Fernando Pinto of Elevator Music and The Tune Inn Cafe
I decided to interview Fernando because I went to the Tune Inn so much this summer (and still going now) that it was about time I met him. He gave me a pile of CDs for WESU (because I am currently collecting local bands to be featured on my punk show and hopefully other shows), and then agreed to do this interview via email (conducted September 30, 1998). If you need directions to the Tune Inn, or want a ride to the next show, gimme a call.
Kim: Please introduce yourself: who you are, where youre from, your club, your music label, any instruments, you play, your favorite band, and your favorite Spice Girl.
[Just to be fair Im Kim. Im from Anchorage, AK. I dont have a club or a record label. I play piano and a mean air guitar. I love the Decendents (sigh, Milo the physicist) and the Spice Girl who quit is the smartest of all.]
Fernando: Hola, Im Fernando Pinto, a frustrated musician, who never mastered any instrument, so I decided to do the behind the scene duties like running the Tune Inn café in New Haven and releasing great music on CD/vinyl on this cool label called Elevator Music. Check it out cause it will turn your life around. I am originally from Portugal. My favorite band is the Stranglers and my favorite Spice Girl is Christine Bobbish. My personality is a mix of Mother Teresa and Al Capone.
Kim: Give a low-down on the Connecticut and/or New Haven scene.
[bonus points if you use the term "Skannecticut"]
Fernando: The Connecticut music scene is like a yo-yo. A few years ago it was kicking. There were many good ska, punk, and hardcore bands in the scene and people came out and had fun. Now it is in transition. At the moment it is on the down side, but I see a very positive future. There are many good bands coming up.
Kim: Where did all the Connecticut punks go?
[A teenage girl approached me at your club a while back asking if I was into punk. She said the club gets packed for ska shows (which Ive witnessed in person) but no one comes for punk shows because theyve all left town. Although I think shes a little young to have much perspective on scenes coming and going is she right?]
Fernando: Punks move around, thats their nature. And I dont blame them because Connecticut is not punk friendly
I disagree with what the teenage girl says some punk shows draw a lot of people and some dont just like ska and hardcore shows.
Kim: Were you a part of the Straight Edge/Revelation Records era? If not directly involved, do you have any comments about it?
Fernando: Never been straight edge, the only involvement I have with straight edge is promoting the music and I knew Jordan [Cooper and Ray Porcell], the king pin at Revelation, when he lived in New Haven.
yes, live and let live
Kim: Back to your record label Elevator Music- How are you running it (store, mail order)? Who do you decide to release? How successful is it? [You can gauge success by wealth, quality of music or enjoyment of running it ]
Fernando: Elevator Music has released 27 CDs and 7"s. Some of the bands we have released are: The Pist, Thumper, Showcase Showdown, Dissolve, Tedio Boys, Joker, Kitty Badass, The Invaders, The Independents as well as great compilations of punk, hardcore and skanarchy. Basically I run the label part-time because of the club duties but the goal is to find someone to book the club and promote it so I can run the label full time.
(If someone reads this article and would like to become the Tune Inn booking agent, or help with mail order, get in touch.)
I like bands that are great live and who I like as people as well. I gauge success with enjoyment, quality and wealth. Were already celebrating the first two, and wealth is coming.
Kim: And finally, back to your club The Tune Inn. What unusual circumstances do you have to deal with in owning/booking a club? Many readers may be familiar with D.I.Y. zines, labels and booking shows, but not OWNING a club.
Fernando: If youre thinking about running your own club, make sure you have a lot of money to buy all the politicians in town and police department. Otherwise, be ready for some unusual circumstances.
Kim: Please finish off this interview with a good story.
[Sorry but you cant use the one about the Tedio Boys destroying the sound equipment because I already told everyone about that.]
Fernando: We survived the downtown gentrification thanks to the punks that marched and protested against the corrupted politicians.
Thanks to everyone who has supported us.
For more information write us at:
Tune Inn Café
P. O. Box 1502
New Haven, CT 06511
tel # (203) 772-4310