What is your earliest memory of participating in arts and culture?
The earliest memory I have of participating in Akron’s art and culture would be when I moved into the house next to the legendary DIY venue It’s a Kling Thing! House. I was going home from work, and the dude who was running it at the time, who’s still holding it down, Tyler Brown, asked me if I wanted to come over and watch bands play in his basement. I had never been to anything like that before, so of course, I went. I met so many awesome people that night, and I was hooked. I had never had that much fun, nor was I ever in such a welcoming group of people. I was studying media at the time and wanted to capture as much of these moments as I could, so I started bringing my camera to the shows, trying to just try to catch some of this lightning in a bottle, because I was amazed that no one else besides the couple dozen of us in the basements would know about it.
What is Alternative Attic?
Alternative Attic is a platform my team and I have created to highlight local musicians in the Northeast Ohio Area. We put on events, film them, capture the audio, edit it together, and post it online. We like to have all kinds of different music, as well as a variety of different venues. The idea of the project initially was to just have bands come and perform in my cramped apartment at the time, which just so happened to be an attic. Eventually, we would start booking shows at local venues, the first one being at this retired space called, Hive Mind.
We would have shows from Musica, all the way to shows in a parking deck, this shut down restaurant; we love to highlight all kinds of weird places.
How do you pick where you are going to do a show?
I usually try to think about what the vibe of a show is going to be. When I knew I was going to have an acoustic-only show, I knew I had to have it in the Attic of Oakdale House. The wooden aesthetic with the lights in the background just compliments it so well. Although at the time, it was shut down. I hit up Kenny Averiette asking him if he would be game to have one final show, and he was down! It was most certainly one of my favorite places to film. After the show, I would actually move into the house, and we would have bands from all of the nation come and play up until COVID hit.
I still have a couple more shows in mind that I want to do after the pandemic. I want to do a pop show so I was thinking of trying to do it somewhere that’s more of an official venue like Musica or maybe even Mahalls or something with an aesthetic that encourages dancing. I also plan on doing a hardcore show which for the longest time I have only been able to envision it in front of dumpsters or something that is visceral, I really want to go somewhere remote for this one. The only other show I have in mind is a hip-hop show which I would like to be able to do in an intimate close-quarter experience. Maybe another basement, or some sort of rooftop even I haven’t scheduled it yet.
What was it like to work on Couchrokr?
Couchrokr was such an awesome, unique, hectic experience, and it definitely was one of my favorite things to work on in a long time. We worked with the great people at the Highland Square Neighborhood Association and we got to work with so many cool local businesses. I never thought I would be filming a show at an actual yoga studio – Yoga Squared, or Square Records. We filmed at scheduled six different venues with twelve different bands over a two-week span. We only had a month to work on it. We scrambled, but we were able to get everything done. A huge shoutout to everyone who made that possible! It was a wild month, but the day it aired it didn’t feel like there was a pandemic, it felt like our whole community tuned in, and we were able to have a day of normalcy. It seriously was such a great experience.
What artist, cultural organization, or experience do you wish more people knew about in Summit County?
There are so many of them I could say here, but I think it’s the experience of the local Akron DIY scene. It is such a unique experience, it’s open to everyone, and you get to meet so many great people from all over the world. It has been the main reason I have stayed in Akron, and the city wouldn’t be the same without it in my eyes.
Who is a patron or supporter of arts and culture in Summit County who you admire?
I would have to say, Jenn Kidd, and Chris Butler. The way Jenn has revamped Musica, and made it so that it showcases more local artists as well as helping push for social change. Letting us host a show there, Akron Women’s March in 2020, and those awesome Wiskertin shows! I am really stoked to see how much involvement they’ve been able to have within the community, and I can’t wait to see what else they do!
And Chris, I would say the way he has been such an influential member of the community for such a long period of time, and how he is now trying to boost our music scene all around. I help run a local house venue, and he gave us $1,500 in new sound equipment. I heard he regularly was helping out Hive Mind with donations. He helped create the Akron Music Awards, and I know he would be doing more if live events were still happening.
What is your favorite view in Summit County? Why?
I would have to say my favorite view in Summit County is the view from the first hill you run into if you take the Wetmore Trail clockwise. The climb feels so cinematic, and then the sea of trees at the top is just beautiful. Wetmore is my favorite trail in the area, but there are so many great ones in the area between Summit Metroparks and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Seriously though, don’t sleep on them.