Self-Promoting at its Finest and Most Local

Image courtesy of Slap Hands Promotions
Interview by Erin Wolf

Slap Hands Promotions‘ Zach Pecor and Nick Tovarek are adept deep-sea divers if you analogize the music industry as an abysmally churning ocean and having to learn its quirks by jumping in head-first. The duo (both under twenty-five), have swiftly arranged a promotions and booking organization that has brought bands such as Stars Like Fleas, The Dutchess and The Duke and artist Jennifer O’ Connor into Milwaukee to play shows with locals such as Sleepcomesdown, The Midwest Beat and Juniper Tar. Pecor and Tovarek can stop holding their breath, for it looks like they’re swimming strongly to the top after a short amount of time spent in water. This Saturday, Slap Hands celebrates their success and expresses their thanks to Milwaukee for their support and enthusiasm with a local-laden show featuring Kid You’ll Move Mountains, Atlatl, Raise High The Roofbeam and Cartesian Parisian at the Y-Not III. 

What gave you the idea to start an independent booking agency in Milwaukee? 
We basically started Slap Hands to fill a void in Milwaukee. We were tired of being the city that bands didn’t mind skipping. Basically, we try to make sure that Milwaukee is the favorite stop on the tour. We get them free drinks, a place to stay, food, the whole shabang.

What was the first band/musician you contacted?
Actually, we were lucky enough to be contacted, first. The Get Drunk dudes were looking for a place to host the Dutchess and the Duke show and help out with some promoting and stuff. And, it turned out being such a fantastic experience.

What was it like contacting venues (such as Y-Not III) to set up shows for the first time?
It was strange, really. Zach and I were just hanging out at Y-Not III, talking to Nick, the owner. Then, he took us upstairs and showed us this rad, attic-ish area that looked like it was a log cabin. We loved it, and we thought it would be such a great place to host shows, so we set some up. Once we started setting up shows, here, venues all over Milwaukee started hearing about us and asking us if we’d like to set up stuff at their venues.

Right now, in your beginnings, is booking something you do by the seat of your pants, or is it more of an active search?
Zach and I are always searching for new music. Whether it is searching for bands that are touring the country, or finding new Milwaukee music. So, asking bands to play is just one more step.

Where do you stand on all-ages versus 21+ shows?
I’m not really worried about that whole conflict. The majority of the people who listen to the stuff we book are in their mid to late twenties. It’s not like we’re booking teeny-bopper, emo shit. 

What’s the biggest hurdle in getting people in the door to a show?
The collected drunken laziness that floats around the City of Milwaukee.

What’s lined up for 2009?
It’s a surprise, but it’s going to be something big. Possibly, some mariachi bands, or we may hire an indoor high school marching band to perform routines, or maybe even host Milwaukee’s first-ever “sleep concert” (see image below). We plan on pushing the boundaries.

The Slap Hands Promotions party takes place at 8 p.m. at the Y-Not III, 1854 E. Kenilworth Place.
Image of a ‘sleep concert’ courtesy of Slap Hands Promotions

MP3“I’m a Song From the Sixties”, Kid You’ll Move Mountains
MP3“My Devil’s Evangelical”, Atlatl
MP3“Break My Heart in Two”, Raise High The Roofbeam
MP3“12 Steps”, Cartesian Parisian


One Response to “Self-Promoting at its Finest and Most Local”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    “I’m not really worried about that whole conflict. The majority of the people who listen to the stuff we book are in their mid to late twenties. It’s not like we’re booking teeny-bopper, emo shit.”

    Way to gloss over an important debate by marginalizing the biggest section of music fans as being into “teeny-bopper, emo shit.” The all-ages debate is about much more than a way for you to feel better about yourself and your refined taste, assholes.

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