15 Metro Phoenix Musicians Share Their Thoughts and Hopes for 2017

We asked 15 Metro Phoenix musicians about their expectations for 2017, and the ideas and hopes they shared are interestingly similar. Perhaps everyone’s thoughts and ruminations are a little bit more in sync than first meets the eye.

Here are 15 sage insights from local Phoenix musicians.

Anna C., Willetta
For 2017, I hope musicians reach out to people they normally wouldn't. There are little culture pockets, and musicians kind of miss what other musicians are up to. Let’s do more mixed-genre bills. I hope more females or femmes feel more open to putting themselves out there. With all the changes, like Jobot closing, it seems kind of worrisome that all the artists are going to get shoved under the rug. Now is the best time to think of the weirdest thing, whether it's how you play or where you play, and just see what clicks. It’s better than just sitting back and thinking, “What's the point anymore?”

Alex Votichenko, Djentrification
I would like to see more independence and creativity for myself and others. I’d like people to look around themselves, pay attention to what’s going on around them, use their imaginations, find places to do things that might be right under our noses that we aren't thinking about, use every option possible, and not give up hope just because things might seem difficult or challenging. If people see something going on around us that we feel like we need to change, then we need to do things to change it. Let’s just go ahead and make that effort instead of waiting for permission.

Zac White, TOSO
I hope the Arizona music scene carries on with its battle to shock its audience out of complacency with the status quo. You could liken that to screaming in the face of the void. It would be fighting back, knowing that nothingness will eventually overtake anything, but doing it just for the sake of it. I hope everyone’s shows get weirder and weirder. I think it’s about time we all get bored with a band coming up and playing some sort of shitty songs, and encourage people to expect more from a show. I think it’s a slow step-by-step process of people looking for more deeper meaning when they come out to see a show or piece of art.

Nate Ray, James Band
I want more people to get close across different venues, scenes, and genres. A lot of the time, people are separated in their scene and cliques. People all benefit more when they get out of that. I think a lot of it has to do with playing at weirder places that people haven't played at before, reaching out to bands you haven't talked to, and people you wouldn't normally talk to. I’m also trying to put on shows with a lot of different genres. Why not have a show that has jazz, metal, and hip-hop?

Delaney Moos, Trash Mullet
It would be amazing to tour outside the U.S. I like touring because it’s making new friends, being able to share music in places I’ve never been, just exploring, and being able to do what I love. I want to consistently write more, even once a week. Even if it sucks. Not being inspired when I’m happy is a block I want to get over, too. I think I’ll write a lot of political stuff this year. Protest songs might have an alright message, but push it too strong. If I was going to write something political, I would just talk about my feelings, regardless of anything else — just share how I feel.

Nicholas Villa, Heavy the Lightweight
I want to play more shows, write more music, and get music I’ve written off my chest. It should be a pretty progressive year. I think music will get a little more advanced again by actually going back to the roots. I want to get back into the simplicity of songwriting. The state of music is always being geared towards electronics, so in 2017 there should still be some guitars out there.

Justin Moody
The music scene keeps getting better and more aware. I personally want to record more and write a lot of music. I’d like to keep seeing people do a lot of shows. My friend opened up a place called the Lunchbox, and he is doing all-ages shows.There’s recording happening there, there’s a printing press, and shows. I hope the Trunk Space keeps growing, and places like Crescent and Valley Bar and Rebel Lounge can all continue to have really good shows. I hope people become more aware of social issues that are going on, which affects the music being played.

Kristina Moore, Kolezanka
For me, 2016 was a year of pretty significant change, so I feel like 2017 is an adjustment. 2017 is like climbing out of a well and checking yourself out in the new light. I think there are a lot of lessons I was processing about myself that I never gave myself the grace to face forward to. I finally did, or am discovering that I can do it. I am being brave about making decisions that I thought I couldn't make. I feel like 2017 is going to be less of a question. In 2016 there were a lot of questions; 2017 is more about movement.

Sam Angiulo, Lana Del Rabies
I think this next year is going to be very much about being a present part of the community. I'd like to find new ways to connect all different parts of the music scene and art scene. I think with the times ahead, it’s going to be very important for all of us to know each other and support each other and be engaged and proactive, even if in the past we stayed in our bubbles or had individual issues with anyone in the creative world. I know things are shifting with spaces, and I think it will be very important to keep those spaces vital. Let’s keep each other motivated to keep this alive.

Camille Sledge, Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra
We need to rally up, and to have action. We’ll go and sit in on a city hall meeting, we’ll study, read books, and try to change the legislation that’s out there. I feel like this is going to be a year where the discrimination level is not going to be effective against our generation. The music has changed, too. We are not afraid to have lyrics that are very clear. They’re not a metaphor; They’re very direct. There might have been a time where you had to be poetic because your record company might drop you. Now they’re not in charge with what we say or do, because we can get it out there over different avenues.

David Marquez, Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra
The only constant is change, so we just have to make sure that we’re there for each other, especially if the change is not in the favor of the community. As the saying goes: think globally, act locally. I am just a musician, but I put my voice out there, and I hope I can be of some service to the peace of mind that we share as a city, community, and as an arts collective. There are different cliques around, so let’s start to bridge over that as well. Through unity, we can overcome many obstacles. In Dune they say, “Fear is the mind-killer.”

Andy Warpigs
I want to harness more of the power of art to change life, not necessarily my life only, but to effect a personal change in the world, and help make life something fun and different. There needs to be some sort of counterpoint to all this bad shit that’s been happening. I want to give more of myself to art and let it give back to me and help others do the same.

Scott Mitting, 20 ft Neon Jesus
I hope to grow the music scene and help any way I can to connect more people together. That’s the way I like to steer my ship. I hope to do whatever I can do to promote the scene. Maybe it will be with more noise shows.

Kenyttiesh Juant'e Jaque'wece Thomas, Transmissions From Mars
I want to see more unity in the different sides of the city, the scene, all the genres, all the different people, and all the artists. I just want people coming together more. I also want to see more metal! I’d like more metal mixed in with any music; I just like the energy of it. People have fun with it. Good energy.

Tatiana Crespo
I’m looking forward to nurturing relationships with the artists and musicians I have met. During this time after the Trump presidency, a lot of the Latin community has built a lot of resilience and has really come together to strengthen the community that exists. It’s nice to have a big collaborative community. I think it would be nice to have a more established network for musicians to share information with each other. I hope musicians continue to network with new musicians and support each other, especially women musicians. I hope we stick together and work hard for what we think is important and not be passive in our lives.

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Kayla Clancy is a musician, writer, and film photographer. In between travels, she lives in a cottage in downtown Phoenix and listens to psychedelic rock.
Contact: Kayla Clancy