Have you been doing sound for Saint Vitus since it first opened?
I've been over at Saint Vitus since day one! Or maybe day three? Since they were doing shows. I worked at a bar with David Castillo at the time when they were opening, and when I told him I was a sound engineer he made it happen. I'd known Arty and George from another local bar called Matchless, and had also played some music with Arty.
I saw you post somewhere that you keep the tape strips from certain shows, which have you kept?
I keep some of the board tape from some of my favorite shows. I've got Nirvana, Converge, Harvey Milk, Weedeater, Saint Vitus, Pentagram, and a few others!
How did that Nirvana show come together? Do those late night secret shows usually come together way ahead of time?
Nirvana was fairly last moment. I was told it "might" happen, about a week beforehand and was one of 3 people who knew about it. They (Nirvana) were looking for a place to do an after show for friends after their induction to the hall of fame. Vitus was chosen and it was all a blur after that! I managed to sneak Steve (Brodsky) in and my ex, Sarabeth who sang on Bleeder.
Sarabeth and I wound up smoking a joint in the walk-freezer with Joan Jett. It was awesome! Best part was, I knew most of their crew from other gigs and wound up actually mixing the whole show.
Did your involvement in Mutoid Man start from mixing Ben and Steve's other projects at Vitus?
It did, essentially! Steve was playing a solo show and at the end Ben came up and played what were the first Mutoid songs with Steve. I remember being pretty stoked on what I had just seen, and said something like "if you guys need a bass player, I'm your man!" A couple of weeks later Ben sent me helium head and told me to learn it, we had a rehearsal and it felt awesome. Two of the sweetest, most real, most talented dudes I've ever met.
What's the most annoying thing a band can do while you're running sound for them?
Tell me they can't hear their vocals when their amp is on 11. At least in smaller clubs where there is less control, this gets pretty annoying. Also bodily fluids and throwing drinks around. Electronics and liquids don't mix.
Advice for someone coming to a show at Saint Vitus for the first time?
Just be respectful and enjoy the show! We are all there for the same reason, we love what's happening. Don't be a dick!