There are some bands that are just bands, then there are some bands that are a fully engulfing experience. Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys is the latter, and for that we are all a bit better in life. The band at first glance may seem a bit ‘unapproachable’ to a more, perhaps, conservative person, with Walter as the center piece to an orbiting cast of macabre meets jubilation, with his often theatrical attire and big beard, but the band are a bunch of lovely folks creating art beyond just songs and singing, they all truly live the art that they are creating.
This latest edition of Live From Nowhere couldn’t pair a more perfect setting with a more perfect group of musicians. An old theatre, its former days of glory peeling like the golden paint on its adornments, seemingly shedding around the larger than life group on its stage. The band adorned in typical fashion, a wreath of feather wrapping around Sickert’s head up from his shoulders, a skeleton guitarist and a nightmarish rabbit headed character off to the side. Its all just…perfect. And just before Halloween no less.
I’ve been a big fan of what co-founders of LFN, Emily Graham-Handley and Nico Rivers, have been doing with the series. I caught up real quick with the two of them to ask where the series has taken them and what they have learned.
RLR: Its been about a year since the first video rolled out, and also when we featured our first here that you shot with Molly Pinto Madigan. So what have you guys learned in that time about taking on an endeavor like this?
Emily: After doing a few of these, we’ve learned to accept that there will always be unexpected variables. This was one of the smoothest shoots we’ve had, but when obstacles have come up in the past we’ve learned to embrace them. They keep us on our toes and always make for the best stories.
Nico: The series has definitely come with a learning curve, though it might not be what you’d expect to learn working on a live video series. Personally, I’ve learned a lot about how to pack up recording gear for a hike.
RLR: This space in particular is positively breath taking, yet it seems like access may be pretty tough to get into/a liability to whoever owns that property. How do you continuously find new and hidden places to film?
Nico: The hunt for abandoned spaces can be tricky. We’ve been fortunate to have come by a lot of locations by word of mouth, memory or just sheer luck. We’ve always got our eyes open for an overgrown building tucked behind some trees or a boarded up door.
Emily: As the series continues, more and more people have pitched in with ideas about abandoned spots. Our friend David Manch really hooked it up with the location for this video – a giant movie theater abandoned in 1979. He holds photography workshops in abandoned spots throughout MA and was able to get us written permission for the first time in LFN history!
RLR: What does the future look like for Live From Nowhere?
Nico: We have a few more MA locations on our radar and we’ve been talking with some amazingly talented artists about working together. We hope to expand into new genres in the near future and help to create a sort of time capsule of the current Bay State music scene.