Velvet Suit Interviews- Lectric Pulp

You wanted it.  You asked for it.  You got it! Here’s the DL on the Lectric Pulp/Stanhope House breakup from the perspective of Joe Dimeck of Lectric Pulp.  Even though this is a written interview, I assure you at least 1 velvet suit was worn during interrogation.

Some say you helped re-build a sense of a North Jersey/Sussex Scene. What’s your take on that? What is the difference between the scene now than six months ago, as you see it?

Well, I certainly appreciate the folks who feel that way. It’s one of those heart warming/soul caressing kind of feelings if people actually think that. However, I’m just one person. Yea I may have booked a bunch of shows, but if people didn’t come out and support those shows there wouldn’t be any community at all. When it comes to building a music scene it really takes a collective effort. I just handled a lot of organizational things, but I think a lot of credit is spread out across the bands and the fans.

As for where the scene is 6 months ago. I don’t know, it seems like there’s more going on, which is cool. Whether I played a role in that I don’t know. It’s not like The Stanhope House was the only place hosting shows. Honestly, I’m kind of looking forward to being able to explore all the other places that I couldn’t go to because I was working a show. I keep hearing Pearly Baker’s Ale House in Easton is really cool. I mean, I like beer and music, and I hear they got a lot of both. Nevertheless, in the meantime, I got to get a job haha. It’s not like I was making much at The Stanhope House, but I was making something. Back to living on credit I guess :/

Click readmore to find out why Lectric Pulp will cease booking at the venue and what shows were Joe’s favorite…

What lead to the demise of the Lectric Pulp/Stanhope House relationship? 

Idealism vs. Capitalism. My whole attitude towards booking shows was perhaps a little too idealistic when you consider that The Stanhope House is a business with a lot of money at stake. Sure, building a buzz around the place and creating a cool environment will certainly enhance the business side of things, but that’s something that takes time to really cultivate. From the owner’s perspective, he has employees and bills to pay so the idea of sinking money into something in the hopes that the buzz and the culture will eventually pan out long-term isn’t exactly a sound business model. Ultimately, I am grateful for even having the opportunity to book at such an historic spot, but philosophically my attitude towards the way things should be done and the way things needed to be done was conflicting.

Additionally, the job became really stressful as a result of that pressure. I couldn’t enjoy the shows because I was worried about having to go into a meeting and see how much money I lost the club. It just got to a point where I felt a certain tension, and perhaps even an animosity towards me from the owner. For the most part the staff there is made up of great people, and I really can’t fault the owner for being upset with me over losing money. At the same time, despite a bunch of losses, the nights that were profitable often brought me to a break even point. Breaking even isn’t a sound business model either.

The other thing to consider is that I was, out of necessity, forced to book 2-4 shows a week—shows that often pulled from the same demographic of people. It’s unrealistic to expect the same people to come to 3 shows in one week, pay a cover, and then eat and buy drinks. Everyone is hurting financially, so I did my best to try and diversify my booking. Unfortunately, the stress and the bad juju that developed had really soured any kind of patience I would’ve needed to effectively appeal to a wider range of people.

Top 3 shows you’ve done at Stanhope House GO!

Oh man that is hard. There were so many good shows, way more than bad ones, but if I have to pick, I’ll do my best. I think the Early New Year’s show was one of my favorites. Just an overall great time, and it was the first show where I really saw the enthusiasm that people had for local music. I mean, 222 jovial folks on a Wednesday night is pretty amazing. Also, I think the goofiness of the whole night, especially the ball drop, made it as fun as it was.

Pretty much every Indian Princess/Benedict Arnold/Gypsy Wig/Melissa & Paul show. I think that has to do more with the fact that all my close friends were there, and that really makes it easier to block out whatever stressful thoughts were gnawing at my brain.

The Delicate Steve show was definitely the most recent favorite. Such good vibes from the crowd, and picking up the Control CD release last minute might have made things really hectic in the first couple of hours, but after that it was smooth sailing and just an overall great time.

I feel like I should say something on this, but I’ll refrain…I’ll leave it as- Yes, that (Control record release) certainly was a memorable night.

Obviously, Folly weekend was fantastic. Really stressful because I was just hoping nothing happened, but they have really positive fans and while they went nuts they were incredibly respectful and in control. The nostalgia factor was also a high point of those shows.

Hell, the final three weeks that led up to my decision to leave were loaded with great shows even though they lost a bunch of money. Danny Schmidt, Joe Cirotti, and Christian Peslak…so awesome. Emily Wells, Gyspy Wig, and Don’t Upset the Bear…so awesome. Screaming Females, Melissa & Paul, and Les Trois Chaud…so awesome. Honestly, it’s a shame we didn’t get better turnouts for those shows because I was taking a risk on bringing in those national acts, who are all incredible, but that’s life. Sometimes you gamble and you lose. The difference is, I don’t think I lost. I think those shows were great shows, and I wouldn’t unbook them if I had some kind of magical device…say like a time machine or something hah.

What is the future for Lectric Pulp?

I think the future of Lectric Pulp will kind of revert back to what it started as, which was a place that showcased bands through video, interviews, and all that jazz. Band management might become a bigger part of it because it’s a bit easier to get bands shows at venues you don’t have any financial obligations to. But I really don’t know. Lectric Pulp has always been something I’ve allowed to be ever changing and ambiguous because I think life is ever changing and ambiguous. There’s nothing guaranteed or set in stone, other than the fact that you will die, but we really don’t even know what dying entails. So Lectric Pulp could die (metaphorically), but that doesn’t mean that I will stop trying to pursue cool and interesting things. However, I don’t see Lectric Pulp going away all that quickly. I really dig the name and the philosophy of the whole project, so I think it’s just about readjusting and moving forward. In that spirit, who wants to organize a river rafting trip?

I’ve been wanting to do that for a while!  Who’s in?  On a final note, keep in mind that Stanhope House is merely a place- a venue that was nice enough to open their doors to the scene that has been thriving over the past 6+ months and way before that.  There are still a lot of great bands and happenings and this certainly does not mean any of it is dead…Good Friend Electric, Eyeconik Records, NotRock Records, Music for End Times,  Tuscan Cafe, New Brunswick Basements, to name a few…I know I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but keep supporting local music.   : )

– Bedside Manner


Posted on May 21, 2011, in Velvet Suit Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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