I had the privilege of meeting Sean Jacobs in the fall of 2011. Instantly we connected on musical tastes and similar love of multiple genres. He joined up with Introduce Yourself Zine in 2012. He started from a blank sheet, interviewing bands such as For Today, Bayside and many more. In the beginning he was hesitant and nervous of his own capabilities of being a journalist. I saw a light in him and proceeded to make it shine. I was not shocked with the results of the material and articles he put out. I knew all along he had a true talent for word and expression. Shortly after IY disbanded, Sean started a successful site (Defend The Scene). He has continued to excel and take it forward. I recently sat down and talked to Sean about DFS, His tastes and what inspires him.
Please introduce yourself and how you’re involved in the music scene?
I’m Sean Jacobs, I founded and run Defend the Scene along with a handful of dedicated staff. I am also currently interning at No Clubs in St Pete, FL.
What is one song that motivates you to chase your dreams and why?
Anywhere but Home by Handguns, the song basically describes the ups and downs of touring and how no matter what life hands them they stick through it because it’s what they love to do. I mean obviously I’m not touring in a band but I can relate pretty well to it.
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years and what steps do you plan on taking to get you there?
Taking Defend the Scene and making it the next big thing in regards to current big named sites like Absolute Punk and Property Of Zack. They were the reason I started doing stuff like this in the first place. As far as getting to that point, a lot of hard work, getting a solid and hard working staff on board as well, and just the basics. promote promote promote.
Would would you like to offer viewers that no one else does and would make you set apart from other sites/zines?
At this point in time it’s hard to separate yourself from the rest of the sites/zines because everyone is basically doing the same thing and it’s just a matter of who had the information first. But, one thing I want to do is expand my coverage to focus on more of a wider spectrum of music and genres and on top of that focus on the local scenes in the cites and areas that our site covers.
Whats your personal top 3 albums of 2013 thus far and why?
These aren’t in any order but The Greatest Generation by The Wonder Years, Ordinary Silence by Mixtapes and Magnolia by Turnover.
The Greatest Generation and Magnolia are both great simply because you can tell both bands have matured. Anyone that is a Wonder Years fan will agree with me that Soupys vocals and talent have come a long way from Won’t Be Pathetic Forever and Get Stoked on It. As far as Ordinary Silence, I’ve just really been on a Mixtapes kick for the last month and a half now maybe longer, and I mean it’s nothing out of this world musically but, to me that makes it what it is and makes the band who they are and the connection that flows through the record between Maura and Ryan is almost perfect.
Out of all the shows you have been to which stands out over the rest and why?
Back in 2010 I went to see The Chariot in Orlando at The Social. They were headlining a tour supporting their at the time newest release, Wars and the Rumors of Wars, and it was a packed house. halfway through their set a kid fainted in the venue and the show was stopped temporarily while they got the kid medical attention and I remember seeing Josh go out and talk with the kid and I believe signed a shirt or CD or something and it was just so nice and I have so much respect for him. and then they got back on stage and ended their set with The Deaf Policemen and he just started pulling people on stage left and right and before you knew it, that stage was full of kids singing along and it was a great way to end the show.
What is professionalism to you?
Professionalism is simply good manners and behavior. Be on time and prompt with appointments and deadlines, live up to your word and just don’t act like an idiot. Respect isn’t given it’s earned.
So what does the rest of 2013 hold for DTS, any big things you can share?
At the moment I have interviews with Mixtapes and Modern Baseball that will be up soon. I’m working with Cameron Brown of Scene Supporters co-sponsoring his compilation he’s releasing I think the end of July. I’m in the process of getting coverage for Warped Tour, Scream The Prayer, Mayhem, Summer Slaughter and by some miracle Fest as well. Other than that just interviews on top of interviews, and maybe a couple acoustic sessions mixed in as well.
If you could thank anyone who has helped you on your steps to getting where you are now from the beginning when you where on Iy , who and why?
I want to thank my mom and step dad for always being there and supporting everything I’ve been doing music wise. I’ve dragged my step dad to numerous shows where I know for a fact that he can’t stand the music but I know he went because of me and that’s awesome. I want to thank my fiancee Sarah for supporting me and also being as helpful as she is with my site. She’s the main editor of Defend the Scene and is basically my assistant PR person and has just bent over backwards to help get Defend the Scene off the ground and to the point it is at now. I want to thank Patrick Bosque, Lianna Meyer, Joseph Philhower and everyone involved in creating the site design and graphics. Lastly, I want to thank you Tim. You had faith in me and gave me the opportunity to work on Introduce Yourself and even when I didn’t believe I could write worth a shit you believed in me and kept pushing me to try. You also gave me pointers on how to start my site and helped me in a sense lay the groundwork for what has now become Defend the Scene.
What labels do you think best fits DTS’s outreach and why?
I think Run For Cover, Topshelf and No Sleep best fit our site. I feel like we work with those labels more than anything, though I would like to bring more punk into the site and start working with labels like Bridge Nine, Fat Wreck Chords, and Side One Dummy as well.
So a lot of people have been saying the FL scene is dead. I have been asking this question to every one I know in Fl. What is your true personal take on this (details)?
If you think the scene is dead then you don’t pay that much attention to the shows that are happening. Tom from Significant Records puts on numerous amounts of shows. Mainly hardcore shows but he also has tours like Man Overboard and Koji come through the area as well as the cover shows that he puts on. On top of that Jack from Dethroner is putting on shows left and right at The Goat House in Odessa and I was recently invited to a house show in Brandon on the 4th of July. I will agree that there are plenty of big tours that don’t come to Florida that I wish would but that doesn’t mean the scene is dead. Support your local scene and get out and go to a show. Tampa has a good scene, and so does Orlando and South Florida. go support those bands because they deserve just as much credit and respect as any other band.
Do you have any bigger goals for DTS, IE: record label, pr company etc.?
I would like to be able to one day sponsor a big festival like Warped or Fest. I also want to eventually print a zine or even keep it web based and make an app for smartphones where they could read it just like they can any other magazine offered digitally.
So maybe a digital magazine that you could download on kindle or something along those lines?
Yeah, something along those lines. Kindle, iPad, Nook, etc. Maybe even make a PDF format of it for people to download on their computer just to cover all bases.
Its been great talking to you today, in closing is there anything you would like to add?
Go check out my site, Defend the Scene(www.defendthescene.com) We have a lot of things coming your way soon. If you’re in a local band and want us to do a feature on you or anything get in contact with me and we can set something up. Support your local scene. Shout out to Old Again, Old Stories, False Narrative, Stealing Spines, Better View, Dethroner, Front Runner and the rest of the Florida scene. Thank you for this interview and helping spread the word it means a lot.
Interview By: Tim Morris