(Above) The flyer for the most recent Weird Science show at mac’s bar.

Walter Lucken and AJ Glaub, founders of the Weird Science concert series, talked with me about the series origin, what they hope to accomplish and the diversity of the lineups. The next Weird Science show will be May 5th, 2011 at Basement 414. More details will follow soon.

Q: How did you come up with the concept for Weird Science? How did the
name Weird Science come about?

Aj: Me and walt had a baby, walt gave it a name.

wl: Yeah the concept for the shows pretty much came out of the fact
that I wasn’t really getting a lot of shows and neither were a lot of
acts I knew, and I thought the problem may have been that there just
wasn’t an outlet for music outside the margins of what people in
Lansing are used to, or maybe there was an audience there already but
nobody was filling that void of the intersection between rap,
electronic, and experimental music. So we gave it a shot and it worked
out way better than I expected, at least.

Q: Who else helped develop the concept? Did you have any input from the
musicians you were booking? Or did you already have a clear idea of
what the show would be about?

Aj: The og concept was developed strictly by walt and I as a way to
promote our solo sets with the potential for packed shows with diverse
audiences/line-ups. Jesus Crisis is our personal savior, #1 collaborator an allstar Weird Sci guy.

wl: Yeah, we have input from pretty much everyone who we book on the
show, a lot of people have said they wanted to perform at the next
Weird Science because they were into the concept, which pretty much
confirmed what I thought about a lot of music not having an outlet.
Originally like AJ says it was pretty much just the both of us booking
people who do stuff we like in our respective genres which ended up
kind of putting those two groups together which was great. A lot of
people are supporting the shows and giving us constructive feedback,
for example we’ve made mistakes and been instructed on how to correct
them so it’s not just AJ and I, a lot of people are involved.

Q: The first Weird Science show was last month and since then, there have
been 3 WS events so far featuring artists like yourself (Big Walt),
Jesus Crisis, Loop Goat and more.

What were some of the goals you have from a booking standpoint for the
shows? Do you want to have a consciously diverse lineup or did it
evolve naturally over time as you were booking the artists? How do you
find the musicians that you book for the shows?

Aj: Yes, the mixing of genres is the most important part. It is also
evolving, we are looking to feature more live bands, but rap +
electronics in all their forms is our top interest.

wl: Yeah, for me at least the most important thing is not that we
present music that sounds at all similar but rather music that’s made
with a certain mindset, and that we cultivate a following that listens
to music the same way. So we can put experimental or even more
traditional hip hop in front of people who like noise music and vice
versa and people end up appreciating things they otherwise wouldn’t
have paid much attention to. That’s my focus really, just getting
people to give music outside their comfort zone a chance. To answer
your questions about finding artists it’s mostly people that we’ve
known forever but we definitely look out for people in the area or
even beyond it that would fit, Jesus Crisis helps us out with that a
lot.

Q: From a show standpoint, what were your expectations for the first
show? Did you meet them? Did you surpass them? How have those
expectations changed in the short time WS have been active?

Aj: What I didn’t expect, which is so great, is that everybody’s
always really happy with the diversity and new faces. It feels like
going to a show out of town. As far as expectations changing, WS is
always going to be changing.

wl: We had had a show at Basement 414 which was mostly just all of our
friends hanging out, that was a really great time so the first Weird
Science, which was at Mac’s, mostly had me expecting another smaller
but positive and relaxed kind of thing, but way more people came than
I expected and it was actually pretty hype which was a really big
surprise to me. I would say that my expectations have changed in that
I probably have slightly more positive expectations now than I did in
the beginning because we’ve had such a great reception.

Q: How do you think the audience reacts to shows with diverse lineups
such as WS? Are they intrigued and interested in the show as a result
of the diversity? Or are they kind of perplexed as to its diversity? I
personally think it’s really cool that the lineups are so diverse.

Aj: The best is seeing experimental acts with rowdy crowds, or touring
favorites who normally play for the same people getting a great
audience. No complaints yet.

wl: There’s definitely an open minded contingent of people who pretty
much check out whatever is on, some people come to see one particular
act and go outside to smoke a cig or whatever but as long as they
physically witness the other performances even if they aren’t up front
going nuts I think it’s a step in the right direction. So to answer
your question, definitely both. We try to make the lineups diverse
like I said to get people to consider stuff outside of their comfort
zone.

Q: Do you see WS becoming a staple in Lansing as a showcase of the city’s
musical diversity and artists in general? What do you hope to
accomplish with WS?

Aj: I want all these amazing bedroom musicians and real deal intense
artists to be the NEW HYPE SHIT!!! eastside lansing 4ever baby shout
out to tape woooolff!

wl: I sure hope so, my goals are to scout out more talented people and
also raise the profile of the event so we can attract larger acts
which of course translates into more exposure for the smaller but
talented acts that we look for. I guess to sum up how I feel about
Weird Science I’ve been doing music for a while and a lot of times the
atmosphere is really negative, people are self centered, and the whole
thing just seems really intimidating and hostile. So to me Weird
Science is mostly just a vehicle to help people out and give them an
outlet for their creativity. We’re all friends you know, it’s not that
serious.