So Raw is a garage-punk-whatever music festival that's been making waves since last year, going on to win "best of" in the Miami New Times! Royal Jelly: So, who came up with the idea of this festival, who were involved, and how did you get it off the ground?
Nicole Irizarry: The festival was thought up by Danny Bratkowski of Danny Denim, Melted Sunglasses, and most recently of the acclaimed So Raw/Chicago band, Brian's Dirty Business. He was complaining that bands rarely travel down to Miami because there is no festival type event to look forward to. So we made one. Christiane Allen came on to help me with all of the boring stuff and Danny handled the music and bands for the first year. We also rely heavily on our friends' free labor and acceptance of beer as payment.
RJ: Last years festival was very successful, would you attribute that success to the growing support for the local miami/florida music scene?
NI: Yeah, totally. We've seen the Miami scene grow like crazy. More bands are forming and more people are heading out to shows. People like Matt from Roofless Records, Ricardo from This Heart Electric, Sean from the Deaf Poets and Rob from the 305 Fest, put on great shows that help support tons of bands. Miami finally has a scene.The only thing missing is a venue.
RJ: I've noticed some you involved seem to be personal friends with a lot of the bands you feature; has that helped build a better sense of community within this scene? NI: The music scene is for the most part a pretty incestuous community. Usually, a person is part of a few bands and everyone seems to know each other so it's no surprise we're all friends. We also like supporting other people that are doing similar things to us, like Roofless Records, so we eventually become friends that way. It's very cool to see a large group of people with the same goal; to drink as much canned beer as possible!
RJ: The Sweat-Stock After Party was a great experience for me (sans the fights), how often do you guys throw parties during the year (besides the So Raw Fest)?
NI: We don't really have a set number of parties or shows . The only constant is the festival. This year we did 8 shows in between the two festivals and opened up our store. It was a busy year that involved way too much drinking.
RJ: Tell us a bit about the So Raw Store.
NI: We combined our love of coffee, records, and snacks and made a store. It's a pop up store so we'll only be around until the end of July, hopefully a little longer. During the day we sell Cuban coffee and snacks and we're planning some night time events to get people drinking our beer. We're open Monday through Saturday from noon to 6pm. Come visit and bring us big macs.
RJ: What do you think of the current trend of garage rock, especially in Florida?
NI: We have tons of bands coming out of Miami and the rest of the state that are nationally known and are fucking awesome and more and more people are getting into the DIY sound.
RJ: Any surprises planned for the future?
NI: If there are any surprises, I'll be the last to know.
RJ: I'd like to thank you for taking the time for this interview. Anything else you'd like to say to our readers?