53rd & 3rd
Thanks for doing the interview, Philippe. Can you please give the readers some background information about yourself? Tell us the brief history of 53rd & 3rd.
We formally started doing our own indie rock shows in 2013 under The 53rd & 3rd Shows name in Barrie, Ontario at the Foxx Lounge. Our start in the city though, was with larger rock and rap events doing poster street team / guerrilla work for Liquid Chrome and Impact Live.
The first event promotion experience we had however-was in Toronto for the rave and club scene in the mid and late 90s with Dose, Next Junction and Industry Nit Club. Our first show we helped promote was in August 1996 (Dose: Summer of Love) now all these years later we’re still doing and helping events-just punk and rock and roll.
Fun fact: We chose the name 53rd & 3rd shows and an ode to the Ramones who we adore, and Dee Dee. We stand in the street promoting shows as our “hustle”, two feet and a heart beat always on the grind, doing whatever we gotta do to get things done.
How is it being, surviving without live shows during the pandemic?
Depends on which day you ask us, hahaha.
There is good and bad depending on the mind-state you’re in I guess, right?
I’m sure most event, creative, and scene people can relate to the loneliness, feeling useless, being bored senseless to a catatonic state, questioning everything you’ve done for years… should you keep going?.. is it worth it… ? that’s the rough part… add mental health issues and it can really become a dark place- but we’re kind of all together in being alone also… an interesting dynamic for sure to deal with.
Coping was tough but keeping in touch with people was key. We hit some brutal spots and are glad we got here to be honest- but reaching out to people always helps, FaceTime , DMs ... the little things you know? Checking up on your pals and people you may see struggling on social media even. We’re super thankful for our friends and network during all of this - LOVE YOU MFers to the moon and back! XO
The flip side is, and the positive aspect, reflection time about ourselves, where we are now, what have we accomplished, and what we can do when everything gets back to “normal” again? More importantly... what can we do to make the scene ever better and more sustainable for all- artists , venues , promoters… techs and others for the long run?
The excitement about new possibilities and adapting to get better as a whole scene is a major positive. Hopefully people will appreciate live music more who maybe took it for granted before the pandemic and support the whole scene and everyone in it.
Also, finding new hobbies, getting outside, and learning new things or getting back to stuff you did before. Stuff that made you happy and lost time for / stopped doing was a major bonus of the pandemic if you chose to see it that way. The downtime from the scene can be very useful as we know. Weeks, months, and years of getting home at 4AM or later can really wear even the strongest souls down.
All in all I think we all did pretty good for our first pandemic, in saying that I hope those we lost too early are resting easy and are at peace now.
Who are some of your musical influences?
We’re into so many genres to be honest and have been influenced by so many… as a promoter, the business side of Johnny Ramone is a pretty good blueprint for staying consistent and raising the bar and/or value of shows and increased monetization for bands.
Also, we’ve been super lucky to be around various people in different scenes that are absolutely amazing at their jobs and we absorbed so much from over the years. Experience definitely counts and we’re thankful for everyone who gave us a shot or helped along the way.
Another thing when we started out was reading the history of bands / managers and such that made it the old school DIY way and taking what has worked for decades and applying it on top of any modern digital and social media applications for promotion of events.
Of course- falling on your face is the best way to learn what not to do (hahaha) and you gotta look over a longer curve when you have a bad show or two- some things you just can’t control and that’s life. Onto the next!
When and how did you first become interested in music?
Probably by 5 years-old… no shit, our mom and grandma were really into music, mostly rock and roll, Motown and soul. So we just picked it up naturally with music around for sure! Mom was more classic rock and 60s-70s... we’d steal her tapes… grandma loved the 30s-50s. On road trips we got a solid mix from The Stones to Rick James to Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, 50s-80s basically.
Grandpa, who was pretty chill compared to them, dug some country, Motown, and fucking loved ABBA! I guess we naturally just progressed into rap, punk, and house / party music as we got older but still love tons of genres and artists and have quite the mixed playlist collection.
What's the first record you can remember buying?
The first tape we bought ourselves as a kid was Aerosmith Pump at a flea market with Rap Trax 1: a compilation album of classics.
What do you think constitutes a good song?
I think there’s a difference between what an individual deems a good song for their musical preferences and what a “good song” is to the commercial world of music.
The most beautiful thing about music for the individual listener is they choose their own music adventure, so to speak- and what they consider good, is to THEM. Record sales mean zero in this realm.
A “good song” commercially is a bit more straightforward… a great beat, a wonderfully written song, a great hook that’s easy for people to sing… all great ways to monetize… if possible you want all of them, in one song- of course. Not much has changed in that department over the years.
If you could tour with anyone alive or dead, who would it be?
Well, we can’t pick one… so keeping fun as the number one priority we’ll go: Pearl Jam, Iggy Pop, Willy Nelson, Ramones, Beastie Boys.
Who are some of the local bands in your area that are worth checking out?
Ship Of Fools, Hysterics, Nothing Serious, The Highdives, Mickey Moone, The Alpacas.
Can you give the readers your Website and Facebook addresses so they can check you out?
Readers can find 53rd & 3rd Shows on Facebook/IG/Spotify/Twitter under the same name.
We have a loaded Spotify playlist with all kinds of cool songs : THE PUNK ROCK
Anything you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for the opportunity to be interviewed by Caprazine, it has been absolutely an absolutely awesome experience and we’re super stoked to be part of this publication and movement.
We’d love to add that there’s a new indie music channel to check out from Canada called NEW MUSIC NATION, created by Ed The Sock It’s based on the old “actually awesome” Much Music format (Canadian MTV) and will feature all kinds of awesome indie bands of all genres… but coolest of all they have a show called THE PUNK PROJEKT- which is totally kick ass on so many levels. A hour long show of Canadian punk rock, indie, and more!!!
Or if you don’t have a VPN or whatever you can search the “New Music Nation” YouTube channel for all shows.
CHECK IT OUT EH AND WELL SEE YAS IN THE PIT! Or in the back resting our knees… ;)
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