Recently I have been interviewing a bunch of Journalists/ Promoters. One that really stands out to me is Micah Neely, the founder of Pig Squeals And Breakdowns. PSAB is something I have watched grow from a small FB page, to a very well internet based music promotion entity in a short period of time. Recently I chatted with Micah about how far PSAB has come, the evolution of PSAB and so much more.
Please introduce yourself and how you are involved in music?
My name is Micah and I run the music entity that is Pig Squeals And Breakdowns. I involve myself with music through music promotion primarily.
How did the concept for PSAB come about and how did you decide on the name?
I got really into heavier styled music and the scene around 2011, and I’ve always liked helping people, so I combined my passion for the music and my drive to help people to start PSAB.
In the early days of Facebook, when pages were just something you were a ‘fan’ of, I created Pig Squeals And Breakdowns. This was around late 2008 or early 2009, I don’t remember exactly. I created the name from the two things from heavier styled music, mostly Deathcore, which were and still are, pig squeals and breakdowns.
What was the original goal of the page when you created it?
When I originally created it, as a ‘fan of’ page, there really wasn’t a goal. I just did it to do it really.
PSAB has evolved so much (Website/Tour Sponsors/Etc), how did all that come about and how do you feel about the growth of it?
I honestly didn’t expect anything to happen with PSAB. I started posting some music that I already liked onto the page, and didn’t expect much from it. I imagined that PSAB would run its course, and it would eventually fade away. However, it didn’t end up the way I thought it would be.
It started evolving slowly, and I made sure to only take one step at a time. I started small, with posting some music, then as the audience started to grow, PSAB did as well. I started posting more music more often, then six or so months later I started the website, then I put out the Volume I and Volume II compilations, then started sponsoring shows and/or tours, then the monthly samplers, and finally sponsoring bands.
I think some people try to do too much at one time, or not at the right time. If you start something PSAB-like and do a lot of things with a small audience, you won’t get far, simply because no one is there to appreciate or use what you’re doing. Start out small and keep with it for a while, if people pick up on it and like it, then just start adding to it. The audience is the foundation, and what you do is built on that foundation.
How would you like to see PSAB evolve further, what are your future goals?
I would like to see PSAB evolve further, but I don’t know how I would like it to evolve. My next goal would be to start printing CDs for bands, similar to what Total Deathcore is doing now.
So maybe a label in the future or more of distribution?
More of distribution. I have no plans to turn PSAB into a record label.
Are there any bands you have come across while doing PSAB that you would highly suggest and why?
There are too many to name. The bands on my sponsorship roster are all really good, and are all great in their own individual way.
Cognizance put out a really good album this year, very technical. Also The Zenith Passage dropped a great album this year too. Oh, and Ovid Withering’s Cloud Gatherer was good and very atmospheric. Oh! Also, Scorned Deity’s Adventum is stupidly good with their symphonic/ambient death metal sound. On a more popular band note, Northlane’s Singularity is probably my favorite album for this year.
What is your take on bands paying for promotion or promotion pages charging insane amounts for promotion?
It would depend on specifics. It would depend on how big (how many likes, if those likes aren’t bought) it is, how far is their reach, how much they’re charging, and how many posts are they charging for.
However, pages or “companies” charging obscene amounts for minuscule things, like Facebook posts, sampler spots, Facebook covers, and the likes is what I am against. They take away from what they’re suppose to be trying to help. Most of the time bands are already broke with studio time fees, design costs, merch and CD costs, touring, etc.
So charging a ton of money for something not a lot of people are going to see is total bullshit. I don’t want to name drop, but the biggest “company” who does this kind of bullshit is Arkaik Clothing/Records.
So it was just announced that Victory Records dropped Design The Skyline and in return they are breaking up, what is your take on bands like this?
I really didn’t know about this. I don’t follow too much with anything like that, except for bands I actually listen to. Anyway, I think it is just another band signed to a big label who got dropped and broke up to me. I only listened to Design The Skyline once (when they first came out) and I wasn’t a fan.
Speaking of bands you listen to, What are your all time top 3 bands and how have the impacted your life? (gateway bands)
My gateway bands into Metal in general were Slipknot, Murderdolls, and Linkin Park (Hybrid Theory). Those three bands, and some bands I grew up listening to because of my mother, like Slayer, Pantera, Sepultura, etc, are the ones that got me into heavier styled music.
If you could have a dream lineup for a three stage PSAB “Fest”, what would it be?
Main stage would be – Acrania, Infant Annihilator, I Declare War, A Hitman’s Business, and Science of Sleep.
Second stage would be – The Zenith Passage, Foreboding Ether, Ovid’s Withering, Burning The Masses, and Rings of Saturn.
Third stage would be – AngelMaker, Annotations of an Autopsy, Misericordiam, The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, and Arsonists Get All The Girls
Any PSAB sponsored tours / shows coming up that you can share with us?
There a few coming up in August, but most don’t have set dates as of yet. The big one for August, as of right now, is the Street FighTour with So This is Suffering and Face Your Maker starting on the second of August.
What are some Metal based bands that you feel are over rated and why?
I don’t think there is a way to specify on one band. Just about every big and popular band is overrated to some degree by its fans.
In closing is there anything you would like to add?
Thank you for interviewing me and having me on your website. It is much appreciated and it was fun. To the readers, support the bands you like by purchasing their merch and going to their shows when you can. It goes a long way.
Other than that, check out our website, www.pigsquealsandbreakdowns.com, for a ton of legal free music, band interviews, reviews, tours/shows, our sponsored bands, etc.
Interview By: Tim Morris