After spending several years toiling away in Austin—both on stage in hardcore bands and behind the scene at venues such as Emo’s—Willow Grove native Pat Troxell moved back to the Philadelphia area in late 2008 to find a significantly different scene than the one he left. But, if you ask Troxell—who now plays drums in the psych-rock quartet Creepoid—that suits him just fine. Prior to tonight’s record-release show at Kung Fu Necktie, Troxell spoke with The Key about blowing off local record producers, the differences between the music scenes in Austin and Philadelphia, and how to maintain your DIY roots while pursuing more widespread success.
The Key: One of the things Austin is known for is its thriving arts and entertainment scene, especially when it comes to independent music. Based on your time there, how is the Austin scene different from Philadelphia’s?
Pat Troxell: I really think the weather affects people—especially musicians. [Laughs.] That’s one of the things I loved about Philadelphia’s hardcore scene. I grew up listening to punk and hardcore, and it’s, like, real negative and real angry. Philadelphia is good at that, because when it’s cold here it’s really cold and when it’s hot it’s so hot. In Austin, everybody was super laid-back and relaxed and comfortable. It’s the weather.
TK: As a Philly hardcore guy living in Austin, how did you spend your time?
PT: I moved down to Texas right after the Killtime and Stalag 13 in West Philadelphia closed down, and Licenses And Inspection was coming down hard on the Church and R5 Productions. One of the things I did right away was move into a warehouse in Austin and open it up as a DIY spot. It was all-ages, and I was running it like a Philadelphia venue. A lot of kids down there had never seen anything like that before, because they already had all-ages clubs and all that stuff. I was like, “This is a lot different. You’re going to pay your five dollars, you’re not going to pay ten dollars…and bring whatever beer you want. I don’t care.” It was definitely bringing a little bit of Philadelphia to Austin. It was awesome while it lasted.
TK: Now that you’re back in Philadelphia, how has the local scene has changed since you originally left?
PT: Well, one of the things is that the bands got a lot better. [Laughs.] I mean, there have always been great bands from Philadelphia. Don’t get me wrong there. There have always been good bands, there have always been good people from Philadelphia who ended up starting better bands in other cities. Philly really breeds a hard-working class, you know? Everyone works really hard at what they’re doing, and it’s really showing now. There are so just many good bands playing right now, getting out there and doing it on their own. It’s impressive.
TK: Can you think of a certain period of time, in either Austin or Philly, when you were working within a scene and you thought to yourself, “This is it, this is what a scene should be?”
PT: That was the Killtime. That was Stalag 13, and 40/40, and the Rotunda. Pretty much mid-to-late ’90s—and even into the early 2000s—there was a thriving punk scene in Philly…I started going to shows when I was really young, and the first thing I’d do was fill my pockets with flyers from the table by the door. Everyone had something to say. And, on top of that, I realized that the guys who where booking these bands I really loved were only, like, two or three years older than me. They weren’t that much different. It was just really DIY. That’s something I learned from Tony Pointless and Sean Agnew and guys like that, who really went out and did it. They put their name on the line, they put themselves on the line. And sometimes they got in trouble. But that’s what punk was and that’s what punk is. I can see it building back up again. Except now we’re going to have to be a little bit quicker than Licenses And Inspection. [Laughs.]
Continue reading →