Oh hey, check out my interview with Hugo Mudie of POUZZA FEST!! Can't fucking wait for May.
How does it feel coming back for year 2 of Pouzza?
HM: We are super happy to be able to do this 2nd year for this festival. It's really a dream come true and last year was just amazing and we have huge hopes for this year. The festival is bigger, more bands, bigger bands, more venues, more partners, more activities and new concepts. We just hope that festival goers will enjoy the festival as much as we enjoy putting it on.
Was it any easier/less crazy this time around now that you'd been through it once already?
HM: No, i think it's even a bit crazier. More work, more bands, more details. There's some stuff that we don't have to do twice, but still, there's a lot of new stuff to do. We are working hard and have good people helping us out. It's all super fun, we just wish that we can do this forever.
What made you decide to start Pouzza? Every agent dreams of cooking something like this up, but you actually went through with it, and successfully too!
HM: We just took a concept that existed already. We've been going to Fest in Gainesville since Fest 2 and we knew that it was something that would work so well in Montreal. People here love punk rock and people from everywhere love to visit Montreal, but we were busy doing other things. I was touring a lot with The Sainte Catherines, never really had a job. Then when i had my first kid, i wanted to have a job and tour less, so i started booking more and doing more production work. We started our company and doing a festival was one of the 1st thing we waited to do. It took us a couple years and then we did it last year it was sooo fun. The feedback was amazing and everyone seemed to love the experience so we decided to do it again this year.
How do you choose the line up?
HM: I have a list. I add bands to that list. I try to get in touch with them. A lot of bands i know from being in The Sainte Catherines so that helps, but some bands i don't know at all. We are 2 people doing booking and Jp who was in Inepsy also knows a lot of people in bands from playing in Inepsy and doing booking for a long time. We just go thorugh the list. We also listen to submissions and we invite friends too. There's a lot of luck involved. I someone sends me a link and i like the 1st 30 seconds of a song, i might think " hell yes, invite them". I like to give chances to bands.
You must be working closely with Fat to have bands like The Lawrence Arms on Pouzza's line up, is there any animosity there because of what happened with The Sainte Catherines?
HM: No, i am not working with Fat at all on this. I talk directly to bands or to their agents. Fat Mike bought an ad for his Vegas punk house in the last program but that's about it. haha. I just know a lot of bands on Fat from being on Fat but also from before that. Like i've known the Lawrence Arms since 1999 or 2000 when they slept at my " house" when they played Montreal. We toured with them in 2002 way before we were on Fat Wreck. There's no animosity between me and Fat Wreck at all..i am super grateful to have released a record on this label.
Is there no hope for Banner Pilot to get into Canada for Pouzza ever? I was hoping to see them on the line up this year if the drummer got his border shit sorted... no dice?
HM: No this year. I've been trying again but it's not working. If i was them, i'd just hire another drummer to do Pouzza ! hahaah
Who or what are you personally the most excited for this year?
HM: I'm pretty stoked for the ska night at Club Soda. It brings me back to when i was 15. Suicide Machines, Less Than Jake, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Rollerstarter, Matt from The Planet Smashers. It feels like Warped in 1997 or something. Love it. I'm also stoked to hang out with people i haven't seen in a while, people in bands and people from out of town, coming for this, but unfortunately i'm not the one having the most fun at this, because i gotta work and be responsible and ready for anything to happen. Last year, i partied a little when the bands were done playing, later at night. I guess it's gonna be the same this year. Hope i can catch a couple bands. Pretty excited for Pouzza Bambino also, a punk show for kids. Should be cute.
How did you and your partner get started on L'Ecurie?
HM: We were tired of working for other people and not feeling like we were 100% ourselves. It was a big decision but also a very liberating one. I don't like bosses, even when they are super cool like the one i had before.
What's it like working with somebody you're that close to?
HM: It's great. I had some bad experiences in the past with other companies i started, but for this one it's going super good. We are super close friends and everything is going great. It's a great thing to able to be friends with someone you work with.
Will there be more secret bar shows like the Dear Landlord one last year?
HM: Yes there will. We have some tricks up our sleeves.
Thanks a lot to Hugo Mudie and Melanie Kaye!