Back in January of 2004, those two gentleman you see at the right - Jonny Kaps and Nat Hays - started +1 (a PR, Management, Digital and Special Events company). On their roster are bands such as Editors, Ambulance LTD, Stellastarr* and Two Gallants. Tonight they'll be celebrating their 3 year anniversary just down the street from their office, at Luna Lounge. The party is private, sure to have some special musical guests...and they want to invite YOU. Check out details after the interview.
Tell us what a typical day in the +1 offices is like?
Every day is different from the rest, that’s what I love about it. I come in every morning knowing the things I want to do...and I never even come close to accomplishing what I set out to do at the beginning of the day cause I spend most of my time reacting to things. It’s pretty crazy and unpredictable but I love it. It beats sitting in a cubicle.
If the bands on your roster were your kids...who would be your favorite kid?
I love them all equally and unconditionally (I train people on this stuff ya know)
What is your first conscious memory of living in New York?
I grew up in Westchester, 40 minutes North of Manhattan. My first memory of working in the city was my first day of work after graduating college. I was coming in on Metro North and was late on my first day. The line to just get a Metro Card was like hundreds of people deep. I decided to duck under the Subway entrance (I think I saw them do that in ‘Kids’) and got caught by an undercover cop and got a ticket. It was pretty embarrassing, all of these people just staring with looks on their faces, like ‘how could you actually get caught doing that?!’
What is your favorite place to drink in NYC, and what's the best night to go out?
I like Clem’s in Williamsburg. Good vibe, tunes, people, it is kind of our local hang-out and people are there at all hours. I hope the bartenders are reading this. Thursday is my favorite night to go out, I don’t do weekends.
Favorite NY venue to see a show at?
Bowery, no question. A class operation.
A few years ago we recall you being a part of New York Post's "meat market" section, in which the paper attempted to find you some love...what was that experience like?!
Ha, I thought everyone forgot about that? Can I just leave it at...a lot of people questioned why I did that...pretty much everyone except for my Uncle Bruce. He totally called me out on it and I was like, finally, someone sees the positive repercussions in doing this. Oh, and I live for the Sunday Post.
Let's have some fun with word association. Give me your immediate feelings on the following (if you've got no discernable feelings, make something up that won't embarrass you in the morning)
The Evil Empire. I despise The Yankees and everything they represent. And I hate Yankees fans even more than the team itself. There, I said it.
The ultimate underdog, the best team to root for. They will never have as much history, money or respect as The Yankees and that is what makes being a Mets fan so fun. We are the second team in a two team town. We understand pain and suffering and there is something to be said about that. I always say, ‘it is not easy being a Mets fan.’
I know all about it’s history and all and I respect a venue that has launched some amazing bands...but I never really felt a connection there...For as long as I’ve been living in NYC (the past 6 years or so), they never had any good shows.
I was debating with Nat the other day...what will happen if she actually delivers a great album? Will she sell as many records? He thinks she can, I think not. She’s lost the majority of her fan-base and I think she can have a dance hit or get some props in an ironic way...but I don’t think she will ever be a commercial monster like she was.
They are tough but I love them for it. They are not about marketing, money or influence, they are just about the music. It is nice to see a site like this become so influential because it is real.
It’s just amazing how they have exploded. A few years ago, there were a handful of music blogs that no one at the big labels even knew about, let alone pitch. Now, they are hiring whole departments just to cater to them. The thing is...in my mind, an honest blog can’t really be marketed to, they like what they like. And that is why they are great.
I do think that buzz on the blogs can be both a blessing and a curse for a band. It is obviously great exposure, especially for a new band that doesn’t have a real push behind them. But it also can a curse when a new band get ‘buzz’ so quick that they don’t really have time to develop or pay their dues. Buzz can turn to cynicism pretty quick if a band does not have the songs, live show, ambition, positive momentum, etc to back it up.
I’ve only been living in Williamsburg for 4 years or so, so it’s not like I’m old-school or anything...but I hate what they are doing to the hood. This construction is just ridiculous and they are obviously catering to rich people. The whole vibe of the neighborhood is already changing and it will never be the same. It’s sad.
A few quickies on the music tip
What was the most played song on your iPod (or an equivalent music playing device) in the past week?
I listen to these songs several times a day and no doubt piss off everyone in my office:
‘Love Spreads’ - Stone Roses
‘Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues ‘ -Eels
‘Soup’ - Blind Melon
‘Portions For Foxes’ - Rilo Kiley
‘Soul Meets Body’ - Death Cab
‘Acquiese’ - Oasis
‘Kissing Families’ - Silversun Pickups
‘I am trying to break your heart’ - Wilco
‘So Alive’ - Love & Rockets
‘Marquee Moon’ - Television
‘The Old Fashioned Way’ - Luna
‘The Only One I Know’ - The Charlatans
‘I Walk The Earth’ - King Biscuit Time
What was the first/last album you bought on the day it was released?
‘Back Number’s by Dean & Britta. I’m a huge Luna fan.
And finally...What came first, the music or the misery?
The misery comes first, the music is the solution. ‘Cause when I got the music, I gotta place to go.’
CONTEST: To enter to win two tickets to tonight's +1 party, email gothamistcontest (a) gmail dot com telling us why you want to go.