We talk a lot about how all of us here at Ticketfly share a true passionate for live events. Recently we thought to ourselves, instead of just telling you how much we love the business our business supports, we’ll show you. Today, we’re introducing a new series on the blog called “Ticketfly Talent,” which will shine a spotlight on the many folks at the ‘fly who make and play music outside of work. We’ve got loads of musicians, DJs, singers, and other artists of all types who are Flyers by day and rockstars by night (though we tend to think they’re rockstars 24/7). They’re awesome, and we want the world to know.
First up, we’re sitting down with Keven Tecon in Customer Support and Adam Beck in the Design & Development arm of Marketing Services (you have Adam and his team to thank for spiffy websites like this one, this one, and this one), to talk about their band, Vaniish, what it’s like to play a show at a favorite venue, and why it’s so easy to get along with musically inclined colleagues.
Ticketfly: First, can you tell us a bit about your band—when did you get your start, what kind of music do you play, and where did that name come from?
Adam: We’ve got four people in the band: the two of us (I play guitar, and Keven sings and plays guitar), plus a bassist named Amy and a drummer named Nick. Our music melds dark indie rock with atmospheric shoegaze sounds. We started the band in 2013 and released our first album, Memory Work, in June 2014. The story of the name is actually not as cool as you’d hope, Our name was Vanish, but our label told us we needed something more unique… about 24 hours before the album was scheduled to drop.
Keven: On my birthday.
Adam: Yes, and so we spent all night at Keven’s birthday party brainstorming a new name. We couldn’t really come up with anything so we went back to the original, with one tweak, the extra “i.”
TF: When you do have more than 24 hours notice, where do you get your inspiration from?
Keven: Our lyrics are drawn mostly from what’s going on in our everyday lives. The album, Memory Work, is the group working through what memories we have that are real, versus what might seem real but didn’t actually happen.
Adam: Usually Keven scratches out a demo, and the band riffs on it from there until it becomes a song.
TF: You’re fortunate enough to play live shows regularly. What’s it like to be up on stage, projecting your work into a room full of strangers?
Adam: During a good show, everything comes together; you feel very zen, you’re in the moment, just playing, and everything else fades away. One example of the opposite [of this feeling] was when a singer (who shall go unnamed) ran through our guitar equipment on stage, breaking everything to pieces. That was not zen.
Keven: Not to sound grandiose, but it’s like you’re the preacher and the audience is your congregation. It’s a chance to share your point of view and your feelings—you have the floor. I feel like, “I’ve got 30 minutes to do what I want to do; I’ve got the mic.”
TF: You’ve performed in myriad venues across five different states—what are some of your favorite venues from a performer’s point of view?
Adam: One of my favorite venues is the recently shut down Glasslands in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s had a great vibe; it was completely unpretentious
Keven: We also love The Echo in LA. The layout lets you be close to the crowd no matter where you are on stage.
TF: A reason why many people come to work at Ticketfly is because it allows them to live their passion for live events (live/live—see what I did there?). Is that the case for you guys?
Adam: My mom once told me: “If you’re working in a field you love—even if you’re just filing papers—you’ll be happier than if you were the CEO in a field you don’t care about.” That’s how I feel at Ticketfly—except I’m lucky in that I’m in an interesting and challenging role. It’s especially great when I get to build a website for a venue I’ve played at, or love attending. You just have a personal attachment to it. It’s motivating.
Keven: It’s fun to be on the other end. I know the venues, I know the bookers, oftentimes I know the bands. In fact, just last week a customer called in saying they’d bought tickets to the wrong show. Turns out the show was for a buddy’s band so I convinced her to keep the ticket and go!
TF: Do you think musicians make good employees?
Adam: Yeah, there’s a lot of crossover, actually. Putting together—and keeping together—a real band is a business. You have to work hard and practice, as well as negotiate (sometimes hard) for shows and bookings and pay. It takes creativity, passion, and collaboration. All good qualities in an employee.
Keven: There are also interpersonal dynamics to deal with. It wouldn’t be a band if there weren’t any creative differences; learning how to hear each other, compromise, and come out on the other side with a solution everyone can work with translates pretty directly to work projects and dealing with co-workers.
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