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Five questions

Five Questions with Justin Passino

Time is eating its own tail again and doing another one of those “haven’t I been here before?” type things, as Justin Passino started the original DIY Plattsburgh site a few years ago and is now being interviewed by the entity which he created. Crazy! In addition to probably not foreseeing an event like this, Justin plays music under the name For the Kid in the Back. Here’s what he had to say to our five questions:

1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Justin Passino. I play acoustic guitar and sing songs that are sometimes sad.

2. What does DIY mean to you?
Oh boy here we go.

To me DIY means asserting more control over your art, your life and your community. We’re taught from birth what is possible and what isn’t possible. We’re shown pre-determined paths and most of us are led to believe that these paths are our only options. For instance we’re encouraged to earn a certain amount of money, to buy certain products and to live a certain lifestyle. Not to say that taking one of these paths is a right or wrong, but I think DIY is about giving yourself, your friends and your community other options and realizing that you can do anything. Whether you decide to or not. Whatever makes you happy.

It’s a way of thinking that can be applied to many different facets of life whether creative or not. I just happen to associate it most with the DIY music scene. Mainstream culture tends to put commercial artists on a pedestal and separates them from everyone else. It makes art more about money and popularity than actually connecting with people. DIY is about bridging that divide and keeping full control of your own art. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with supporting artists that are on major labels or artists that play shows that cost like 30 dollars…because I do support some artists who do that…but I also find it much more satisfying to see a band in an intimate setting that only costs me maybe 5 dollars and gives me an opportunity to connect with them and everyone else at the show. Over the years I’ve developed a lot of amazing connections with people through this. This is why I continue to book shows in my town, help my friends book tours, book my own shows and put out my own albums.

All in all I don’t believe DIY is about being punk or being cool or assigning a label to yourself. It’s just about honesty, accountability, helping one another and doing what you believe is right.

3. Why should people choose the DIY method?
I think people should choose the DIY method because they whether they know it yet or not, they CAN do these things themselves. As human beings we tend to restrict our potential with thoughts like “Well that’s just how it works” but it doesn’t always have to be that way. I understand we live within certain restrictions that we can’t do much about, but for everything else there’s always an alternative. From a creative side of things, not all movies need to be made in Hollywood, not all great musical performances need to occur on a stage in front of thousands, not all great works of art need to be shown in upscale galleries. Do it yourself because in the end it’s just you that’s accountable for your own life and what you create.

4. What do you want to get off of your chest right now?
Can I please quit my job and tour more? Tour is fun.

5. Are there any people, places or ideas that you think folks should know about?
The music scenes in both Keene, NH and Lowell, MASS rule. Check out the bands Cold Sneer, Burning Bridges, Slurred Speech and TRAGWAG. Also my friends Spraynard are releasing a new EP soon, so make sure to check that out as well if you like pop punk. A few local bands released/are about to release new music as well, including TFO, Lie Captive, Marco Polio and Adrian Aardvark. Support all of these people!

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
The newest For the Kid in the Back release is called Loss. Click the picture below to give it a listen:

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