“I’ll throw a band in there to piss everybody off,” he said. “To the noise people, that’s noise.”
AstroKats, a hard-rock trio out of Coral Gables, plans to branch out into a more experimental sound for the festival. “We’ll probably do something completely different from what we usually do,” said guitarist Lauren Palma, 25.
The band members might switch instruments, they said. Drummer Ryan Rivas, 29, wants to play his theremin, an electronic instrument played by moving the hands around two metal antennae. They also plan to use drum machines, feedback and visuals to bring their set more into the realm of noise.
Derek Guerrero, 32-year-old bass player for AstroKats, compares noise music to Dada, the avant-garde art movement of the early 20th century. “It’s more of a performance than regular music,” he said.
Falestra says Miami has always been a hub for noise music. Churchill’s hosted noise parties years before the “junk noise” wave of the late ’90s. Another noisy city at the time was Rochester, Minn., where Falestra’s friends flocked to events like the Bored S---less Fest.
He got the idea to host a noise festival in Miami in February, “when everyone in Minnesota is freezing.”
The name of the festival — International Noise Conference — was more of a reflection of the multicultural local audience than the bands performing.
That first year, Falestra got 30 or 40 bands to play during three days.
Despite the fact that some previous noise shows had emptied Churchill’s, said owner Dave Daniels, the bar did better than expected that weekend. The next year, Daniels let Falestra do it again.
“We now look forward to it, and commercially it has become viable,” Daniels said. “Certainly I don’t like much of the noise that we will be staging this weekend. Nevertheless, people do like it.”
All of the shows have been rowdy, but they’re usually not crazier than an average punk rock show, Falestra said.
The most common injury is a bloody nose, although occasionally people get knocked out.
AstroKats’ Palma says Churchill’s is the only place where a show like this would fly. It’s “the CBGB of Miami,” she said, referring to the legendary New York City rock bar. Too often, Miami venues focus on bottom line, booking big mainstream acts to get people into the bar and drinking.
By contrast, INC helps the music scene grow and exposes people to new sounds.
The weirdness of the festival is important, the members of AstroKats say.
“It’s like going to a football game and rooting for the third team that isn’t there,” Falestra said. “That’s what noise music is. It’s that third person rooting for the third team.”