I recently got a chance to ask Karla 'Khaos" McLeod about her Booking Agency called Alter Ego Productions as well as her band The Pissups. She also filled me in about all her other projects... And all I can say is "You Go Girl !"
It was a pleasure to hear about all of her endeavors . If you are a band and planning a tour to Canada contact ALTAR EGO PRODUCTIONS . If you are looking for a Recording Studio check out...... RED'S GARAGE and if you wanna RAWK...... check out THE PISSUPS!!!!
Punk Globe: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview Karla. Can you tell us how you came up with the name Altar Ego Productions?
Karla: Altar Ego came about after my husband and I spent a weekend trying to come up with a name. None of the names actually gave you that "wow that is a really cool name and describes exactly what we want" type of feeling. The next week, he was driving home from work on the Downtown Eastside, and thought of the name. I feel like it really describes the musicians that we work with. Most people I know in the music scene, especially in Vancouver, go by a moniker...an Alter Ego, if you will. Then we decided that altar would be better than alter, because people idolize or worship musicians...much like being placed on an altar...so Altar Ego was born.
Punk Globe: Besides yourself who else do you have involved with the company?
Karla: So far just my husband, "Red" and myself. We are getting busy fast though, so who knows what lies ahead.
Punk Globe: I know that you have been booking a regular Monday Night event at Wendy 13's club The Cobalt Tell us about your shows and how they began?
Karla: Wendy 13 posted a bulletin on myspace looking for an ambitious promoter that could handle Monday nights. I messaged her straight away and she gave it to me. My first show was a memorial tribute for my friend who passed away the year before from heat stroke, Eddy Anarchy. He had first introduced me to Wendy13 a few years before that, plus he roadied for my band The Jaded Jinas on our first tour, so I thought it was fitting that I was putting on the show. As for shows, I mainly book punk, but have been known to throw together a hardcore or metal show as well...once in awhile an acoustic set gets slipped in...like Mr. Plow, Fat Joe Satan and even Husker Dude! I love having out of town bands play on a Monday. I realized that Monday's are hard to find venues for bands to play while I was booking Dirty + the Derelicts' last tour, so as soon as I started promoting Monday Night Khaos I signed up for every message board across Canada that I could find to let bands know that if they are touring, I can give them a show on a Monday. I even had Miss Derringer from Los Angeles play on Monday Night Khaos!
Punk Globe: Now did you get the idea about starting a Booking Agency from dealing with talent that you booked for your shows at The Cobalt?
Karla: It started out with me booking a cross-Canada tour for Dirty + the Derelicts. I booked them for 2 1/2 months and got to know a lot about booking. I even flew out to some of their shows to check in with them, etc...When you work at a venue promoting shows you get to speak with a lot of bands. You learn how they were treated and since I am a promoter and in a band myself I try to work it out so that both sides are happy and don't feel ripped off. I was approached by one of the bands that played for me on a Monday and they asked if I could book them a tour as well after talking with them about the tour that I booked. From that the word spread and that is basically how it started. Now I am booking several bands, and keep getting more requests for tour bookings.
We came up with the idea of starting Altar Ego because we wanted to work with bands, recording, or booking shows, tour support or whatever...We both really love music and appreciate the effort that the bands put forth to keep it going.
Punk Globe: I first met you through our pal Sober Jake Jack-Off. He was going to interview your band The Jaded Jinas for Punk Globe. Unfortunately that never came about but you did send me some great poetry that we reprinted...
Karla: Hehe...yeah, Sober Jake is an awesome guy. We used to hang out at the Cobalt and he let me read his writings...he told me I should submit my stuff to Punk Globe, so I did. Did I ever tell you about the time I knocked him across one of the tables at The Astoria (commonly known at the time as the Asbalt, the temporary home of the Cobalt) during a Dirty + the Derelicts show? All in good moshing fun, of course...but we spilled a lot of beer in the process...My current band is The Pissups. We were known as The Jaded Jinas before that. Also, Red and I started an anti-xmas band a few years ago called The Scrooges, and have recorded punk versions of select xmas songs as well as played an xmas show with some guest musicians. Red and I are also working on writing new material for another band we hope to get going as soon as we find a drummer.
Punk Globe: How long has The Pissups been around for now and have you booked them on a tour yet?
Karla: The Jaded Jinas were around for awhile before I came to Vancouver. Stephilla Stillborn asked me to play bass and we found Killa to play on drums in March of 2005. I phoned her up during her birthday bash and she said yeah, sure, why not. We changed our name to The Pissups after Stephilla Stillborn left to pursue other musical endeavors, so we have been rocking it as a three piece ever since. We are getting ready to record our full length CD sometime in the near future at Red's Garage, and we will be opening for White Trash Debutantes and JP5 at the Cobalt on May 24th! I haven't booked The Pissups on a tour as of yet...but soon...very soon.
Punk Globe: You are also married to a Musician. Tell us about his band and is he involved with Altar Ego Productions?
Karla: He was the guitarist for Dirty + the Derelicts, but recently left the band and is helping work with me on Altar Ego Productions projects. He helps me with posters, and does a killer job doing sound for me on Monday nights. We have a recording studio as well, and he is busy recording or mixing a lot of the time.
Punk Globe: Can you tell us some of the bands that you have worked with thus far?
Karla: I have worked with The Hycoprits, The Fight United, Dirty + the Derelicts, Spread Eagle, tour support for Sugar Coated Killers, White Trash Debutantes and JP5 tour support for the "Anarchy in the BC tour", and a band from the UK called Djevara who are touring Canada this fall.
Punk Globe: You also have a Recording Studio. Is it Digital or Analog? What is your studio called?
Karla: My husband and I have a recording studio called Red's Garage. It's a digital studio, but we do have an old 12 track tape recorder in need of a bit of TLC that we hope to have up and running soon.
Punk Globe: Tell us some bands that have recorded there?
Karla: Some of the bands include The Hycoprits, Dirty + the Derelicts, The Jaded Jinas, The Scrooges, solo artist Tim Page and others...
Punk Globe: Altar Ego does not give you proper justice for all the things you are involved with on the Vancouver Music scene.. You have more Alter Ego's than Vikki/Nikki on "One Life To Live" has .. You also have a family.. How do you find the time to do it all?
Karla: I think that there must be three of me running around all at once. Otherwise, I don't know how I would manage to get it all done. I do have a severe case of ADD, however, so that helps me multi-task. I do like to spend a lot of time with my husband and my daughter tho. That being said, being in the music business helps my husband and I to be able to work together more often doing something we both enjoy. My nine year old is also learning to play the guitar, so we are involving her as well. She actually made a brief appearance as a Jaded Jina at one of our Alf House shows. She played the tambourine. Now she is playing guitar and getting pretty good. So yeah, family and music...they can go together if that is what you really love, then all the better. My other kids play music as well. I always supported them in that. One time I had to chaperon a high school dance that one of my kids played....45 minutes of ONE song. They ended and the peeps asked for an encore and they played the same song AGAIN! Then they started a punk band...The Sadistic Lollipops...that was fun...reality is that everyone in our family plays...no, we are NOT The Partridge Family. Basically, what I am saying...is that music IS the family...hmmm....does that make sense or did I ramble....
Punk Globe: You also have lived quite a few places... One being in San Francisco at Turk Street Studio's across the street from the old Sound Of Music... When White Trash Debutantes were practicing there.. What made you decide to settle in Vancouver?
Karla: Hmmm...Turk Street, yes....shhh...that was my little secret...hehe...ANYWAY, I spent a lot of time in Vancouver when I was growing up. I have tons of relatives up here in Canada. I have wanted to live up here since then, and after moving all over the US I figured it was about time I took over Canada.
Punk Globe: Tell us about some of your favorite bands in Vancouver and the surrounding area's?
Karla: The Hycoprits are a really fun band. The guitarist is only 16, the drummer 17, and the singer/bassist is 18. Really good punk, high energy, and extremely talented. Probably one of the best bands I have seen in years. Besides that I would say Mr. Plow, JP5, Rebel Spell, Motorama, No Means No, The Fight United, Big John Bates, The Fiends, Go Like Hell (Seattle), Dirty + the Derelicts, THE PISSUPS, The Black Halos, Taberfucks, SNFU, Kokos, High School Girls,....if I have forgotten anyone....sorry...too many to name.
Punk Globe: Any certain venues you really enjoy working with?
Karla: The Cobalt of course. Wendy 13 is the best...that is really home. I also love the Apollo in Thunder Bay. Sheila is awesome. Kind of like the Cobalt. The Distillery in Calgary, The Cavern in Winnipeg...Lindsay, with @ the punk night, lots, again too many to name.
Punk Globe: Have you ventured into booking bands into the USA?
Karla: At this time I haven't. I hope to in the near future.
Punk Globe: Can you give bands and readers your My Space Address so they can contact you about Altar Ego Productions. Are there any requirements the bands should have ready before contacting you?
http://www.myspace.com/altaregoproductions Know where you want to go...How long you want to tour for...
Have a promo/press kit ready to send us, CDs, and merch merch merch. Can't stress how important it is to have merchandise to sell on the road! You never know what might happen...
Punk Globe: Please also give the readers The Pissups contact information and any other sites that you would like to promote.
Punk Globe: I would personally like to let the readers know that you have a gift for knowing exactly what bands need and working your hardest to get that for them.. A real pleasure to find. I would like to thank you for the interview and if you have any added comments that you may like to leave the readers with. GO FOR IT KARLA!
Karla: BELIEVE IN YOURSELF BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE IS GOING TO DO IT FOR YOU...PUNK FUCKING RAWK! CHEERS!
Thanks Karla for the interview and for making this scene more fun!!!!! YOU...... FUCKING RAWK!!!!