Monday, November 4, 2013 at 12:00 AM | David Shimel
At 10:53pm, in full Halloween regalia, we departed Manhattan on the L train bound for Williamsburg. After getting off at the Montrose stop, we quickly traversed the mercifully small number of blocks to BangOn!NYC's Warehouse of Horrors, arriving before the chilly air could give us frostbite through our sexy costumes. We auspiciously entered the venue to our favorite RL Grime remix, Love Sosa, while observing some of our favorite 90s characters: Quailman, Austin Powers, and various team members from Legends of the Hidden Temple including representatives from the Purple Parrots, Blue Barracudas, and Green Monkeys. While putting on our wristbands, we networked with Dim Mak producer Downlow'd. Check out his powerful remix of James Egbert's Back to New! We passed under the illuminated rainbow archway/threshold, and were soon swimming in in bass.
After checking our coats and grabbing a drink, we decided to check out the silent disco before it got too crowded. The production staff had graciously provided a heating tower for the room so we were able to stay warm while waiting to get our headphones. While in line, another blast of nostalgia blindsided us in the form of our favorite black-and-white-striped candy cane cartoon, Oblina!
The silent disco took place in an outdoor area walled off by three art cars including Thunder Gumbo from Burning Man. A talented Cheshire Cat put on an impressive fire-hooping show for our viewing pleasure on top of a bus packed with ravers whose orgiastic dancing caused the vehicle to twerk up and down like it was outfitted with hydraulics. The disco DJs spun on two channels, Blue and Green, setting the stage for a color war whose magnitude eclipsed anything you ever participated in at summer camp! We swore fealty to our benevolent Blue monarch who annointed our souls with deep house beats even as the odious Green tyrant tried to lure us astray with false promises of free pizza for all who would follow in his left hand path.
Eventually, it was time for our interview with G Jones (which you can read here). But before hanging up our headphones, we got some skin care tips from our favorite subway dermatologist, Dr. Zizmor! Did you know that the anti-oxidants in Blue Moon can contribute to a healthy epidermis?
Our Sim contact was easy to spot thanks to her iconic cranial gem, and she escorted us up to the green room. After the interview, we stuck around to chat with a pair of pandas before trading a drink ticket to the muscle-bodysuit-clad bartender for a Jack and Coke. Revolvr's sonic pulsations vibrating the floor from below beckoned us back to the fray, so we proceeded downstairs to the sound of Max Fail's mashup of Clarity by Zedd and LRAD by Knife Party. Where else could you dance with Mackelmore, Lady Gaga, Donny Darko, and Buzz Lightyear at the SAME TIME?! We finished off the evening with some spacey G Jones wobbles before grabbing our coats and heading home for some post-party chocolate and pumpking beer.
The sheer insanity of Warehouse of Horrors prevented us from getting in touch with BangOn!'s founders while we were there. However, they were more than happy to chat with us afterwards to give us a taste of the secret sauce flavoring their events. Behold!
There's a lot of competition among event production companies in the NYC party scene. How do you set yourselves apart?
We try and always have at least one element of an event that you would never see at another event. For instance at our Halloween event that just past, we had all the lights/sound go off at 1am. Then after 15 seconds they turned back on and there were 4 actors being raised above the stage in nooses, kicking and screaming for there lives and spitting up blood. We've had zipline rides over the DJ booth, Luchador wrestling matches, old fashioned hay rides, and aerial ninja battles above the crowd just to name a few.
How did you choose the name BangOn! ?
When the cops and fire department are trying to shut you down, and your credit cards are maxed out, and the power to go out because people are having sex on you power cords, and you cant pay your rent because you spent it on a party, and someone covered in chocolate falls off a zipline into the crowd, you just have to Bang On!
What is/are your dream venue(s) for a BangOn! event?
Our dream is to always find new and exciting venues with unique features that we can vibe and build off of. We have used churches, movie studios, old boxing gyms, and abandoned grain silos just to name a few.
What are the biggest challenges you face when setting up an event?
Real estate! Its the one thing that every New Yorker has a horror story of....landlords overcharge you, rip you off, lie cheat, steal....but you gotta deal with them if you want to find a unique venue! To be fair we have found some awesome warehouse owners, but usually they end up renting out the space to parties that are not run well and the venue has to shut down soon after.
What was it like winning the Best Promoter of 2013 from Paper Magazine?
Lame! We got all dressed up and Drunk as shit and they wouldn't let us give a speech! What a load of shit!
How do you come up with the themes for each event?
A table, a couple chairs, whiskey, beer, the internet, pissing ourselves laughing.
Is BangOn! your full-time job? If not, what do you do?
We all have our own art pursuits:
Tim - Golden Pony
Gene - Part owner of a video production studio, photographer
Brett - Film Director/Cinematographer, Art Curator
You recently held Elements, an event you billed as an outdoor music festival. Can you tell us more about how that project got started, what challenges you faced putting it together, and what you learned from it?
We've been wanting to do an outdoor fest for a while, and that is the direction want to go in the long run, where we have unlimited room for creativity. It was really difficult with the permits, and massively nerve racking with rain forecasts. We learned Outdoor fests cost nearly double what indoor ones do!
I noticed the Thunder Gumbo art car in a few pictures at Elements. Are you affiliated with that Burning Man camp?
Yes! Brett is a founder of Thunder Gumbo
Final question: peanut butter or Nutella?
I'm from a blue collar suburb, American as shit! Peanut Butter.
Be sure to catch the next BangOn!NYC event coming to a Brooklyn near you!