Published Thu, Dec 13, 2012 1:34 am Dateline
The Athens music scene can be tricky to navigate.
Between the huge number of bands and at least five major venues, it can be hard to keep track of who's playing where and when.
WOUB's Emily Votaw talked with Trout about the scene, where it’s going, and how his online efforts can help local music fans stay informed.
Emily Votaw: How did you first get involved in the Athens music scene?
Aaron Trout: As far as the scene itself, I didn’t get involved until Caitlin McGlade, the former keyboardist of She Bears, started working with me at Larry’s Dawg House. We got to talking about music and she mentioned her band. I caught one of their shows and was pretty much hooked ever since.
EV: Which aspect of Athens' music scene do you find the most interesting right now?
AT: It would either be the drastic growth of electronic dance music that www.athensedm.com is helping promote or the wide variety of talented bands.
EV: Where do you think the scene is headed?
AT: I would say the scene is moving forward, overall. I have come across various acts online, such as on www.kickstarter.com, and found some great talent that I didn’t know about. I have also seen many bands play in Athens that ended up being moderately large, such as Skeletonwitch. I think the biggest growth musically would be with the electronic dance music. Over the last couple of years, you see more electronic music bills around town.
EV: Do you think there's enough musical diversity in the uptown scene?
AT: The venues have their reputations and that may determine what is played or comes to town. However, I do feel that some of the bars are pushing towards having a larger variety. For example, The Smiling Skull, although still strong on the heavier rock, also host bluegrass and country shows. Jackie O’s and The Union are picking up on more electronic music, particularly The Union, which also reached into the hip-hop scene with their recent Killer Mike show.
EV: How long have you been running your Facebook page?
AT: I started the page last June, along with the athensmusicscene.net website. That mostly focused on design and letting people know that it was a work-in-progress. The updates and information on venues and bands didn’t start until August. Several months later, I'm still changing and adding things. It seems I get a new idea every other week. I plan on looking at a couple other websites to get an idea of what they are doing, and if I think it would be better for athensmusicscene.net.
EV: What makes the Athens scene different from other Ohio cities, such as Columbus or Cincinnati?
AT: I think the biggest difference is that new talent comes in every year with a new student body. There is always something new. It also has its downfall, meaning you lose talent every year. I still miss quite a few acts that have graduated and moved on.
EV: What is your goal for the website?
AT: The ultimate goal is to let people know about all of the local shows, all in one simple location. With the incorporation of the website to the Facebook page, the main goal is not only to let people know what's going on, but also to include information about the bands or shows. The site allows you to see what a band or venue is about, the cover charge, etc. It allows people to have a better understanding what to expect at a show.