North: ‘Be brave. Give up everything for your band at least until you’re 30’
is all we can do. My job is to find new stuff. My business partner puts it on eBay or our site. We account every six weeks and split the profit after costs. Very DIY!
JD: You and the U.K. Subs were really cool and professional when I had the chance to work with you, which is what I admire in bands that come through the Antelope Valley. What are some ways you feel have helped maintain that reputation with you and the band?
PN: I have a few simple rules. I only work for people I like. I only work for bands I would watch as a fan. We are on time. We do our job as best as we can do. If you do those things, you won’t go far wrong. Oh and be honest with the bands. Keep them informed and get them as much rest as possible.
JD: What are some pros and cons you’ve experienced working in Punk Rock?
PN: Pros — It’s the best form of music. There’s less industry nonsense. The vast majority of people are cool, especially with the smaller bands I tour with, where the promoter feeds us and puts us up at his own place. Usually, at his expense. I don’t think that happens in other genres as much. Cons — There’s not much money for bands. USA and UK venues don’t treat bands well (there are exceptions). Van breakdown issues are the worst and can destroy a tour, financially.
As a rule, even after a bad tour or gig, you can’t wait to do it again.
JD: After meeting you, I was reminded of Ian, the tour manager character from “This is Spinal Tap.” Is there a lot of similarities between the movie and what you experience on the road?
PN: You won’t believe this, but I’ve never seen it! But everyone says I should and it’s very relevant. I’m sure it is and one day, I’ll watch it.
JD: Do you have an advice for young people entering into the music business?
PN: Be brave. Give up everything for your band at least until you’re 30. Get one honest, organized person to look after money, etc. Split money evenly between band members, the crew, and the manager. Be the absolute best you can be on the stage!
A typical office for Paul North.