It's been a spell since we've touched base with Lance Yocom, the ever-busy man at the head of Spune. Lance has been in this column before , and shortly thereafter, gave us all a start when he fell seriously ill while in Arizona, and spent over two weeks in a hospital there. Lance and his operation set a fine example of an A-game local/regional music operation at Spune. We caught up with him on the verge of this years Index, Untapped and (making it's Denton debut soon) Canned Festivals.
Index Fest looks exciting. Apart from the lineup, what's different this year?
We've basically beefed up the event with more bands, bigger national headliners and added more stages. We'll have around 85 acts performing this year as opposed to 28 last year. In addition to the 2 outdoor stages, we are utilizing many of the venues in Deep Ellum such as Trees, Prophet Bar (both rooms), Dada, Three Links, Boiler Room, Twilight, Anvil and more. This will allow us to showcase many different genres and increase our after-hours focus. These venues are the ones building up the Deep Ellum scene on a weekly basis and we're excited to have them on board. We hope that INDEX will strengthen the culture of our community and enhance the overall perception of Dallas. One that is locally powered, but nationally recognized.
Has Spune been overwhelmed with local artists expressing interest in playing your events?
There are lots of great local and regional acts whom we'd like to showcase. You would think that it would be relatively easy since we have so many slots this year, but there will still be several bands we won't have room for this year. The booking can be kind of a science, knowing which bands to book, where they perform and at what time. We want to keep the line up eclectic and hope that we'll not have too many similar bands performing at the same time. That's not easy. There will be a lot more local - regional bands represented this year at Index. Just to name a few: Baptist Generals, Cannabinoids, Blackstone Rangers, Dustin Cavazos, Telegraph Canyon, Myopic, Jabee, ISHI, Air Review, Calhoun, Son of Stan, These Machines Are Winning, Chambers, The Fox and Bird, Hanna Barbarians, Featherface, Not In The Face, The Southern Renaissance and Mother Falcon.
Whats changed, grown and improved at Spune since we last talked? Especially for DFW artists...
Whew! Where to start? In short, we're thrilled to have hired a booking agent for the Spune artist roster. We will be announcing more bands to the family soon. Air Review has a new record out and has been touring in support of it. They leave this week for a run up to NYC and back. Telegraph Canyon should wrap up recording on their new record this fall. Doug Burr, Bethan and The Cush have also started recording. It's looking to be a much busier time for the artist branch of Spune. Spune's event productions has grown to a new level. Modern 'till Midnight was moved to the fall and will now take place October 11th. Line up will be announced this week. We're loving being involved and curating events for RedBull Sound Select. In addition to how INDEX has evolved, mentioned above, Untapped Festival has become a monster! Since last year's debut festival, we've teamed up with Paste to sponsor the event nationally. We held the event in Fort Worth this past April, and in addition to this weekend's fest in Dallas, we're producing the 4th edition of the festival this November in Houston. Atlanta, Nashville and other markets will be added in 2014. We also introduced Canned, the lil' bro to Untapped, which will take place next month in Denton.
It's great to see you guys always wanting to up your game, as opposed to struggling with the stresses of your success...nicely done.
We're always trying to improve in whatever we're doing. Our staff has grown and all wear many hats. We're grateful for our new teammates, as the company would not be able to take on what we have without them. There are a few new things in the works that should keep 2014 interesting.
Outside of your own Spune roster, who do you see growing the fastest as far as talent from our own backyard?
Hmm. The fastest? So many variables that require the stars to align for a band to "blow up" so quickly. Outside of the Spune family, here are some that come to mind. The Orbans consistently make great music. Dark Rooms, no doubt, should be a national known name soon. I like what Myopic is doing. Daniel Markman has some good tunes. I just heard of this guy Cale Tyson last week, who apparently lived in FW for a while. It's some solid country twang. Michael Donner is a great frontman with a joyous presence. He has "it". Yells at Eels are always refreshing. I've always be into Dove Hunter so I'm looking forward to their new record. The new Spree record is great.
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How are you feeling? You had us worried for a bit in 2011!
Yeah, that was an interesting summer a couple years ago but I'm feeling great and I appreciate the support the industry gave me and my family.