Spinning Platters Interview: Chad Heimann, Noise Pop Talent Booker

by Dakin Hardwick on February 24, 2016


The first Noise Pop Festival was in 1993. It was one show for $5 at The Kennel Club, and it was headlined by The Fastbacks — who are amazing, if you don’t already know them. 26 years later, we have a multitude of bands crossing over dozens of genres, and a festival that spans a week! Spinning Platters recently had a chance to speak to their music booker, Chad Heimann, about this year’s fest.

The fest is about halfway over, but there still are plenty of gigs all over town that you’ll be really sad that you missed. The schedule can be found here!

This is the most interesting Noise Pop ever…

Thank you! We are pretty proud of that.

A few things really surprised me on this bill… Like, where did Carly Rae Jepsen come from?

Carly Rae is an artist that we used to secretly play around the office quite a bit. I think right when she put out “Call Me Maybe”, it was such a catchy track. And all of the remixes out there started making the track less of a guilty pleasure. Then, with this new release of hers, seeing the moves she made into the indie world with working with Blood Orange, Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij, and such, she really balances the indie and pop world. So, since we are called Noise Pop, it felt like we were in an appropriate place to champion that record. This is our first true “pop” star on Noise Pop.

It’s an interesting juxtaposition with Drive Like Jehu, one of the heaviest bands to play Noise Pop. They also aren’t really dong headlining shows these days. How did you book them to do a full set?

That’s true… They aren’t really touring. At Treasure Island we just sort of asked them if they’d play a headlining show and they said yes. That show is so special that the founders of NP, Kevin Arnold and Jordan Kurland, are doing a special DJ set at the beginning of the show.

What’s on your wish list? What haven’t you made happen yet?

I’ve been pretty happy with everything we’ve done so far. I admit, there have been a few things we couldn’t get because they weren’t very realistic or in budget, but looking at this year’s fest, I’m pretty damn pleased. Bringing Her Space Holiday back for their first show in five years was a huge curveball that came from me simply sending a cold email. It turns out they they are about to release a new album in June. It makes it really difficult for me say that there’s anyone that we’ve gotten a “no” from, because more often we end up with too much.

This is the longest Noise Pop yet, with a separation of movies the first weekend and movies the second. What brought out the move to bump up your film programming?

Well, we found that there were simply too many things happening and people didn’t have a chance to go to all of them. So we decided to let the movies stand on their own this year.

This year seems to have a nice Oakland presence this year. What bring this move?

The last few years we’ve made a solid effort to do more in the east bay. Parquet Courts are really excited about playing Oakland. Next year, I’m expecting to use the Fox, Starline, and UC Theater, as well as The New Parish and Leo’s. We are trying to do more throughout the year in the East Bay. I’m hoping to do a few shows throughout the year at the UC.

I know that, once Noise Pop is over, you are heading straight into 20th St Block Party & Treasure Island. What else is on your horizon?

We are getting ready to announce After The Goldrush, our SXSW party, as well as our shows at Cal Academy Of Science, including booking the upcoming Robot Nightlife. We are also booking Swedish American Hall, and have a lot of good stuff coming up there.


Noise Pop 2016 continues through this weekend; see our guide of the best acts to catch this year for more info!

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