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The Underground Echo meets with Jason "Plucky" Anchondo to discuss The Clean Air Clear Stars Festival.
Jason "Plucky" Anchondo has played percussion with one of my all time favorite bands: The Warlocks and has also filled multi instrument talents in Pete's International Airport, Hawkeye, and The Upsidedown.
Jay Raker :
For those few that do not know "Plucky" , let me fill you in on this kool kat.
I first met Plucky here in Portland when I was helping out at The Doug Fir Lounge
with my friend Adrian H when The Warlocks played there I think it was 2007 maybe 2008? I was craving a cigarette and had no way to light it and out of the corner of my eye, Plucky had I think, a Zippo lighter and sparked my habit at the time.
And ever since then, Ive been bumming cigarettes from him just like this past Saturday. So I just did a gig with Plucky's band "Hawkeye". We were talking about my interview with Guy from The Entrance Band and I thought "hey why dont you do a interview man?" So Plucky agreed, but said only if it was about the Clean Air Clear Stars Festival. I agreed and so here we go folks !
JR: How did the idea of CACS Festival come into fruition?
JA: I had always wanted to put on a festival, something small and not in the mainstream. Originally, the idea was for it to go on all night. Tommy Dietrick and I were offered to put it on at Pappy and Harriet's, so we decided to make it a three day event. We wanted to make it so that all of the money and proceeds collected from the event would go to other causes. As the festival has grown, we have chosen different organizations to support every year, but it has always been 100% non-profit.
Tommy Dietrick and I came up with the idea and started planning the festival in the Spring of 2007. The festival began on July 7, 2007 (7/7/07). It was a scramble to get bands, the PA and everything else. We had a month and a half to put this whole thing together, but we ended up pulling it off. We are now on the fifth year.
The key members have been Tommy and I, with the help of many volunteers.
Christian Zollenkopf and Cynthia Merino have been with us from the very beginning.
JR: What is the Clean Air Clear Stars Festival about?
JA: The festival has been about turning people on to new music and having some of our favorite bands play, while supporting a good cause at the same time.
JR: Is this a non-profit venture?
JA: 100%; everybody volunteers their time and efforts and the bands play for free.
JR: How long has the CACS Festival been going for and do you see this going on for a decade or more?
JA: This will be the fifth year. I had never expected for it to go on this long, so who knows? There might be a year ten, or fifteen, or twenty. Who knows, we will just have to wait and see.
JR: What was the first CACS Festival like? Did you learn anything on making things go smoother for the future CACS Festivals?
JA:The first year was 110 degrees in the desert. The first thing i learned was not to put on a festival in the middle of summer in the desert. Ha!
JR: Has it been a challenge to get funding for The CACS Festival?
JR: Where can one donate to the CACS Festival? Do you have professional sponsorship to help out?
JA: If you would like to donate, go to www.cleanairclearstars.com. Sometimes we have sponsorship, sometimes it's 100% grassroots, just us.
JR: Is the outdoor stage a permanent fixture for the event?
Or does it have to be constructed every year? Is this a easy task or is there much involved with the production?
JA: The stage is part of the venue, but it takes a lot work to put on this event. So it's not an easy task.
JR: I bet it is. A lot of work behind the scenes that people may not even imagine.
JR: I understand too that there are indoor shows at Pappy & Harriets . So are the indoor shows at night? Or do they go on at the same time as the outdoor shows?
JA: It's changed over the years, now we just do the indoor stage on Friday nights & the outdoor stage on Saturday day & night. It just makes it easier & runs smoother and is less stress.
JR: How many days does the CACS Festival run? Has there always been a fixed time frame through the years or has there been adjustments on start and stop times for business reasons or band schedules?
JA: It use to be 3 days but now it's just 2. I think people were just too worn out by the 3rd day. so 2 works out the best.
JR: Whats it like to convince the artists to play for the CACS Festival? Do you end up having more bands to choose from or are you scrambling to get time slots filled with the bands? I assume the bands are doing it for free since its a non profit venture?
JA: The bands are doing it for free. It can be hard getting the bands. It really depends on tour schedules & availability.
JR: What artists or bands have played the CACS Festival in the past? Who would you like to invite in the future?
JA: Some of the bands that have played over the years have been DANDY WARHOLS, B.R.M.C, THE BLACK ANGELS, THE ENTRANCE BAND, SPINDRIFT, GRAM RABBIT, SILVER ROCKETS, SKY PARADE & HOPEWELL just to name a few.
JR: Are the crowds pretty mellow at the CACS Festival ?
Have you had any security issues or had to call the local law enforcement?
JA: The crowds have always been mellow. I've never had any problems.
knock on wood.
JR: What are the ticket prices and where can you best obtain them?
JA: It varies. You can go to www.cleanairclearstars.com for more info.
JR: You are playing with your old band The Warlocks for this event, would you care to share your thoughts on this for our readers?
JA: You'll just have to go & see.
JR: Thats a safe answer ha-hah!
JR: Any special thank yous Plucky? Shout outs?
JA: I would like to thank all the band & people who have made this happen for the last 5 years.
Thank you all!
JR: And thank you Plucky for taking the time to interview for The Underground Echo. I wish you all the success in your ventures in music and The Clean Air Clear Stars Festival!.
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THE UNDERGROUND ECHO 2011