Hype-mag.com is a webzine dedicated to festivals and the bands that play them, with an emphasis on photography and video.
When I got my first car at 16, a ’97 crown vic formerly the sheriff of Tampa bays, every weekend was spent traveling the state of Florida to catch Hardcore and Metal bands at some of the seediest rooms with a stage in the country. That same year my parents decided it was also time that I got my first digital camera. What some would consider a crappy little Fuji camera, I cherished it like it was a newborn. My photos sucked but I didn’t have the hassle of film to slow me down from practicing with the camera anymore. The combination of my car and a camera has proven to be a fateful opportunity that has led me to my path in life.It wasn’t until my college years when I joined the staff of my college’s newspaper, gargoyle.flagler.edu at Flagler College as their Photo Editor, that I realized my dream of becoming a music Journalist could become a reality.Armed with a Fuji S5 Pro, I emailed any and every band coming to play near my college and finally someone said yes. That band happened to be Band of Horses, needless to say my photo and video skills were not quite as advanced as they are now so I only published two of the photos. Shortly after, I got assigned to cover the second annual Harvest of Hope Festival in St. Augustine, Fl. With a raging lineup consisting of a good amount of relatively unknown bands, at the time, alongside some legends I was pumped as hell to see.One of those legends I was really eager to see and possibly meet was Chali 2NA from Jurassic 5. His name adorned the lineup alongside the likes of Kool Kieth and Broken Social Scence, but I knew he was who I wanted to meet. Just before Portugal. The Man’s set at HOH Fest my editor called me with news I could hardly believe, Chali 2NA was down for an interview with me.I sat and talked with him for about an hour and a half, he asked me if I wanted to chill with him and just “you know follow along”. I said hell yeah and shortly after we were blazing a blunt of some of the finest Cali has to offer. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that day with Chali 2NA, that was the day I knew I would do anything within my power to meet my goal of becoming an actual music journalist. Years passed and festivals ended as I gained more knowledge of who I am and where I want to go. At no festival have I felt more like I am in the place I should be in my life than at Camp Bisco 11. Three Months ago my best friend, Mike Parker and I decided we’re just plain sick of the festival coverage that is available in print and online.We both agreed that media is moving to a more visual platform, yet no one has taken advantage of that fact yet. The more we talked and planned the more we realized we just wanted coverage that made us feel like we were at the festival. Hence, Hype-mag.com was born on March 13, 2012. Three months ago if you were to tell me I’d be covering Camp Bisco, I would have laughed myself to sleep. After three months of hardwork and several festivals in Florida and one show in New York, Hype-mag was headed to the eleventh annual Camp Bisco Festival held by The Disco Biscuits at Indian Lookout Country Club. Already being a huge fan of all of the guys in the biscuits, I knew I had to go and wanted to cover Bisco. After covering an off-the-chain Lettuce show at Brooklyn Bowl, the one NY show I mentioned, I pulled all the stops to get a single press pass to Camp Bisco. Thankfully the PR team that does Press for Camp Bisco doesn’t focus on only having major name coverage at their festival. They focus on quality coverage, which is much appreciated and rare in the world of music today. After requesting work off for a week, I intern at Triple Threat TV making MTV True Life episodes, and sending out interview requests with some of the artists and bands that I love that were playing bisco, I knew I was on my way to camp. Arriving at Camp Bisco was surreal. A line of hundreds to thousands of cars trickled down the small country road leading to the Indian Lookout Country Club. The weekend began with a pretty thorough search of my car, which yielded little results for the bikers who run security at Indian Lookout, apparently many of them are connected to the Hell’s Angels. However, the bikers are some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met, they’re always willing to share a story or two. I will add that there were a lot of Noobs at the fest who were just plain rude to the bikers and to other Campers. It’s a shame that dubstep artists like Bassnectar and Skrillex attract such a large crowd of bros and noobs. In all my experience at festivals, people are usually very loving and friendly. I’d say Camp Bisco was half and half. Half the crowd were veteran festival goers, like my self, who understand respect for the festival grounds and the people who work them and attend them. The other half are idiots that came with bath salts, oxys, heroin and anything else along those lines. I even heard some kid excitedly exclaim to his friends “Nah man I’m all good. I brought a bunch of bath salts and middies so Im straight for the weekend”. All I could say and still think is what the fuck is wrong with that kid and the other people who thought bringing bath salts would be cool? You can very easily obtain much better, not to mention safer drugs, within five minutes of entering the campgrounds.Its a sad truth that two people died in relation to this years Camp Bisco, with several more hospitalized. Almost all the hospitiliazations had to to do with heat exhaustion and drug overdoses. I will admit it was hot as hell, but from what Ive been reading about bath salts, they skyrocket your body temp to over 104 degrees, leaving your body reeling from the abuse. A couple of the hospitilizations were a little worse and more cruel than just bath salts. Apparently, some idiot had filled his squirt gun with what was believed to be acid. That moron thought it would be funny to squirt people with the gun, making them think it was just water. Low and behold several people were reported to have seizures from this moron. I cant lie this pisses me off so much I cant believe somone would do something so cruel to another person at Camp Bisco. If a person wants to trip, Let them decide that on their own. One of the deaths was a car accident when two people were leaving the fest. The second was some kid who took way too many drugs, police report says xanax I believe, Im gonna guess there were some bath salts involved as well, he ended up overdosing on Wednesday night. There wasn’t even music playing at Camp yet. I guess what I’m trying to get across here is that music festivals are not about drugs and if your going to go to a festival to just do drugs go to Ultra, not Camp Bisco. To put it simply for all the noobs that went to Camp, Music festivals are about music, plain and simple, and Camp Bisco had some fantastic music. The next day, After all the shenanigans of Wednesday night in the campgrounds, my friend Julia and I headed to the media tent for a meeting. As we grabbed a bean bag chair and got a little comfortable with the guys from Mansions On The Moon, who should walk up but one of my idols, Marc Brownstein of The Disco Biscuits. Looking back on it, Im not really sure why he started to tell this story but he did and I wont ever forget it. Apparently at one of the Biscuits show, Marc had decided to dose before the Biscuits went on stage. By the time he was on stage he said he was “tripping so hard I couldn’t even hear myself playing in my amp”. He told us about how he kept telling the sound guy to turn him up and they kept giving him the thumbs up. From what Marc told us he was just so spun that he really couldn’t hear his own amp, which was on and working.” Once the story was over he just walked away. That just gives me another reason to love the guys in the Biscuits. Thursday was my semi-slow day at Camp. The only bands other than the Biscuits that I was pumped to see were Kung Fu and Zed’s Dead. I had heard good things about the guys funky jam sets, so they were the first band I caught at Camp. Kung Fu is basically the funky afro ninja of the festival jam scene, they are quite worth checking out, http://www.kungfumusic.com. The opening of the Big Tent was something to behold. People were so anxious to get into the tent that when it did open there was a mad rush of rolling campers stampeding to get the best spots for The M Machine’s set. Shortly after The M Machine I caught a little of the guys I was hanging out with a little earlier, Mansions On The Moon. I know this is a little brazen to say but I really wasn’t hooked by their sound. Maybe it was the wrong setting for them or a weird set time but they just did not stand out to me. After a good amount of inebriation preparation, my little crew and I headed down to Zed’s Dead. I’ve heard many a mixed thing about the guys live sets so I was a little curious to see what their camp set would be like. Epic. I’d say the most epic daytime set of the weekend. The guys threw it down with the best remix I’ve heard all year, Original Don (Flosstradamus Remix) by Major Lazer. The guys bassed out hit “Rude Boy” was among my favorite songs of the weekend. I’ve listened to these two songs every day since Camp.Skrillex put on a monstrous performance fueled with flames as high as the stage and lasers that spun out of control. Check the recap video for examples, all the crazy lasers on the main stage are sonny’s set. skrillex.com Kill The Noise literally killed the noise for me, I was so tired after his set that I past out missing Porter Robinson, who I’ve been itching to see live. Got some pics up at the top of the article of his set. It was pretty good, some crazy girl from the front row hopped on stage before any of the security realized what was going on. It seemed like she walked up to Jakob Stanczak, of KTN, and asked for an autograph or something during the middle of a song. She then preceded to “booty” dance with the girls who were hired to dance on the big stages with some of the dubstep acts in the big tent. killnoisekill.com
When I woke up Friday morning my lungs were aching. All of the dust and dirt that was being stirred up by the Campers all around the festival was being inhaled by myself and everyone else at Camp. Not to mention I had some of the infamous Black festival Boogers.I took a shower, ate some breakfast and headed over to the backstage to catch Eliot Lipp’s set. I have a couple of his albums and theres some songs that I like, but now that I’ve seen him there are songs that I love. Check out my interview with Eliot above. Check out eliotlipp.com, for all things Eliot Lipp. Next came Break Science, who I never miss if their on a lineup, accompanied by Chali 2NA of Jurassic 5. I hadn’t seen the trio yet so I was more than anxious to see the sort of hype Chali would bring to the stage for Adam and Born. The addition of Chali brought a new level of excitement to Break Science who always seem to have something new and exciting in all of their shows. Check out my interview with Break Science up above. Check out their site to do download their albums for free! breaksciencemusic.comShortly after Break Science’s set, I was chilling in the media tent when Chali 2NA walked in eating a vanilla ice cream cone. Being the super down-to-earth guy he is, he stopped and talked to every person he passed. Of course I jumped on the first opportunity I could get to speak to him. I told him since we last met at Bear Creek and previously at Harvest of Hope, he has driven me to pursue my dreams and become a music journalist. The genuine gratitude on his face spoke louder than any words he could have said. He just put his hand over his heart and thanked me in a grateful whisper. Its artists like Chali, Break Science, Dopapod, Eliot Lipp, Spankalicious and Gramatik among many others, who make what I do, for zero money, worth more than any other job in the world. Portugal. The Man stood out as being one of the only big name bands on the lineup. I’ve been a huge fan of the guys ever since Waiter! You Vultures and have kept with the progression of Portugal. the entire time. I consider them to be one of the most underrated acts in music today. If you haven’t heard them please go check out their website, portugaltheman.com.Atlanta native Big Boi showed up a half hour late for his set and only stayed on stage for about 25 minutes. That did not however stop him from performing some of his greatest hits over the years like “Kryptonite” and Outkast’s “Sorry Ms. Jackson” bigboi.comI missed a couple really good bands, Lotus and Emancipator, cause I was shooting some of the interviews above. The next set I was able to catch was the Biscuits set, where I was able to relax and behold the amazing glow of the Biscuits light show. Amon Tobin took to the stage next to play ISAM. Im gonna be honest, being in the press pit pushed up against huge speakers while endless bass poured out that rattled the hairs in my noise, I really wasn’t impressed with the music or the 3D projection mapped light show. On camera however, the light show looks crazy. I think one of the guys from Dubera.com said it best when he said “It was like an hour and a half long dubstep intro”, amontobin.com As Amon Tobin ended, I headed to the Big Tent to prepare for Dada Life. The anticipation of the crowd was palpable. The inside of the Big Tent felt like the inside of a dusty human lung. The heat was bad but nothing compared to the dirt saturated oxygen in the tent. As the crowd grew more anxious they began to sing and chant songs ranging from “America! America!” to “Lets Get Weird”.There was an eruption of energy as Dada Life took to the stage. The crowd was nonstop movement for the entire set. All the clips in the recap video in the Big Tent with people going nuts are from Dada Life. dadalife.com I think the set I was most excited for all weekend was Mimosa. Out of all the DJ’s at Camp Bisco, he’s my favorite. He of course did not disappoint. He was Throwing down new tracks just as quickly as he was lighting blunts on stage. Mimosa is not one to be missed at a festival, tigran-mimosa.com I caught a little bit of Atmosphere and then did a sit down with Dopapod. My interview with Rob, Eli and Chuck was probably one of the best I’ve ever had. I’ve never done an interview with a band that was that laid back. The whole interview was a conversation and they made me feel like I was an old friend. Check out the videos above or check out their website, dopapod.com I also met with Gramatik to talk about his new album #digitalfreedom and its meaning, politics and tour. Check the video above for my full interview with Gramatik. All in all, I would say that Camp Bisco is a festival overflowing with DJ’s and laiden with up and coming stars of the festival scene. My only wish is that there were a couple more real bands on the lineup rather than more DJ’s, I would have loved for EOTO to have been at Camp this year. The experiences and memories you’ll gain from going to Camp are well worth the 2 and a half hour trip up from New York City. I recommend that if you’re considering a festival in the North East to dance your face off at, Camp Bisco is your best option.
For more infor about Camp check out Campbisco.net