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Local Limelight: Q & A With Psyko Steve

 by Tiffany Tcheng
 published on Thursday, February 9, 2006


Stephen Chilton, a promoter better known around the local music scene as "Psyko Steve," is about to put on a show that he hopes will bring Valley music fans together. The recent ASU grad, who has owned his own independent promotion company, Psyko Steve Presents, for more than five years, promotes shows for all kinds of music groups, from indie rock to pop punk. On Feb. 10, Chilton will bring 35 bands together in six different venues for "Oh Shit! A Fest?," his much anticipated opus to the scene he loves.

Chilton says the event, which has taken more than three months to plan, will help unify Phoenix's diverse music scene because the show features diverse musical genres.

"The scene is getting more and more divided locally, and I just don't like that," Chilton says. "I want to see people mingling that may not normally."

SPM: This is the first festival of its kind for Phoenix's local music. Can you explain the concept behind the fest? How did you decide to go about putting it all together?

Chilton: I wouldn't say this is the first fest, but other festivals haven't been successful. They were small and nothing defining. The idea is to bring local music fans together at one show; to have a lineup that doesn't make sense just so that it makes sense.

SPM: How do you feel now that the fest is coming so soon?

Chilton: It's nerve-wracking that it is so close. Three months of work and now it comes down to all the little details.

SPM: Who was involved in helping you plan the fest?

Chilton: There are lots of people helping me, but it's entirely my thing. Every decision is going through me and [is] my responsibility. Everyone that is involved wants to be involved and wants to see this work, including all the sponsors. They are all in it to see this happen more than anything else.

SPM: What can local music fans expect out of the fest?

Chilton: All of the lineups are going to be random. Every show is going to have a little of everything. Nothing will be divided. All six venues will be going at once and bands are going to be playing against one another, but there is no way around that.

SPM: For people who are not familiar with the bands that will be at the show on Feb. 10, what do you want them to walk away with at the end of the night?

Chilton: I hope people see a band that they have never seen before. If you love it or hate it, I don't really care, as long as you check it out.

SPM: Can you give us details about the after party?

Chilton: Oh yeah, the after party. It is a dance party at the Old Brickhouse (1 E. Jackson St., Phoenix.) It's all ages, with different DJs and a hip-hop act. Anyone 21 and over who goes to the fest gets in free. For everyone else its $5. It's from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Everyone is off doing their own thing during the fest, this is the party we all can come together at.

SPM: Where do you expect the local music scene to be within the next five to 10 years? Chilton: I've been promoting for about five-and-a-half years, and there are so many Phoenix bands that are doing better than other bands [in other cities]. There is a wave of bands that are all doing well nationally. There's Lydia, De Sole, Job for a Cowboy and The Stiletto Formal, just to name a few, and more and more bands are following their footsteps and seeing that we [the bands] can actually do this. More bands are getting that work ethic.

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