by Carly Schorman
Apparently, YabYum might be slacking on the Yuma front. Sure, we can rattle off Phoenix or Tucson bands or any one of a host of other Arizona cities, but Yuma, it seems we owe you an apology.
Thankfully, the good people of Dry Noise zine stepped forward to fill us in on the city that they call home. Mat Crawford, co-editor & co-creator, of Dry Noise was kind enough to talk to us about the scene, the zine, and all things musical in Yuma.
YabYum: Is Dry Noise staffed by a team or is more an effort of few/one with contributing writers?
Mat Crawford for Dry Noise: Dry Noise is run by myself and Trina Elam. Together we handle all of the transcribing, design, and curation of the content. All of the artwork for each issue comes from a different artist in our community. We do welcome all submissions from anyone who wants to contribute, and have published submitted poems and columns.
What is the area of focus for the zine? Music? More than music? Music specific to a location or genre?
We try to focus on topics related to mainly music and any kind of visual art. We knew there were a lot of very creative people and bands in our hometown and wanted to showcase them in a creative way.
As a musician who grew up in a kind of small town, I’ve always been really interested in how artistic types work, and how they relate to their communities. So we started talking to our friends and bands around us, and grew from there.
One of our main goals is to show how diverse the art and music is in our community, so we try to focus on anything generally music, art, and/or southwest related.
In May, we put out our 9th official issue of Dry Noise. We try to release an issue about once a month. We also put out our first compilation album in November 2016, and a special mini-issue on the annual In-Tents Festival, a punk-rock music festival out in the Picacho Desert.
Can you tell me a little about the Yuma music scene?
The overall community that exists here is fantastic. Though most groups kind of keep to themselves, almost everyone is incredibly supportive of each other. Since not a lot of larger acts come through here, people tend to really appreciate all the shows they do get.
While some genres come in waves (I think every community has experienced a ska phase at one time or another), there’s definitely a few that have stuck around.
The punk scene and metal/hardcore scene have stuck around for a while. They both have very tight communities who come out to almost every single show. I think Yuma is somewhat of a working-class town, and the people in those communities just like having a place to relax or relieve stress.
There is also a decent amount of reggae bands around, as well as cover/tribute bands.
Currently, some of the best shows take place at Maverick Bar and The Alement. Us at Dry Noise are big supporters of all-ages shows, and we have started hosting our own all-ages shows at North End Coffeehouse, a really cool, small cafe in an old historic building. Littlewood Artist Co-op has also been hosting really great all-ages events lately too.
But some of the greatest shows that have ever happened in Yuma have been at Prison Hill, a small public park near the famous Yuma Territorial Prison. It has been the main source of the best DIY shows in Yuma for many years, and almost all genres have performed there.
Any stellar bands we should know about?
Honestly too many. Samsara, Venkman’s Ghost, Lazarus Threw The Fight, Plebeian Planet, Working Mutts, Glitterfoot – all really great bands still going strong from Yuma, AZ. We have a growing directory of bands and musicians that are active in our community at drynoise.tumblr.com/directory.
For more Dry Noise check out their Facebook page.