For many creatures great and small, a trip to Florida during Winter months can be just the thing that’s needed to brighten moods. This February, Orlando will host it’s first two day Garage band festival, at Will’s Pub, naturally. With a great sense of anticipation, Indie Music(.co) sat down with one of the organizers, the always delightful Carol Benanti to discuss The Field Trip South, scheduled for February 24th and 25th.
Indie Music: What is Field trip South?
Carol Benanti: Field Trip South is Orlando’s first true, 2-day “garage” band festival, hosted by ex-Hate Bombs bassist Scott Sugiuchi, who now lives in Baltimore, and his label, Hidden Volume Records. It’s an homage to all the great fests that invited the Hate Bombs to play over a 20-year period: Sleazefest (Chapel Hill), Fuzzfest, Cavestomp, Las Vegas Grind, Garage Rage, Garage Shock, Gutterfest, etc.) Bands on Scott’s Hidden Volume label will play the bill, as well as classic garage giants, SCOTS! We invited them last — most of the bands toured with them over the years. So they said yes, and we’re thrilled. SCOTS has been dear friends to so many bands over the years and have helped them get the recognition they deserve. Rick Miller has even recorded some of them at his “Kudzu Ranch” in NC.
IM:How did you get involved in Field Trip South?
CB: Scott Sugiuchi was in the Hate Bombs with my ex-husband Ken. We also worked together and he’s like my brother. I’ve always supported the garage scene, so Scott asked me to help organize the Hidden Volume fest with him from down here. Go Team HiVo! I’m also close with many of the bands who stayed at my house over the years of touring with the Hate Bombs, like The Subsonics, The Woggles, etc.
IM:That’s a lot of bands. Do you know for how many of these acts this will be their first time in Florida?
CB:I think quite a few of them haven’t played Florida yet, for example, The Ar-Kaics, The Schizophonics, The Stents (Scott Sugiuchi’s band in Baltimore), The Midnight Larks, and The Little Richards.
IM:What makes a truly great garage band?
CB: “Garage bands” formed after the British Invasion, when kids all over the world who were inspired by it, formed bands in their garages. They may not have been the most technically meticulous bands, but they made up for it in heart and soul. Some were more garage punk, some were more garage pop or psychedelic or r&b, but the one thing they all had in common was passion. Many garage bands don’t make any money playing their music. They’re in it for the sheer joy of honest, raw, danceable rawk. I danced for 11 years to The Hate Bombs all over the country and plan to dance the entire Hidden Volume Field Trip South weekend!
IM:What is it about Garage music that has afforded it such a long lifespan?
CB: Because it’s “roots rock” it will never go away. Bands like Orlando’s junior killers, The Woolly Bushmen, will always be there to step up and keep it going. SCOTS has asked the Woollys to tour with them many times and I couldn’t be more proud. That’s another big difference. The bands in the Garage Band Universe are very supportive of each other. For decades, if one band got a gig, they’d ask if their buddie’s bands could also play. This happened with “brother bands” The Woggles and The Hate Bombs for years, and with too many other bands to count. Field Trip South is evidence of that. The bands in the garage scene are devoted to each other, unlike many mainstream artists who are only in it for themselves. Everybody in the garage scene helps each other — for example, during the fest I’m putting up at my house The Woggles, The Subsonics, and anyone else who wants to crash on my living room floor. Team HiVo!
IM:How do you remain so darn cute?
CB:Aw, shucks, Alberto, you slay me. I jog. I dance. And I try to laugh every day. It’s all attitude