M.E. "How did the birth of Sound Majesty happen?"
H.Z. "Flashback to 2013 - I started working for HRS Records (vinyl mastering) and worked on Kyle McNeill’s “Happy At Last” record, which led me to try to get him and a few other local bands booked at various local venues. Then in April of 2015 while at a Deadfinger show (now called The Dose) I met someone who runs another music booking collective and we started booking shows together. Last July I booked my first show on my own under the name Icy Flamingos, in August I changed the name to Sound Majesty. The name Icy Flamingos came about from a dream I had back in March of 2013, but besides myself there is only one person who knows what the reference is about. The name probably sounded weird to the people who didn’t know the reference."
M.E. "Do you have a background in music?"
H.Z. "I don’t actually have a formal background in music. My background is actually in medicine! But I feel like music is better medicine than anything you can find in a bottle of pills or i.v. bag. Music has always been a big part of my life. My first job was at Banana Republic in 2004 - each month corporate would send us the soundtrack for that month that was always filled with the coolest indie/chill/atmospheric music. I discovered a lot of really great music through that, like Sebastien Tellier, Zero 7, Röyksopp, Goldfrapp, and Death Cab for Cutie. I was like a little kid on Christmas morning each month waiting for that month’s CD to arrive, I used to get so excited to rip open the package and pop it in the store’s sound system and find out what gems I would discover and hope that it was good because it would be playing on repeat for the next month!"
M.E. "What is the most challenging aspect of the job?"
The most challenging aspect — oh God do you really want to know? I’m not sure there’s one thing, it’s more like a bunch of little things. But at the end of the day it’s totally worth it! I guess one challenge is getting people to go see a band that they are not already familiar with. I always put bands together that I think have complimentary musical styles, so if you’re coming to see one band you’re probably going to like ALL the bands on the lineup. I want people to think of shows like a 4-6 course dinner, meant to be experienced from start to finish. In other words don’t just come for the entree (headliner) - get there early for the amuse bouche, hors d'œuvre, and appetizer (openers) the second course (main support) and stay for the palate cleanser, cheese course, and dessert (closers). Another challenging thing when booking shows is when bands don’t communicate, if every band could tell me right away either they can play, or can’t, or are checking that would really make the show booking process faster. Sometimes they just leave me hanging with no response - which I’ve found can mean anything from ‘we are checking to see if we can play’ to ‘no weren’t not gonna play’ to ‘hell yeah, we’re down! (but got too excited and forgot to actually say that)’ or ‘we have multiple band members running our Facebook page and thought that one of the others responded to the message.’ Probably the most challenging aspect is finding the time to do everything I want do to and all the things that go into throwing shows - booking the bands, making the flyers and event pages, promoting the event, making sure the bands are promoting the event, sending out the show advances and coordinating set times, load-in and backline etc., photographing the show, taking video of the show, editing the photos and videos and posting them online - especially during weeks when I have multiple shows.
M.E. "What is the most rewarding part?"