by Eric Kendall
Aaron Weese talks about the third annual showcase of regional independent music
Much like a holiday in and of itself, the Buffalo Decency Rally, a party featuring the cream of the crop of Buffalo independent music, is upon us again. This year we briefly spoke with musician/event coordinator and all-around swell guy, Aaron Weese.
AV: This being the third year of the Decency Rally, it seems the event has the potential to slowly but surely become a more recognized showcase of what’s great about Buffalo independent music. In the beginning, what compelled you make this event a reality?
Weese: There are a lot of good bands in town, and while a lot of people know each other from being around, people would still have a habit of only sticking to one kind of niche or genre, whether it be post rock, punk, experimental, or any kind of category of hardcore you can think of. I thought it would be a nice experiment to put together an event for all of the bands that were currently happening in the city, or at least in our corner of the underground.
The Third Annual Buffalo Decency Rally
Saturday, November 3. Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle (612 Fillmore Avenue). $5, all ages / Doors open, 5:30pm
Ancients of Earth, 6pm (upstairs)
Real People, 6:30pm (downstairs)
Wreckage, 7pm (upstairs)
Small Axe, 7:30pm (downstairs)
Beardage, 8pm (upstairs)
Water Torture, 8:30pm (downstairs)
Total Overcomers, 9pm (upstairs)
Cages, 9:30pm (downstairs)
Human Touch, 10pm (upstairs)
Plates, 10:30pm (downstairs)
Gas Chamber, 11pm (upstairs)
Returners, 11:30pm (downstairs)
Jack Topht, midnight (upstairs)
Mallwalkers, 12:30am (downstairs)
Malarchuk, 1am (upstairs)
AV: Why the Polish library?
Weese: I’ve been doing shows there for a while and I discovered that they had an upstairs. That turned into a key component…we could have two stages with as little change over time as possible. That made it possible to up the number of bands that could play. Another thing that’s cool about the space is that with the upstairs it’s not that much bigger than a basement or storefront type of venue. People can pack in there and give the show the same kind of intensity a lot of people are used to when seeing these bands, while the downstairs can have that same intimacy but still have a little more space for people to hang back and watch if they’d like.
AV: Since the first year, how have you seen the Decency Rally grow?
Weese: Well, after the first year some people went into it not being sure what to expect, maybe thinking, “Well, there are already a ton of local shows, how much can it really help the community,” etc. I’ve always thought of the Decency Rally as more of a morale boost.
AV: Yeah, local shows aren’t rare, but the Decency Rally is a different kind of animal. I would say that half of the audience are also fellow musicians, whether they are participating in the rally or not. When you combine that with everyone else involved, it jump-starts a sense of community.
Weese: One of the great by-products of this is people meeting each other and stepping out of their comfort zones by playing with each other and experiencing each other’s’ music, while giving a snapshot of where Buffalo is musically at that point in time.
AV: What goes into being curator of an event like this? Unfortunately, numbers won’t allow everyone to take part, so what’s the selection process like?
Weese: I make a conscious effort to be as open to as many different genres as possible, within reason. Also, a lot of it has to do with picking bands that put in the work and are active, whether it be from playing shows or putting out music or generally giving it their all, or bands that are new and kind of on the fringes of everything. Bands that are good and that would click, but haven’t been given that opportunity yet. It’s just a matter of keeping that balance in mind. Above all else, being serious about your music is probably the most important thing. As far as future rallies go, I would be content to continue to foster the connection between the core participants and younger kids just getting into the scene here in Buffalo.
AV: It’s one thing to be inspired by musical idols, it’s another to be inspired by your friends around you who are creating music you love that affects you directly. It’s a confidence booster, for sure.
Weese: Yeah, it demystifies things. There’s a big difference between putting a record on and having your friends playing right in your face. It’s all about being exposed to that whole community.
AV: Do you find that more people from outside the city are starting to make the trek?
Weese: There have definitely been some more kids I’ve talked to who have come from Olean, Rochester, and some other places—I’m from Medina originally and it just means a lot. I remember always having to convince someone to drive the hour or so from Medina to Buffalo for some of the bigger shows here so I’m glad that this is worth the trip for everyone, it really does mean a lot. For them, it’s such a great opportunity to grab a pretty accurate view of what’s happening in this city.
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