Mike Spent is a punk from the days who fronts the Spent Idols and runs Spent City Records.
What is the state of the scene?
Mike: There's a thriving scene going. We're not really a part of it, but there's a thriving music scene in San Diego.
Is there anything wrong with punk music in San Diego?
Mike: Yeah, I think people play it a little too safe in San Diego and they wait until they hear it on the radio or see it on MTV before they act on it. There's not a whole heck of a lot of originality.
What's good about punk music in San Diego?
Mike: Well, it opens the door for anybody, and you never know. A good band might pop up out of all the crappy ones. Punk's a proving ground, it's like a place to start. That's what I like about it. There's a good punk scene in San Diego.
How do you think people act at shows? Do they seem to be having a good time?
Mike: If they're 21 and up, they're standoffish and they wait for somebody to make a move and they'll stand there. I think the Casbah has ruined a lot of people. They just kind of stand there and click their fingers like they're the beatnik coffee klatch, or if you go to, say, Soul Kitchen, the kids want to have a good time and they have a good time. If you go to SOMA, you get a bunch of Nazis they allow in there that just intimidate the crowd and it's just basically a melee of fucking crammed in sheep. It's a slaughterhouse.
Do you see any problems with the crowds and the people who go to see bands?
Mike: The only problem we've ever seen is at SOMA. Soul Kitchen, we've never had a problem. Velvet, we've never had a problem. Casbah, we've never had a problem. Bodie's, any of the other places. The only place there's ever been a problem in San Diego has been at SOMA.
What can we do to make the scene better?
Mike: I think the scene would be better if more people would pick up arms, if they'd get into doing bands and just going for it, just doing what they say they're going to, moving on it. There are some people that do, but it's the same old people rehashing bands and they just change the names. It's the same faces. If some new people got in there and weren't intimidated by the old people that were dug in and the so-called cool, hip crowd, I think that would really be good for the music scene. Just follow your heart and go for it.