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News Local Scene News, Interviews, etc from Albany, NY Get Abducted, An Interview with Albany, NY's Alien Nation founder Dani McGraw


Get Aducted by Albany, NY's  Alien Nation (A Goth & Industrial Night)

Interview by Julie Johnson

An Interview with Dani McGraw ( Alien Nation Night Promoter and Founder)

Date: March 29th, 2010

 

 

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As many of you know, Grave Concerns E-zine is located near the Albany, NY area. So, I thought it would be nice to showcase some of our local scene by talking with Dani McGraw, from Alien Nation, which is a one of our local Goth and Industrial Nights that takes place on the first Friday of the month at the Fuze Box in Albany. After a few venue changes and much determination from Dani McGraw and her crew, the night is really paiding off. Soon the night will be celebrating their one year anniversery on May 7th, 2010. So, come on out and join the fun and see what Albany Goths and Indusutrial enthusiasts have to offer. Get Abducted!

GC: It has been a couple of years since we last spoke about Alien Nation, how are things going with this night?

AN: Things have actually been going very well since we started working with the Fuze Box. The staff is happy to help us out with whatever we need to run a successful event. We couldn't be happier!

GC: How has the attendance been since Alien Nation got a fresh new start in May 2009?

AN: Attendance has been steadily improving throughout the year that we have been there, but most notably are the past couple of months. Our attendance has been better and better each month.

GC: What type of people do you feel are coming out for these events, all ages, out of area people? Have you seen any new people come out to enjoy this music and dance night?

AN: Alien Nation has always had a diverse crowd, and we encourage that. We are starting to see more new faces every month, so my guess is that many of them are college students and people new to the area. I do know that a few of the people I have met there live in other relatively nearby cities, such as Pittsfield, Boston, Binghamton, New York City, & Buffalo. The age of the crowd is varied, we're seeing many younger kids out as well as some of the "old school" folk. I think it is a great mix, and it has always worked out well. Alien Nation has something for everybody!

 

 GC: I noticed that there have been a few venue changes over the last couple of years, Is Alien Nation finally settled into a place for a while at the Fuze Box?

I think we are definitely settled now. We have finally found a venue that accepts us wholeheartedly and we couldn't ask for more.

 

 

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GC: Why do you think it was so hard for venues to accept this sort of music night?

AN: I think it pretty much comes down to the misconception of what the "goth scene" is really about. That and the fact that it is a smaller crowd in comparison to the typical nightclub setting. Most venues that I have encountered are looking for "normal" crowds with top 40 music nights. We definitely do not fit into that category!

GC: During the year off, what did you learn from the past experiences about organizing such a music night?

AN: I learned that it is certainly not easy running an event such as Alien Nation. There have been many obstacles in the way over the past 4 years, but I have learned that if I put my heart and soul into it and truly care about it, good things will come of it.

GC: What made you not give up on having Alien Nation after several setbacks with venue changes?

AN: I didn't give up because I wanted to see Albany's dark music scene improve. It seemed to have died off in recent years, and I wanted people to have some place to go out, meet some new friends, dance and just have fun. I also had many people come to me and say, "Keep it going, please!" So I couldn't just walk away and give up.

GC: What goes into planning a typical night for Alien Nation?

AN: Many, many things! I have to book bands & DJ's, make sure they are all set up with their hotel rooms, meals etc; I have to ensure that the venue is set up specific to the nights event (decor, drink specials, etc), and of course there is the promotion of the night. I also have to make sure we are taking in just enough money each month to use for these things.

GC: Where do you promote your events?

AN: We use many online resources, as well as the good old fashioned method of "street teaming". We flyer local businesses such as coffee shops, colleges, laundromats, anywhere that will help spread the word! We have also used local newspapers like Metroland in the past for promoting our events. We encourage our event guests to help us out with these things, offering free admissions and other things in return for their participation, which always has great results!

GC: What has been working well for this night?

AN: Plain and simple, the awesome support of our regular guests! We have a solid regular following, and for them we are so grateful. It is great to see these folks coming out and supporting the local dark music scene each and every month. THANKS GUYS!! WE LOVE YOU!!

GC: What type of events do you plan to have in the future?

AN: Oh, it will be a big spring and summer. We have bands, DJ's, Theme Nights, and much more in the works!

GC: Will there be more live performances in the next few months?

AN: Absolutely. In an effort to revive the live dark music scene here in Albany, and bring performers back to the Fuze Box, Alien Nation will now be showcasing up and coming talent every month.

GC: Is Albany, NY marketable for bands to come and play and make it worth their while?

AN: I think that the answer would be "yes". Right now there isn't much going on with the goth/industrial live music scene here, but by us showcasing new talent every month it is expected that people will be impressed with these acts and become more inclined come out to shows on a regular basis. The plan is to start off with the smaller bands, and then begin booking larger acts in addition to them. We are looking forward to this, as it will benefit the scene as well as all these great smaller acts trying to get their name out there.

GC: What would a band have to do to be able to play during Alien Nation night?

They can contact either n.dru virus or myself, via the alien nation email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , on the Alien Nation: Awakening Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Albany-NY/ALIEN-NATION-AWAKENING/113855977346?ref=ts , or via the Virus Productions Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Albany-NY/VIRUS-PRODUCTIONS/363680486431?ref=ts. We just ask for a demo or a link to the band's website so we can check them out.

GC: Who has played in recent months in Albany?

AN: April marks the first A-N live performance at the Fuze Box. On Friday April 2nd, 2010 we are pleased to welcome By Blood Alone, out of Portland, ME. Check them out: www.bybloodalone.com

 

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 GC: What was your favorite show in the past when there was a show here in Albany during an Alien Nation night?

AN: Brainclaw, by far. They have such amazing talent and are such a joy to work with. The Albany crowd loves them! They played for us back in September of 2006 when we were at Red Square.

GC: Do you have a favorite event that has taken place during Alien Nation?

AN: I think my favorite night was the masquerade event we had. It was so great to see all the creativity people had with their outfits. We just may have to do that again!

GC: If someone who was visiting Albany, NY, who wanted to go to this dance night, what could they expect?

AN: They could expect a warm crowd, comfortable atmosphere, great drinks and good times. We ALWAYS encourage our guests to request any music they would like to hear. Our resident DJ's are always ready to spin your favorite beats!

GC: Can you tell us about the DJ’s and the type of music they would cover on given dance night?

AN: With the recent departure of our long time resident DJ r3clu23 (whom we will miss very much), former often-guest DJ Mechno Sferatu has joined the crew as our resident. He now spins every month for us, alongside semi-residents n.dru virus and raHb (of Doomsday Virus fame) who spin frequently as well. Trust me when I say this folks, they all kick ass!!!! They play a wide variety of dark music, from goth rock to industrial, to metal and punk, and everything in between. They have all been very supportive of the night and for that I am forever grateful. If it weren't for them and everything they do for the night, we wouldn't be where we are today.

GC: With Alien Nation and Original Sin going on, do you feel the Goth and Industrial scene is doing –well in Albany?

AN: I most certainly do. I think it is starting to thrive again, due to the efforts of many. All of us promoters are now beginning to work as a team, and I think that is incredibly important for any scene to survive. I also believe that it will only get better from here on out if we all stick together and show our support of our local music scene!

GC:How are some of our local gothic and industrial bands received by the Alien Nation crowd?

AN: Very well! Perfect example of this is the local Goth/Industrial band Doomsday Virus (who will be playing Alien Nation's one year Fuze Box Celebration on May 7th!). They are always a huge hit with the Albany crowd.

GC: I see that on April 2nd you are having a dance night between KMFDM vs. Depeche Mode, who do you think will have people dancing to more?

 

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AN: Haha! That is hard to say! They are both great bands and they both have very different dynamics, so it will be two very different crowds. Who knows what will happen? Let the dance off ensue!

GC: Are there any other places during the week that people who enjoy Goth and Industrial music hang out?

AN: Yes. There is Albany's other dance event, the bi-weekly Original Sin, which takes place the second and fourth Saturdays of every month at Valentines Music Hall. There is also Vamp, the Fuze Box's other dark music event, which is held 4 times a year, usually on third Fridays. We also have many coffee shops and taverns around town that some of the "dark" crowd like to hang out at, such as Professor Javas on Wolf Road in Colonie, and Tess' Lark Tavern. Lark Street also provides a bunch of hang out spots as well.

GC: Anything else you would like to let readers, bands know about Alien Nation in Albany, NY?

AN: WE WELCOME ALL! Stop in on any First Friday at the Fuze Box for some friendly faces

Alien Nation: Albany, NY's Premier Dark Dance Night. First Fridays at The Fuze Box, 12 Central Avenue, Albany - http://www.myspace.com/aliennationalbany


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