I have been part of the DIY music scene for over 35 years as a audience member and as a performer in my band Kreamy ‘Lectric Santa. The DIY music ethos had its beginnings in the 1970s as way for bands to bypass the corporate mainstream industry. Creating DIY music became a way to make something without the pressure of an entity telling you how to play and what to say. And because of the nature of this movement it forces a community to grow and support it. It’s a grassroots community that creates an infrastructure so bands can play and have an audience.
An important part of this infrastructure is the “venue” where bands play. It could be anything from a house with a basement to an open lot or your local record store. In Asheville, we are fortunate to still have a place like Static Age (110 N. Lexington Ave.). They have been in the Asheville community for about 15 years. State Age is a place for underground bands to play and a place for people to see them.
As we see the huge wave of gentrification that is drowning venues like Static Age throughout this entire country, we see these places doing things to make money to survive. Static Age recently remodeled the space to create a bar area. They did it to make more money so they can keep their doors open. They remodeled it step by step, by themselves, and always kept front and center the goal of making it inclusive and as ADA-friendly as possible. In the end, it will take the community to make sure that every town has a Static Age that gives the people a space to create and have a voice.