Monday Jul 10, 2023

Stories That Really Sing

Our folktelling three explore stories in music, questioning whether we have lost the richness, depth and communal spirit that great music brings. Our harmonious hosts also connect the dots with KISS and INXS business manager, Angus Vail, who shares his perspective on all things lyrical and loud.

Folktellers Universe

 

#Storytelling

#Stories

#Music

#StoriesToBeShared

#KISS

#INXS

#AngusVail

#GlobeTheater

#Shakespeare

 

Well,
welcome everyone to the Folk Tellers Stories to be shared podcast.
My name is Joseph Bastian.
Today we are talking about music as story and I'm also here with Kurt David and Steve Sadler,
the Mali Lewis gentleman.
You,
you guys,
I,
I made them look that word up last week.
So look up Mali Les,
if you don't put that one,
please.
Well,
today,
so we've got a guest,
uh a very cool Angus Vale who is the financial manager for Kiss and was for in excess and he's building a Shakespearean theater out of shipping containers which so uh he's gonna talk to us about music and the communal nature because one of the things,
one of my questions,
so I kind of want to begin with this.
This is sort of a,
a clarifying quote uh by Victor Hugo.
So Victor Hugo says,
music expresses that which cannot be said and on which is impossible to be silent.
So let that soak in a little bit.
Give me a few hours.
Yeah.
So that's,
that's our clarifying thought for the day.
And uh I think our challenge is,
is my challenge statement is I'm gonna put forth to you two gentlemen,
to the audience that music has lost its communal spirit and its storytelling power.
And I say that and I want,
I want you guys,
I wanna talk about this.
Uh I think with music when music went digital,
when we lost albums and we lost artwork and liner notes and people began just putting ear buds in their ears and listening to music a alone.
Uh We lost that.
Uh A lot of that storytelling power in my mind.
Storytellers are the ones that stood out in front of the fire and people gathered around the campfire.
Well,
when you talk about music,
I mean,
it dates me back as well to those album covers,
right?
That was a story in itself.
You always looking forward to what's gonna be on the album.
What's the story behind that album cover?
What is,
what is that album cover telling us as a story?
I mean,
just that visual alone if you don't get nothing else.
But uh I think somebody mentioned also um about the,
the storyline inside it,
it was insert that was how were you getting your music,
Steve,
where were you getting your music before you could get it online when you were a kid?
What,
where were you getting your music from the record store?
And so where,
what did you do when you heard a new album went out?
Well,
obviously there was radio back then too today.
So are you sure you're not that old and it was ok.
Radio's been around.
Ok.
No,
no,
there's,
you,
you hear the song on the radio and then you're off to the record store and when you're looking for music,
you're not just looking for a specific song.
You're actually,
there's a,
an experience of flicking through all of the albums in a certain,
you know,
um,
uh,
indexing of letters.
Right.
So,
if I'm looking for in excess,
I go to I,
and there's all the eyes,
I'm looking at all the albums and,
and,
and the artwork,
you know,
which is obviously the marketing part,
but it's more than marketing uh look at the Journey album covers,
for example,
they were amazingly done and they told a story like right in it,
it was very science fiction and that type of thing.
Um I can remember one in specific and being uh you know,
growing up in Canada is uh is laying on my bed and opening up,
you know,
rush 21 12,
throwing the record on there and as soon as it hits,
you know,
you turn the lights down,
you open up the cover and,
and you start to,
to read and 21 12 is literally a story,
especially the first side.
It's,
it's,
it's a complete story,
you know,
and that experience to me went away after C DS um because you really lost the combination of the art and the music together as one which created a beautiful package,
a comp a beautiful user experience which everyone talks about these days.
I mean,
being from tech,
it's all like,
oh,
we need to have a really nice UX on this app that we're building or this website.
It's like,
well,
yeah,
you're worried about that.
But what about the content?
Where is the user experience gone on the content?
It's all based on the workflow now and it makes no sense.
But to that point too,
Steve,
it wasn't an overnight transition,
right?
We went from album covers,
right?
With the art,
whether it be a or,
or a graphic art to then the C DS,
right?
So we had C DS for a while and they still had some graphic art on them.
But then the,
as you mentioned at the beginning,
Joseph was the full transition to digital.
Took that communal experience away for the story for the communal experience with music.
Yeah.
Yeah.
For,
for me,
it was uh you would hear an uh a song on the radio or you'd an album at someone else's house and you go,
I gotta get that.
And then it was a trip up to Harmony House in Detroit.
That's a,
there's a blast from the fact.
Going up to Harmony House and Harmony House had,
you could listen to it.
They had a turntable with headphones.
You could sample like if you're buying a 45 or you're buying an album,
you could you could,
you could listen to it 1st.
45.
What's a 45?
Oh,
yeah.
Well,
yeah,
a pistol.
No,
no.
And then,
like,
you would go,
I would,
I would go up there with my friends and then it was,
you know,
we're all going to someone's house and we're sitting in the room and they got the,
the big speakers and the liner notes are out and someone brings food in and,
I mean,
it was like a little,
you know,
a little party and I think,
you know,
we've lost that and,
and,
uh,
well,
I remember going to my older brother's friends,
my older brother and his friend used to hang out and I remember going to their house one time and,
and listening to that Kiss album,
right?
That,
that it's like,
oh my goodness.
Look at that,
look at the album cover,
listen to the music,
right?
How impactful that was because there was story behind the cover.
There was story in the insert like you mentioned Steve and there's certainly stories in the song,
right?
So now,
so now Rock City is a,
is a story.
It is not a good ending,
but it's,
uh,
but the whole song is a story and then they made,
they made that into a movie.
Yeah.
What was the ending?
That was so horrific about it?
It's a car crash and that sounded like a car crash.
It was a car crash.
It was a car crash.
Yeah.
Not like,
hit your car crash,
that you just said we would have to bring that up.
Yeah.
And the deer is gone and the car is gone as well.
That's a different story.
You're here and that's the most you're here and you'll get a new car in Detroit.
And I think with musics like that too,
you think about in a song,
like how it begins and how it ends is sometimes it's not what you expect,
right?
Just like,
just like life.
And it's funny just yesterday I was my,
so,
uh,
my kids are 20 something and they're a couple of my boys are like music files and they're like,
you go into their room and,
uh,
it looks like the 19 seventies,
I mean,
the,
the artwork,
they've got the big speakers,
they're all,
all albums and they've kind of,
they're like a throwback to having that communal experience,
which is really nice to see which got me thinking about,
you know,
this,
this whole topic of,
of,
of where we are.
And I was so I was listening to this Grateful Dead Song ripple and my son tells me,
uh,
the,
one of the guys who is a non musician,
uh,
but is accredited with the Grateful Dead.
His last name is Hunter.
I can't think of his first name.
He was a lyricist.
All he did was write lyrics and he did,
he was not a musician,
but he wrote this,
the,
the,
the lyrics to ripple and this just struck me,
says if my words did Glow with the gold of Sunshine and my tunes were played on the harp unstrung.
Would you hear my voice come through the music?
Would you hold it near as if it was your own?
It's a hand me down.
The thoughts are broken.
Perhaps they're better left unsung.
I don't know why I don't really care.
Let there be songs to fill the air.
And it just,
I was like,
wow,
I mean,
to me,
like here you've got some,
a non musician who's a lyricist for The Grateful Dead who writes something like that.
And to me that's the connection of story and music.
I mean,
it's like,
it's like poetry.
I was just gonna say that I was just thinking that it's like poetry in music,
right?
In other words,
you have the,
the,
the musical aspect of the lyrics and then you have the lyrics,
I think to me in music,
the trick is connecting those two,
right?
Making the lyrics attached to the music itself.
And it's funny.
I was so I'm,
I'm a,
a word.
I and I,
I just look,
II,
I like,
look through the dictionary because I love etymology.
I love words.
The word lyric is Greek and it comes from the word liar and what's a liar?
Not a liar.
Like you've been called the,
like the string,
the stringed instrument.
So I mean,
the,
the connection is there.
It's not the layer,
isn't it?
Liar?
It's not liar.
It's la tomato,
tomato.
Steve guys are tomato.
It's like Americans trying to say British words.
I mean,
well,
where do you,
where do you live now?
I don't know.
Do you,
do you live in England now?
So,
I,
I think when in Rome it's,
yeah.
And it's all Greek to me.
So,
but,
but,
but no,
what,
you know what we were saying about the,
you know,
now we're talking about the roots,
the roots of music is storytelling.
It is poetry and we,
we've lost it.
It's like,
I,
I feel like it's like just a formula now,
like there's a formula for a pop song and you digitize it.
And now,
you know,
we had talked in a previous podcast about A I and you got,
now they're using A I to have,
I just saw Frank Sinatra singing Michael Jackson.
Uh and it's just like,
OK,
this is like hot garbage to me.
How do we,
you know,
how do we rectify this?
And I,
you know,
we'll ask Angus some of these questions too when we have them on,
how do we get back to that communal storytelling,
musical experience?
How do we,
how do we,
it is it uh can we get back there?
Yeah.
Well,
I,
I think you shared that example with,
with um what you experienced with the albums and stuff in your son's rooms,
right?
That you saw that and that they are literally flipping through the albums.
They have the big speakers,
they,
so somehow someone is connecting to that again and,
and I don't know,
you can see them starting to be for sale again.
The album covers the albums,
they,
they're starting to see them out there more and more whether it be on Amazon,
but it's more than just trying to recreate what's already been done in the past.
I mean,
that's fine.
You can do that.
But remember the very first podcast that we did way back.
What was it about?
I,
I don't know,
cheese cheese cheesy metaverse.
So the storytelling.
So as things develop,
I think that we need to be able to take these user experiences and be able to combine them into the new technologies that are coming out which then redefines,
you know,
some a new type of medium,
whether that is on the metaverse or whatever the metaverse becomes in the future,
but it should be a combination of all of the different art pieces.
Yes,
the music,
the,
the high resolution graphics like these headsets aren't good enough yet.
I don't care how good Apple says their head.
New headset is,
it's not good enough.
It's not as good as where it needs to be for us to have that,
that experience that we had by laying on the bed as a kid and opening up that Rush album and seeing that beautiful artwork and reading the text and I should say the story and,
and listening to the music and allowing your brain to absorb all those senses.
That's where we need to get back to.
Yes,
I believe it can be done.
And I,
and I believe it's the metaverse.
OK.
So you're hitting on something this,
I think this is really critical.
So just sort of um validate what you're saying is we still need,
we,
we need to get back to that sort of organic interpersonal experience,
but you can't go back in time.
So there has to be some sort of fusion with the new technology like the metaverse.
And then it's like,
how does that come together?
Because I was thinking about,
we were talking about the packaging,
the way albums were packaged.
So you had,
you had the artwork,
the album,
the,
the physical,
you know,
cardboard,
right?
Then you had,
you pulled out and there were liner notes and there was the lyrics and all the notes on how the album was made and,
and whatever,
and then you did a back story about the band or something.
Yeah.
And then you had the actual music.
So now um you could still have that.
But now if you bring in like new technology,
it's really what's the balance between that organic interpersonal,
visceral feeling and experience.
That's the humanity of it with sort of the bells and whistles of NFTS and,
and uh you know,
to whatever crypto,
whatever it is.
So we've been,
you know,
folk tellers.
So,
and,
and Steve,
you could probably talk about this.
We were,
we were,
um we were talking to a company that works in the,
the metaverse space and we were talking about doing um versions of virtual concerts that were a combination of live concerts and artists.
So you could actually be there and then there was a component of in the,
you know,
in the metaverse.
And what does that,
what could that look like?
And what was exciting was um you know,
we were working on this project with um black artists from the 19 thirties to the 19 sixties in venues that don't exist anymore.
And in the metaverse,
they're like,
well,
we can recreate those venues,
like we have all the photographs and the layouts and so we can,
we can create that club down in Atlanta or the,
the flame bar in Detroit or,
or,
or,
or wherever and we can kind of recreate that in sort of this,
in this modern thing.
So,
uh we were like,
wow,
like that's cool.
So there's something,
I mean,
Steve really tapping on to something like there's something there,
but it's like,
what is that balance?
And I don't think anyone's figured it out yet.
No,
it's not figured out yet.
I mean,
as I said,
it takes some old people like us to sit around and figure out,
hey,
what was really cool in the eighties.
And what did we really love and how do we bring those experiences back?
Um,
and,
and have the expertise to be able to put them into new technology.
And,
you know,
and I think,
you know,
with a lot of startups,
you get a lot of young kids that are,
you know,
out there,
it's like,
hey,
this is my new startup,
but the wisdom is gonna come out of the older people.
You can't forget what we really enjoyed because,
uh,
a lot of the kids that I coach soccer,
a lot of the kids are,
they,
everything that they do,
all their shoes,
everything.
It's all eighties.
I mean,
there were Nikes and converse that I wore,
you know,
like late seventies,
early eighties,
something worked during that period.
Guys,
it was amazing during that period.
The music was amazing.
The artwork was amazing.
The,
the shoes were amazing.
The clothing I'm wearing a,
what am I wearing right now?
I'm wearing a 19 eighties concert jersey.
You know why?
Because it's cool like it.
I know.
And,
and I think that,
you know,
we can't lose those things and every single period has things that are cool going all the way back to Shakespeare.
I mean,
that's there too.
Well,
two things about that.
I mean,
our,
our teenage daughter asked me to see eighties pictures of me pictures from the eighties and,
and I thought,
oh,
ok.
That was kind of cool.
She wanted to see when I was younger or her motive was she wanted to see what people were wearing during that time.
That was the,
well,
the funny part is I said,
well,
I got some pictures of when I was playing professional basketball.
I can show you those and ironically and,
and kind of,
sadly,
she goes,
well,
you look like you were a lot of fun back then.
Like what happened,
what happened,
what happened?
But,
but here's what my takeaway is from this conversation.
One is that digital is not going away,
right?
We know it's not going but we also know the need for communal um connection is also there.
That's,
it's a human need,
right?
And so to me,
for,
for me,
music inspires me.
It,
it,
it moves me,
it,
it,
it causes me to um be,
be happy.
It sometimes it brings me sadness,
right?
When I think about a song.
And so how do you tie that together with?
You have the music side of it,
of movement of the feeling of movement.
You have the visual side which we talked about from the old days with the album covers,
the inserts.
But you also have this new wave of digital.
And how do we attach all this to me?
The headset is not the answer that's not communal.
To me,
it's virtually communal but you're,
it's not physically communal,
right?
Holographs or whatever technology comes out like new,
different new displays,
like,
say,
for example,
the three of us are sitting here right now and I,
and I,
I say I had my phone that had an app on it and all of a sudden I hit a button and the muse my music playlist,
which I sent to you guys the other day pops up with artwork in between us,
right?
And we could all see it from different angles and I could spin it around and we all experience it and I play the music and then maybe a little video pops up or whatever,
right?
That would be a hologram of a concert.
But here's so if you're listening to this podcast today and you want a startup company,
take that idea and go oh yeah,
Steve.
Steve,
I hope you're right.
The pattern here,
here's,
here's the risk,
here's the risk.
So,
you know,
my day job,
I'm an instructional designer.
So developing learning and training programs and one of the things you do for a live workshop,
the way you use technology is you use it as a front and,
and a back end.
So on the front end,
you,
you use it to get people to register or do some sort of pre work or whatever and they do it online and there's,
you know,
it's,
it's using technology and on the back end to do any sort of reinforcement or communication.
But the idea is that your book ending the live experience because you want to optimize when real people are together,
doing real that you're optimizing the communal.
And I think the risk with music,
you,
you,
the risk you run with technology is you begin to dilute the experience of the human being,
engaging with the music and engaging with the story with all the bells and whistles.
And I think that's the,
you know,
that's the risk.
Um How does it,
how do you Yeah,
I,
I don't know how you resolve that.
And I think the other thing is,
is money.
Like I keep thinking like there was a Snoop Dogg did a interview and he's just like,
where's my money?
He goes back in the day I sold an album and I got a percentage of that album.
Now I sell a song digitally and I get 0.000001% of a cent of whatever.
He's like,
where's my money?
And that's the other thing that will drive.
I think whatever this,
whatever the new musical storytelling is gonna be.
Um,
however it shakes out or whatever that mix is,
it's gonna be driven by dollars.
I mean,
we're using Spotify and other,
you know,
channels to be able to broadcast what we're doing right now.
What are we on right now?
Let's talk about we're on Spotify.
I Heart Radio app.
Yeah,
I mean,
it's not a bad thing.
I mean,
it still is not a bad thing.
So,
it's not like we're saying that.
Oh,
yeah,
we need to get away from that.
It,
it's about how,
how do we take this,
these user experiences from the past and bring them into the future and allow people to be able to enjoy all of the arts together.
I don't know who you guys,
if you remember having a turntable,
remember the,
you know what the original playlist was,
whatever it was on the,
uh the turntable.
Yeah.
So remember the turntables where you got all your buddies around,
right?
And you had the ones where they actually,
that was the original playlist and,
and that was done.
Like if my part when I'd have a party at my house,
it's like,
OK,
so which album do you want?
I want this one,
I want this one.
I want this one.
Why don't I make a playlist?
Now?
I make it myself.
No one's asking me.
I'm not asking anyone else.
So you've lost that communal part of it as well.
Yeah.
The community of choice of choice.
It's like,
no,
it's mine.
I'm the,
I am the DJ and parties were really good in the eighties.
That's all I can say.
Yeah.
So you probably got a lot of scratched records,
right?
A lot of those records get scratched.
I have all my albums from way back,
you know,
when I was seven.
No,
actually from 14 on I would say,
and most of them are playable,
but there's a lot of scratches on there.
They've been played thousands and thousands of times.
I mean,
but back to the storytelling part of music though,
I mean,
put aside the visual,
the album covers,
the inserts.
What,
what do you think has changed in your opinion of the storytelling in the songs themselves?
Right.
We talk about throwback.
There's still like,
use rap,
for example.
Right?
Rap is poetry.
Everyone's like,
oh,
it's rap.
It's like,
well,
no,
rap is poetry.
Poetry is stories.
I mean,
you know,
Eminem a lot of it is stories and what he,
what?
Yeah,
for sure.
Right.
So,
it's not that,
that's changed.
I mean,
with some of the pop music,
yeah,
I guess you can say there's no stories behind that.
But I don't know,
I can't really say that because I haven't really took the time to look at the lyrics and,
and,
and,
and to understand that.
But why haven't I taken the time because you don't have the ability to do that anymore.
People,
people haven't prioritized music.
I think the storytelling aspect of it.
They used to set aside time.
I mean,
you know,
we're,
we're in a society of immediacy,
like,
like instant gratification,
right?
And,
and I know you guys aren't country music fans and,
and for the,
well,
the five people that are out there or maybe more,
I don't know,
they,
they don't wanna offend anybody.
But my dad growing up always told me a country song tells a story,
right?
The true country songs.
Always.
If you listen to the lyrics,
you hear the story,
which I don't know if this is a good time to tell my joke or not.
I tell you,
I tell you,
it's a good one.
So,
you know,
and many people probably have already heard this except for you two for whatever the reason.
But,
uh,
you know,
what do you get,
when you play a country song backwards,
you get your dog back,
you get your truck back,
you get your girl back,
right?
And so yeah,
but there's a story about the dog,
about the truck,
about the girl.
And so that's always inlaid in that music.
And so the stories like you mentioned can still be there.
It just may not be the depth,
but it's missing the communal visual aspect of it.
I'm a very visual person like I,
I need to see things to get them.
And so,
uh you know,
missing that,
like when you listen to a song,
that's one thing.
But if I see something attached to it,
a visual of some type,
whether it be even just lyrics,
right?
Something as simple as lyrics that does make a difference for me and I have experience,
all right guys.
Well,
we're not gonna resolve this amongst ourselves,
but it's a good discussion,
but I think we should bring a music expert in.
We've got Angus Vale who is the financial manager for Kiss was the manager for in excess,
has worked with a number of musical artists,
but he's also a storyteller,
a Shakespearean expert and he's building the Globe Theater,
a version of the Globe Theater out of shipping packages in the parking lot of a defunct hospital right here in Detroit.
So talk about music and storytelling.
I think Angus will give us a really cool perspective on what we're talking about.
Joseph.
You had me at manager,
financial manager or kiss,
right?
I mean,
I had all these other things now to in excess and,
and uh you know what he's doing here in Detroit.
That's exciting.
Yeah,
Angus has a very colorful background in music as well as in storytelling.
Um I don't want to uh steal his thunder,
his thunder from down under.
Um So,
so look that one up.
Uh So Angus,
what we wanted to know today.
So you're in the music business,
but you're also getting involved with Shakespeare and building theaters and,
uh you managing Kiss and in excess and we kind of want to understand like what your journey was that?
What got you into the music world,
your love of music and then your love of Shakespeare and theater.
Um Well,
I'll just clarify that.
I um I,
I look after the business office for Kiss.
Um There's another manager,
uh,
Doctor mcgee who looks after Kiss but yeah,
I started,
um,
yeah,
I,
I just really loved music,
um,
punk rock was a huge influence on me.
Um,
and so when I was,
you know,
I spent some time as a banker in London and in Australia and I just didn't love it,
to be honest.
And,
um,
and,
uh,
so I ended up,
uh,
just banging on the door of everybody in the sort of music business in Australia,
which wasn't in the eighties,
it was late eighties.
It wasn't that big and it wasn't like America.
And,
um,
and it happened to,
uh,
in,
we were looking for a business manager and,
uh,
we were all in our twenties and idiots.
And so we,
uh,
we,
uh,
we all started to,
you know,
uh,
working and,
um,
and then they took off in America and,
um,
yeah,
so I had a great sort of five year run with them,
um,
and sort of learned and then the music business from that sort of 100 miles an hour.
I,
I,
I'm sorry,
I have to ask you though.
You said you were in the banking industry right before you get into the.
So,
so what was,
what was the response by your colleagues in the banking industry when you talked about that transition to doing what you're doing with the music,
um,
amusement.
Um,
you know,
I mean,
I mean,
it's funny actually I sort of banking.
One of the things about the banking thing was that the reason I got,
ended up getting into Shakespeare as well was that I worked in the city in London,
you know,
downtown London.
And I used to cut through,
there's a thing called the,
which is a big sort of arts complex in London.
And I used to cut through the bar on the way home.
Um,
because,
you know,
it was cold and I,
and that with the Royal Shakespeare company would be having their,
their London performances and the Brits,
what I love about the Brits is that they have the system,
you know,
that you can get these sort of stand by tickets.
So I still want to pass and go,
oh,
what's on tonight?
And they go,
oh,
it's Jeremy.
I doing Richard the second and I was like,
oh,
ok.
I'll go and see that for a fiver and it was amazing.
Oh,
ok.
Well,
what's on tomorrow?
I got Julius Caesar with blah,
blah,
blah.
And so a lot of times it was just,
and so I came to Shakespeare as an idiot.
You know,
it,
it just not studying it.
Not,
um,
you know,
I came to it as a groundling as a,
as a,
as a person who just would turn up and watch really good Shakespeare and I,
and,
you know,
some,
some of them I walk out and go,
well,
I understood about 60% of that,
but it was so good that I would keep coming back.
And so I,
my exposure to Shakespeare was as a,
um,
as a,
as,
as a theater goer,
you know,
just as a,
from the ground up.
Not as a,
not as a,
not that it was,
you know,
I studied a bit at school but like I said,
as an idiot,
you know what I mean?
And that's why I believe that's why it sort of inspired me a bit because the other is that,
you know,
we have gone to the Globe,
you know,
the Recreation Globe in London.
And when you're standing in the yard watching Shakespeare up close and personal,
very visceral and very much like being in the,
of a,
of a band,
you know,
you up close to the band.
It's a very similar experience.
And so my sort of weird love of punk rock plus getting the Shakespeare virus,
there is a sort of,
I sort of consider Shakespeare,
Shakespeare a bit of a punk rocker of his time,
you know,
he just,
he did things like we do time transitions where everybody go.
Oh,
what do you mean?
Seven years in the future or he would do Hamlet?
Oh,
this guy is talking about it in a dialogue,
you know,
and people would,
he's this full staff guy.
So,
you know,
he anyway,
I sort of rambling.
No,
that's real angus.
That,
that's great.
And you had said,
uh when we had talked previously about Shakespeare being a punk,
that there was a punk aspect of Shakespeare.
And one of the things that we were talking about was how storytelling,
like music has lost its communal spirit.
And,
uh you know,
when you had record albums and you had uh with liner notes and artwork and,
and when music went digital,
it,
it went from the communal experience to sort of that one on 11 to 1 with just your headphones in.
It's just you and the music and you lost that,
that performance and that,
that community where people were gathered uh to hear songs and to see artists and you know,
I mean,
you're kind of in the middle of that.
It feels like you're trying to bring a lot of that spirit back with what you're doing with uh with the Globe Theater.
II,
I,
yeah,
I am II,
I sort of missed that experience of,
you know,
um II,
I don't know if you guys saw the fantastic uh David Bowie exhibition where they had uh one of the things was they had um Bowie when he appeared on,
I think it was one of the Sunday night shows in Britain,
I think old Whistle test and that,
you know,
um Star man in the outfit and everybody in,
on Monday in England was talking about it.
You know,
everybody was just like,
what the hell was that?
And a little bit like when the pistols played on,
you know,
you saw everybody had communal or,
or shared experiences and the same thing when you go to the theater,
you know,
you just go and see,
um,
live theater.
But the difference with the Glover is when you go in London,
you know,
in the way that Shakespeare was done was the actors are on a stage.
It's in the daylight and,
or,
you know,
and the audience is right there in front of you.
It's not out in the darkness.
It's not.
So when Hamlet is saying,
you know,
my uncle killed my father and now he's sleeping with my mom and,
you know,
life is pretty crappy.
Should I kill myself?
You know,
should to be or not to be.
He's not staring off into the distance.
Is there some sort of,
er,
he's,
he's looking,
Hamlet is looking into the eyes of the people in the audience and going,
you know,
what should I do?
And so there's,
and people,
you know,
I've been to the globe when people yell stuff out or they can,
you know,
and,
and that dynamic with the audience means it changes every single performance sometimes during King Lear in the storm scene,
there's a storm because it rains,
you know.
And so,
you know,
you get the,
you get the elements,
you get the,
um,
I mean,
there was one time of the globe,
it fantastic where,
you know,
it was the,
um,
the line,
you know,
uh,
you know,
man,
France's time up on the stage and right then I sort of pigeon landed on the stage and sort of strutted across the stage and then it flew off and then the next line is,
and then I see no more.
It was just,
you know,
anybody.
Yeah.
You know,
so it's that sort of,
it's that communication with the audience.
It's that this is that connection.
It's the variability from the elements from the makeup of the audience of the day.
And so,
you know,
it's not like you're just going grinding out Hamlet every day and it's going to be the same thing where the audience sits passively back in a dark theater,
you go and see something that changes a lot and,
you know,
actors,
it's a challenge to perform at the globe,
you know,
but it's great.
That's why I love it and having the experience of going,
seeing the clash or going,
seeing,
you know,
bands.
Now,
uh when you're in the audience and you get a real connection and it's a shared story,
you know,
it's a very similar thing and I just don't think when you go to a regular theater,
when you're sitting passively in the darkness,
you know,
you're not,
you're watching something,
you're not participating in it.
So,
you know,
so you're becoming part of the story.
If you are at a venue like the globe or if you're at a venue with a band and there's a connection between the band and the audience.
You,
the story is shared.
Not just it,
it doesn't just go one way.
It goes both ways.
So that's what I think.
Absolutely.
What it reminds me of is the Rocky Rocky horror picture show you're sitting there and you actually,
it's very,
very similar to that.
It's probably,
they probably use that as a model.
Um,
when they did that,
I mean,
I remember the first time that I went to that show,
I think it was in Godrich Ontario.
Give that,
give that little town a plug.
Um And um I was just blown away like,
you know,
all the different things that you had to bring and throw at the screen and,
you know,
it was just lots of fun and that it,
it's,
it all boils down to the fun.
Seems to have gone out of things.
It's gone out of the,
you know,
the experience of the album cover,
the experience of the,
of the concerts and,
and the total engagement.
I mean,
everyone's trying to get engagement now through digital,
but back then it was very more personal than what it is.
Yeah.
So Angus,
Angus,
how do we get that back?
I mean,
what are some ways you think that we can kinda bring music back?
Bring the story back,
bring that communal spirit back.
Well,
the evil plan,
this is the evil plan is that,
you know,
we're building this globe theater out of shipping containers.
So that's,
you know,
normally to build the theater of this size,
it would be,
you know,
30 20 you know,
30 $40 million mine's a lot cheaper.
Um,
it's what actually,
what it also does is it,
it brings people together,
they right close to the stage.
Normally the cheapest seats in the theater,
right in the normal theater are away at the back in the g,
the cheaper seats or they're not seats but you stand in the yard.
So that means that most of the people who go to see a performance of Shakespeare or,
you know,
contemporary theater or whatever are younger people,
they're at the front because they are the ones who can stand to the performance.
And so you get,
you know,
you get that a younger audience at the front with an older audience may be sitting in the,
in the seating around it.
So it changes the,
that changes the dynamics,
it changes the participation and it changes the economics of the whole thing.
So,
but what the evil plan is is that,
um because I think that venue,
you know,
I've got a rock and roll background and I love,
you know,
and I,
you know,
I love early hip hop because I think early hip hop is totally punk rock.
I love punk rock,
I love,
you know,
I love music,
I love dance and,
and I,
and I,
I love Shakespeare obviously,
and I think that if people come along and they might see a punk rock show or they might see a death metal show or they might go and see,
you know,
contemporary dance or ballet or whatever,
a little bit of,
you know,
um,
opera.
What the hell?
And then they'll go,
oh,
this is an interesting venue and we'll come back and see Hamlet or come back and see Love Las Lost.
And some of them might come back and they'll have that same visceral experience as an idiot.
Like I did that.
They go and see something and go,
oh,
this is a cool venue.
This is weird.
Let's go and give it a go.
And so it's,
it's more that the,
the common thing amongst all those sort of things,
Shakespeare dance,
uh classical music,
contemporary theater.
I mean,
you can imagine doing 10 Williams in a,
in a globe environment,
you know,
it would change the whole,
you know,
doing,
um view from the bridge on a global stage instead of a stage,
you know,
definitely changing all those sort of things,
you know,
like throwing a wrench into the,
into the normal theater engine and seeing how it,
what happens,
you know,
and if we fail the other thing about it is because it's a cheaper theater.
We're not driven quite so much by the profit motive of having to put on,
I'm not putting down the Lion King or I'm not putting down,
you know,
cats or whatever.
But all those sort of things that normal performing art centers have to put on this repertoire you know,
Christmas car on and all that sort of stuff.
We can,
we,
we have the,
a little bit more potential failure with things so we can sort of,
you know what I mean?
We can fail with some stuff.
Give it a go.
We do some community theater and if it crashes and who cares?
You know,
it's not,
we,
yeah.
What I hear you saying,
Angus is,
is that the community is not necessarily the band or,
or the one performer.
It's the,
it's the venue,
right?
You're making the venue,
the community where they can come in and taste different types of music or different types of activity.
That's your focus.
It sounds like the venue is just the environment.
It's that it's just a place where people can,
you know,
there's,
well,
you've been,
you know,
I don't know if you've been to it but,
or the Globe in London,
but,
you know,
the closest person but the person is,
you know,
they're still very close to the actors or the performers.
So it's,
you know,
you can get the eye contact,
you can get the,
the,
just more participation and more communal experience.
Yeah.
It's a very much more intimate than it would be in a stadium or a,
or an arena.
I just have one question.
Really.
Can we throw tomatoes?
Absolutely.
You might get,
you get,
yeah,
you get out of here for more.
Don't have a problem with that.
So,
where can people find out more information?
Yeah.
Well,
yes,
we want to find out.
So here.
So we are in,
we're in Detroit and I,
I have to say when we went down and saw you putting this together.
So for people listening,
Angus is actually building the globe theater out of shipping containers in the middle of a defunct hospital complex,
parking lot in Detroit.
It's like it's so cool,
so crazy.
So,
I mean,
why,
why are you doing this in Detroit?
I mean,
we love it and we love it and we think this is cool but like what drove you,
you're in New Jersey,
you're traveling the world.
Um And here you are flying in to Detroit when you can to,
to,
you know,
to put this thing together.
Why?
Well,
first of all,
because,
um when I first started Detroit is really good at doing stuff with big metal things.
So they were the ones that were,
you know,
I found a place that was uh uh changing the containers and then,
uh you know,
modifying the containers into seating containers or the stage containers,
all that stuff.
So,
you know,
welding that whole sort of infrastructure but also going to Detroit,
you know,
it's got that whole legacy of Motown.
It's got,
you know,
that whole,
you know,
the Detroit 1967 you know,
the whole Black Panther,
the whole,
you know,
um MC five Iggy pop punk,
you know,
American punk rock.
Background.
It's got,
it's gritty,
it's got the whole techno sort of side of it.
Um,
it's got space and,
you know,
and it's got,
it's a different vibe than,
you know,
and it's,
it's got a much more,
uh,
I would say,
um,
supportive vibe and,
you know,
if I was doing another theater in New York or in New Jersey,
yes,
it's just another theater.
Sure.
You know,
a bunch of hipsters might love it and whatever.
But in Detroit people.
Oh,
yeah,
this is cool.
It's grungy.
It's,
there's a,
there's a grit to it.
There's a,
um,
in,
in just the share space in the environment in the hospital.
You know,
it's an old classic Al Albert K building.
It's got,
well,
you've seen it but it's,
the environment around.
It is,
is perfect.
Um,
and I don't think you could find that you could possibly find it in other cities in America.
But,
and also it's Detroit,
man.
It's Motown.
Motown is just down the road.
You guys love your music,
you love your sport,
you love your entertainment,
you guys love your,
you know,
it's,
it's got a vibe to it.
And,
uh,
you know,
that I love and what I thought was really interesting is that when I went to London,
when I first came up with a crazy idea and I went to the globe in London and,
you know,
the globe in London and one of the sort of big dogs of World Shakespeare,
you know,
and I went to them and said,
look,
I've got this idea to do a Globe Theater out of shipping containers.
And they went,
uh,
then they went,
oh,
that's great.
And they went,
where are you going to do it?
And I went Detroit and they went,
oh,
yeah,
it's not L A,
it's not San Francisco.
It's not Seattle,
it's not New York,
it's not DC.
You know,
it's Detroit,
you know,
the arsenal of democracy,
the,
the place where,
you know,
that whole,
you know,
the,
the politics of Detroit,
the whole history of Detroit,
the whole,
what Detroit is,
you know,
it's,
it's so different,
it's different.
It's its own thing which I've got to learn and appreciate over the last sort of eight years of doing this damn thing.
Well,
that's,
that's awesome,
Angus.
And just to wrap up,
we appreciate your time.
But um where can people learn more about uh the Globe Theater,
what you're doing?
Uh And,
and what's happening here in Detroit?
You know,
the probably the thing that gets updated that most often is um is the Instagram,
you know,
just look up,
contain a Globe and it'll come up um because we're so focused on actually getting the thing built and getting the containers and all the engineering done is that one thing we do fall down on a little bit is that social media.
Um And so Instagram is probably the best way to keep an eye on what's going on.
So,
um,
yeah,
there is,
we've got a website,
the container globe dot com.
Um,
and you know,
if they search on the Container Globe on youtube talk,
we're here for you next time you're in town.
Um,
we'll bring our,
we'll bring in our jeans and our gloves and help you move stuff around and whatever you need.
But he might be,
he might be given a paintbrush or uh you know,
hey,
when we get stuff done in this town,
we're trying to contain ourselves right now.
Yeah.
All right,
beautiful.
Absolutely.
Yeah.
Give us a shout.
Uh,
when you're in town and we'll get together,
take care.
Cheers.
Bye bye.

 

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