“Feed The Music – Not The Corporations”
So I was lucky enough to get an Interview with Mr. Jamie Mcdermid, the head Honcho at New Hellfire Club where we talked about NHC, an organisation everyone seems to be familiar with but still a lot of people don’t know too much about it. So today I’ve decided to find out some important things about the charity and grassroots music promotion company based in Glasgow known as New Hellfire Club. So without further ado here are the questions.
Why New Hellfire Club for the name?
To be honest it happened so long ago I’m not even sure now, best chance is that I was reading an X-Men comic at the time.
How long has the organisation been around?
5-6 years now, give or take a few months!
Where is It located?
The Hidden Lane, up past Finnieston.
What changes have been made to the shop since the renovation and what was it like when NHC moved in?
The renovation is still slightly ongoing! So far though we have most of a soundproof booth built, we have built shelving units and record stands, a games area, and painted the shit out of everything.
How many employees/members does NHC have?
It changes all the time, but generally we carry about 25 volunteers at any one time, with about 3-8 main members.
How many bands have registered with NHC And how do you go about getting registered?
We have over 400 registered bands and artists, and we generally open registrations every 4 months or so for newcomers. You can email the page for more details anytime though!
How many events do you put on per month and per year?
We have events every week in the shop, at least once. Every so often we have out of store events but these days they are pretty rare, it has to be something interesting for us to stick it on as there is no point in filling the city with more shitty ‘five mixed bands at 25 minutes each’ gigs. There are far too many of them as it is.
It’s very mixed, last year we had about 2 per week, this year that has halved. Next year? Your guess is as good as mine! It depends on what offers come in to be honest, but we do have some tricks up our sleeves.
Do you feel these events are well attended?
Again, very mixed. The nights we thought would be busy could be quiet, and the ones we didn’t have high hopes for ended up mobbed. It’s hard to gauge it. Over the course of a year we probably broke even on our live events, we are cool with that to be honest. It’s never been about the cash for us.
Are there any big regular or annual events NHC put on?
We have the carnival of the dark arts that we still intend to do twice per year, but apart from that there is no set gigs. We take each month as it comes these days, same with event offers.
Are you surprised by how much NHC has grown?
I am pleasantly surprised! We always thought it would go well, but it kind of took us by surprise this year with it’s growth. That’s why we have been a bit hectic on our end, we didn’t have the staff at the time to manage the speed it had grown. It’s hard work, but it’s good work, so i’m happy with it.
What does NHC do?
Essentially our main aims are to help bands, musicians, and artists self fund, we also help with promotion, distribution, advice, funding for projects and more. We do all of this by operating as a volunteer driven not for profit, populated by good folk who want to see the local music and arts scene thrive.
If NHC had a slogan what would it be?
Try not to get too drunk.
What is the Gonzo division and are their other divisions at NHC.
The Gonzo division is it’s own beast entirely. It has slipped the NHC cage and is now mauling festivals and events across the city. Nah, the guys and gals doing work with the Gonzo arm of NHC are the folk who go where we can’t… literally, and figuratively. They are the evil twin of NHC.
What are some of NHC’s proudest moments?
Our best moments are when we help others, it’s kind of what we do in one way or another every week. The food drive in conjunction with ICW was pretty special. I guess the best point was opening the shop three years ago, turning it from an empty shell into the hub it is today. It feels awesome to create something from nothing, we could only have done that as a group.
What has been some of the most difficult moments for NHC?
Financially it’s not been easy any month to be honest. It’s always a struggle to meet the debts at the end of every month. Totally worth it though. Turnover of volunteers, especially when they are hard workers, is difficult too. Every time we think we have a cracking volunteer, they have a life changing circumstance and we lose them (like get a new job, start uni etc). It’s the nature of volunteer work unfortunately. We manage to keep about 10% of our volunteers over a year.
What’s coming up in the near future for NHC?
Tons of stuff, we don’t want to give too much away but we have a few more releases, and one big gig announcement, and a partnership with another organisation in the pipeline, busy year coming up!
Where can people contribute to NHC?
Anything! Ha! Seriously though, we do take anything, 90% of our stock is donated, and selling it helps keep the doors open, and the lights on. We take everything from records, games, old vhs, old band t-shirts, cd’s, dvd’s, cassette tapes, old magazines, old instruments and amps, really anything! We also take in food for Westgap foodbank, and blankets, papers, and pet food for hessilhead wildlife sanctuary. The shop can often be pretty full!
How does New Hellfire Club make it’s money?
Very slowly… nah we generally make all the cash from selling donated stock. We also have some sponsors, and have some generous donors too. We are always looking for new ways to get funds in, as every penny we make in profit goes right into bands and artists we work with. So the more we get, the more we can do for others.
I’ve seen people criticise and attack NHC what do you have to say to that?
We have had that more than once in the past, and it’s generally through people not really having an understanding of what we actually do. I don’t mind it really, we are an open door organisation and anyone can honestly pop in and ask us about what we do, how we do it, and we will go through it all with them. The truth is, no matter what you do, here will always be naysayers in this industry. The trick is not to let it get on top of you and drag you down, life is easier that way.
Okay so after that I hope we all know NHC a little better and you can find out more by visiting them on Facebook and via their website and if you can make sure to donate either your time, money or resources to New Hellfire Club so that they can continue to do their great work.
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org