NYC Open Stage (an interview with Danyul Kostin)

I met Danyul Kostin at an open mic he hosts on Mondays at No Fun Bar, 161 Ludlow 7:00PM signup. He also books shows (he booked me at Shades of Green 125 East 15th St July 9th 11PM)

1. What is NYC Open Stage?
NYC Open Stage is an organization that books, coordinates and hosts live music events within venues in NYC that support live independent music. This is a forum for the unheard to be heard and the unseen to be seen. If you are a band, a musician and/or a collective group of performers interested in performing in NYC please contact us! Please check our events page ( for upcoming opportunities to plug in with our network. Our Monday night Open Stage is host to music, poetry, comedy and MAGIC!! Please come out and enjoy this incredible event every Monday from 7:30PM – 12AM!! 161 Ludlow Street NY, NY 10002

2. When did you come up with the idea and why?
NYC Open Stage is something that I’ve wanted to do since 2006 when I left Subdude Records/Independent Music It’s been a dream of mine for years. NYC Open Stage was started as a way to locate and build opportunities for musicians, bands, artists, poets, comedians, and creative folk to network together and locate venues that support live independent performance art in New York City. We encourage you to share this forum with others locally and beyond…

3. Where are you from and how long have you been in New York?
I’m from North Carolina. I grew up on the beach and was passed back and forth between relatives in small farming towns and touristy beach towns. I came to NYC on January 13, 2012. The story is on the back of my CD. It’s available for $5 on the website or you can email me and i will get you a copy. The easiest way is to come to an NYC Open Stage event and just ask for one, I’ve been known to just hand them out!!

4. We spoke a little and you said you worked for a label down there, how was that job? As glamorous as it sounds?
Yeah, at times. It’s like anything else. It had it’s ups and downs. From time to time we would work on a project that would renew my faith in the music industry, but mostly it was just fighting the man and finding new ways to promote independent music in a live music format. Very similar to what we do at NYC Open Stage. The main difference being at the label we could only work with the artists that the label deemed worthy, with NYC Open Stage we have no restrictions, everyone is eligible.

5. You have a good group of performers, are these folks you know from other times in your life or have you recently met them all?
We’ve all crossed paths from time to time. Most of the artist’s that come through the doors of NoFun, I’ve only recently become acquainted with. February 26, 2013 was the first time I played out in NY so all that is happening has been since then. Just 4 months!! Before that I hadn’t played out in over 6 years!

6. Do you still buy records, CDs? Do you stream music on spotify or do the iTunes thing?
I do. I still buy records. My girlfriend and I go vinyl shopping every couple of months. It’s really important that as musicians we support each other. Spotify and iTunes are convenient but I’m not wrapped up in such a busy life that I can’t take the time to go out and buy my friends’ records and come home to sit and have a listen. That’s really the whole point, isn’t it?

7. Do you have a favorite author?
No, not really. I know a lot of people that are into books, it just hasn’t been an interest of mine for quite some time. A lot of people are into a lot of things that become an escape from what’s really going on and that doesn’t seem a healthy approach to me. I enjoy the occasional book of poetry and I do have the entire Poe collection as well as a few Bukowski, Burroughs and Hemingway novels, but to be honest I haven’t enjoyed reading in several years. It takes patience that I can’t afford these days. It’s total lack of self-discipline. There are quite a few attributes of mine that didn’t make it into my 30’s from my 20’s. Things like being a disciplined vegetarian, an avid reader, wearing size 30 pants, partying like it’s the last bootle on Earth, and so on. I guess some things just slip through the cracks of time.

8. I saw you recently went to see/hear Social Distortion, how was the show and what’s your favorite tune by them (if you had to pick one)?
Oh yeah, Social D! The greatest band of all time. The show was great, it always is. I’ve never been disappointed by them, never. We met up with Jonny 2 bags after the show and it was really nice to chat and be reminded that those guys are flesh and bone just like us. I can’t say I have a single track that would be my favorite but as far as records go, Live at the Roxy, hands down, tops the charts for me.

9. You have tattoos; do you have a favorite parlor you go to? Who’s your favorite painter?
I do have a couple of tattoo’s. The placement, arrangement and style all represent experiences in my life. My past, present and future are wrapped up in my tattoo’s. I go to Rivington Tattoo (LES). Sweety is my guy.
My favorite painter? I’ve only begun to explore the world of painting. NYC is full of museums that host some of the most intimate and honest art I’ve ever seen. A favorite would be tough to choose, but if your’e twisting my arm I’d have to say Picasso and Van Gogh. I finally got to see A Starry night on my birthday at the MoMA!! No comment…

10. So you’ve taken this task of booking shows but you consider yourself a musician first and foremost right?
Without question, I am first and foremost a musician. I took on the opportunity to book for a couple of reasons. I gain the experience of working with musicians I normally wouldn’t cross paths with, which opens countless doors of opportunity for my personal music career. Also, it’s a certain way of giving back what has been given to me. It’s a dream come true every time I perform and it’s a priceless privilege to offer that to someone else.

11. Would you share a track here with the readers?
Yeah, absolutely. I have a few songs on that sight as well as videos.
I also attached mp3’s of the songs Words of A Thief and Cancer In The Water in this email for you.

12. Do you prefer the ocean or the mountains?
Mountains just because they are strange to me. I was raised on the beach and I was always in awe of mountains. In NC the mountains are full of ghost stories, gold mines, indians, crazy preachers and bluegrass music. It’s very mystical and awe inspiring. Now that I’m getting older I think I would rather seek solace on a mountain top rather than an east coast sunrise.

13. Tell me a little bit about your upcoming tour and when we can see you next.
The upcoming tour is happening July 13 – 21. Just 8 days but it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m going to be traveling through Philly, DC, Virginia and NC. I will be playing in my hometown while I am down there as well!! I’m really excited to be going. It’s because of all the support I have received in NY that I’m able to do this. I’m still trying to raise funds for the tour, it’s all out of pocket. So please go to the website or email or come to my next show and buy a CD.
I am playing Bar 4 in Brooklyn, NY on July 5 at 8 PM. The night is shared with Greg Mendez and E.W. Harris. Two of the most talented artists I’ve had the privilege to work with. I’m also playing at Arlene’s Grocery on July 8 at 7PM with Greg Mendez and The Sky Captains of Industry. I’m really excited about both of these shows. All are welcome, free admission.

Thank you so much for this opportunity Philip!
Danyul Kostin

Thanks Danyul! And thanks dear readers for tuning in again! Have a great week! -p


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