Sup y’all? =) Prez Hoodie here with an extra special interview feeaturing a few damn fine folk who just recently attended the much hyped 8static Festival. To be specific, both Adam “Kuma” Martinez & Adam Seats from here on the blog, and Emily K Feder, the fest curator herself. We sat down the other night for +/- three hours (!!!) and just chatted about the entire gorram thing. This rather lengthy transcript is pretty much the whole of it. So grab a beverage or two, settle into a comfy spot, and enjoy. \m|♥|m/
Hoodie: Been one helluva weekend for both chip & VGM. 8static Festival & Nerdapalooza
going down around the same set of days. CRAZY TIMES.
Adam D. Seats: As the kids say, “Ain’t that for shizzle, Brandon.”
Adam “Kuma” Martinez: That’s definitely an understatement considering even just the half of this weekend I attended with Seats. Emily and crew really did a kick ass job with the festival.
Seats: 8static Fest was face melting. Honestly, yes, megaprops to EmFed and her crew for pulling that off.
Hoodie: And yes, on top of you two crazy loons we have the festival curator, Emily Feder, herself joining us. THIS SHOULD BE INTERESTING.
Emily K. Feder: Yup, barely alive still.
Though I did muster a running jump off the PA.
Kuma: Yeah that was awesome! A few people got to stage dive and do various stunts actually. It was pretty intense.
Seats: Most of them being performers, come to think of it. Cough cough Danimal Cannon.
Hoodie: hahhahaha I can believe that. I’ve seen him in action at fests. When he gets on a roll, WATCH OUT.
And on that note, yeah, let’s hear it: first impressions. As a whole, how did this crazy ass jam feel?
Em: Honestly to me it felt like Blip 11.
Hoodie: JESUS. I was at Blip 11, Em. That’s one helluva statement.
Seats: I honestly don’t think I’ve been to anything like this before. I missed BRK, I’ve never been to Superbyte, and I never got to go to Blipfest. The only thing I have to compare this to is MAGFest, and I have to say this completely felt like all of the music parts of MAGFest to me, which is a good thing.
Hoodie: I’m not surprised to hear this at all. The energy leading up to it, with the Kickstarter and everything, was palpable. Even online, yanno?
Kuma: Blip 2k12 was my intro to chipmusic, so everything just felt magical about that weekend. Plus blip 2k12 was my birthday weekend, so it was double special.
That being said, yeah, the show was definitely worthy of that status. From SKGB as opening act to chibitech closing out Saturday and that after party on Sunday, everything about this weekend was magical.
Em: The thing I was most happy about it that it still felt like 8static.
Great visual setup, awesome sound, intimate crowd.
Seats: If this is what 8static normally is but on a smaller scale, then you must run a really fantastic event, Em. And I’m not saying that to be a kissass or anything, it was a slice of fried gold.
Em: Well to start off, we wanted to make sure nothing was Mickey Mouse. So we got a super legit sound system, rented the shit we needed to setup visuals properly, bought a huge screen; no bed sheets taped to wall, lol
Hoodie: hahahah Works in a pinch, but yeah, doing it all RIGHT = -thumbs up-
Em: Once we got the venue set up like we wanted it was mainly a matter of staying organized with setups so the changeovers could be done efficiently.
Hoodie: How’d that go?
Em: We didn’t have the ability to run late so schedule had to be on point. Thursday we had a couple problems. One being that the drums for Disasterpeace didn’t make it to venue until after show statred.
Hoodie: OH DAMN. XD
Em: So we had to set them up during changeovers and we lost hella time.
Kuma: That set was still awesome though.
Hoodie: -shrugs- Nothing you can do about that except roll with it, though.
Em: Then there was some drama with these girls that led to the police showing up.
Em: Which distracted me and some others from keeping show time on point.
Hoodie: Oh, live music problems: even when you plan for everything, shit always goes down.
Em: I had to ban them both from the festival. So A_rival started about 30 min late.
Hoodie: Y’all made it work, though. That’s what matters.
Em: But the amazing thing is that was all the problems we had. Everything else was smooth.
Hoodie: Got all the bumps out in the first night.
Em: We decided on Friday to get the artists to stage their gear so everything was ready to go during sound check. That way all we had to do was switch cables and go.
Hoodie: Good call.
Em: So those days were super smooth.
Kuma: Yeah I gotta say from a audience perspective, everything did seem to flow smoothly. Even very tiny things that are expected of chip, such as the occasional gameboy choosing not to work, didn’t last long. I’ve seen other shows where dead gameboys took forever to work out. This went smooth though.
Em: Bought us some extra time that Nullsleep used to play a killer jam
Em: And chibi had some extra space on Sat, so it worked out great. All the performers were super pro.
Seats: Yeah, aside from the insanity that was those two girls, everything seemed to go within normal operating parameters. And even the stuff that happened on stage got played off pretty well.
Em: And on point. No one phoned it in.
Seats: I think Boaconstructer showed up at one point to jump on with Trey Frey, and TF’s Gameboy started freaking out on him, but Boa just took over and made everything cool until it worked.
Em: Some key facts:
There were a bunch of people that came off hiatus/retirement to play this.
Hoodie: I know. That still blows my damn mind. How many total?
Kuma: Yeah that glomag set. To think this was the only time I’ll ever get to see him play still blows my mind because he’s just incredibly talented.
Seats: Guuuuh man Glomag (or as he is in my head now, Glomag-ojichan), that set was fantaaaaaaastic. And yeah, there’s a lot of people I haven’t seen since PAXEast this year.
Em: Aside from the obvious glomag, there was baron knoxburry (one of the best of show), adamgetsawesome; Bit shifter hadn’t played since Nov last year, Knife city was on hiatus. And he had all new shit, drum and bass stuff.
Hoodie: Oh wow. Didn’t realize that. I personally caught glomag at PAX East 2011. Was amazing. Had no clue it’d be one of the last chances I had to catch his set.
Em: Plus Disasterpeace kinds never plays. As Rich put it “welcome to Disasterpeace live practice”.
Hoodie: hahaha Very infrequently yeah. He doesn’t need to!!
Kuma: Also Alex Mauer.
Em: Alex Mauer hasn’t played since like 2009 (at 8static).
Kuma: Alex hasn’t performed in years, and the fact that he got to do so with Shawn Phase on drums was incredible!
Em: That set was killer
Seats: Didn’t Mauer play at PAX? Or did he just do that panel with you guys? But yes, him + Shawn was mind-blowing.
Kuma: No I think he just did a panel. He and I chat pretty often and that was one of the reasons he was so excited for the show. He hasn’t played publicly in a long time. He also got to promote the movie he composed the score for, “Motivational Growth“. Very nice.
Hoodie: Yeah, he was there (PAX East), but he didn’t play. We tried to meet up at it and failed miserably. haha Would’ve killed to have seen his set (at 8static). Also, THAT MOVIE. LOOK INTO IT. TOO FUN.
Em: So we got a lot of people out of retirement. And from what I’ve been hearing they’ve all been writing new stuff because of this.
Hoodie: Now *THAT’S* a coolass thing: getting artists excited enough about a show that they create new music for it. I did see a *LOT* of comments (online) like that after the show: fans and artists both exclaiming just how inspired and motivated they felt from playing/attending 8static Fest. That’s something to be proud about in of itself.
Em: One of my fave moments: Glomag transforming from old man in sync with dramatic music.
Seats: Glomag did a cover of the theme from Princess Mononoke as his opening song, which I KNOW he did just for the show – he said he’d have it up on Bandcamp soon.
Em: That’s true.
Kuma: Yah it was awesome hearing that new music, and the anticipation for it was only built up for the fact that you’d see them in the hall with headphones having these very private, human moments of just focusing on what they’re working on. It was fantastic.
Em: That’s why it felt like a Blip.
Seats: That, and the fact that everyone was just so approachable! I felt like most people you could just walk up to and have a conversation with and they were happy to do it.
Or maybe just drunk, but it amounts to the same thing.
Em: Many of the old school pillars of the community said to us, “We’ve just been waiting for you guys to take it over.” So it’s kinda like the Blip folks are passing the torch to us, which is an honor we take very seriously.
Hoodie: Awesome. Blip sold me so hard on live chipmusic. Both the music in general and the people involved in it. MAG and PAX East whet my whistle, but it was Blip that *REALLY* hooked me on it. So to hear that this spirit was alive at 8static Fest, that makes me really happy.
Kuma: And seriously: everyone from vets to newbies to even people I met who were on hiatus from the scene returned to the scene just because of this festival. including some people I met who weren’t performing but are very talented in their own right. It was very cool. In particular, I wanna give a shout out to Kara Hagerty aka Devious Xen. She used to go to school with stormblooper and co, lost touch with them, and reunited with the scene because of this. So super thanks to this fest for that.
Hoodie: That said, Em, are y’all ready for that responsibility? ;) Though I guess this show pretty much already confirms it. hahaha
Em: Well we felt like we were the ones who could do it and get the buy in. Turns out, we didn’t know that many people were waiting for us to do it. Getting the first show to succeed was the major hurdle.
Hoodie: I agree. It’s why we (ChipWIN) were happy to back it financially. And why so many other folk via the Kickstarter were too. When that succeeded, I *KNEW* everything would work out fine.
Em: Now we have hype and buyin from that so all the skeptical people on the fence will hopefully commit to being here next year.
Hoodie: It’s gonna be that much crazier next time. I’m just happy there *WILL* be a next time.
Em: There was some major stress all around with the planning. For different reasons.
Hoodie: heh Imagine that.
Em: But now that we did it, we can do it again. Easier at that. We learned a lot too.
Em: But if attendance sucked, that would be it.
Kuma: Do you guys think you’ll be using the church again, or was it just for this event, Emily?
Hoodie: Yeah! That *WAS* an interesting event choice! What prompted that?
Kuma: Cause I have to say, despite that it was at a church, that venue and the surrounding neighborhood was pretty legit.
Em: So there was a moment in Saturday when I asked people what they thought from the stage…
Adams, do you wanna tell Brandon about that moment?
Hoodie: Oh dear. hahaha
Seats: I think everyone needs to go check the stream for that moment.
Hoodie: No. I ain’t waiting. WHAT HAPPENED??
Seats: Like. Maybe this is just my brain trying to dramatify things, but Em came onstage and was like “Yeah, so you guys wanna do this again?” and everything just kinda exploded.
Hoodie: hahahah AWESOME.
Em: Basically I asked everyone how they liked the festival on a scale of 1-10. They said 11.
Kuma: Seriously. The crowd response was like hearing a colossus roar during the first hour of MAGFest.
Hoodie: THAT’S SOME INTENSITY, KUMA.
Em: So I told them to make sure they bring all their friends next time so we can sell out the place.
Hoodie: So what you’re saying is 8static Fest 2 is totes happening next year? Which is all I really care.
Em: It has to. There have been many festivals happening since blip ended and this was the one people seemed to have chosen as the successor. We have the best infrastructure here to do it. Philly is a gorgeous city every bit as fascinating as NYC, only cheaper.
Hoodie: Cheaper never hurts.
Em: And honestly easier to get to/around in.
Seats: Philly IS a lot more central, I think, at least for East Coastians. I much prefer going there than I would having to try to get to NYC.
Kuma: Well it does have a lot things going for it. The local, the energy, the ease of accessibility, the artists living and working there, and, I overheard a lot of talk of people wanting to move to philly, particularly on Sunday night during the after party.
Em: I heard that too.
Kuma: But more importantly, I heard definite talk of some vets who seem like they will be moving to philly in the next year.
Em: It’s like I said in that blurb, Brandon. Basically Philly has inherited the mantle of the Jerusalem of chiptune.
Kuma: Pretty much. MAGFest is Mecca, so Philly is def our Jerusalem.
Seats: As a Jew, I support that analogy.
Em: It’s been building for a long time and this def dislodged it.
Hoodie: Incredible. This is all I was hoping to hear: that the event was a stunning success.
Kuma: And I have to say, the venue the after party was at was pretty cool too.
Hoodie: So the after party was kickass too, huh?? That’s always a good sign as well.
Em: It was, more low key but that’s what we needed I think
Kuma: Oh yeah! Between that incredible line up and the intimacy of the space that it was held at, I’d definitely pay to go there again.
Seats: And I’m crying tears of blood I had to miss the afterparty.
Em: Chibi and A_rival spilling some surprise jams at end def helped. They afterparty was cool too because it sort of reminded me of the old 8static back when it was in west Philly.
Em: I/o handled the after party. They are our close friends in New York. They started I/o because they were inspired by 8static, so the partnership was inevitable.
Kuma: At the end, turned out to be after my crew and I left to get shake shack, unfortunately, but yeah, minusbaby, ricky brugal, daurugon and wet mango all brought it hard. And I have to say I was super impressed by wet mango. I’d heard all the others before and love them dearly but that was my first time seeing wet mango live and she killed it.
Seats: Also, super happy to hear about the inter-city cooperation on making things good. I feel like sometimes, all I hear about are how isolated certain towns’ scenes are, so to hear about people working together is heartening.
Em: So yeah, that was an epic moment when people told us we had to do it again. More powerful than making an announcement.
Back to your questions about the church. It’s a very respected venue. More of a punk rock type place. We had to supply all our own gear, but I’ve seen Godspeed you black emperor there, horse the band, etc. Chromelodeon played several and their final show there. They were the origin point of Philly chip and vgm. Also an origin point for chip at MAGFest (probably the first band actually). So there was a major historical significance to the place. Seeing Dino playing on that stage again was legendary. The place was perfect. And the green room was a kitchen. lol
Hoodie: Wow. Had no clue about that. Just saw it was a church and went, “LOLWUT? CHIP CHURCH?”
Kuma: I have to say, speaking of Dino, the lineups were formed immaculately.
Kuma: Some shows I’ve been to sometimes hodgepodge it but everything flowed nicely from one artist to another.
Seats: Oh yeah, definitely, it didn’t feel like there was too much of one thing going on.
Em: I got a LOT of feedback about the curation.
Kuma: Especially prog rock time between chipocrite, animal style and cheap dinos.
Seats: Like you’ve got a few people who are more hardcore, like Saskrotch and Rainbowdragoneyes, and I like that they got spread out over the weekend. Mostly so that I didn’t get beaten entirely to a pulp in one night, but let it happen over the weekend.
Em: Well the lineups were very carefully chosen. I spent a LOT of time to get it right, to make sure that basically we’d have really good balance. Basically picking a lot of variety not only in musical style but also in the instrumentation.
Hoodie: I am aware from my own experiences: PICKING SOLID LINEUPS IS HARD AS FURK. Especially in a scene this rife with amazing talent.
Em: There were some people that got passed over, like Kris Keyser for example. Simply because we had enough edm/dancy stuff.
Kuma: True but some of those guys still got to perform via surprise cameos for certain songs.
Kuma: Like Kris Keyser got to play a song with bubblyfish.
Seats: I like that even if people weren’t on the bill, they still got a chance to come out.
Kuma: and exileFaker was joined onstage by Corset lore and glomag.
Seats: Same with Boaconstructor on with Trey Frey, or Tony Ness running up to hop on his favorite song with Glomag.
Em: Glomag joined corset lore for king crimsons red. Trey Frey was unreal. He really needed to finally play a big show and get some credit.
Kuma: He really did.
Hoodie: Speaking of lineups, gotta ask the obvious question of y’all: favorite performances/moments/etc?
Seats: Oh lord. Let’s talk about how people rushed the stage for Glomag and Chibitech.
Kuma: You mean how we killed shanebro’s knees. XD
Seats: Or Danimal moshing during his own set and being held aloft by the pit while wailing on his guitar. Or watching Dan and adamgetsawesome rule the pit for a while. And oh God, can we talk about the Radlib set? Both of them, really?
Hoodie: Yes, Seats. You can. ;D
Kuma: You mean jock jams?
Seats: Yes, I mean jock jams.
Seats: I mean, like, holy hell man. Obviously, I’d never seen Radlib live, but it’s funny because he’s not like a lot of the artists. He was super calm the whole time, even though the audience completely was not.
Em: Yeah he really is calm.
Seats: He was just kinda smiling and playing the jams while the entire audience went mad. And then his DJ set the next day featured some choice Donkey Kong Country 2 remixes, which me and Inverse Phase were chatting about.
Hoodie: Yeah, I finally briefly met Carl at PAX East this year. Incredibly chill dude.
Kuma: Yeah Carl is always like that from what I’ve seen. I kinda love it
Seats: Actually, y’know, just kinda in general, it was cool seeing all these people performing live.
Seats: Like you get a lot more out of it that way, I think. Probably moreso with people like A_Rival, who are VERY heavy on interacting with the audience.
Hoodie: I can relate to that, Seats. Every chip show I make it out to is *THAT*. On the intertoobs I’ve had plenty of interaction with, & have even gotten to know & become good friends with so many of these folks. But then to get to catch ’em perform live, hang out, party together; it’s pretty magical stuff.
Em: But the thing I think that made it different was the curation. It wasn’t just a show of all these acts. The flow and variety really made it sing.
Seats: But like, even folks like Radlib or Saskrotch who never said a word to the audience during their sets, seeing them do what they do just makes the songs feel more full.
Em: That is essentially what has always made 8static special. Live chip is best chip.
Kuma: That’s true, and that’s something I do appreciate a lot. Again, in particular, I gotta thank Emily for getting SSD Engage out.
Seats: Ooh, mos def.
Em: They were a big surprise for many people. None of the old school dudes really knew them.
Kuma: I loved all the acts I saw, even the ones I’ve seen before, but when it comes to variety of sound SSD put the biggest smile on my face.
Em: Glomag was blown away. They are a personal fave of mine.
Kuma: I’d heard their stuff before because I’d interviewed them for my Raw Cuts column. But I missed the chance to see them live because I wasn’t able to go to BRK, so seeing them here in Philly made me smile.
Hoodie: I loved their albums already, but they blew my damn mind at BRKFest. *REALLY* fantastic live.
Em: Perfect way to start Saturday. Then to Danimal then Bubblyfish and void vision.
Seats: Oh dude, freaking Void Vision. I’d never heard of her, but THAT set was amazing. Like, all of her equipment, plus her friend on the violin and all the crazy stuff she did with that…
Em: Yes void vision uses all vintage synth gear. The kind of stuff you don’t just plug in and work but actually have to constantly adjust to tweak you sound.
Hoodie: WOW. That’s nuts. I had no idea.
Seats: I was with MrWimmer and Auxcide during the Void Vision set and Auxcide was visibly jealous of her gear – evidently, he’s quite the collector too.
Kuma: I’d only seen void vision once or twice before and she only did one song each time (4th anniversary 8static show and an open mic for fun respectively) but yeah I was very surprised at how good she was. Fumu got all sorts of crazy for that set.
Em: She’s amazing. Carl P is in love with her.
Kuma: I can see why. XD
Seats: She also had the whole gothic lolita vibe going on with her outfit, which was QUITE a startling difference than everyone else. It was totally awesome. I respect people who’ve got killer outfits as well as mad skills.
Em: She isn’t strictly chiptune But it’s the same theory. It’s all old gear and hard to use. So I think it’s relevant.
Hoodie: Yeah, definitely.
Em: Doubt anyone else would ever book her for a chip show though. Her stuff is more cold wave scene.
Moving on, the fest ended with half the venue on the stage during chibi’s set.
Hoodie hahahhahah Ain’t that how it always works in chiptune???
Em: It was pretty insane.
Seats: Oh God that was as hilarious as it was awesome.
Kuma: It was.
Em: She’s super shy so it was a good idea for A_rival to play hype man on her set. It was pretty killer.
Seats: She was so soft spoken! I was sorta laughing every time you or A_Rival had to talk into the mic for her.
Kuma: Yeah he did a great job of that, although I was super happy she decided to crowd surf at one point, because it did show she was trying to break out of her shell.
Em: Especially when he got the 8static to keep chanting 8STATIC.
Hoodie: Very quiet reserved personality, HUGE EXPLOSIVE GINORMOUS CHIPMUSIC. Ain’t that just how it works sometimes??
Kuma: When I first met her on Thursday night, she was so shy I felt bad talking to her.
Seats: Oh God me too! I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt dumb trying to talk to her.
Em: She stayed at my house the entire time and is shy in general. But her and Alex are tight. I still can’t believe she came.
Kuma: I can’t either.
Hoodie: That was one of the (admittedly many) announcements that twisted the knife in my gut (for not being able to attend).
Seats: Side note, A_Rival’s Skull Mask/Kigurumi combo was amazing.
Kuma: Also its not a chiptune show without a horse head mask.
Em: Brandon, I should have told you up front she was playing.
Hoodie: Was a pretty big reveal, that’s for damn sure.
Em: But I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t want all these people trying to get on the bill just to play with her.
Hoodie: Of course. You handled that damn well.
Kuma: Seriously. It was a bigger reveal than knowing that Curtis Ware payed for BSK to come out to BRKFest. And that was insane.
Em: Everyone did it without knowing anyone else on the bill, because they wanted to (play the fest).
Hoodie: Yeah, you mentioned that before. *THAT* is pretty fucking cool.
Em: Probably could have scored some bigger acts if I did (announce her before finalizing the booking) but oh well. I don’t regret a thing about the booking. The lineup was super solid. All of the performers really brought their A game.
Hoodie: Infinitely better to bring in acts that just wanted to play the show vs. wanted to play just to perform with so-and-so.
Seats: I honestly don’t know how the show could have been better.
Kuma: Well considering you got not only cihbitech but knife city and glomag to do their thing, I know you can shoot even higher next year. And I’m not-so-secretly hoping you can get Depreciation Guild to come out of retirement for one night. I would love that.
Seats: I mean, I’ll be honest: I’m super poorly informed about the chipscene, but everyone there, INCLUDING the people I’d never heard of, were amazing.
Em: Adam, that’s how I felt the first time I went to 8static. And that’s how I wanted everyone else to feel when they did.
Kuma: That’s how I feel most times I go to chip shows. To be honest, I really don’t review artists before I go to shows. I just go to be surprised and, I gotta say, I was surprised. And inspired. And elated.
Em: So what kind of vibe were you guys getting from the crowd during the show? Was it too long? Were the changeovers timed well?
Hoodie: Yeah, guys. Let’s hear a purely fan based perspective now. How did the whole thing feel?
Kuma: I think outside of Thursday, the change overs were spaced out perfectly. In fact, they were faster than I expected.
Seats: I think everything went pretty well. Nobody grumbled. Some people (cough A_Rival) spent the time hulahooping.
Em: I thing next year I’ll def scale it back to 8 per day again. Which was the original plan.
Seats: But I mean, the set changes gave you enough time to breathe, maybe go restock your booze supply, and then jump right back in. I think it was done quite well.
Em: The house music, which Dino handled, was good too. That helped.
Kuma: The whole show felt wonderful. The people were friendly, and I had a great time.
Em: I felt like I was in a room with 100’s of my best friends.
Kuma: The pre-show Dj sets were awesome, too. Although I still can’t believe what CUTMAN did.
Hoodie: What’d he do?
Seats: OH MAN SO I MISSED CUTMAN WHAT DID HE DO
Kuma: Going back and forth between Philly and Florida to perform and party.
Seats: Oh that. Yeah. YEAH. Mad props to him.
Hoodie: Ah, right! Yeah, I caught most of his Nerda set. Was damn good stuff as always!
Kuma: Omg that guy is crazy.
Hoodie: He’s a cyborg. It’s not just an alias. He’s actually part robot. I’m convinced of it now.
Kuma: Seriously. He spun on Thursday for 8static, as well as partied and helped vend, then went to Florida and played on Friday for nerda, then came back Saturday and was in a mosh pit with us for chibitech and OMG WHAT IS HE.
Seats: Oh yeah man, he was next to me in the Chibitech pit.
Em: He was so stoked to be back.
Kuma: I could tell! He was beaming on Saturday.
Em: Yeah I mean look at that pic of me dropping the mic. He is right next to me flipping out. He actually wasn’t planning to come on Sat and then chibi released her new album. He texted me and said he was changing his flights to come back and see it. lol
Hoodie: THAT’LL DO IT.
Kuma: He made the right decision. That needed to be witnessed.
Em: It was good timing for us that her album came out a week before show.
Seats: True freaking story.
Em: Luckily I knew she was gonna blow up majorly this year and asked her before all that happened. Don’t think it would have happened if we waited. Btw she loved it here! She’s our pal now too. Good friend to have. Same with A_rival. Two of the nicest people ever.
Seats: Well A+ job on snatching her up before she came too cool for school, Em. I’m not gonna lie, she’s what sold me on it.
Em: Also, I’m glad you liked they DJ sets. That was another new idea that we haven’t done before.
Hoodie: Yeah, that seemed like a perfect way to start the chipshows on paper. Glad it worked out irl.
Kuma: Alex Mauer and SSD Engage were the gifts I came for, but chibitech, glomag, baron knoxbury… that was like saying I’m getting a new entertainment system with my xbox one and ps4. And it was spectacular.
Em: Who completely surprised you guys that you basically knew nothing about, or better yet didnt even care for and seeing them live changed that?
Kuma: Saskrotch, XC3N and Baron Knoxbury.
Seats: I’ll go ahead and fess up that I didn’t know who Glomag was other than from the 8bc torrent from a while back. BOY DID I FAIL AT LIFE.
Kuma: I was surprised at saskrotch cause my knowledge of his vast expanse of music was limited and I didn’t know he could kick that much ass. And XC3N and Baron Knoxbury I knew nothing about and they made me smile in ways I never expected.
Em: Those guys are both awesome people that never played Blip and I wanted to make sure they got on this bill. Same with br1ght pr1mate, Trey, etc
Kuma: Hell, I got so excited about Baron that after the after party on Sunday, he gave me a 45 of battle of the bits winter edition for free.
Seats: Oh, you know, Rainbowdragoneyes’ set was pretty awesome too. I roomed with him at PAX, and I saw him perform, but it was an entirely different experience at 8SF.
Em: He is amazing.
Kuma: rde always brings it. I saw him perform in Brooklyn last year and between his energy on stage and his silly, unassuming demeanor when he’s not performing, he’s become one of the people I look forward to seeing most at events.
Em: Xc3n was a person I kinda got a bunch of people asking me “Why?” Then when he played they were like, “Good call”.
Seats: Also, Chipocrite is just consistently better every single time I see him. I’m sad we’re losing him and you guys are getting him back.
Hoodie: Seriously, I got more excited and irked (because I couldn’t come) with each artist announcement. As we all (understandably) keep reiterating, the entire lineup was sincerely AMAZEBALLS.
Em: Oh during the Facebook announcements? That was so much fun. Because the artists didn’t know themselves.
Hoodie: hahahah Yeah, watching them react to such was half the fun.
Kuma: Yeah I noticed that seemed to be a big draw for a lot of the people performing. That there was this chance to not only get to play, but to see people they hadn’t seen in years coming out of the woodwork to do their thing again, people who were close friends just doing their thing again.
Em: Totally. It was incredible.
Kuma: I thought that was really touching actually. Seeing all the people I admire smile and get pumped over seeing everyone else on the list. Super good times.
Hoodie: It really is just an amazing scene. It’s damn hard to not be drawn into it, especially with enough live exposure to it.
Em: I actually thought about joking and saying something like “What if I was just saying names out and none of them had actually been booked?” Haha
Kuma: Actually when you first started name dropping on Twitter a lot of people seemed to think that was the case.
Hoodie: EVEN BETTER.
Kuma: I certainly did for a bit. It seemed too good to be true.
Em: Tell me more? This is a good perspective.
Kuma: A_Rival had recently performed in Tokyo and had to prep for MAGFest, so no one expected him. glomag, of course, caught everyone off guard. And the Alex Mauer thing, do you have any idea how many people thought that would never happen? Hell, Remy practically stopped dead in his tracks when I told him Alex was going to be playing.
Em: Haha! So people thought it was a scam?
Hoodie: This crazy line-up honestly *IS* part of what gave me the feeling that this could be “the next Blip”. That and the energy leading up to it, as previously discussed.
Kuma: You were just dropping all these names one after the other, and maybe some of them we’d believe, but really? All of them? Especially after the significant lack of a Blipfest for over a year.
Kuma: I was almost expecting this to be an cm.o prank at first.
Em: That’s awesome. Although I hope people didn’t decide not to come because of that…?
Kuma: No. I think the more and more you posted across different forms of social media, the more real it seemed. Was only suspect when you were first rattling off names on Twitter.
Em: Well I started with chibitech. Which instantly got everyone’s attention.
Hoodie: ahaha YUUUUUUUUUUUP.
Em: I knew people were gonna be skeptical. That’s kinda why the Facebook thing was a good idea too. It gave them all a chance to deny it.
Hoodie: Do you really think people were skeptical??
Em: I mean, the Toy Company show didn’t fully pan out as expected. BRKfest is awesome but definitely smaller scale. So people were gonna be like “ANOTHER ‘fest’??”.
Hoodie: I… find that odd. Y’all have been doing this AWHILE now. It’s only natural that this finally happened. Seriously, when I saw the announcement my only thought was, “ABOUT FUCKING TIME.”
Em: I think people in the know thought that. But less so for more casual people/fans. I think the lineup (really) was the selling point. The lineup had to be golden (for this to succeed).
Kuma: Lets be real now: it was the line up and the brand name behind it. And BRKFest was amazing, but BRK is young and (geographically) far away from most of the chip scene.
Hoodie: True on both accounts. Which, as a side note, makes BRK’s success even more magical imho (kicked ass even in a remote location!).
Kuma: Having a well established brand behind that line up was key.
Em: Actually I had to fight to call it 8static vs a new name. Although I thought that the branding was key. Same with the netlabel.
Hoodie: Honestly, I’m glad you *DIDN’T* change it for any of this.
Em: Yeah I am too.
Kuma: Same. I couldn’t imagine going to anything else in Philly.
Hoodie: There’s enough momentum and, hell, even history at this point already associated with the 8static name; it was only fair to name it after such.
Em: It works. Tbh Joey hates the name, but I love it.
Em: I don’t think he sees it like we do. He’s been around since day one.
Kuma: XD Well what was the alt name going to to be, if you don’t mind me asking?
Em: Something else that makes it work. (We had) nothing good. Xstatic. 85tatic.
Bunch of stuff like that.
Kuma: I remember static X but I thought there was also an Xstatic
Em: There is a comic by mike Allred called xstatix. There were some totally unrelated names too. I don’t remember any right now. That was back in January.
Hoodie: Dickbutt Fest. Sorry. Couldn’t resist. :3
Seats: I thought that was the name of your house every Friday, Brandon? :P
Em: Blip already took the best name possible.
Kuma: Yeah it sure was.
Em: Basically keeping the name was a good idea. No own tried to fight me on lineups or anything. We all just did our part and trusted each other. Which I don’t think is common.
Hoodie: Wow. That’s awesome. It’s a helluva thing to have everyone working that well in unison. Requires a lot of trust and familiarity.
So, I gotta ask, Em: now what? Just keep rocking along, building up bigger and better, month by month? Other special plans? I know the netlabel is moving along.
Em: I’ve already started booking next year.
Em: So far no repeats. Although there will be some when it’s done.
Hoodie: Again, lotta amazing talent. Will be easy to do a damn near completely different roster and have it be just as amazing. That’s always a challenge though: balancing new performers and repeats.
Kuma: Very true. There’s so much new talent and also talent that hasn’t been tapped yet that we could def see an original roster in both NY and Philly for the next couple years easily.
Hoodie: And just generally some of the best people I’ve met, PERIOD.
Em: Doesn’t have to be as insane with surprises this time, just good and solid. I think we won over any doubters or haters.
Hoodie: If not, they can’t be won over. And POOP ON ‘EM.
Seats: I will say, of all the things being drank at 8SF, haterade was not among them.
Em: Question: although it was a damn good turnout for a first “fest”, do you guys have any insight into why it wasn’t even better?
Seats: I’m going to venture a guess and say Nerdapalooza? Brandon might know more on that end.
[Hoodie FYI note: That’s where I was at during this: performing with Lords of Thunder at Nerdapalooza!]
Hoodie: I honestly don’t think Nerda pulled much away from this. Seriously different events. Very little chip at Nerda this year. Mostly nerdcore, VGM, and other nerdy relevant bands.
Em: I agree. Other than you, Chris and Nullsleep, there didn’t seem to be much.
Hoodie: Professor Shyguy was there too. And D&D Sluggers to play the after party. Otherwise, that’s about it.
Kuma: Honestly, I think a lot of the turn out issue had to do with (people saving up to attend) MAGFest. A lot of people wanted to go (to 8Static Fest), but many are tight on money or are straight up unemployed. So when given the choice of two events to go to, one they’ve been planning for all year and the other that just pupped up, it made it a hard call.
Hell, I gotta admit, even with the money I had saved up, getting the time off was a hassle, and the money handling was an issue as well. Getting a hotel for a good price was hard to do and if I hadn’t gotten the hotel I did at the last minute, I would not have gone.
Seats: I WILL say hotel shenanigans were rough. When I looked, everything was waaaay too expensive. I’m glad Kuma: found what he did, or I wouldn’t have gone either.
Em: There was a police convention that messed up all the hotels. But yeah, I’m imagining a lot of it was just not having enough time to plan.
Kuma: Exactly. So they chose to stick with the one they had been planning for already.
Em: I’m hoping next year (with a more advance notice) people will plan and save up accordingly.
Seats: Hopefully we can convince people that they’ve got at least two things to save for now.
Kuma: Yeah, I think after the kinda show you pulled, and with knowledge of another one happening next year far in advance, you’ll see a bigger turn out next year.
Em: What are your thoughts, Hoodie?
Hoodie: Outside of everything already discussed, I dunno. Mostly the timing issues I would I guess. The more time people have to plan for an event, the better.
Em: I think people heard about it in June. Did not know the lineup until August and at that point didn’t have the time to plan accordingly.
Hoodie: Although time of year too maybe? October is a strange month for events, particular in the related scenes. In-between all the summer crazy and before MAG, as Kuma pointed out.
Em: It’s a good time IMO. Weather is nice. And there isn’t any real conflicts.
Seats: Also, tbh, having not been in Philly for a very long time, I didn’t realize how walkable the city was, so when I couldn’t find things nearby, it was disheartening.
Kuma: Yeah, I’m glad everything was super walkable. Moreso than New York. Weather was nice too.
Hoodie: Yeah, it is in-between events. But still, near holidays. Money = tight. Limits travel. Especially with a lot of the broke-assery most of the folk in and among us deal with.
Kuma: Very true.
Hoodie: Although without Nerda to play at, I would’ve definitely been there regardless of any of that. Would’ve found a way, no matter what.
Em: Keep in mind Blip used to be in December.
Hoodie: Oh really?? I wasn’t aware of that!
Kuma: Neither was I.
Hoodie: Now that you mention it, it’s last few iterations were in Spring, & not long after PAX East. And that didn’t seem to hurt it.
Em: Moving it to spring was a majorly smart idea. Blip11 was first one in spring. That’s why there is no Blip 10.
Hoodie: At any rate, I really can’t guess much else besides “debut festival” being what limited attendance in any form. Now that it’s been proven, that’ll fix that.
Em: (All things considered) attendance was pretty damn good.
Seats: I do think the attendance fit the venue well. It wasn’t horribly packed, but the room never felt empty.
Em: I don’t have the numbers but what do you guys think it was at peak? 250?
Seats: I’d say 200-250’s a fair estimate.
Kuma: That sounds about right. I’d say Saturday had about that many people.
Hoodie: I texted back and forth with Dan Behrens a bit afterward. He said (in regards to attendance) that it started off a bit slow on Thursday, but was pretty much chaos by the time it wrapped up.
Kuma: Yeah that’s very true. Thursday was definitely the lightest day cause well… it was a Thursday.
Hoodie: Yeah, exactly. I’d say that was probably the only issue there.
Kuma: But by Friday night, 9pm on forward it was packed. Hell, even the after party had more people than I expected.
Em: Yeah Nullsleep’s set was when I saw it was filed up, and we let him play extra because we were ahead of schedule.
Hoodie: Good problem to have.
Em: Actually he ASKED if he could keep playing. That doesn’t happen often. He was really into it. I stood up on stage and looked at the packed house and was like, “Not gonna stop this train just yet,”.
Hoodie: hahahah Awesome.
Alright, we’ve rambled on about this for a few hours now. Hell, that in of itself kinda speaks well for the fest. haha Any closing thoughts that need to be shared before we wrap this up?
Other than, of course, next time? I’LL ZOMBOFURKIN BE THERE. If I somehow manage to get another gig on the same weekend as it, I’LL CLONE MYSELF GORRAMIT.
Seats: Well, “MOTHERFUCKING 8STATICFEST” doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well as “MOTHERFUCKING MAGFEST,” so I think we need a new Hoodie Spam Catchphrase (TM) for this event. The idea is the same regardless.
Em: I’m just totally blown away at the love and support everyone who was there showed each other.
Kuma: I haven’t felt this close to the scene in quite a while. And I haven’t bonded this closely with anyone in a while. So thank you Emily, Seats, even you, Brandon. Thank you everyone. This fest meant a lot to me and helped give me clarity as to what I want to do with my life for the next 3 years; the end result being life in Philadelphia, chiptune or not.
Em: Oh wow.
Hoodie: AWESOME. It’s what the combination of the VGM & chip scenes did for me in recent years (and still are!), so I can relate.
Em: So you are one of those people who wanna move?
Kuma: New York is special but… there’s nothing here for me anymore. I’m realistic about what it’ll take to pick up my roots and move somewhere where I have no nuclear family or financial support other than myself, so it’ll be a couple years, but yes… its going to happen.
Em: With Trey and Auxcide moving in its kinda set.
Hoodie: Oh wow. Trey Frey too??
Em: Yeah Trey is moving soon.
Seats: You know what, I’m kinda iffy about saying this, but I honestly think this weekend saved me. I’ve been in a REALLY shitty place for what feels like an incredibly long time, and this weekend was the first time I’ve felt alive and happy in I don’t know when. Maybe MAGFest? But since I’ve gotten back, nothing has been quite so horrible. Even the shitty stuff is tolerable. So thank you, Emily, and to all your minions. This weekend was what I needed to get back to being a normal human being.
Em: Adam, that isn’t unusual. I’ve heard it from many people this weekend. A lot of performers are considering it too.
Hoodie: For something as inspirational as this, it’s not unusual at all. It’s a hell of a lot more than your typical concert, or musical event. Becomes more involving, inspirational. I don’t know. It’s hard to explain, but I get it. 1000%. It’s why I do all the crazy shit I do now: really fun, satisfying sense of *DOING* something, making awesome. A purpose of a sort even, if I can go that far.
Kuma: Definitely. I just exist here in New York. I felt alive in Philly. Alive, safe, and dare I say happy.
Em: It’s why I moved. Took me 3 years and it happened.
As for your other question, Hoodie, we plan to keep booking great shows every month, upgrade venues as needed, and spread more love.
Hoodie: Good to hear! Seriously, props to you and the crew, Em. Amazing, *AMAZING* work. Thanks for doing what you do. Definitely keep at it. Everyone in the scene loves y’all for it. At least the ones that matter (i.e. most of us).
Em: Thanks dude.
Kuma: Yeah seriously, thank you, Emily. I know we said it a thousand times already but I’ll say it again: THANK YOU.
Em: It’s my pleasure. I love what I do. I encourage you to check out the stuff on twitch if you need too. Even if you start with chibi.
Hoodie: Oh trust me, I will. hahahha
Seats: Oh yeah, are you gonna parse it all out to Youtube? Like as the separate sets?
Em: I think that will happen.
Hoodie: Speaking of Twitch, I’m thrilled the event was livestreamed by a combo of 8bitx, Clipstream, and Arecibo Radio. I enjoyed it on Thursday, and am sure other folk that couldn’t attend enjoyed it the other days as well!
Em: Also, I said this at the show but again here: the chip music community, our community, is one of the most diverse musical communities I’ve seen; in terms of gender, sexuality, age, musical taste. I’m proud to be a part of it.
Hoodie: As you damn well should be.
Em: And that’s probably why both the Adams feel like its saved them.
Hoodie: It’s a strangely wonderful, wonderfully strange thing, that’s for sure.
Em: Its so real and unpretentious.
Seats: Pretty much.
Hoodie: Real definitely = the right word.
Seats: These people are so down to earth.
Hoodie: It’s part of what pulled me in for sure. I think it’s part of what pulls everyone in!
Em: And the fake people, the haters, etc. get left behind.
Hoodie: Also true.
Kuma: Seriously, everyone in the scene is beautiful and real. Even the people who wear masks, they take them off and admit they wear masks to keep form getting hurt. And I respect that honesty so very much.
Em: We did it and you guys help make it happen.
Hoodie: This is a damn good example of seeing enough of the folk involved, the chipscene as it were, pull together and act as a collective to make something happen. #FEELSGOODMAN
Em: Everyone is in euphoria right now.
Hoodie: Some folk snicker at the whole “chipfam” idea, but when it comes down to it, it’s really there.
Em: Some of those folks evaporated. The negative types.
Hoodie: Fake people usually don’t last in general, especially in the face of something like this. It’s part of why it feels so real.
At any rate, thanks to the three of you for your time. This was damn fun. I couldn’t be happier to hear how well it went, and how much y’all enjoyed yourselves. That alone makes it a success in my book.
Em: One of the best weekends in my life.
Kuma: Thank you for the interview, Hoodie, and thank you Emily and Seats for the memories. You’re all beautiful people.
Hoodie: NOU <3 And see y’all at MAGFest!!!
8static.com | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp (netlabel)