10 Years of Booking Shows For Friends: A Bar Chat with 1,000 Knives’ Rich Hall
In between Jamaica, Queens and Brooklyn's East New York is a quiet section of Queens called Woodhaven. If you don't have a car, the only way out of this woodsy and residential area of New York City is the J train. Whether by train or car, the neighborhood remains about an hour trek from Manhattan, making it a bit of a pain for concert goers to get to. But, this didn't stop 1,000 Knives promoter Rich Hall from kick-starting his biggest hobby.
"I started going to shows here and there when I was younger. Me and my cousin decided to venture into the city. We started going to shows every Sunday, no matter what show it was," Hall told Noisecreep about his beginning concert journeys as an 18-year-old.
He and his cousin would drive to shows out in Long Island and New Jersey. Yet, he wasn't part of the metal scene. That is, until he asked someone handing out flyers in front of CBGBs if he needed help. After handing out a couple of packs of flyers for the venue, Hall says the situation just "snowballed from there."
By 1998, Hall worked security for the downtown punk club and booked his first show at another club on Long Island called Deja One. The bill consisted of Isis, Cable, Sons of Abraham and a couple of others.
When the famed and fabled CBGBs went under due to storied rent issues, Hall went on a promoting and booking break. Lucky for everyone else, that break ended about a year ago when Hull asked the booker to set up a record release show for them.
"I just do it to do it. Friends call me, 'Hey I need this show can you help me out?'"
For Hall, a big part of putting together shows has become being able to work with other promoters. Lately he has been collaborating with Chronic Youth and Brooklyn Vegan's Black Bubblegum.
"I want to work with people. I don't want to be competition to anyone. Especially to my friends who are trying to book the same bands that I'm trying to book. So we'll just do it together," Hall said.
In his 10-plus years of experience, Hall says the biggest change in the scene is the use of Internet. There is no longer a need for flyers. He believes that what keeps the scene alive and thriving, however, is the DIY and brotherhood mentality.
Halls advice for future bookers? "Book you friend's band and have fun with it. It's not a job and you're not going to make any money off of it. You're doing it for your friends. Yeah, there are some cases where there are a couple bucks left over. But, you have to put that back into what you created for the next time so you won't get screwed on your guarantees, promotion money, etc."