A few months ago we wrote about DIY venues and couldn’t stop thinking about the website DoDIY.org and the guy who runs it. So, we decided to contact Mr. Neil and ask him a few questions.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Alpena, Michigan, but I’ve also lived in a couple other
Michigan towns, Chicago, and just recently moved to Oakland.
What do you do?
I write, play music, practice anarchy, drink beer, eat lots of
cheeses, hang out with friends, make love, travel, run DoDIY, am
actively unemployed, do booking and publicity for bands
(punksandcriminals.com), amongst many-many-many other things.
How did you get into DIY venues?
I was playing at a lot of bars and thought there must be something better.
Was there anything in particular that influenced you to create DoDIY.com?
My friend, Edwin Perry, started a list of DIY venues called DODIYUSA
on a Myspace page 5 or so years ago. He asked me to help out and I
eventually ended up taking over the project when I turned it into a
What are the benefits of performing in a DIY space?
You can make your own rules and build your own environment.
Are there any legal issues people should be aware of if they want to
open there own DIY venue?
Most importantly, remember you’re not a business. If you’re charging
money for your events, be sure to make the charge a “suggested
donation” only. If you’re worried about the IRS because you’re keeping
some of the money from your events, there are simple forms to fill
out, but I highly doubt you’re going to make much money at all anyway.
Besides all that, you should try really hard to have a friendly
relationship with your neighbors. I’m nearing completion of a book
that talks about some of this stuff; keep an eye on DoDIY.org for
Favorite mythical creature?
That’s pretty punk rock.