Meghan eMpTy basically does whatever Blake eMpTy doesn't at eMpTy records, and she also worked at Lucky Records.
How have you seen punk rock change since you became involved with it?
Meghan: I think it's less of a community feeling, whereas when I grew up and maybe Blake too, everybody knew everybody else, and you went to a show and you knew everybody and maybe it's getting older, because some of the shows I go to, I don't know the people because maybe I've been around a bit longer and they're newer to it. I don't know. It seemed like more of a community, like a scene. Everyone had a scene together, and now I'm older so a lot of the kids that are into it are 10 years younger than I am or more and so I think I'm out of touch with what they're into, like 14-year-olds that are wearing NOFX shirts. It's not that I'm down on NOFX, but bear in mind I went to go see that band when I was 16 so if, in 10 years, I hadn't moved on a little bit, there would be something really wrong with me, not with them.
Is it better now or worse than when you got involved?
Meghan: I don't know, I think that's up to the person. It's good for me, but I've had to search out other stuff, different types of music. I'm more in touch with it probably and I get more and more in touch with it every year and like it more every year. I mean, I'm negative and I'm jaded, but there's a lot of great stuff out there. You have to search it out. Plus I think I'm cooler to people now and I think working at a label has made me that way, where I accept everybody for being what they are. Maybe 10 years ago, it's like, "Oh, that person's a loser," or "That person's this," whereas now I assume that everybody's basically pretty cool if I take the time to get to know them.
Do you think there's anything wrong with punk rock?
Meghan: I think the way major labels are involved with it now is a bad thing and I think that 8 or 9 years ago, if you were a punk band that got on a major label, you were basically laughed out of the community, whereas a lot of the bands that some people are listening to aren't even on indies. They're on majors, that's their first taste of the scene which probably isn't the best way to do it, but then if they get into other bands and they go and search out other stuff, then I guess it isn't a bad thing. But yeah, this whole major label weaseling crap that goes on where they expect indies to take care of the bands for them so they can walk by and snatch them up, and in some ways destroy them, is a really bad way to go about things.
What's good about punk?
Meghan: I don't know. It's what I am, it's what I identify with. If you're in a scene for 10, 11, 12 years, it's what you become. It's what you are. That's a hard question.
How have you seen the crowds and people at shows change?
Meghan: I think people get old and lazy and jaded if they don't dance and they don't have a good time. When I got into this, it was a bunch of losers and everyone was a rejected loser punk rocker whereas now it's the cool thing, now there's a lot of people trying to be cool and trying to act cool and they're afraid to look foolish in front of anybody else because they'll be viewed as not being cool, but then I know lots of people that are willing to do the stupidest, most ridiculous things at shows still, but most of the time, most of the people here stand around and drink their beer and act like they're having a good time and smile, but they won't even show any emotion. At the end of the night, they'll go, "Oh, it was a great show," but you'd never be able to tell by the way that they stood there. Maybe it's getting older. I don't know.
Do you see any problems with the way people act at shows?
Meghan: Oh yeah. I mean, the same thing I said before. Everybody is too busy trying to be cool and figuring out the cool person to talk to and who's not cool and who's this and who's that. They won't actually get into the band. It's unfortunate that bands have to play and everyone stands in the back of the room and talks. No one will stand up front and actually check out the band. There's like this four foot space in front of the band where the band's like, "Okay, whatever." They'll stand there, but they'll stand out of the light, so of course maybe the band can't even see them. It's like they don't want to be identified. I think that when I was younger, a lot of people were there to make the scene, but also the music was motivating them to be there. That was the reason they were there, it was the reason for the social scene.
What can we do to make the scene better?
Meghan: I don't know. Act really stupid at shows and not worry what anybody thinks about you.