October 31st, 2015 at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn
American Tragic out now
October 31st, 2015 at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn
American Tragic out now
Nikki is a photographer, Office Manager at Output, bar manager at Over The Eight, event coordinator of the noise series Nothing Changes, and sometimes she DJ’s. Castillo books bands at St Vitus, co-owns Over The Eight, and he plays in Primitive Weapons and White Widows Pact.
When and how did you meet each other?
Nikki: David & I met when I was still in High School in the later part of my senior year. I was still shooting bands back then and I recognized him from the scenes we ran in. I think we were introduced at a house party after a Taking Back Sunday or Brand New show? Maybe David can confirm this. All I remember was a show that was at Back Street Blues in Rockville Center.
Literally a week after we met my prom date bailed on me, and David swooped in there even though we were new friends. He said he didn’t have a tux and showed up in a Silver Merc suit. He killed it.
David: I met Nikki at a Love Lost but Not Forgotten show at Back Street Blues in Rockville Centre, Long Island. Then we went to some weird ass after party far out east where I got totally annihilated and still don’t remember how I got home. I think my friend Ramsay hooked it up.
What was your first impression?
Nikki: I definitely had an impression of David before I met him. He was working with the Humanist Ethical center crew and was definitely politically active to a degree. I also remember him being pretty crucial mosh dude back in those days 😉
David: That there was a mysterious babe hiding behind that camera …
At what point in your friendship did you realize you were best friends?
Nikki: Hmmm, this one is hard to say. There was definitely a time we lost touch a bit. I moved to the city immediately after HS; it was a couple of years before a lot of my friends who went to shows moved here. So there was a brief period of time we didn’t speak very much. Once the LI flock started migrating into the city & BK we rekindled our friendship and over time we became besties.
David: This is a bit complicated because Nikki and I did date for a brief period of time, then she moved away to go to SVA while I was still living on Long Island. After some time had passed without speaking, our good mutual friend Cory told me I should reach out to Nikki. I did and we ended meeting up. From that moment forward I knew I felt very strongly about her but the context totally changed. I couldn’t predict the heights our friendship would take but over time BFF status was unlocked.
What is the most embarrassing thing you have done to each other? Or witnessed happen to one another?
Nikki: This isn’t very embarrassing but it was a very fun moment for me. Basically when I was living in Philly I had a chance to choose David to speak with Ian Svenonius at my friends store Juanita & Juan’s for a reading he was doing. He had come up to see me for the event and it was just a great moment for me to get to do something like that and surprise him. He was a long-time, massive Make-up / Nation of Ulysses fan.
David: Man we’ve had countless blurry nights. I think we are kinda hard to embarrass. We kinda revel in ridiculousness.
What’s your favorite thing about each other?
Nikki: Without sounding too much like a hallmark card: my favorite thing about D is that he is always there no matter what. He’s like a brother to me.
David: Nikki is like my sister. It’s hard to imagine life without her. I’ve always admired Nikki’s eye for aesthetics. The gal has impeccable taste.
Can you think of a time when s/he gave you especially good advice?
Nikki: Countless amounts of time!
David: Old friends are pretty indispensable and I like to think that Nikki has seen me change so much and vice versa that we can be really be honest with one another. If I’m acting up she’ll put me in my place gently or not so gently. Those moments are always the most galvanizing and stick out. She also told me my wife was a winner way back when. 😀
What’s the best band s/he introduced you to?
David: Nikki really was one of the first people to expose me more to noise, power electronics and a grip of industrial. Picking one group is tough but she definitely shaped my taste in those areas.
Now that you have been friends forever, what do you talk about?
Nikki: Everything and nothing … work, bands, shows we are working on. And, how many steaks I owe him!
David: Everything from work and music to total bullshit. It’s the best. Nikki is really funny.
Something new that I really like is that Nikki’s been producing a lot of events so we get talk about and collaborate on different projects. That has been really rewarding. She is doing an awesome job with Nothing Changes and Over The Eight, couldn’t be more stoked for her.
What events or shows do you have coming up?
Nikki: Yea a lot actually. Nothing Changes is a weekly event. In addition to that we just put in a new stage at Over The Eight, so stay tuned for the events that we will be booking there as well!
Nothing Changes @ 131 Chrystie St, New York, New York 10002
10/28/15 – Rodger Stella (ex-Macronympha) // H.C.O.D (Fieldwork) // Debbie Djs Dallas & DJ Do-Gooder Dude
On Saturday September 12th, Willie Mae volunteers and campers took over Frames, a very posh bowling alley inside Port Authority. Though there was much team spirit, we’re still a little short of our goal. If you’re feeling giving, there is still time to donate.
Balls and Chains
I Can’t Even Bowl Straight
Bowling Into Yr DMS
Rolling Pins Redux
Balls of Fury
Hand-rolled Artisanal Balls of Fort Greene
The Riotous Guttersnipes
This summer I shot 3 sessions of Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls. It was one of the most challenging things I’ve done: shoot up to 17 bands in less than 3 hours. I did that three different times and delivered photos within 24 hours. Damn right I patted myself on the back. I learned so much from these bands. Like, I walked into Psychotics’ band practice and there were lyrics written on a chalkboard for a song about cat callers. My heart BROKE! And then there were bands like Sparkle Scam and Pink Lemonades, who took glitter and funny faces very seriously. And KSO who exclaimed “We are afropunk!”
Want to contribute to Willie Mae? Sponsor a bowling team.
Chris was so good at what he did. I can’t even call it photography, because he made even boring shows look cool. It was magic. He was so good that every concert shooter in NYC needed to be better. His work made everyone else work harder.
I want his family to know that when he left home, he was loved. For every great concert he saw, he put twice that energy into his art. He had fun and he inspired all of us to do the same: to always try to be better and to do better.
The first time I ever saw Chris was at an Opeth show. At that point I hadn’t shot a big show. I was in the audience and admiring everyone in the photo pit. I saw Chris and thought, “I could do what he does.” Then, just a few feet away, I saw his screen. And I thought Damn … I don’t know if I could do what HE does. A little over a year later, when I started shooting bigger shows, he started telling me that my photos were crap and I could do better. He offered to lend me his arsenal of lenses, even though I had never actually met him at that point.
And more than a year after that, when I was looking for a job, he connected me with Dominick. And three years later, when that job went bankrupt, he came by, to offer some snark.
Chris was always looking out for me, even though he was sick and even though we weren’t besties. He did a lot with the time he had here. The advice he gave, the photos he made, the love he spread, that’s forever.
I love you and I miss you, Chris