Holly Hunt: "Without Churchill's and Sweat, It'd Be Nearly Impossible to Sustain a Scene"
Holly Hunt is two people. And collectively, they've been hanging 'round the Miami music scene, like, forever.
Drummer Beatriz Monteavaro has done duty in rock crews including Human Oddities, Methadone Actors, Funyuns, Basils, Cavity, and Beings. She's also an artiste who does paintings, installation art, and other stuff. Ditto guitarist Gavin Perry.
So don't even try to suggest the future's gonna suck. They've seen the dark days. They've seen the glory days. And they've seen the OK days. And they'll simply say, "Why be so cynical?"
Just check the cut for Holly Hunt's response to Crossfade's Sweatstock 2013 and Records Store Day questionnaire.
Crossfade: Is the record store going extinct? If so, why should we save it? And how?
Beatriz Monteavaro: No, I think people like to buy stuff to have at their house. So that when people come over, they can show what kind of great taste they have.
You can't really do that as well with your iPod. Furthermore, actually buying a physical piece of recorded music shows a higher level of commitment to it. And tapes and vinyl are just cool. I'm even getting back into CDs again.
Gavin Perry: I think there has been a shift from the big box music store to the smaller curated record store. Be it nostalgia, convenience or aesthetic choice, I see many more artists seeking to release their music in the "antiquated" modes of vinyl and tape. We don't need to do anything per se, the funeral bells have been ringing since the '90s, mostly drummed up by the majors in the record industry. DIY doesn't engage in that dialogue, rebels rebel.
Does the world really need vinyl? Or CDs for that matter?
Gavin: Loaded question. What does the world "really" need? Music existed long before reproduction and it will exist long after. Does the world need music? YES.
What's the purpose and importance of a place like Sweat Records aside from hawking pieces of playable plastic?
Gavin: Really? Record stores like Sweat are a cultural hub. They offer an avenue of access to new and old forms of music. They introduce to those interested enough to come out new bands through their in store events. They help maintain and promote a music scene that a various times is thriving and on life support. They do the thankless job of culling the racks soulless commercial releases so that you and I don't have to. Yep, I think they and record stores like them are quite a bit more than places for "hawking pieces of playable plastic."
Beatriz: A city isn't a real music city without at least one awesome venue and and one awesome record store. Without Churchill's and Sweat, it would be nearly impossible to sustain a scene here.
With digital music sales surpassing physical music sales for the first time in 2012 (and hard-copy sales set to decline by almost 80 percent by 2016), how optimistic are you about the future of the record store?
Beatriz: Very optimistic. All digital sales mean is that people want to pay for music again.
Gavin: Some like Kindle, I like books.
If people don't particularly care about the survival of music shops, should they still come to Sweatstock? What will they get out of the experience of eight hours at the corner of NE Second Avenue and 55th Street on April 20, 2013?
Beatriz: If you care about music, you should care about record stores. If you are anti-corporate, you should care about record stores. Record stores are tightly curated Ma and Pa shops, selling product put out by a bunch of smaller Ma and Pa shops (bands). It's such a beautiful thing, that I can't understand why anyone would not care about them. But if you don't care about music and record stores, there'll be food trucks.
Sweatstock 2013. Saturday, April 20. Sweat Records, 5505 NE Second Ave., Miami, and Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. The show starts at 2 p.m. and it's free. Visit sweatrecordsmiami.com.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.