I’m glad so many of you are enjoying these Expert Fan profiles, because I love doing them. It is important that these loyal lovers of music be recognized for their dedication and shining personalities, and today’s Expert Fan is no exception. If you’re even remotely involved in the music scene here in LA, you’ve likely seen Derek Scott around.
I met Derek at a Janks show probably close to two years ago. I was going to their shows often and kept seeing him around, so finally I introduced myself to him. We’ve been friends ever since and bonded over many bands we have mutual adoration for. Derek definitely goes to more shows than I do, and likely has an even more eclectic taste in music. He openly spreads the word about his favorite bands via Facebook and is happy to make suggestions to anyone about who to be listening to. His love of photography was influenced by his love of music and over the last couple of years he started shooting all of the shows he went to, which allows many of his friends to live vicariously through his adventures in music. He does this solely because he likes to do it and provides bands with solid live photos. Derek is definitely a fan you want on your side.
Recently, Derek and I had a chat about his favorite bands growing up, his system for picking the shows he attends, and how the joke that he has attended more Janks shows than the band members themselves was born. So, take a few minutes to get to know Expert Fan Derek Scott.
Hometown: Red Bluff, CA
Why did you move to LA?
Economy reasons, mostly for work and the job market for what I do, IT/Computer Programming. LA is so big that there is always a job available.
How long have you been in LA?
About 5 years, I lived in the Valley for a bit but I don’t really consider that LA.
Who were your favorite Bands growing up?
The Toadies, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, and basically most of the 90’s grunge bands. Also, a local favorite from the Pacific Northwest is this band called Floater, who is fucking amazing.
Best live show you’ve ever gone to?
That changes a lot. One of the biggest and most impressive I’ve gone to is Muse. I saw Muse at both the Staples Center and Mandalay Bay. Mandalay Bay is the one I’m probably more partial to because I was closer. I felt the heat of the pyrotechnics! They put on a spot on, insane musical performance. Its one of those things where you wonder how they are gonna do it again to top the last, and they just continuously do.
Clearly, the music makes a live show great, but what other elements make a show memorable to you?
Certain elements, like guitarists shredding and doing crazy shit. Recently, I saw Mars and the Massacre and Peter was writhing on the floor like an insane man while just ripping it. PLaNETS definitely play up the performance part and just keep you engaged all the time. A huge part of the performance, to me, is a band has to have a good drummer. They are the glue and they hold it all together. If that goes downhill, they’re fucked.
Was there a specific moment or a band that tied you to the LA music scene?
It was more about seeing more national acts and word of mouth for me at first. There were a couple of bands that I went out to see regularly, like Rocco Deluca and Dead Sara, but the band that started it, and kicked off the craziness was The Janks. I saw both them and King Washington at the same time at one of their residencies and I thought they were both awesome. But it was a couple months later when I saw The Janks announce another show, and I knew I had to go see them again. At one point I had gone to over 100 shows in the span of so many months. That started the whole joke that I had gone to more Janks shows than the Janks themselves. They were the catalyst because through them I met Badass Bands Blog, The Crazy Brave, PLaNETS, Mars and the Massacre and the list goes on. They opened all these doors to these other bands. They always play with great bands. Its ridiculous now how many local bands I try to follow, but I can’t go to everybody’s show. You know this town, a lot of good shows are on like Thursday nights and of course, and everybody is playing.
How do you pick which shows to attend?
It is tough. My system is usually that I factor in how long its been since I’ve seen the band, or usually if I get enough advance notice and I have nothing going on, I say I’m attending. If something else comes up later, some times I’ll make a judgment call. But usually if I say I’m going to that show, then I am going to that show. That is typically my system.
You take photos at many shows you attend, what sparked that?
This is kind of interesting; this is another element that sparked off the whole music thing. This was a little pre-Janks, I bought an Iphone and the second I discovered I could capture great live video and the audio was pretty decent, I was hooked. I was able to have this moment saved that shows I was there. Then I started taking photos with the Iphone as well. Photography with an Iphone is very difficult. I thought if I had a decent camera, I could get really great photos. The camera I have now is ridiculous and amazing. The jump in technology has made a huge difference. I’m always interested in the different shots I can capture. I can gauge many moments that are worth catching on certain lineups, that maybe others can’t quite anticipate.
Favorite venues in LA?
The Satellite, El Rey Theatre, and Bootleg Theatre, those are my top 3. There are pretty consistently good shows there both lineup and audio-wise.
If you could book one night with any four bands you wanted, who would make the cut?
Currently, The Janks, PLaNETS, Mars and the Massacre, and Splice the Mainbrace.
As a fan, what is some advice you would give bands?
I would say pay close attention to the community. There are a few bands I know that do not do this and they wonder why people aren’t coming out to their shows. I feel like this is an obvious thing, but some bands just don’t get it. Get out there and make band alliances!