Should I Stay Or Should I Go with John Vanderslice

I think it’s fair to say, a community is only as healthy and thriving as its arts scene, just as our personal health depends on our ability to express ourselves across a broad emotional spectrum as part of the larger socio-political conversation––maybe just as much as we need vitamin c to ward off scurvy. I know for me art, community, and the places those two intersect are what drive my will to survive such challenging times.

Since this season is all about shining a light on some wonderful artists who’ve visited our live shows and the DJ’s who’ve interviewed them, we’d be remiss not to include this January 2018 interview with Bay Area music legend John Vanderslice.

Besides making a ton of music, John is the owner of Tiny Telephone, a recording studio he founded in 1997. Sadly, the San Francisco space closed this past July. But his Oakland studio is alive and well.

This interview takes us on a tour of some of the challenges and joys of creating a space that’s become so important to the indie music scene in the Bay Area and well beyond. How do you hold onto your values to have a fair and equitable organization that supports artists in one of the most expensive cities in the world?

John sat down in the studio with DJ Nino MSK of Espresso Sesh and what resulted was an engrossing conversation about music, politics, gentrification, community, and mental health.

Since this interview, John Vanderslice moved to LA, as he was already dreaming of doing back in 2018. But Tiny Telephone is still operating in Oakland so we didn’t lose everything.

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