Comments Off on 10Q with Local Show Joe

We are starting a new feature here on, interviewing the people behind the scenes. Both musicians and industry people alike, all sharing the similar situations yet different perspectives on successes, struggles and and the daily grind of the music business.


We go all the way back to the Beach days, for those who don’t know you, could you shed a little light on what you have done in the Vegas local scene over the years?

I started out in local music way back in 2004 by trying to start a local music website called or something like that… it’s been so long I’ve forgotten, ha-ha. But my endeavors into trying to build a local music web empire led me to book shows at The Cheyenne Saloon circa 2005 in its heyday. Shortly thereafter, I met the people at The Beach nightclub who were starting a local music night on Wednesdays and they needed help booking bands. Eventually we hired this little indie radio station called Area 108, and I found out that they were starting a Sunday night local music show. After much begging and pleading with the program director he agreed to let me be an intern. Six months later in January of 2007, I was hired on part time to host the local show and the rest is history…

How different is the scene’s mentality as a whole changed since you have started?

I wouldn’t say the scene’s mentality has changed, its focus has changed, but people still have the same attitude. It’s taken me this long to see it, but people in the local music scene complain about the same things, just differently. For example, when I first started out, people were complaining “I miss the old Boston,” “There’s no place to play anymore,” or “I miss the Huntridge…” Now, you hear “I miss the ER,” “There’s no place to play anymore,” or “I miss Rock ‘n’ Java…” The local scene in Las Vegas tends to get stuck in the past instead of looking towards the future. There are some really good venues right under their noses like The Gold Mine out in Henderson, Bar 702 (which is three blocks east of where the ER used to be!), and The Artifice downtown that are underappreciated at times, but bring a decent crowd of regulars for bands to play to. The scene isn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be… it’s not great either, but if everyone stops worrying about “The Glory Days” and starts focusing more on what’s next, we can make it a great scene.

Quality of recording could keep a band off the radio, what’s the worst reaction you’ve gotten from a band whose submission was declined due to poor quality?

Honestly, I haven’t gotten any negative reactions from telling a band that their music isn’t “ready” yet. I’ve found that 90% of the time, the band knows their demo sucks, but they’re just trying to get more exposure. I’m always 100% honest and truthful with bands, and I explain to them why I can’t play their music and what they need to fix in order for me to play their songs. I’ll never completely close the door on a band, but I will let them know if their music is not “ready.”

If any bands are reading this, there are a couple of things they need to know in order to get radio play:

  1. The music you hear coming out of your stereo from a radio station goes through compression. All radio stations need to compress their signal in order to gain maximum reach. When this happens, the quality of your music is changed and highs and lows are sometimes enhanced or limited. This is why I always stress to have your music professionally recorded and/or mastered. When it’s done correctly, the effect of compression is limited and your music sounds closer to how it does on CD. When it’s not done correctly, you’ll hear booming bass or really tinny high-hats and cymbals that make your song sound like crap.
  2. I’m going a little out of the context of the question, but this is important too… Radio Stations receive just as much music as record companies… we seriously can listen to 10-20 songs in a week. It’s important when sending your demo in to pick three of your strongest songs and note them ON THE CD! (Get the address labels at Wal-Mart and print off a whole sheet and stick them to the CDs you’re sending out to stations) Remember, you have once chance to make a good first impression, so make sure to grab the person who’s listening within the first minute! If your strongest song is track 5 on your CD and you don’t let the person who may play you on the radio know, chances are they’ll never get to that song unless you tell them to listen to it.
  3. When you’re recording your demo, pay the extra money and have the sound engineers remove the bad words for you. First, if you send a song unedited to a radio station, it doesn’t matter if it’s the next Bohemian Rhapsody… it’s not getting played. Second, silencing your lead singer’s vocals when he screams out “Fuck You Bitch!” sounds WAY better than a radio person reversing or bleeping it… trust me on this.

Any local studios you recommend for both a tight budget band and those precious few with money to burn?

I’ve never really had a need to record anything outside of the radio station so I can’t say where to go if you’re on a budget, but Odds On is a great recording studio that’s done a LOT of local music in town. If money is no object, then of course the studio at The Palms is the best choice anyone could make… Mark the lead sound engineer there has worked with Imagine Dragons, The Killers, and so many artists it makes my head hurt thinking about it. Also, Kane Churko at The Hideout Recording Studios is a great guy to work with… he just won a Juno award for his work (For those of you who don’t know, a Juno award is the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy). Honestly, Vegas is very blessed to have some of the finest sound studios and engineers in the world… my best advice is to shop around and ask LOTS of questions. If the engineer sounds truly interested in what you’re trying to accomplish, then they’re probably a safe bet.

Best Show & Worst Show you ever put together.

The best show I ever put together is a tie between the Chop Tops at The Beauty Bar for Halloween 2008 and the show for Jenn O. Cide’s 30th birthday also at The Beauty Bar… both times the place was packed, asses and elbows. If I had to choose one over the other, I’m probably going to go with Jenn’s birthday for three words: midget lube wrestling! Lol.

The worst show was the Toy Drive I did at The Cheyenne Saloon. We had really good bands, had a good crowd and I collected a lot of toys… the problem which makes it the worst show I’ve ever done is that I had a disagreement with the owner of the bar at the time and she took the $100 I made at the door. We did this show on a night they normally didn’t charge a cover, and the owner insisted I pay her security and sound people from the door… who worked there on Thursdays anyway. That $100 was going to purchase more toys to be donated to Catholic Charities, but instead it went to help her payroll budget for the evening. I haven’t booked a show there since.

What are a few things that you have learned along the way that bands MUST do to get anytime of chance of getting known out of their local scene?

If any bands are reading this, I’m about to drop the most important answer of this entire interview on you, so pay attention…

Two Words: SOCIAL MEDIA!Bands need to realize that this is 2013 and social media networks aren’t going anywhere. With record labels refusing to let go of archaic distribution methods such as CDs, they’re not making as much money as they used to back in the 70s and 80s and with that, research and development departments have all disappeared from labels. Because of this, record labels won’t look at a band unless they’ve built a huge following of their own. Bands need to realize that they’re not just musicians, they are business owners. The most important part of owning your own business is marketing, and managing your business’ online presence has become more important than EVER before. And for the record, managing your Facebook page by just posting when your next show is going to be is not the way to get noticed. I’ll elaborate more on that coming up in a later question. But a good place to get started is, they offer free guides on how to manage yourself socially… also, just use Google! Social Media has become the “buzzword” of the past few years so there are hundreds if not thousands of blogs from professional marketing people to help you get started and on the right path. Another good source is to read up on the band TwentyOne Pilots… social media is what got them signed to Fueled by Ramen!

Who are/were some of your favorite local bands?

Oh wow, so many to choose from… Imagine Dragons holds a special place in my heart because I played them on the radio before anyone else in the country even knew who they were. But other bands such as The Ill Figures, Over the Line, Cynical View, Solidify, The Day After, Holding on to Sound, The Clydesdale, and The Yeller Bellies all come to mind. And bands that are still around like The Dirty Panties, The Quitters, Pet Tigers, The People’s Whiskey (I just named off ½ of Squidhat Record’s lineup, lol… love you guys!), Otherwise, The Mass Distractors (who I just discovered this past weekend), The All-Togethers, The Forget Me Nows, the list goes on and on…

What do local bands do incorrectly often that makes you irritated the most?

The single most annoying thing that bands do incorrectly that drives me fucking insane is how they handle their Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and all their other social media accounts! As I said in another question, bands need to realize that they are not a band… they are a business. Do you see Ford, Zappos, Microsoft, Heineken, Oreo, and Wet ‘n’ Wild posting the same thing over, and over, and over, and over, and over again? NO! Stop it! That is the single handed, easiest way to get people to UN-Like your page! You’re signing your own death certificate! Can I convey the urgency of what I’m trying to say to you any other way? Lol.

Just Google: “How to build fans on Facebook” and hundreds of thousands of blogs written by professional, top notch, marketing people will pop up… READ THEM! I cannot put a price on the knowledge contained in those websites! I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again, social media is not going anywhere… Facebook and Twitter might not be around forever, but the skills you can master now using Facebook and Twitter will carry over to any social network that pops up in the future. Take a college course at CSN, go buy a “Dummies” book; you need to become a social media expert if you want your band to succeed!

What are your plans for On the Radar podcast?

Well, to be honest… I don’t know. I picked up some momentum with the show in the beginning of the year, but then I had a hard time getting submissions from bands and then I got a bit of a promotion at the radio station which required more hours and things kind of fell to the wayside. I would like to see it come back, but I would probably need help, and I DEFINITELY need support from the bands! I’m not going to start whining, but sometimes it boggles my mind how unsupportive local bands can be of the people trying to help them get somewhere. I’m not jaded, and this is just an observation… but bands, you got to give to receive, just saying.

How do you feel about the newest promises to revive the Huntridge?

Honestly, I have mixed feelings. I would love to see the Huntridge get renovated and restored to its former glory as an awesome concert venue. However, I am skeptical about this recent approach only because we’ve seen so many try and fail before. It’s almost like there’s a “yeah, right, ok… have fun with that” vibe about any efforts to fix the place, and honestly… that’s pretty pathetic and sad. I do like how the new owners are putting the ball back in Las Vegas’ court stating that if we want the Huntridge back, we’re going to have to support it ourselves and all pitch in to make it what we want. It’s a very punk rock, DIY approach… Now, I hope all those years of bitching are channeled into rebuilding what was once a really amazing venue.


Big thanks to Joe Sacco for taking the time to answer our questions, stay connected to our social media pages and here on our site for more interviews coming soon!




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