For the last year, Chop Suey's national booking has been handled by Neumo's co-owners/talent buyers Steven Severin and Jason Lajeunesse. In light of the news that the club has been sold to the owners of Japanese nightclub called K's Dream, now comes the word that those booking duties will now become Pete Greenberg's responsibility and the club will once again have to compete head-to-head with Neumo's. I just spoke with Lajeunesse and this is what he had to say:
"I think it is what it is. Contracts come and go. I have no indication as to the commitment to the music industry they have. The representative that is in Seattle seems like a good guy. We have enjoyed working with [general manager] Roy and the previous owner John, and we wish the new team the best of luck."
Seems like a relatively friendly, if reserved response. Severin is a little more obviously disappointed, adding, "It's a bummer for us as I thought as a team Jason and I brought a lot of great things to the club and still have a lot of great shows coming this fall. I started there shortly after it opened and help to build it to where it was a household name where people have had some of the best times. I left for a year when we bought Neumos, but they brought us back till now. I'm sad that I won't be part of the club's life anymore."
Greenberg tells me that part of the goal behind the acquisition of the club is to set up a sort of cross-cultural exchange between the two venues. This is also elaborated upon via their website:
"The ‘Seattle branch' is intended to be a full service live music entertainment venue. K's Dream will invite Japan based bands to Seattle and provide them with opportunities to publicize themselves and to acquire experience in the United States. At the same time, K's Dream will send Seattle based bands to Japan to play in the ‘Japan branch'. By doing this, we will be able to establish a bridge between Seattle and Japan to create cultural awareness and enhance the music scene in both places through music."
I'll have more on the potential impact of the club's sale in Rocket Queen this week.