By Kristyn Potter
Not going to lie, it's super rad that our founder's old buddy from college and another friend started this sick festival - Indian Summer & Asbury Park Fall Bazaar. It happened this weekend, but amongst all of the planning and festival craziness, Joe from Indian Summer chatted with me on the fest, his friendship with Dan, and some advice for bands.
Alright, so it's kind of crazy you started a festival with your buddy - I can barely even get up and out of bed for work on time, how did you do it?
Once the Anchors Bend got city approval to have a section of the beach as part of the bar, my buddy Colin said "Dude, we should put bands out there!" From there he came up with the name Indian Summer and we booked the bands we played in as well as our friends bands and our friends to DJ and there it went. The first year was a ton of fun and VERY DIY. I remember giving the security guards for the bar whatever cash I had in my pocket to help us load the sound and gear down onto the beach. It was... a learning experience!! But probably the most fun one of all of them.
After doing some heavy stalking of you on the internet, it seems like your whole professional life has been working in various parts of the music industry - wanna give a brief description for our readers?
HAHAHA Yup! Careful what you choose to get into folks, gets real hard to get out of.... I can trace it back to one moment. I was a sophomore at Rutgers and just got back from a Rugby game (I played for 3 years while at Rutgers) and went to my uncle Bill's house in downtown New Brunswick. He was a very successful prosecutor and someone I always looked up to. So I would try to go have dinner or a beer or whatever I could with him to pick his brain. I remember being on his balcony with blood in my ear and I think a broken nose from my Rugby game that day and he asked me, "Joey why don't you just focus on the music thing? You don't have to go into law or anything you don't want to do..." It was soooo obvious but something that never clicked until then.. From there I interned at Universal Records in Manhattan and started my journey in music... for better or worse! From there, worked and interned for both reputable as well as not so reputable companies across a lot of different facets of the industry, management/booking/label/PR/
marketing/radio and video promo/live venue/music rags/radio show/live sound/tour manager/doorman/bartender/ talent buying....
Anything in the music industry you absolutely loved?
When I was younger, the free CDs and tickets to shows. The older I got, being able to to help in even the smallest of ways, a band or artist who was trying to make their living in music. The little victories were as important as the big deals that got done.
It's been five years of running this festival, have you noticed anything over the years and/or how have you grown through this?
I cannot believe it's been five years. Time flies the older you get. I think our biggest success was to partner with the Asbury Park Bazaar (which my wife runs) and to include camping on the beach (which we did not want to do at first, so we can't take credit for that one. Was all from the AP Boardwalk staff, they were right about adding it and deserve all the credit). It has made Indian Summer more.... balanced, and more then just some music festival. Aside from that, on the music side, my partner Colin curates all the music and he has always done a great job of bringing in some amazing talent from the local scene as well as from around the country. Dude knows his music.
Is Asbury Park your home?
Sort of. New Brunswick was always my home. But I moved to Asbury (3rd Ave) basically on a whim one weekend in 2008. Then I moved in with my girlfriend (now wife Jenny) in Neptune in 2010. We sold that house and lived in Lavallette for a year and now are back in our new house in Shark River Hills (Neptune) since March of 2018. So we are about 10 minutes away from the downtown. We both work in Asbury and hang in Asbury so we basically call it home though!
What are you doing when you're not planning this rad music festival/event?
Working all the time!!! hahaha No, but I help my wife with the Bazaar, I play in a band (The Vice Rags, and yeah I won Top Dummer in the Asbury Park Music Awards 2018... NBD....) work on the house and take our dog Edith on trips whenever we can. Bartend one night a week at Bond St. Bar (last remaining original bartend there... yeah Im old) and try to cook dinner and do laundry from my pregnant wife (baby is due Indian Summer / Fall Bazaar weekend... yup...)
Any advice for bands trying to get their music heard?
Play as much as possible (shows AND practice). Just be you and work hard AF. The rest comes with the hard work. Be yourself and honest and don't try to be something your not. There is SO much music out there but, I think, it comes down to people wanting to make a REAL connection with music. The lyrics, the performance everything. It's not easy and that's why there is only a handful of bands who make it to that next level. So try to have fun and enjoy the ride... Let the rest fall into place.
You and Dan (ITC founder) go back for quite a while, what's your favorite Dan memory?
There are SOOOOO many, most of which I can't even talk about.... So let's just say, when he was the Eyeball Records mascot (full big black boxy suit, like a sports team mascot) at SXSW in like 2007. At the time he was (and I love to remind him of this), my intern when I worked at Degy Ent. the first time around. I was down there for for and he was tour managing our friends The Gay Blades but also earnign extra cash dressing up as this mascot walking around sixth ave. (That's right kids, you ALWAYS gotta find that side hustle, no matter what it is!).
Orrr, maybe it was at his wedding where he walked out with his mom to QOTSA "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar But I feel Like a Millionare" and his mom booty dropped and twerked up on him when it kicks in!!! hahahha was amazing. (that's also probably my favorite song if that were a question here...)