8.25.2017

AN INTERVIEW WITH DUSTON ANDERSON

Bassist of Piece of Mind and the genius behind Flyover Fest.

How did you find punk music and what made it stick as something important in your life?
I grew up on a farm, outside of a small rural town, in Oklahoma. I am the oldest child in my family, so punk and hardcore were not readily available. However, in the late 90's, I discovered Punk-O-Rama compilations and bought as many as I could. I would go thru those over and over and that's really where I discovered punk. It stuck with me because it was different from anything else I had ever heard. It had an actual message, and really spoke to me as a young, fairly directionless kid.

How has punk influenced your take on everyday life?
The first thing I noticed when I started going to local hardcore shows was the sense of community that existed between everyone there. Within that community, I have found the real power of hard work and dedication. I have found the power of teamwork and common goals, and I have found the best and most reliable friends I have ever come across, in my life.

How long have you been booking shows?
I've only been booking and promoting shows for a year and a half.

What made you want to book a fest?
The venue I manage, The Vanguard in Tulsa, has hosted a street punk festival called "Fuck You We Rule OK!" for the past 5 years. It is my favorite event every year and sells out annually. That definitely helps build confidence that it is absolutely feasible to hold a hardcore fest at that same level, especially with the team I have at The Vanguard.

I also play bass in 2 hardcore bands, Iron Born and Piece of Mind, and we play regional festivals throughout the year. Hard Times in Laredo, TX, Snow and Flurry in Fargo, ND, and Midwest Blood in Louisville, KY are obvious favorites and put on by some great people. Playing these festivals and getting to hang out with friends from all  over the country made me think, "Hey, I run an all ages venue, and no one is doing a hardcore festival within a few hundred miles of us. We can definitely make this happen."

What are your goals for this year's fest?
My goals are for people to come listen to some great music and have a killer time. It's really that simple. I want this to be a huge party. I am seeing some shows pop up in other cities as bands route to Flyover and I think that is incredible. I am very excited to see other regional hardcore scenes, that get missed with tours too often, catch some of these bands on their way to and from Tulsa.

Do you see Flyover becoming a regular in the fest circuit if this year goes well?
Absolutely. That was part of the plan from day 1. Even if this year bombs, which I can't imagine happening, we will learn from our mistakes and take new actions. We only move forward, never backward.

What was your formula for picking this year's lineup?
When it comes down to it, I just booked a bunch of bands that I wanted to see. Haha. I was particular about booking bands that I know to be hard working and focused on their goals. With the exception of All Out War, 100 Demons, Integrity, and Harley Flanagan, most of the bands are friends of mine that I have met through touring over the past 4 years, so those were easy picks.

With there being so many fests these days, what do you think makes Flyover stand out?
The biggest fests, that usually book bands at the level of the headliners I chose, really only happen on the coasts. Holding this festival in the center of the country makes it stand out for sure. The other thing I would note, is that this festival is being held in a relatively small room, with a capacity of 500. There are not a lot of opportunities to see a band like Integrity in a room this intimate.

What are some "must see" spots near the venue and in the city that everyone should visit?
The "Outsider's" house, The Golden Driller, and Center of the Universe all come to mind. If you like huge statues of praying hands, we have that too, but I prefer to think of them as the world's largest high-five.

So, when I saw you last, you brought up the idea of having a dunk tank at the fest... Tell me more about that.
This idea actually came from my close friend and vocalist of Iron Born, Cash. I love the idea of having a dunk tank at the festival and recruiting the best shit talkers we can find to sit in it and inspire people to dunk them. I'm thinking we'll give you 3 balls for $5 and all proceeds will go to a charity to be announced very soon. I think it's important we leave the world a better place than we found it, and I think this a fun way to bond and move toward that goal.

Describe Flyover in one word.
Exciting!

When are you announcing the winner of the ticket contest?
September 1st!

And finally, do you have a message for the attendees of the fest and my readers?
I want everyone to come ready to make new friends, hang with old ones, and mosh hard. I hate drama, so leave it at home. This is supposed to be fun. Let's make that happen.

You can buy tickets to Flyover Fest here and keep up with the announcements and contest on Twitter.