Valley Fever's Dana Armstrong Explains Why Show Flyers Are So Important
How did you start Valley Fever at Yucca?
I used to love the band that would play there on the weekends called Coyote, they did, like, classic rock covers and stuff. I just thought it was a perfect place to do an old country night, because of the setting with the old wood on the walls. This was before they opened the new side.
So it's just like a classic 70s Arizona bar, and it worked perfectly. It took a little while to get in there; they didn't want to have DJ's. I think I was the first DJ there. I think it was because it was a Bindlestiff show and I DJ'd for them.
If you had to give someone tips on how to make a great flyer what would you say?
I would say, have a good image and keep it simple. Keep the lettering simple. Stop using Mesquite or Bleeding Cowboy fonts for country bands.
You also came into it having a background in art, right?
Yeah, I guess that's true. But it takes a while to translate that idea into a digital medium. It was trickier, but it's a lot faster. And you can do a lot more things with it and you can make things funnier.
Why do you think great flyers are important?
I think it's important to Valley Fever, and to me, to integrate the whole aesthetic of the posters with the vision of the night, and it blends them together to get the idea and feeling across . . . and that's all I try to do.
I want to try to create a world that I want to live in, that doesn't exist right now or doesn't exist any more. I'm not even trying; I have no choice.
Is it similar to this world that you go into when you are listening to records alone at home?
Yeah, kinda like that. I make these flyers in the hope that I get the idea across to other people when they feel the same thing. Sometimes it's a lot easier to do that then to write it all out to try to explain it to people.
Right. They're all very visually striking, and emotive. Lots of other flyers don't work that way.
I think some people don't even realize where their eyes go. I like to make them more... like iconic, but it's also because its so funny. These are just local guys and I make them look like these huge country stars. In my mind they are! [Laughs]
It's awesome to be able to do that because a lot of musicians don't have access to designers or the money to do it.
I guess in a way the bands are like my muses, because it inspires me and also it's just fun.
It's great to be able to support local bands in that way.
Dana: Yeah, and that's one of our whole goals, to try to make people come out and see Arizona country, because there are a lot of good bands. There's a good community now surrounding this scene
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