CS: The club is called Helter Skelter, and the opening night is on Saturday November 24th at the Transcontinental Hotel. My friends and I decided to put on a club because we were sitting around one Saturday night complaining that there was nowhere we could go out and dance to alternative music. This is the same situation we were in back in 2007, when I started up the very successful ‘Switch Nightclub’. Because I am one of those people who would rather do something to change the situation, rather than just complaining and doing nothing, I realised we had to put on a regular alternative club night.
I have seen many club nights fail because the DJs are trying to ‘educate’ the patrons, rather than entertain them. So we will be taking lots of requests and conducting market research so we know exactly what people want, and we will give it to them. We want to involve the public as much as we can in the creating of this club, even the naming of it. Unlike other alternative clubs who focus mainly on the music, we want to try to engage all of the senses, with visuals, textures, interactive components and even smells.
Many clubs end up losing a chunk of their loyal clientele because they try to diversify into live bands. Live music is great, but many people see the line up and think “I don’t like these bands, so I am not going” whereas, if you have DJs, people think, “They will probably play something I like”. Many of the Brisbane alternative clubs try to compete with each other, and it ends up working against them. We will be trying our best to work with the other clubs, and even the live shows, so we can support, rather than rival each other.
We will also get out there and do the hard yards promoting the club, handing out flyers at shows, postering, creating and maintaining a website, as well as promoting via Facebook. So many clubs only promote themselves on Facebook and wonder why they don’t get many patrons.
How do you define success?
CS: Success to me, is not only making yourself happy, its making as many other people happy as well, without having to compromise on your morals.
What was the first show you ever put on?
CS: I started out putting on club events at the Transcontinental back in September of 2007, then I progressed to putting on live bands in early 2008 at Bonaparte’s in Fortitude Valley (which is now a cooking school). I have been putting on large house parties since my teenage years.
As a band member and dealing with bands all the time as a promoter, what would you say are some of the biggest challenges faced by independent bands?
CS: Finding venues to play at. It seems these days there are less and less places to play shows, and the few venues that do have live music, book out really fast, and some of them are only focused on particular types of music.
How do you feel when you sing?
CS: I feel incredibly privileged to be able to create music with people I love, and to be able to share it with the world. I have always had a massive fear of public speaking, and can’t even get through a one minute oral presentation at uni, without shaking like a leaf, but being onstage with Midnight Creepers is a whole different thing. It’s weird, but I feel like someone else. I can feel my mouth opening, but I don’t recognise the noise that comes out. It’s like I am an actor, playing a character.
Where did your fascination for all things ‘spooky’ (Dead Records, Dead of Winter, Midnight Creepers) come from?
CS: I had a lot of spooky supernatural experiences growing up, so I guess I was kind of drawn in by it. I also love horror and sci fi movies and TV shows.
How would you describe your style?
CS: I am a 90s girl at heart. I think my style is a mix of 90s skate punk, grunge, horror rock and goth with a touch of heavy metal.
What do you do that’s creative when not making music?
CS: When I am not making music and organising events, I enjoy photography, illustration, graphic design and videography.
What do you think is the best thing about what you do?
CS: Undoubtedly it’s seeing everyone having a good time, and helping to create a sense of unity amongst the Brisbane music scene. Also, I get to work with so many amazing people.
What’s the worst thing?
CS: Moving heavy gear, early starts and late finishes.
What do you wish you had known when you first started out?
CS: Technical knowhow, like how to set up a PA system. Also, some legal knowledge would have been helpful, like how to write contracts.
What is your favourite thing about the Brisbane music community?
CS: I love how everyone comes together to help out a member of the music community when they hit hard times, even if they are not in a band.
What’s your least favourite?
CS: There are some ugly racist and sexist elements, which still exist within the music community, and it has surprised me a lot over the years, because I liked to think alternative people are more tolerant and open-minded, but that’s not always the case.
Out of everything you’ve accomplished so far, what are you most proud of?
CS: It’s a tie between the Dead of Winter Festival, and performing with my heroes The Misfits.
What are you currently focused on?
CS: I am balancing my time between recording the debut Midnight Creepers album, whilst training up a new drummer for the band, uni work and assignments, promotion for Metropolis touring, planning a killer Halloween show and starting up the new club.
Photo credits: 1 – by Gerry Nicholls 2 – by Wednesday de Avaric
Support people doing awesome things in your local community!