In 2011, things looked bleak on Gaines Street. The city had the road all torn up, businesses were suffering and the economy was in a hole. Something had to be done. A group of volunteers rolled up their sleeves, went to the bands and businesses and Gaines Street Fest was born creating a much needed economic boom in the area. Then they did it again. And again. And again. And again. And again. Our community, businesses and local music scene all owe a great deal of gratitude to Taylor Biro, Hank Saints and their army of volunteers for their service. So this year, We are flipping the script. Gaines Street Tribute Fest will be held on 11-11-2017. All of the businesses in the area are coming together to support and raise awareness for all of our community volunteers. We’re inviting all community organizations and non-profits to come out and table and 5-20% of proceeds from participating businesses will be donated to Unity Song for future festivals and community engagement. Stages will be at the Garages on Gaines, The WIlbury, Euphoria, Taco Bout It and The Bark. 75+ bands, dozens of vendors, food trucks and non-profits.
We had a chance to catch up with a couple of the bands:
First, we talked with Matt from Look Mexico:
How long have you been a band?
What is your most memorable show?
That’s tough! For me, either when we played an entire Beastie Boys set at Club Downunder during their annual Covers show, or the time we played a super old tunnel-turned-venue/bar in Nyon, Switzerland.
You started in Tallahassee, but moved to Austin for a while. What brought you back and how would you compare the two cities?
Family, careers, and Publix. Smith, our bassist, had the opportunity to open up Gaines Street Pies with Jeremy Matlow. I snagged another bach’ at the FSU College of Engineering and Slate grabbed another in accounting at Flagler College.
If Vin Diesel stops making movies will Look Mexico be forced to break up?
It would be a huge blow to American film culture, and scary since all of our song titles are Vin quotes from his movies. However, Vin has such vast catalogue, we’ll be covered on song titles for years to come.
How has the local music scene evolved since you first started making music?
I think it’s become a lot more inclusive and welcoming. So much art to spread around.
Gaines Street has always been a destination for music venues and bands alike-- why is that?
Catch Look Mexico closing out the Fest on the Garages on Gaines Stage.
Next, we check in with BAET:
How did you come up with the name "Bees and Enormous Tigers?"
It’s a reference to dynamics in our music. How subtleties and grandiose sounds can be equally as impactful. How two seemingly diverse subjects can have very similar qualities.
Not only are you musicians, you make a lot of visual art as well. How do you balance the two and do you find that inspiration carries over from one art form to the other?
Working constantly and keeping organized helps balance the two, but support from our peers has also been extremely important. The more friends we have in this line of work, the more motivation and inspiration we have to try and make it all work. And yes, sometimes the art inspires the music, and vice versa. Not only creatively, but structurally as well.
What stands out about Tallahassee's music scene?
We feel like it’s growing. There have always been people here pushing music, but recently we’ve felt a sense of comradery that we haven’t felt in a long time. More musicians are actually putting roots down in Tallahassee and trying to make the best of it. That ultimately leads to a bigger network of musicians that know each other and can help each other out. Especially when those musicians are from different backgrounds and genres, it only creates a more diverse musical landscape. It’s hard to keep something going if the scene changes every time school is out.
Is it possible to make a living as an artist/musician here?
We believe so. We’re doing it and so are several other artists/musicians we know in town. It’s a slow process usually, and there are many ways to do it, but only the artist/musician can decide how they can achieve it for themselves.
Gaines Street has always been a haven for music venues and local music-- why is that?
It comes down to the people that flock to that area. We feel like it’s always been the place where people can really express themselves, and that feeling has been passed from venue to venue, store to store, over the years. I honestly have no idea where it started, but it’s preservation comes from the people that acknowledge its presence and understand its importance.
You can catch BAET at 12:15 at The Wilbury.
GSCA is a community blog. Want to have your story published? Submit it to GainesStreet@Gmail.com