This week we have Nat Brown from Oklahoma Car Crash in our On a Safer Scene series. Thanks to Nat for participating and helping to create a safer scene for everyone.
We appreciate you taking the time to do this interview. Could you please state your name(s) and role(s) within the band?
Nat Brown, vocalist, songwriter, guitarist for Oklahoma Car Crash
As a touring artist, have you ever noticed any behaviors that you consider harmful in the scene, especially in regards to harassment and/or discrimination?
Unfortunately, yes. I’ve luckily gotten to play at many venues that are considered safe spaces, but i’ve also had the misfortune of playing spaces in the past that either don’t care or don’t know how to handle situations where someone is using dangerous behavior. Sometimes, it’s the majority of the crowd, too.
What do you think needs to change specifically in order to help create a safer music scene for everyone?
There are many things that need to change, but just one aspect that seems to get overlooked sometimes is that promoters need to take responsibility and learn how to handle situations involving harmful behavior. Promoters also need to be mindful of the bands they book on shows, making sure their line-up is diverse and that the bands involved are good people.
What role do you believe the following people should have in promoting a safer and more inclusive music scene?
Fans need to be aware of their behavior at shows and outside of shows. They need to make sure that their actions are safe. if you’re moshing, make sure you’re not hitting anyone who doesn’t want to be involved, for example.
Musicians and bands need to make sure that they aren’t perpetuating bad behavior. They are on “stage”, they have the pedestal, and should be using that as a means to open up discussion about safer spaces.
Venues need to know how to handle unsafe situations, whether its a house show, diy space, bar, etc. they should be doing everything they can to make their space welcoming and safe as possible.
Are there any places, scenes and/or venues that you’ve noticed to be a safe space? If so, what are they doing that should be emulated by others?
Starship in Worcester, MA has been one of my favorite places to play over the past couple of years. The folks involved always make sure their space is comfortable and welcoming.
Are there any particular bands, musicians, and/or organizations you believe are making an effort to help this cause?
The Hotelier has been one of my favorite bands for that reason, they speak out and use their position as a popular band to allow discussion through their songs and also at shows they’re playing. Foster Carrots, who is from here in Northern Virginia, is doing amazing work inside and outside of shows, too.
Thanks again for your time. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for reaching out to me. I think that if everyone is aware of their words and actions, and makes the effort to unlearn unsafe behaviors, the scene and world will be a much safer place. We still have a lot of work to do, but we can do it.