Live Music Daily Interview
with Spanklicious at MEMEfest
By Randy Harris
Kevin Moore, aka Spankalicious, has been very busy in 2014. In between his usual touring schedule, he has started a brand new ambitious label and brought that label’s talent, along his own stage and production equipment, to multiple summer festivals. The label, based in Moore’s current city of residence, Cincinnati, Ohio, is called ThazDope Records, and Spankalicious will be leading his roster on a mission across the country this fall. First, however, he made his way down to Memphis for the second annual MEMFest. After numerous trips to the Bluff City, Spankalicious knows how to work the Memphis crowd, but before his set, he was nice enough to sit down with me to discuss his new label and more.
Ragin’ Randy: Can you tell me a little bit about ThazDope Records? Is it your label or do you just work closely with them?
Spankalicious: I’m one of the founders, and I’m the General Manager. It’s myself, and the two people who are on the roster with me are artists Alejo and Bass Coma out of Columbia, Missouri and Cincinnati, Ohio. All three of us are owners of the label, and I’m also serving as their manager, as well as their agent, per se. So, how ThazDope Records really works is, yes it’s my label, and we are all three in different forms of psychedelic, sexy bass music, you know what I’m saying? Like, we all approach it differently, and we all listen to different artists, you know, that we point in each of our own niches as well. And so I feel like what it’s giving us an opportunity to is, one, it’s giving us an opportunity to put our music into a place where it’s going to get streamed more worldwide. We’re not really worried about selling music, we’re more necessarily worrying about getting it streamed in places it wouldn’t have gotten streamed before, and you know, Pandora, Spotify, and just any other places it’s going to get streamed.
Ultimately, though, with what we have coming up in the fall, and with what we’ve done this year, man, we’ve definitely stepped up the bar and brought awesome production to everything that we’ve brought sponsor-wise, stage-wise to festivals – one being Summer Camp, one being Wakarusa, and the next big one we have coming up is our tour kick-off in Ohio at Resonance Music Festival – but we’re actually bringing a nice, awesome sound system, good lighting production, and we’re featuring the headliners, but we’re also giving up-and-comers and original artists an opportunity to shine at these bigger festivals and play on a bigger system and really give the exposure to the underground movement. You know, I feel like that’s my biggest thing that I want to be able to do is all the shit and all the times that I went and slept in my car and all the fucking bullshit, you know, I want to be able to guide people in the right way to show them that, ‘Yo, you’re not going to go out there and you’re not going to be the world’s best of EDM’, you know, there’s always going to be someone better than you at what we’re doing because it’s growing exponentially at all angles right now in the community. But I want to be able to show people that you can live and make a living and live happy by doing what you love, man, and, you know, by doing music and by putting the work in and by not stopping putting the work in and by learning from your failures and shit. I mean, the whole point of ThazDope [Records] is to do that. It’s to inspire people to do dope shit, period. Period.
Ragin’ Randy: Sounds great! So, are you guys concentrating primarily on live music or are you going to have studio releases as well?
Spankalicious: Yeah, it’s all studio releases, man, and we are going to have some live elements. Like with this tour in particular, I’m adding a gentleman into my live production called, uh, his stage name is Galaxy, his name is Nick Worth, but he has drum corp and percussion experience, similar to mine and a percussive background, and we’re going to definitely bring more of a live element to the drumming aspect to the live program. So if you go to www.thazdoperecords.com and you check out the newest video, you can see there’s a clip from Rootwire [Transformational Arts & Music Festival] where we did this first time interaction with it, and it went over phenomenal.
So, I feel like what we’re going to do on this tour, man, is we are going to take what we believe is the best version of the Midwest party, and we’re going to take it to the East Coast, and we’re going to take it to the West Coast, and we’re going to take it all around the Midwest, and we’re going to get approval from everybody to reassure that yes, this is a dank-ass party and a good vibe and building a community along the way, you know what I’m saying? Meeting vendors along the way that are selling their art, that are selling their clothing, that are selling their glass work, that are, you know, that are figuring out how to clock in and be their own boss, you know? We’re definitely big into that community wholeheartedly. So, everybody that is out there trying to live happier and trying to not fucking put a dollar amount on their hour, those are all the people that I’m trying to connect with everywhere and figure out how we’re going to do it successfully.
Ragin’ Randy: Wow, that’s big in this day and age. I think that’s great.
Spankalicious: I feel like it’s what we have to start doing. Like, I don’t fucking watch TV, I don’t have time for that shit, you know. I hate the cell phone, I hate these fucking phones, I hate these smart phones, man, but it’s like, if you have one, you have the capability to not suck at life. Like, if you have a smart phone in your hand, you should be doing some shit. You should be getting shit done every fucking day, and you should be connecting with things that make sense to help you spread, you know? Especially, in the United States, man, if you’re here, everything’s right down the road from each other, everything’s just right down the road. But yeah, with this tour in particular, man, it’s my goal to get my home boys out there and get their music spread, you know, and definitely, you know, I brought them under my wing, and we’re growing this company together, and we’re definitely scouting artists and new sounds and, you know, throwing remix competitions, and we want to build the community, and we want to involve everybody, man, like, we want to involve everybody that wants to be involved. Period, you know, there’s a lot of people with a lot of dreams out there that should live that shit and should make a choice to live that shit, and we want to help facilitate that.
Ragin’ Randy: That all sounds incredible, man. I wish you the best of luck with all of it. I have a couple of personal questions to ask before we get you up on stage in a little while. I’ve seen you play in Memphis quite a few times now. What keeps you coming back here?
Spankalicious: On the real, I mean, outside of the people, keeping it real, I’m a music lover, man, and it’s like, Elvis Presley is from here and fucking Three 6 Mafia’s from here, you know, and the barbecue is fucking insane. Like, I’m from Kansas City, and I love my barbecue, you know, and Memphis has that good barbecue. I mean, it’s a music city, you know, it’s a music city, I’m a music man, and there’s a lot of history. Last year, man, the first MEMFest was a bucket list thing because getting to play at Levitt Shell, you know, like Johnny Cash has played there, Elvis Presley’s played there, you know, like, people who were doing some shit and made a difference in some of society’s thinking played at that stage, you know? So, because Memphis has history man, and because Memphis has given me love every time, even were there was only 4 people there watching or there was fucking 400.
Ragin’ Randy: Yeah, I think one of the times I saw you was at Newby’s late night, and there were only about 5 or 6 of us, but we were getting down!
Spankalicious: Yeah man, sometimes those are the best nights dude, honestly. It’s interesting, man, just to see how the ups and downs of a city and a scene can go, and what’s happened in Memphis and what Jody [Land]’s done and the Gutta Nation guys and everybody that’s come together, man, it’s a real awesome thing. You know, even with the rain coming down right now, I mean, there’s a huge nucleus of forward motion taking place in Memphis, and that’s huge man. You know, and it’s moving as fast as fucking Three 6 Mafia and Elvis [laughs].
Ragin’ Randy: Alright man, well it was great talking to you, and I’ll let you go get ready for your set.
Spankalicious: You too, man, thanks.