Q&A with Sonam Parikh of Fast Apple

New Sonam Picby Lauren Moquin

Something stuck in Sonam Parikh when she booked her first show at the age of 19. The Brooklyn teen led herself to the moment with a collective music blog, Get Bent, that she began with people she met online, of which share similar tastes. When the collective decided to throw a series of shows for Get Bent’s one year anniversary, Parikh was set to book the New York which wound up featuring Japanther, and whatever the spark, it came in strong. Now, Parikh finds herself standing as a major piece of the Boston Music Scene under her booking title, Fast Apple. Parikh books a range of events, from house shows to her newest endeavor as Charlie’s Kitchen’s weekly Monday night shows. We had the chance to catch Parikh and talk about Fast Apple, house parties, and the Boston music scene.

FCS: How did you get involved with booking at Charlie’s Kitchen?

Parikh: I was put to the job eight months ago, when the original booker, Ryan, asked me if I would like to shadow him for a night. He used to book the Monday night shows, but his schedule was getting busy. He knew me because he has booked shows at O’Brien’s Pub, and I had talked to him about booking a show there myself.

FCS: What is your favorite part about having a weekly venue to book?

Parikh: I was already booking five to six shows a month, so having Charlie’s every Monday, just makes my job easier. The best part is knowing that I don’t have to worry about cops. It’s nice knowing that the show will not get cancelled for any reason. It’s also nice knowing that since Charlie’s is a donation-based place, I can definitely pay every touring band that comes through. 100 percent of the door money goes to the bands, there is no room cost or anything. I’m the booking agent, and I don’t take anything from the door and everyone is welcome to throw a show or wants to learn, and that’s the benefit of Charlie’s.

FCS: What is the importance of house shows?

Parikh: A house show is one billion times better than any show at a venue, I don’t care what venue it is. House shows are where it’s at and if I could only book house shows I would, but times have changed in Boston, so it’s harder now

I feel like house shows are the reason that people underage, and even people who are over 21, don’t get into doing stupid stuff. As long as you foster an appreciation for it within your community and create a safe space there, I think it can be encouraged.

FCS: What would you say to those who have been discouraged from booking shows due to the police crackdown?

Parikh: I have a friend named, Johnny Funtimes who used to book shows here. Even when police were cracking down on all of the venues, he just did it, every night. He had some of the most wreckless, crazy shows ever and he just let anybody play at any time and it worked like a dream. Now he just skipped across to California and he’s doing his thing there, but I’ll always remember the times we had at Discovery Zone and stuff. I would say, just keep doing it.

FCS: Where did the name, Fast Apple, come from?

Parikh: The name came from my friend Jen Knight (Suicide Squeeze Records).  She saw her sister eating an apple really fast and said ‘that was a fast apple’. Jen, Mat Garlick (Nice Guys/The Fagettes), and I had been looking for a name, so it stuck like any other. Now that Jen moved to Seattle and Matt started doing more band stuff, I keep booking shows under the name.

FCS: What would be your dream lineup to book as of now?

Parikh: I just saw Priests and they completely reconfigured my head, so I would say Priests, The Coathangers, and Ed Shrader’s Music Beat.

FCS: Why is the Boston music scene so special?

Parikh: I’ve traveled a bunch and I’ve been in the Brooklyn music scene and Austin and Nashville, and experienced a really good part of their house shows and music scene, and it’s awesome but Boston is just a different animal.

 Sometimes I think that it’s the cold that brings everybody together and it really gives people a tough exterior with a warm gooey inside. It’s just how I feel about every single person in Boston that I meet. They’re all total sweethearts who just want to appreciate music together and I feel like sometimes that’s lost in bigger scenes. I don’t really know what it is about Boston; maybe it’s the water.

The one thing that Boston taught me about music is that it’s just as ok to listen to a hardcore punk record as it is to listen to a beautiful glossy disco record and both things can be just as intense in different ways. I learned to really appreciate experimental and noise and pop music here. I used to really hate acoustic guitar, but if you’ve ever listened to Bad History Month and stuff, you just slowly grow to appreciate things that you might not have before.

FCS: How do you gain trust with the bands that you book?

Parikh: I’m really humbled by everyone’s trust in me. I really never thought that everybody here would welcome me enough to let me throw shows in their homes. I just try to treat everyone as they would want to be treated and just respect what they’re doing. I don’t have any ill intentions; I’m just doing this because I have fun doing it and if there weren’t house shows to go to I would just waste my time and do really unproductive stuff, really shitty, stupid stuff. It’s just a way to stay healthy, I think.

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