I do.

So I was always playing this game where I had friends who made commercial music so I couldn’t hate on it that much, but I don’t like it. I’m almost predisposed to dislike it. You know, I’m not into pop sounds, I’m not into shallow things that have no meaning. I don’t like waste-your-time entertainment, I’m into using life in a way that you can love the result of, or something like that. I don’t know, I mean I don’t have a life philosophy or anything like that, but I don’t like the idea of making content for people to waste their lives away, or people becoming brain dead with mindless entertainment.

GARRETT

I clicked on a link the other day and it’s Miley Cyrus’s new tune. There’s been a lot of discussion around her whole new thing, but I don’t care for all that, I just wanted to hear what the actual music sounds like. And it’s terrible, dude. Stock drum beats, lame over-produced vocals, and the hook isn’t even that catchy. How do videos like this get 6 million views in a week while the true, pure artists I see pouring their hearts into their craft are starving on the street?

CHRIS

I’m always trying to remind myself that different artists have different roles, man. Not everyone should rap like Public Enemy, and not everyone should be positive, that wouldn’t be real either. But I’m real fed up with how much corporate influence is now governing artistic creativity and how many hands are in the bucket stopping creative artists from making music and getting it out world-wide, how many people have just accepted it, like it’s always been here. People accept that they can’t change anything and that customers don’t have any power with their money. So I had a breakthrough in Hawaii, where I just said I’m not fucking with it anymore. If people want to rap about being mean and disrespectful to women, I’m not gonna do songs with them, period. I’m not putting their songs on my mix-tapes or booking them at shows. If there are people who aren’t the best rappers in the world but they’re trying to put a message in it, I’m down with that. And I don’t mean to teach the world a lesson, but if you’ve had a life experience and you want to rap about it and make it expressive, I’m going to help those people and put out a forum for them so they can get better. They’ll figure out the rap part, since they already have the part that so many people are missing.

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I am so unaware. It’s funny, I haven’t seen that Miley Cyrus video, I haven’t seen so much of what I think is influencing some of the rappers that I’m around, so it can’t influence me. I haven’t had a TV with cable in years, like at this point it’s been years. With the whole Miley Cyrus thing, I’m never surprised by cultural appropriation, you know? It’s unfortunate but we all know it, whether it’s jazz, blues, rock or hip-hop. The country is majority non-black, so whenever we have something or create something¬† that becomes popular or bigger than its own community, it gets lost. That’s how an ameoba takes things, and American society is an ameoba. It takes everything from every group of people that’s in it. However, some of those people get more representation in the corporate sector, or the political sector. And at this point it’s too imbalanced. So I’m not surprised Miley Cyrus is twerking, of course she is, you know? Her dad was one of the biggest country stars of his time, it would almost be a shame… Ha! No, but it would be ironic if she wasn’t, it makes sense to see her twerking it.

But it doesn’t matter to me anymore. What Kanye or Jay-Z or any of these people do, it just doesn’t matter unless we’re talking about their actual music or their contribution to culture. When it comes to the actual lack of good quality music, it is the fault of everyone involved. That means the listeners for buying it, the DJ’s for playing it, the people for making it, the program directors, the exec’s in the offices, everyone involved. Now, on that chain the customer is the last person who has any influence on the creative process. But they can show people with their money.

………………………

Chris and Garrett talked for another 15 minutes or so about the coming months – the Brooklyn Wildlife Summer Festival is gearing up to be a huge event, so expect more like this in the future and keep your eyes open for Broken Glow’s return to the northeast this fall! Do yourself a favor and catch this one-of-a-kind experience. The festival is Saturday September 7th, 2013 from 3pm-3am. You don’t want to get there late or leave early. For more information go to Brooklyn WIldlife’s website.

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