Wednesday, March 5, 2008

337 Photos, Updates, & Kilby Court Owners

Posted By on March 5, 2008, 12:17 PM

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Project 337 is just about one month away from being torn down and artists have been dropping in to give the place one more shot of color before the walls come-a tumbling down. I ran by and shot some photos of some of the new artwork being put up around the building for you to check out.

--- Yesterday everyone got the major email announcement for the 31st Annual Brown Bag Concerts. So joining suit with almost everyone else who got this sent to them, let’s copy and paste this… A program of the Salt Lake City Arts Council, the Brown Bag Concert Series is a summer-long series of free concerts in downtown Salt Lake City. Concerts are held Monday through Friday, from 12:15 to 1:00pm, at a variety of area parks and plazas. The series begins Monday, June 30, 2008 and continues through Friday, Aug. 29, 2008. The series presents all disciplines of the performing arts. THESE ARE PAYING GIGS!!! Artist fees are $80 for a solo artist and $65 per person for up to 10 members. Click here to apply, and be quick about it! The deadline is March 14, at 4PM.

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Later this week I’ll be posting an interview about the one year anniversary of Red Light Books and the changes they’ve gone through since they started. SLUG and Sam Weller’s are starting a book club that kicks off on March 25th. No idea what concerts I’ll be doing this week, mostly been listening to strange discs in my music collection.  Want a sample of what's in my player right now, click the link at the very bottom.  And now to the interview! Will Sartain and Lance Saunders took over Kilby Court at the start of 2008 after the original long time owner decided to move on to other things. Since then the venue has picked up steam like never before, and has started to shake up the local scene to the point where other venues are playing catch up to their crowds. I got a chance to talk to them both about the changeover before Will took off with his band for a two month tour.

Will Sartain & Lance Saunders (starting at me)

http://kilbycourt.com/

Gavin: Tell us a little about yourselves.

Will: I'm 23, I've been booking shows in Salt Lake for five years, and I'm really excited about just doing shows and stuff for sure.

Lance: I like long walks on the beach and off the beach into the ocean. I really enjoy sandwiches, Kilby Court and Will Sartain.

Gavin: I think that says it all. How did you guys get into booking?

Will: I started booking here when I was seventeen, did that for two and a half years and then I've been booking on my own for almost three years. Then I got a job here and eventually started doing my own booking.

Lance: I used to be in a band called Deadbeats and Will used to book us with a lot of good hip-hop acts. He liked the way I worked and asked me to be his business partner, and ever since then we've had an array of amazing shows.

Gavin: How did the ownership change of Kilby Court come about?

Will: The old owner just decided to stop doing it, he approached us and we bought it.

Lance: Phil wanted to sell Kilby Court, and couldn't think of anyone else he wanted to sell it to, and we were the only ones he really approached about it. So now we're doing it and we're have a great time doing it. Phil was amazing when he started it, he had it going for eight or nine years.

Will: Salt Lake wouldn't be the kind of place that it is if he hadn't started it. He influenced me and influenced a lot of people who I see as core figures in the Salt Lake art and music scene as it is at this point. People who are doing really great groundbreaking stuff.

Lance: To kinda add more to it, Phil sent Will an email saying he was going to sell the business and was moving to Knoxville, Tennessee. And at the time we were looking to grow a little more by not just booking shows but having a venue and cutting out a middle man. We've both always loved Kilby Court, and it's not that we didn't want anyone else to buy it, it's just that we didn't want it to die. We're perfectionists and if we're doing something we're doing it 110%. I knew, without ego or having a big head, I knew we could do a very good job here. So when he offered it to us we said yes. We did the paperwork and got the money and bought it, and since then we've had amazing shows almost every single night. It's been so good, I'm so happy. I seriously think Will and I are living some sort of dream life.

Gavin: How's the transition worked since the purchase?

Will: Great! Since I've booked here before I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it, so I came right in and started booking shows right away. We've been doing a lot more shows than they were doing. We just added a whole new life to it.

Lance: We were already doing all the S&S Presents shows at In The Venue, Urban Lounge, Monks... everywhere and all over, including Park City. And it became instead of having two shows a week we'd have to set up for, it was pretty much everyday. So now instead of getting ready for big shows we're doing shows every single day. Which yes, it has been a little hectic, not hard, a little hectic. Our work load has definitely tripled. But we love what we do, it makes us happy and the community happy, and it's kept Kilby Court alive. We put in a new sound system and cleaned the place up.

Gavin: Have there been any problems or has it all just been going well?

Will: Nah, it's been going great. No problems at all, everybody's been totally cool, very respectful. You look at this show, this is a great show, there are a lot of nice people here who came for the music.

Lance: This place is great, it inspires people in the music community. Not just locally but nationally. A lot of good bands have played here many, many times, and now they're touring and are on major record labels. They have that history of Kilby like everybody does, everyone knows what Kilby does for music. Even if you're a touring band from Arkansas, you know what Kilby Court is and you've probably played here. When it comes to bands who aren't nationally known and they're not quite the most amazing thing in the world yet, they can play here. And that's nice opposed to places like Urban Lounge that's 21 , or In The Venue where you need 500 people to make it worth playing there, which very few bands can do. I say if you have three people who show up for your show, that's three more fans who will tell friends and pass word along about the amazing band they saw at Kilby Court. Next time they come though, they may play Kilby, they might not. But they'll have that fanbase that helped them become what they are and that's magical. I kind of giggle when magazines white about this place as a spot to get noticed in, but it's true.

Gavin: Are you afraid this will ever become a business and ruin the fun, or do you feel like that'll just be the next part of the dream?

Lance: I don't mean to sound like a jerk but it pretty much is a business. Band Of Annuals even said it on the radio this week, they hate that word “marketing”. No matter how you word it, it's a business. Us booking the bands, affording the rent, be able to pay utilities, of course we need money. But that's not our main focal point, out main point is about keeping this place afloat and making it better than it was before. So when it comes time for us to hand it off to someone else, it's in better shape and an even bigger staple in the music community. Not just here but nationally and internationally as well.

Gavin:
And future plans with the venue outside of just booking shows?

Lance: There's a lot of things on the way from Kilby Court. Some things that we're planning on doing here soon from the foundation that Kilby built. Expect great things to come, we're going to start making people look at Salt Lake City with a legitimate eye. This city has been rattling for too long, something needs to happen and we're going to make sure we push it over the edge.

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