We recently launched a site for Quarter After 5, a slick site that is hoping to become the go to site for the Des Moines music scene. We recently caught up with Tony, who invented the brainchild. Then the brainchild invented the site.
Q: So why Des Moines? What gets your pumped about the city?
A: To be honest, I dreamed up QA5 on a long and lonely drive back to Des Moines from Tucson. It may have been the combination of sleep deprivation and lack of any food, but I tend to get my best ideas on a mixture of the two. Des Moines is my home and has been for the past 25 years. I know every bit of this city, and I know what it has to offer. I’ve found that Des Moines is very predictable, but every now and then you get a flash of the unexpected and those moments get me truly excited about what Des Moines can be. I think relating the music scene to a flash like that is definitely a possibility but it needs a spark. Hopefully QA5 can be that spark. I’m hoping it raises the bar for creativity in the community.
Q: When you’re not around a venue, what ends up consuming your time?
A: Listening to music. I love music and everything about it, it can be visceral or very refined and everywhere in between. If I don’t have headphones on, it means I’m talking to someone. I love meeting new people and getting to know them. If I’m not talking to someone or have headphones on, it probably means I’m asleep. I am a notorious light sleeper though. I’m always up for an adventure and spontaneity, the more unpredictable my life is, the better.
Q: Where does QA5 go next?
A: I want QA5 to start free forming its own music community. I want QA5 to make our music community so accessible. I’ve always viewed the music scene, anywhere I go, as a closed off and elite group. Des Moines is primed to be that change. I hope QA5 can connect the fans to our great musicians and create a unique environment.QA5 is going to morph into something I can’t even fathom, but as long as it is working in the right direction (which is positive growth for our community), then I have no problem letting it roll on its own. I’m sure there will be some bumps, but as long as we can keep it moving, I think it will be such an invaluable tool for everyone in Des Moines.
Q: What act would you most want to see come to Des Moines, and what venue would you want to see them at?
A: Let’s just do a sweet mashup. Kings of Leon/Black Keys/Bon Iver. It would sound miserable, but god I would love to see all three. As for a venue to house that? I don’t think we have one to house that awesomeness. Can we rip out all of the walls on Terrace Hill and have a house party? If not, let’s just have it packed to the brim at the Mews. Seriously, someone get them here and I will buy everyone kegs of Newcastle.
Q: What is currently missing from the Des Moines music scene?
A: Continuity and accessibility. Des Moines should be the standard for any growing art community. We have so many avenues to adventure down, but people don’t seem to take them. I don’t know if it’s from a lack of knowing about it, or the fear of the adventure. All I know is, QA5 has a great opportunity to open doors for people, seriously if I am the “doorman” for the music community, I would love it. Just make sure to tip me well when you leave.
Godspeed, Tony White. Check out his site here.