Interview: David Teller
To welcome in the rooftop season BirdDog Promo is throwing a its 3rd Annual Memorial Weekend Rooftopparty on Cook Street this Sunday. Bands on the bill include: Not Blood, Paint;Monogold; Ski Lodge; Cold Serbia; and Rifle Recoil. David Teller is Founder/Agent at BirdDog Promo – where he books festivals and tours, and manages bands and their PR. David’s been in Brooklyn for six years, and he’s been throwing shows between Bushwick and Billyburg ever since. Originally from somewhere along the Queens/Long Island border, David wound up in Brooklyn the same way many artist-entrepreneurs do: he was getting a degree in the city. He studied Musical Enterprises at Baruch college and tells me that as his parties started to grow “it all just made sense.”
Ruth Nineke: When, why, how did you get into promotions?
David Teller: When I first moved to Brooklyn, I started throwing parties on the roof of 538 Johnson Ave. (where I was living at the time). I would have friends DJ until late night until the early morning. Eventually started asking bands to play and the parties started to grow. No one would give us problems cause no one really lived over there around then.
RN: What is BirdDog?
DT: Ha. A question I ask myself every day. It’s an ever evolving title for the work that I do. I’ve used the name to book shows and festivals, handle PR for bands, book tours, manage bands. I’ve also used it as a record label and a DJ name.
RN: When did you start BirdDog? Why?
DT: I guess after I threw the Bushwick Rooftop Fest I realized I needed a name for events that I was throwing. I was DJing Rockabilly and R&B at the time and really liked the song Bird Dog by the Everly Brothers. The name stuck.
RN: Who makes up BirdDog? Do you do this alone?
DT: I do most of the dirty work. Maria Gotay is an amazing individual who helps with a lot stuff as well. And of course ALL MY FRIENDS who help at these roof parties — bartenders, burger flippers, door persons, set up and clean up. There’s no way one person could do it all alone.
RN: What’s the hardest part of promoting shows in Brooklyn?
DT: Getting paid
DT: Having fun doing something I truly enjoy
RN: What was one of your most memorable gigs?
DT: Definitely the Bushwick Rooftop Fest. A free two-day outdoor event with 22 bands and four DJs. All my SXSW parties have been a blast as well. CMJ upstairs at Pianos two years ago with Gobble Gobble and Braids was pretty out of control. Amazing that people will still crowd surf with 8 ft ceilings.
RN: Tell me about the Memorial weekend show.. did you know you wanted to kick off the season? Was it is easy to get the bands on the line-up?
DT: This is actually my 3rd annual Memorial day party. I think it’s the perfect weekend to welcome in the rooftop season. Cops are also busy BBQing it up so we don’t get much trouble from them while the suns still up. The lineup this year is pretty perfect. All Bushwick-centric bands with a summery outdoor rock/pop vibe. Couldn’t have asked for more.
RN: What else have you got planned this summer?
DT: My main project will be programing the entertainment at the new Bushwick venue,Delinquency (http://www.delinquencynyc.com/). Also, Out In The Streets Fest will be Aug 11 & 12 at Brooklyn Fireproof. This is an annual 2-day outdoor festival I throw with Scot Bowman of The Sky Report. This year will be BIG. Get Pschyed!
BirdDog on Facebook | Not Blood, Paint | Monogold