May 13th, 2015 by Amelia
The Radstorm Collective is doing solid DIY punk stuff in Halifax, Nova Scotia, so I interviewed them just for you…
What is Radstorm?
Radstorm is an amalgamation of two collectives that operate in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Radstorm is a dry all-ages venue/jam space/screen printing studio. It is membership based and if you are under the age of 19 you get into shows for free. The “Rad” comes from the first attempt at having an all ages venue/jam space which was called Sadrad (the venue was above a radiator shop). The “Storm” comes from Inkstorm, which is a screen-printing collective. So Radstrom is made up of a group of dedicated punks/weirdos who share a common goal of creating an inclusive and posi space.
How many people are involved? What do you mean by “collective”?
The number of people involved varies but there is a core group that goes to the meetings, takes on tasks and makes shit happen. Collective means a group of people that share a mutual goal of creating an alternative space that is inclusive and accessible.
Why is DIY and all ages an important aspect of a punk space?
DIY is important because it gives you the power to take control of your own life through direct action. Don’t have an art degree fuck it draw your own album art. You arenít a classically trained guitarist fuck it start a punk band etc. etc. DIY is the reason why Radstorm is a reality. We didn’t have a space that the community needed so we took the initiative and did it ourselves. All ages is important to me because in my experience without the youth punk scenes just dry up and get stale with the same voices and opinions. It can be tough for younger kids to become involved in punk because in some instances punk is no different than other social circles. There is a hierarchy of the old guard of established punks who criticized the less experienced kids. It’s like they forget that they once rocked a patch that they today would not get caught dead wearing.
Are there a lot of bar shows in Halifax?
Halifax has more bars per capita than any other city in Canada or even North America. So there are of course many bar shows. One of my motivations for getting involved in this collective is to try and steer away from having the majority of shows at bars. Bars are not conducive with what I consider to be punk which include DIY ethics and all ages shows.
Do you have young punks?
What has been inspiring for me is the shows that Radstorm has put on so far have brought out a younger crowd of kids. My hope is that we are able to promote more and more shows that the younger kids want to be involved with. More all ages shows obviously will cultivate younger punks. We recently had a show that was all high school kids so it was nice to see that younger crowd.
Do punks age in place in Halifax or fade away?
It is easy for punks to get fed up or tired of the scene out here. Halifax is really far away and it takes effort to get bands out here and it takes effort to make it to festivals in other cities. So older punks may tend to leave the city.
What “scene” supports Radstorm? Crusty? Raw? Bike punks? PC? D-beat? A mix?
Radstorm is inclusive to all except for the fascist, transphobic, racist, etc. The support comes from people of all walks of life, punk or not. Since it is a dry space a lot of the drunk punks donít come around.
What’s the practice space like?
The practice space is a small room off the main room and has been sound proofed so jamming can happen for a wider range of times. It is stocked with the basics that are needed such as a full drum kit, guitars and amps. We also have recording equipment available.
What bands use your space?
So far bands that jam here have close ties with the space. Members with bands, close friends, etc. Mostly bands that would fly the punk flag.
Tell us about your screen printing set up.
The screen-printing set up has been refurbished since moving into the new space. We recently acquired a new washout booth to clean screens. We have a separate room that has our light table and dark box. Over all I think most people are happy with the set up.
Is your space modeled after another space?
Not so much modeled after another space, we just work with the space and materials that we have. That being said, if someone comes into the space and has some ideas on how to improve the set up then we will gladly hear them out.
Are there any other spaces like this in Halifax?
As far as other spaces that offer up the ability to put on shows, rent out a jam space, do screen-printing and have other workshops I think Radstorm is unique in Halifax.
What was your first show?
The first show was made up of all local bands and of people that make up a good portion of the members of the collectives. The lineup was 4 LOM, who has one of the founding members of the original Sadrad venue George on guitar (shout-outs to George) —4 LOM plays a fast and pissed style that has influences of powerviolence and anarcho punk. Also on the bill was Half Read, a band that got started from a band lottery that was put on at a Sadrad show. A bunch of people had put their names into a draw then bands were started by randomly pulling names. I think Half Read might be the only band that persevered out of that and is still active. Lastly was Eekum Seekum, a local queercore band and the longest-running band on the bill.
What was your show?
Most every show is my show and everybody’s show because I try and support by being there to work the door, go early to set up, stay late to clean up or if I can’t make it I still pay the cover just to help support. I have yet to promote my own show but I very much plan on doing so. If I could have a dream show the bands on the bill would be: Confuse, Defector, Frigora, the Partisans, Disorder and Chaos UK. Or bands like Wretched, Lip Cream, Gauze and Appendix. Current bands that I would like to put on a show for would be: Reconsideration, Beer Belly, the Wankys, Sex Dwarf, Exithippies and Chaos Channel.
Any fests coming up in Halifax?
No fests scheduled as of yet, but in the past Elly has organized and put on Harbour Water Fest so I am hoping now with the new space we will be blessed with another installment of that wonderful event. Bands that have played that in the past have been mostly local/Canadian bands.
Any issues with neighbors, landlord or cops?
Yup just like most and or all venues we have had issues. Radstrom is located in a commercial building that has multiple other units. There is a recording studio downstairs and they have complained about some of the noise which I guess has been disrupting their ability to function.
What are your plans for the future?
Plans for the future are making Radstorm as fucking rad as possible. Getting more touring bands to come through, acquiring more members to the collective and just trying to make the scene here in Halifax as good as possible.
Any last words?
Yeah, the Sadrad collective is going to be putting out a comp tape in the next few months. It will contain material from bands that jam or have played shows at Radstorm. Thanks to MRR for all the shit they have done over the years and thanks to all the Radstorm peps.
How can we help? How can we stay up to date?
You can help by getting out here to play some shows and supporting the Halifax scene.
You can stay up to date by checking the website (as long as it stays up to date — thanks Elly):