NOT FADE AWAY CAFE
Time : Could you give us an example of what "Not Fade Away
Cafe" is, and it's difference from other bars, since it is not a bar ?
: YEP, that's the thing, it's not a bar, no alcohol is served
here at all. We get a younger crowd, usually around eighteen or
over. A whole bunch of different bands play here; from Bluegrass
Bands we have Acoustic Acts, we have Thrash Metal bands, Rock and Roll,
and Punk. We have all different kinds of music here. We try
not to discriminate in any way because there is something to be taken
from all kinds of music.
Big Time : What does a band actually have to do to get booked at this cafe?
: Well, what we like to do is get a call from them to show their
interest. Then I usually give them the "low down" on what we use
on equipment here, and what they have to bring. Usually we like
to have a Demo Tape and a small press kit; even if it is just a page of
a biography of the band. That's pretty much it. We see if
they will go over well here, try to match them up with a band that they
will go over well with, and maybe open for a band that brings certain
people in that are in a similar vein to their style of music.
Then maybe next time we will give them a head liner show. We do
music three days a week right now: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and on
Wednesday night, we have drum circle night. This is where anybody
can come to bring their bongos, congas, or anything, and we provide
some drums. Everyone has a blast when they go beating on stuff
cause it's really quite fun.
Time : Now we just heard Mark, the drummer for Wild Oats,
state: "At other clubs, the main focus is the alcohol.
Because there is no alcohol here, the music is the main
attraction. The band is what brings the people here. People
come here to see the band and not the bottom of the glass." Do
you have any comments to add to that?
: Sometimes people who are over 21 will go to other clubs to have
a few drinks and then come to the cafe to enjoy the music. It's
kind of cool because the Crazy River Club has a couple of bands over
there sometimes, too. Most usually everybody ends up over
here. It used to be the Upstairs-Downstairs Club, which is right
next door, that recently reopened. That has actually helped our
business especially since we are open from 3 PM to 3 AM. After
the last call at the bar you know everybody is like "oh, I don't want
to go home" so they come down here and listen to really good bands late
Big Time : Now you
mentioned before that this place doesn't get violent at shows.
Would you like to tell our readers how safe of an atmosphere this
is? This is because it seems really mellow just being here right
NFAC : Oh yes, it's
really mellow. There are lots of people who come here including
hippies and those that like to listen to heavy music. Most seem
to get along very well, though occasionally, someone may have a little
spat. Our security is tight so we have never had any fights or
Big Time : My
next question is about pay. Again, Mark, the drummer for Wild
Oats, said: "You guys pay pretty much the same pay as the clubs
in the Portland area."
Well, right now it depends on the band and the following they bring
in. If your band is not well known, has never played here before,
and we don't know what your band sounds like, we ask that you play for
free the first time out. We try to help out bands that are just
starting out by hooking them up with larger bands that have good
following so they can be heard and have a better chance at creating a
good following for themselves. We have only been open for two
months and have a house band that plays Thursday nights called
DPT. They are from Colby and are just starting out. They
play for free a couple times and since have opened for some larger,
better known bands such as, Lazy Lighting, Resine 8, and Smoked
Salmon. We charge a $5.00 cover charge and since we don't serve
alcohol, the bands get paid according to what is brought in at the
door. This is the only non-alcoholic club in the area with
Waterville being the next closest. Augusta really needed a place
like this for the kids to go.
Big Time : I understand that you have to be 18 to smoke cigarettes, but it's pretty much an all ages place?
: That's right, it is an all ages place but if you are under 18
and get caught smoking cigarettes, you automatically get kicked out for
the rest of the evening. You may come back on another evening as
long as you don't smoke.
Big Time :
Do you think that it's possible that some band can come in here with
their own audio equipment and record a video in this place? This
could give you some extra advertising in the video.
: Absolutely! We have a good light show with lots of
cool lights. There are black lights everywhere and on some
weekends we have a face paint booth and everybody gets crazy. We
have all the body paints, stencils, and hi-lighting markers.
Everybody runs around all glowing and having a great time.
Time : Are there a lot of "Dry Spells," that
you guy's don't know business wise what's going to happen?
: For opening up at the end of February, we've done all
right. One night we had a show during a blizzard with zero
visibility and we still had about 40 people here. A local band
called, "Pog Soldier" was playing that night. As the weather gets
better, we have seen more and more new faces each week.
Big Time : If business pick's up alot, will there be an expansion, as far as the band shows go?
: We are already working on a drum riser on wheels or something
like that. We would actually like to get a whole bunch of blocks
for the stage in different sizes so people can either put their amps on
them or stand on them. Sort of like huge building blocks so we
can rebuild the stage to fit what ever band comes in.
Big Time : Where do you see the future of Augusta or Maine as far as the music is concerned?
: I would like it to be a cultural melting pot. I want what
I call, the heavy gut people with leather jackets and the boots, the
Hippies with the hair raps and flower dresses. I want a place
where all those folks can go and not get hassled for who they are or
what they believe in.
Big Time : What do you think is inhibiting or slowing that down?
: I think that it is happening right now. What is slowing it down?
Well there is no place like this before. There was no melting pot. Now
this place is acting as a melting pot, and all sorts of different folks
are getting drawn down here. You are bound to meet some one that you
didn't know before.
Big Time music would like
to thank the guys at Not Fade Away Cafe for their time, to sit down with
us. So when you are sitting home trying to tune the damn radio, shut
it off and keep "trucking" down toward the not Fade Away Cafe for a
caffeine buzz with a twist of homegrown music. Here at Big Time Music,
we have seen alot of clubs over our travels, but the Not Fade Away Cafe
is unique and an added attraction to Central Maine. Come in and let the
musician in you out or listen to the next "Nirvana" of talent of Maine.
: Oh sure yea. Since we opened we've already bought a monitor. It
ended up being ripped and broken because somebody stepped on it. Well
It will be back in a month or so because we sent it off to be fixed. We
are always buying more microphones and stuff.
Big Time : Do you think that this place will be an enclave for the Portland bands to come up here and play more?
: I think we are going to get a lot more Portland bands to come here
and play this summer, especially. It is a personal goal of mine to get
Rustic overtones and Twisted Roots here. Whenever they want to play,
they can play. We listen to their albums here all the time. They are
two Maine bands that have really put a staple in saying "we're from
Maine and we can still get down to rock and go somewhere with it." I
really want those guys really bad.
Big Time : For the readers outside of Augusta there is alot of parking outside right?
: Yup, yup, yup. There is a good sized parking lot right across the
street, one the the right of the building and this place will probably
get filled up before the parking runs out. Water Street is a long
street and I'm sure you can find a place to park.
Big Time : Do you
think that someday enough equipment will be bought so that all a
musician has to do is come in with their instruments, plug right in and a
drummer with just his sticks and plays ? The band gets paid by the
door so there might not be a reduction in their pay. Do you think that
something like that might be feasible in a year or two?NFAC : Oh yes. Oh
Yes. I'm sure that within a year we will have everything that a band
needs to come in with their guitars and amps and plug in to be all
right. Alot of clubs don't have their own PA system. The band has to
bring their whole entire PA. Like right now, the only thinkg we are
lacking is the monitor system and I told you about that.
Big Time : You
folks open at 3 PM and close at 3 AM. Do you have a set schedule for
the bands or do you lock up the place and let the bands play more?
NFAC : Usually
the way it works, the show starts at 9 PM. The opening band plays for
about an hour and a half, that puts us at 10:30 PM. It usually takes an
hour to set up the next band and they start around 11:30 PM. They
usually play a couple of hours and take a twenty minute break and then
start up again and play until close or 2:30 AM.
Big Time : What are the future plans for the Cafe's stage?
NFAC : Oh Yeah!
We want to grow as big as we can getting bands like Rustic Overtones,
Twisted Roots, down here. Rustic Overtones is starting to get National
Air Play and they're from "Little Old Maine." We definitely want to
hook up with those guys.
: What do you think about day time concerts this summer?
The cafe opens up at 3 PM, is something like this possible?
NFAC : Well,
we've had a couple of idea's but we want to stick to the night time.
July 4th we plan on having bands all day and all night. We want to be
open 24 hours and just, "Go Nuts!"
Big Time : When
you get a demo tape from a band, what are some of the things that you
listen for? Has there ever been a band that you turned your thumbs down
on? Do you think there will ever be a band you will turn your thumbs
NFAC : We have
never turned our thumbs down at a band. Instead we try to hook up bands
with other bands. There are three categories, heavy, funky, and hippie
bands. We won't put a heavy and a hippie band together but we will put
a heavy and funky band together or we could put a funky and hippie band
Big Time : So any band that is starting up, this is definitely the thing to have in their books, to have a site to hit?
NFAC : I say that
to any band at all. Get us a tape. When I listen to a tape I don't
really listen to the quality, it can be made in your basement or
whatever. You can tell tell alot, like I got a tape from a new band the
other day called Roma. The quality of their tape was terrible, but I
could tell the songs and performance was really good. They will be here
with Super Violator, who used to be Nipple Violator on April 25th. I
like to keep bookings a month to a month and a half in advance because
bands call me all the time and say that they can't make it for such and
such a reason. I have to find replacements so there is no use to look
for bands too far in advance. *
* This interview was
conducted with the Manager of the now closed Not Fade Away Cafe Kris
Bridges. This is exactly how it appeared in Big Time Music Trade
Magazine, with the error of part of the interview pasted in the wrong
order before we went to print. Kris Bridges also drove Doug Papa all
over the four counties to drop off stacks of 25 newspapers to
practically every resturant, gas station and etc.. It was nerve racking
for Kris, because almost every time at the last minute Doug would
decide to drop off a stack while Kris was driving. So Doug was like,
"Stop HERE!" When Kris was like almost half way past the place. (Because
Doug had no clue where he was going to drop off the magazines, and he
was going on a Map as to what the routes where. The area covered
somehting like 600 miles and took days.) Helping with the delievery of
the next two issues was done with the help of Bart Powers of the
Grunts. (Whom also saved Doug, by giving him a ride to the printers for
this issue, when he say Doug running up the road by one of the rotaries
in Augusta and the deadline was minutes away.) Read the Grunts
interview in Issue 2.