BANDSPEAK, Upcoming Boston Hassle Shows

BANDSPEAK: 5 Questions w/ Calvin Johnson (of K Records, Beat Happening, Halo Benders)

Calvin plays @ Dorchester Art Project on 10/15 w/ Frank Hurricane, Perennial, & Request Freebird


Calvin Johnson is a founder of K Records, and the bands Beat Happening, and the Halo Benders, among others. He is an imperfect living legend in the American music and art underground. I asked him 5 questions.
Dan Shea: Can you speak to the matter of K Records artists being owed back royalties for their records? And what steps you/ K have taken to rectify these financial issues?

Calvin Johnson: K did fall behind in our royalty payments. We arranged a payment plan to pay overdue royalties to artists about seven years ago. We have since accelerated the payment schedule by selling off our recording studio equipment and the building in which we were located to pay the majority of the amounts due.
DS: If you hadn’t started K Records what else might you be doing with your life?

CJ: In college I studied alternative energy systems and local agriculture. These have remained issue that have absorbed my interest.
DS: How has the IRL underground music world changed since the 80s? Are the people you meet more or less the same, with the same motivations for doing what they do?

CJ: The average person involved in underground music today seem to have a much broader taste and tolerance for all forms of musical expression. It’s refreshing.
DS: You’re touring behind a new solo record, A Wonderful Beast. What can you tell us about the record?

CJ: It was written and recorded in collaboration with Patrick Carney in Nashville, Tn. As I write this I am in Akron, OH, where Patrick grew up. The underground scene here is still as weird and arty as ever, with the same sheen of industrial decay as the city itself. The music on A Wonderful Beast[KLP269] has a lot of the off-beat garage and new wave sensibility that the best Ohio sounds have displayed over the last 40 years.
DS: Any chance of the Halo Benders ever recording/touring again? And can we throw the Boston show if so?

CJ: That would be far out. Unfortunately, it does not appear to be in the cards. So bogus.

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