Cassette tape culture is making its way into the music scene in DFW. Sammy Kidd of Brainhole Tapes seems to be leading the retro lo-fi scene and catering to musicians in a easy, fun and cost efficient way. Leading the pack, Kidd will debut a new festival, which has taken months of planning and organization.
-Kidd explains the new cassette culture and the debut of Brainhole Tapes’ fest, Brainhole Fest.
What is Brainhole Tapes all about? Could you summarize the cassette idea you have?
Kidd: Basically, Brainhole Tapes is a means to get more attention focused on DFW bands. Cassette culture is all about doing it yourself — playing into the nostalgia of old rock n roll, but it all has a pleasing aesthetic that works well in the lofi garage rock band scene. It’s not enough to just be in a band anymore. You’re expected to do everything yourself now. Distribution, proper recordings, proper production, and the list goes on. So we are just some local dudes with no real budget trying to scrape what we can together and get everybody’s music in the hands of the people that want to hear it.
Exactly, I can agree with you. So do you think more bands will get into the cassette trend? Or have they?
Kidd: Tapes are cheap and easy to distribute. Almost everyone can afford a $5 tape at any given time but a $25 – $30 record is expensive when you want to get 10 of them.
I think if bands put out cassettes people will buy them. It’s just a matter of whose putting them out. It works best in a local setting too, because in reality people don’t want to stream your band on Bandcamp, but the people that like your band want to have your music in hand and for as cheap as possible.
Nice, will you have tapes for sale along with merchandise at the fest?
Kidd: At least half the bands that we have playing the fest have tapes with Dreamy Life and will have merch’ available at the fest. This whole thing is more to raise a little scratch and awareness so we can get our tape distribution off the ground. After the fest we plan to release a compilation tape of some of our favorite bands. Most everyone should have tapes and records available.
What have the bands said about the tape recordings idea? I’m guessing that they are really into it?
Kidd: Everybody is on board, and many bands seem to already be involved in the cassette culture. Mostly DIY garage rock/lo-fi party rock bands, like ourselves already record on tape. So it wasn’t too big a jump for many bands.
So the bands playing this weekend are primarily punk bands, post punk and garage rock?
Kidd: Well it varies, Sunday is heavily focused on the lo-fi garage rock sort of setting, but Friday and Saturday are really a mixed bag.
How about expected ticket sales? Or, I’m guessing it’s too early to tell?
Kidd: Well that I can’t really say. This is the first time we’ve done anything like this so we aren’t really sure what to expect, but judging from Lola’s expectations it’s going to be a pretty big event.
Awesome!! Has Lola’s ever had a Festival of this kind?
Kidd: Well, Lola’s usually puts on what they call Lolaspalooza the first weekend of May each year, but when I came to them with this idea they let me do it. They said they were planning on having a lot of the same bands and I’d already put this together so it was a win.
Ok, do you have plans for more Brainhole festivals in the future?
Kidd: We most certainly want to keep this momentum going as long as we can.
Kidd: More festivals and tapes are in our future.
Brainhole Fest will feature 30 bands in the span of 3 days this weekend starting at 4p.m. today at Lola’s Saloon in Fort Worth. Tickets available at the door for general admission cost of $12.