This is Summercamp Production’s Brandon Eedy. No, he’s not a band, but he is a guy who’s been around and knows his shit. I started going to Summercamp shows a long time ago, and ever since then, Eedy has been bringing awesome shows to London. Read this. Learn some stuff.
1- Let’s begin by asking who you are and what you do in the scene?
-My name is Brandon Eedy, I run SummerCamp Productions (http://www.summercampproductions.com). For the last 12 years I have been producing and promoting concerts in London, ON – as well as band management and artist development.
2- Where did the name ‘Summercamp Productions’ come from?
-Originally I was going to call it “Riot Records’.. but it became more than just a ‘label’. While contemplating the name, one day I was walking downtown and I saw a school bus on its way to summer camp.. i thought about it.. and the name embodied everything I wanted to represent: family, friends, and fun. And thats how it came about.
3- You’ve been in the scene….since as long as I’ve been going to shows I think. What has been one band that have parted ways that you think was the biggest hit to the local music scene?
-Thats a tough one, I mean every decade and generation has that one band that really represents the scene at the time. But I think the band that transcended through a few generations of concert goers and fans, and that really was family/friends with everyone and every band in the scene, was Shotgun Rules (aside from Baptized In Blood – but they as you know are still kicking). When SR broke up, coincidentally at the time.. a huge divide and void took place in London.
4- Likewise, has there been any bands that have parted ways that you’ve been secretly morbidly happy about?
-Too many to count.
5- You put on Aggression Festival, which was a legendary gathering of bands at the Embassy (RIP), which featured some of my favourite bands like Wheels On the Bus, Shotgun Rules and tons more. Is it coming back?
-You forgot Alexisonfire 🙂 Haha. I have actually been thinking about it very hard lately, as I finally have a great venue with two rooms that can support the model I had for the festival. That being said.. as much as the fest was called “Aggression’.. it was really a combination of all sorts of music, heavy or not – and solely focused on London/Ontario talent. These days I have a hard time putting together a bill in my head.. Everyone is really doing the exact same thing, and hardly any bands are getting to that ‘level’… so it’s a tough one for me. But I am sure you’ll see something pop up in the future.
6- You’ve been associated with some of London’s breakout bands. What has been one of your most proud moments for one of your bands?
-Well, they were not a London band.. but when I was working with Alexisonfire, one of my proudest moments was when ‘Pulmonary Archery’ was first played on Much Music, and then soon after corporate rock radio. That was monumental for the breakthrough of screaming/singing bands. Never thought it was going to happen, and sure enough.. look where it landed them. Aside from that, signing Baptized In Blood to Road Runner Records.
7- Kids, and young and old bands alike have a weird misconception about promoters/bookers, that they are rolling in cash, they never pay the local bands enough etc. Can you break down the financials of a typical show, bigger or smaller?
-How long do I have to talk/educate about this? Haha… I’ll do my best here. It costs money to put on a show. Venues needed to be rented, staff need to be paid, money needs to be spent on posters and advertising. And then there are Insurance costs, SOCAN, and Taxes. Every show has a different set of costs.. all of which is paid out of my pocket provided the door does not cover it. I lost $2,400 last Wednesday night on a show.. so please explain to me where all my riches are haha.
As for paying bands.. the difference is that all these young bands keep popping up, with a complete misunderstanding of the industry and how things work, huge egos, and the feeling as though because they are playing they are entitled to something, that they are doing the promoter a favour. When it’s quite the opposite. There are a million bands doing the exact same thing, striving for the same thing. So be greatful for your opportunities. YES – it costs money to be in a band, for gas, for instruments, merch, and recording…. that is not my problem. When you cannot bring out 20 people in your home town.. (20! thats 4 people per member in a 5 person band) where the fuck do you get off asking/expecting a guarantee. I think i’ve side tracked my thoughts.. i will write a blog on this and send you the link… moving on.
8- As a promoter, there is a ton of obnoxious requests. What type of message from bands do you get sick of the most?
-Fact: When you are reaching out to a promoter, and you are a completely unknown or new band.. never.. NEVER.. include how much money you are expecting in your first email reaching out. That’s not how things work. DELETED.
9- I’ve had the pleasure of seeing some of the funnier messages you’ve gotten from bands that you’ve openly posted for laughs. What is the most ridiculous message you’ve ever gotten from a band hustling for shows?
-Long story short.. band was trying to get on a touring package coming through. While told that the bill was full unfortunately, I asked if they were going to come out and support the show anyways. They said no, they don’t actually like any of the bands. Support the scene, and the scene will support you.
10- When you’re booking a local band, what are some of the criteria to even be considered for a bigger show?
-3 things. 1. Talent – obviously. 2. Draw/Hustle – will this band ad anything to the show in terms of numbers or promotion. 3. Do they come out to shows, support whats going on, and are all around nice people who are easy to get along with, and respectful. And to be honest.. 3 is the biggest thing to me.
11- We’ve had the pleasure of working with you quiet a few times now, and we have never…gotten under your skin…that I know of hahaha! Is there any band in particular that have just come in as pre-madonnas and put out bad vibes?
-12 years of shows.. over 10,000 bands… ofcourse.. there have been many. MANY. It’s a weekly occurrence .
12- You’ve won awards, booked some of London’s bigger and cooler shows, and really helped the scene out. Here’s where you stroke your own ego…. what do you think makes you good at what you do?
-I really don’t know. I think I just have a good ear, and I talk to people. This is really all i know, having not done anything else since I was 17. Again, the scene should be a family.. everyone who goes to shows, is involved with the show, and the bands that play.. we are all in this together. That, and I caught on to social media before most people..haha.
13- You’re all over town, dj-ing, doing the promoter thing, working doors, what is the most satisfying part of what you do?
-I mean it all sort of gets lumped into one job, that I have control over.. which is great. Everything is on my time really. But, the most satisfying part is to see things flourish, grow, and build.. and to meet people.
14- What is the craziest band you’ve worked with?
-In a good way, or a bad way? Craziest people.. CLUTCH (if any of you kids even know who this band is) (ed.- one of my favourite bands!). Great show, awesome band, but assholes of members and road crew. Craziest live show/awesomeness, DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN or EVERYTIME I DIE!
15- What is the one band who you booked, that was like an ”oh shit, I’m so stoked I just booked this band” moment?
-I get that feeling all the time. But the band that gave me that feeling the most was HOT WATER MUSIC.. by far one of the most influential and respected bands, and one of my favourites of all time.
16- What is one trend of the music scene that you wish would die a slow painful death.
-I’m really.. really.. really.. really… fucking tired of all breakdowns. Right some chorus’s for fuck sakes. Song structure is key..
17- You’ve seen the rise and fall of many trends in music, what is one you wish would come back?
-Real music, with heart, soul, and emotions. Haha. Bring back the 90s where you could turn on the radio (yes – the radio) and every song would be good, and so different, but still the same. Actually.. that is where music is sort of heading right now.
But as many of you know me from punk/hardcore/metal whatever world.. I’d have to say bring back old ’emo’ – I do not mean what you guys dubbed as ’emo’ (the used, etc). I mean EMO – Texas Is The Reason, Sin Claire, Grade, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Get Up Kids, Saves The Day, etc.
18- Your dream band to work with?
-Hrmm… one of the bands on my favourites list that I haven’t worked with is MILLENCOLIN, hoping that happens. Otherwise.. Refused, Jimmy Eat World, Killswitch Engage (again).
19- A lot of promoters (or people who think they are promoters) are failing hard. What do you think they are doing wrong?
-Everything. Venue selection, the amount they are charging for a show ($10-15 for a 5 band local show.. $5). They are giving bands everything they ask for, losing everything, and closing up shop. They aren’t paying attention to the bands they are booking. And most of all, they are shit talking the people who could help them, and building bridges. Lose the ego, support the scene.
20- Where do you see the music scene headed, it’s very turbulent at the moment. Do you think it will survive another 10 years?
-The music scene is always cyclical. It goes up and down every few years, Trends die out, and other trends return. I don’t know where underground music is going really.. first year I can’t figure it out. Dupstep/techno is becoming the mainstream, that means that will die soon. Metal core, gino-core.. who knows where that is going. Hopefully back to where it came from. The only thing I do know is that music as a whole will be reverting back to the 90’s.. you can see it. People who were in prominent punk/metal bands are all moving into folk/country, and straight forward rock and roll – back to the 90s.
All truth. Bring back the 90s.