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TRENDER: Midday Records’ Davey Moore

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

 

Who are the Rhode Islanders leading in arts, fashion, food, and style? They're Trenders, and GoLocalProv offers glimpses of the people you most want to know on the scene. Today's Trender is Davey Moore, a musician, producer, and networking agent.

Moore is the lead guitarist in a band named “Satellites Fall”, which released its first EP in July 2012. In the past two years, Moore and the other band members have been working hard to write and record new songs, and they have also won a number of competitions in the area. The band has close ties to the radio station 95.5 WBRU. “Satellites Fall” continues to tour, and they can be seen as soon as Friday, March 14th, at Manchester 65 in West Warwick, RI, as they open up for Anna Nalick.

Davey Moore is also a co-owner of Midday Records, which supports the growth of local bands. The producers have produced a number of compilation albums in the past, such as “New England Indie Alt Rock” and “Onefundboston.org: A Benefit for the Boston Marathon”, and they plan to make more in the coming months as they try to expand their label.

And Moore is also the founder of a growing movement called The Midday Social, which is a quarterly networking event that allows promoters, media outlets, radio reps, photographers, graphic designers, artists, and bands from an array of genres to get together. The Midday Social happens four nights each year at the Platforms in Providence, and those who are making waves in various modes of entertainment get to appreciate each other’s crafts and exchange contact information. The most recent Social happened last Thursday, February 27th, and it was the largest and most successful to date.

With the unique sounds of “Satellites Fall”, the future plans of Midday Records, and the revolutionary nature of The Midday Social, Moore is making a major impression on the local music scene. Among his music, his event, and his label, no one would be surprised to see Davey Moore’s name in bright lights some day in the near future.

What effect has music had on your life?

I know it’s clichéd to say, but music is my life. Music has gotten me through some of my most trying times. It was there for me through that awkward teenage angst. Music made me feel accepted and a part of something greater than myself at a time when I often felt like an outsider. It even nursed me through my first serious break-up with my high school sweetheart. Music was my therapy through bouts of depression, it calmed my anxiety, and it allowed me to both express myself and discover who I wanted to be. It has also been there during the happiest times in my life and my proudest moments. No matter what stage I have been in during my growth, there has always been one constant for me – music. I am currently a full time law student at Roger Williams University School of Law and was a Financial Advisor (or glorified stock broker and insurance salesman depending on your view) for many years. I am also married to a very supportive and amazing woman, Michele. But no matter how busy I get, music is still paramount to my happiness. I am the person talking to you today because music has brought me this far.

What positive contributions do you think that the music industry can make in New England?

Where do I begin?! The most obvious response is that music enriches the culture of New England. And I don’t mean to be dismissive of that aspect by not spending a lot of time discussing it. I wouldn’t have devoted so much of myself to the local music community if I didn’t feel that New England’s culture wasn’t already a beautiful thing. Music brings happiness and entertainment to those who hear it. I can’t think of a more positive contribution than that; however, there is more. Artists are often uncomfortable talking about the business side of things, but there are, in fact, business and economic interests related to the industry. It breaks my heart every time I hear that a venue is forced to close its doors, and it is equally sad when publications like The Boston Phoenix have closed up shop. Some great radio stations that were very good to local artists, like WBCN and WFNX, are no longer around. There’s a whole chain reaction that occurs when this happens. Those venues and media outlets employed many people and supported other businesses in the area, such as local breweries. The local music industry is a vital aspect of New England’s economic success. Unfortunately, we have just gone through a period where music (at least at the local and independent level) was vastly underappreciated. Folks, outside of those directly connected with the local music industry, just weren’t coming out to shows like they used to. I’m sure there is an ebb and flow with this stuff and, thankfully, the pendulum is swinging back in the other direction. Recently, there has been a rise in show attendance and an augmentation in the support of local artists. I truly believe that is the direct result of the local music industry coming together. I know myriad people that work tirelessly for local artists and we once again have a thriving music community because of their work.

How has Rhode Island influenced your career as a musician?

I’ve been playing in bands most of my life, and much of this time I have lived in Rhode Island. The Ocean State has always welcomed me, and my projects, with open arms. Rhode Island is notorious for its supportive music and arts community. Historically, the state has been blessed with people who care very deeply about providing outlets for local musicians. I was only able to grow as a musician and was able to gain experience through live performances because of the support of so many amazing people in this state. When I was a teenager we used to play at venues like Club Babyhead and The Living Room. I remember weekend after weekend where Randy, the owner of the now defunct Living Room, would open his venue on a Saturday afternoon for us to put on shows. Looking back, I realize he couldn’t have made much money. He worked the door himself, charged only 5 bucks, paid all the bands and sound guy, and I’m sure the bar didn’t do so well since we were so young and many bands at the time were straight edge. Yet every weekend he opened his doors to us. It was a home away from home for me. Today, the state has many great venues that carry on that tradition for local artists. Venues like The Spot, Dusk, Simon’s 677, AS220, The Met/Lupo’s, The Parlour, Firehouse 13/Fete and countless others, all care very deeply about the state’s musicians. I could go on forever with countless stories where these venues and their staff have gone above and beyond for local acts. I wouldn’t be able to do what I love if it weren’t for Rhode Island’s music community. No musician in the area would. Rhode Island has never had a shortage of people fighting tooth and nail to keep local, independent music alive.

What motivated you to coordinate the Midday Social?

The Midday Social was sort of an extension of what we were already doing with Midday Records, and even Satellites Fall. Local bands would often reach out to me for contacts. Bands would notice we were working with a local radio station and ask if we had a contact so they could send their music to them or they’d reach out to me because they were looking to break into Providence or Boston and needed contacts for local promoters and venues. I would compile lengthy lists of every contact I had for them. Eventually, I just thought it would be a great idea to have one night were we filled the room with every local venue, promoter, radio station, publication, etc. that we knew. Then we could invite local bands and artists out for a night of networking. We’ve done everything in our power to keep it an inclusive event filled with opportunities for the area’s hardworking artists. It’s a free event, open to all genres, all ages, and we allow musicians to perform at it and also play their music over the house system. At each event we have a local industry panel that gives tips to the crowd and we are always looking for ways to improve the event as it grows. I’m also completely obnoxious at the event. I don’t allow people to just stand in the corner. I’ll grab a local band and literally drag them over to a radio rep or a promoter and make an introduction. I can’t describe the feeling I get when I see these bands on great bills or played on the radio following the event. My philosophy is it shouldn’t be so hard. The barrier to entry shouldn’t be so high. But even with all the support in the scene it can still be very tough for local bands and musicians to find new opportunities. Now, in one night some of these bands make connections that literally took us years to make. And it benefits the venue owners, promoters, and media outlets just as much as it does the bands. That’s why this event exists.

How important is it to develop connections in the music industry?

Extremely important. What people sometimes consider to be the “soulless business” side of things, I believe is really known as support and community. Developing and strengthening connections in the local music community is just as much about supporting each other and building up the community as it is about business and promotion.

What have you taken away from the previous Midday Socials? Is there anything about this quarterly music-related networking event that you can see which needs to be changed?

After each event (literally the following day) we’re thinking of ways to improve the next event. My Midday partner, Mark Charron (who also sings for Satellites Fall), and I sit on the phone for hours discussing our ideas. We learn as we go. Some things work and some things don’t. This last event took us by surprise. I’m not sure whether we were prepared for this much growth in such a short period of time. I made the observation that I personally knew most people in the room at the first few events. This time was different. I didn’t know about 80% of the room and there were about 350 people (or more) throughout the night. We had artists of all genres from MA, RI, CT, NH, NJ, and NY. We now realize that it can get a little chaotic so we plan on making it more organized. Ideally, we’d like to do colored coordinated name badges. That way, if a band is scanning the room and they see, let’s say blue names badges, they’ll know those are promoters. We’d have another color for media outlets and another for bands/artists, etc. We’re also thinking about having tables and booths put into certain sections. One section for venues and promoters, another for radio reps, another for services like photographers, graphic designers, and artists. We’re also moving the industry rep panel to a separate room at a different time and may incorporate music related workshops. Our long-term plan is to create a full New England Music Conference and Festival, over an entire weekend. It would be one night of networking, one night of panels and workshops, and one night of shows all around the city of Providence. We’d also like to incorporate film and other visual arts. But before we get to that stage, I’d like to make sure each event has new reps involved. We are even trying to bring in national reps from festivals, labels, and more.

For newcomers to this gathering at the Platforms in Providence, RI, how should they properly prepare to have a successful first experience?

The most important thing (besides showing up) is to bring your music and contact info. And bring many copies. Some bands often don’t know what to bring and think they need full press kits. That’s not the case. Just bring something you can hand off to someone where they can hear your music and get in touch with you. Also, don’t just stand by the bar with your buddies. Break out of your shell and talk to people and make new connections. There is so much opportunity in that room and I can’t think of anything worse than an artists or industry rep showing up, having a few drinks, saying a few hellos, and then leaving. And, unfortunately, I do see that happen sometimes.

Your band, “Satellites Fall”, is classified as an Indie/Alt Rock group. What other genres will be featured at the event?

I made a conscious effort to reach out to promoters and bands from other genres. I don’t want the event to be made up of just my personal tastes or filled only with people from the circles I travel in. The event should have opportunities for all local artists. This time around we did a lot of outreach to hip-hop, metal, punk, ska, hard rock, and other communities. We were thrilled to see such a strong showing from the hip-hop artists and promoters.

What are some of the future plans for Satellites Fall and Midday Records?
For Satellites Fall we are trying to finish up the shows we have on the books so we can take some time off to write and record. The band has evolved. We’ve grown as musicians and people and feel we need new material out there that represents that. We’ll still take the “too good to pass” shows, but our hope is to really devote the next few months to exploring a new direction for the band. Hopefully that will be more of an incentive to catch our last few shows in the area. On Friday, March 14 we are opening for Anna Nalick at Manchester 65 in West Warwick, RI and then on the 16th we are at TT The Bear’s in Cambridge, MA with our good friends The Interrobang and Kid Felix from New Jersey. In early April we have a possible show at Lupo’s in Providence and we are also in 90.7 WXIN’s rock hunt. I believe our date for that is April 10th at Firehouse 13 in Providence, RI. Lastly, in the summer we’ll be back out in New York, New Jersey, Philly, and possibly Delaware again.

For Midday Records, we plan on getting our compilation series going again. We’ve been so busy with other stuff but we’d like get a new one out featuring local artists in the next month or so. In addition, we are planning on either doing a monthly Internet radio show or a podcast again. We are also getting into management and will be helping out a few local bands. We’re still booking monthly shows at Mardi Gras in Cranston, RI with ads on 95.5 WBRU and we’ll continue to book shows all around Providence and Boston. On Saturday, March 15th we have a great bill over at Dusk in Providence, RI to celebrate Joe Ferro’s, from 990wbob.com, birthday and it’s doubling as Six Ten Connectors long awaited CD release party, as well. That one should be a good time, to say the least! Besides all that, we will continue to grow the Midday Social.

 

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