Spazz Archives - The Punk Rock MBA

June 4, 2017

Create your own scene, and other lessons from Green Day, 924 Gilman and MRR

Back in 1992 or so, my friend Kevin showed up to school with a tape by some random pop-punk band in his Walkman. They were called Green Day, and I'd heard their name a lot from their shows with other Lookout bands like Operation Ivy and Crimpshrine as well as some of the Bay Area crust/hardcore bands I was into like Neurosis and Stikky. They were an integral part of the 924 Gilman St/MRR scene, and for all its many faults, that scene was truly something special and unique. Although I only went to Gilman a couple times, the culture of that era was incredibly influential and in many ways still the template for how I think and approach projects. It was DIY to the core, smart and focused not on the dumb, self-destructive stuff that kneecapped a lot of earlier punk but on CREATING things. It was fundamentally a maker…
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December 6, 2015

Lesson 6: Help your competitors & welcome copycats

In theory, bands compete with each other to get on shows, sign to labels, and for the attention of fans. Competition is part of the DNA of skateboarding, where athletes face each other in contests, push to outdo each other in video parts, and for a very limited number of sponsors-- even people who ride for the same team compete for the attention of their sponsor. Clothing companies and brands in both spaces all compete for marketshare, retail space, and so forth. Yet despite so much rivalry over extremely scare dollars, you'll find that DIY bands, brands, and athletes collaborate far more often than they compete. What people and brands with roots in DIY culture understand is that there is often more to be gained from working together and helping each other than there is from trying to keep you "competitors" down. Instead of fighting over pieces of the pie, they work together to…
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