How do you think your musical career would be different if you hadn't started in the Triangle?

Well, I've never tried to be a musician in any other community but the Triangle. I don't have any way to compare. But my personal experience has been that there's a lot of support for experimentation. There are a lot of musicians who are excited and hungry to play music.

My cost of living is really low, but my quality of living is really high, and I think that is attractive for musicians. Because let's face it: None of us is making a whole lot of money doing this. So that's part of it. I think we're definitely in an upswing right now, having a bit of a heyday, which is fun to be a part of. It's exciting. I'm very proud when I say I'm from North Carolina.

Is there anything else people should know going into this show?

I'm excited about this tour. I'm excited about St. Louis, too, because my punk band [Bellafea] used to play St. Louis all the time. At the Lemp Arts Center. Is that place still there?

It is. When are you talking about?

We would always book St. Louis relatively close to the beginning of the tour because we always had such a good time there. This was like 2003 to 2008.

Was there any particular reason? Was it just that you had this good connection with this venue?

I just felt like people came out and really supported a touring band. We always got a home-cooked meal, which is really hard to find in the U.S. It just felt really special. The door person, the person running sound, the owner...there was a lot of positivity. It was all ages. It seemed like a really successful, truly DIY place.

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Mike Appelstein
Mike Appelstein

True story: I saw Bellafea play in my friend Amy's basement when I first moved here, circa summer 2003. They opened for Dear Nora. Never heard of them before that night, but was blown away.

 
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