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Exclusive interview with Frankie Bones

Exclusive Interview with the creator of PLUR

Last month Unity Travel was given the honor of hosting an exclusive interview at their edmbiz booth with the one and only Frankie Bones. Dj Deadly Buda conducted the interview and was able to get an inside story on how raves started in America from Frankie Bones’ first hand view.

Frankie Bones played a huge role in how rave culture started in New York back in the early 90’s and is credited with creating the whole PLUR movement. Frankie starts off the interview by saying how the edm movement started in LA and New York and when it moved to the middle of the country it exploded in America to be as big as it was anywhere else in the world a span of just three years. “It has been a long journey and I am proud to have been a part of it,” said Bones.

Bones talks about the culture of the early 90’s in the interview and how it was a lot harder to connect music with different parts of the world. Magazines like Under One Sky, The Earthworm Project, and Disco Text, helped to get information on the new genre that was dance music out to people. Before the Internet, the only way for artists and producers to get their music public was off of the records they were making and physically selling. Bones recalls having to travel across seas to Europe in order to get any play because at that time people thought that they would never do the ‘rave thing’ in America. Bones saw the warehouse parties happening in LA and the acid house parties in Vancouver and knew he could make the rave culture happen in New York.

EDM was already big in London during the early 90’s. Bones was getting booked for shows over there much larger than he had even imagined. In his interview he recalls a show where he thought he would be playing for a crowd of maybe 5,000 people, but there ended up being five times that many. Bones talked about the M25 road in London; where you could drive in either direction, stop at a gas station, ask where the party was, and be directed to the rave. England during that time was playing mostly tropical house style music so they were shocked when Bones brought a more aggressive style of music. He played a song called Success and Effect, which showed them a completely new style of music. “In those 3 minutes I became a hero because no one had ever heard music like that before. They heard my records and realized how primitive they were, and were like we could make these and everyone started becoming producers after that. To see where its come has been an amazing journey,” stated Bones.

Bones also gave us some insight on what was happening in LA with the music scene at the time and how all of the aspects from London and California and New York had to connect in order to create universal dance music scene. “If I never saw what was going on in LA, none of this would have happened, and I had to first go to London in 1989, took what was going on in London and combined it with the LA warehouse scene and got the best music that was coming out and all the little cities started to connect,” said Bones. He told us about how LA at the time was all about their warehouse parties. Bones learned how to break into warehouses and throw a successful rave by traveling to LA and working with the top dogs of dance music out there. He talked about how violent warehouse parties used to be, especially the hip-hop ones. Putting thousands of people in one small space was sure to cause violence. Bones knew he couldn’t have his raves following this same trend, and that’s how the PLUM movement was born.

What is now widely known as PLUR; standing for peace love unity and respect, and is extremely popular in rave culture today, actually started out as PLUM; simply meaning the peace love unity movement. The Happy Land fire, which was a fire that someone started in one of the warehouse parties in 1990 killing 87 people is what really started the whole anti-violence movement. The Happy Land fire was an extreme act of violence in the rave scene in New York and after it happened the city started a social club task force, which made underground raves almost impossible to host. So Bones got creative and started the peace love unity train car. They would still throw illegal parties but they were very smart about them, they were constantly moving to new locations throughout New York. At each of their parties they would instill peaceful and loving values into their attendees. “We starting preaching this peace love unity movement through the music, because kids would come there and the music would hold everybody together, as long as there was a dj playing good songs, nobody would fight,” said Bones. He recalled how successful this movement turned out to be and said that there were no violence problems for three whole years as their parties grew from 15 people in an apartment to 5,000 in a warehouse.

The parties continued to grow in size and the music performers got bigger and better. Bones started throwing massive dance parties called Storm Raves. Bones describes every Storm Rave as being intense and amazing. While he does not endorse drugs, he does give ecstasy a little bit of credit for helping people to fully understand the whole peace love unity, and to come later, respect, movement. Bones talks about how these Storm Raver performers were bigger than djs just trying to make a name for themselves so that they could get to Europe and sell their music. It was about bringing something as big as dance music culture to America and keeping it here. “The legacy storm has is like no other. It set the blueprint on the east coast pretty much,” commented Bones. Storm Raves continued to grow until a man from Lime Light Club in New York called the police on them. The party got shut down and they lost a lot of money. They had to honor the lost ticket sales at the next rave and it turned out to be the biggest rave they had ever thrown. There was only one final Storm Rave after that and it was ironically shut down by a huge snowstorm that no one was expecting. “We had to end it at that point because to me it was like the universe saying storms got to end. I would have never expected getting a snowstorm like that. To go out on that note it was really just a wonderful time. Looking back I wouldn’t have it any other way really,” said Bones. Dj Deadly Buda, the man conducting this interview, was actually supposed to perform at that last rave but couldn’t get to it because of the snow, he told Bones how he still regrets it to this day.

Frankie Bones has dedicated his life to music because he believed in the sounds, the emotions, and the movements. When asked why Bones did what he did in the music scene and why it was so important to him, he mentioned his father. His father was a hard-working man who never believed that one could get paid for playing other peoples’ records. Bones wanted to honor him as well as prove him wrong. Bones also had the strong passion for the music scene that was required to accomplish all that he was able to. He talked about the struggles and the discouragement that are sure to come with shaking things up in the music scene and gave a little advice to anyone looking to break into the industry. “You’ve just got to love what you do, If you’ve got passion for it, don’t let nobody tell you any different than what is in your heart. Your friends and family, your closest people in your life might hold you back but you’ve got to make your own decisions and go for it. If it is important to you and you love it, you’re going to make it. I still don’t know if I made it or not, but I did a few things.” Bones talks about being humbled in the last few years because he feels that nobody really knows who he is anymore, even though he has had such an impact on a music culture that is so popular today. He told Buda how he wants to continue to build and be successful without all the hype, just the results.

Frankie Bones gave this interview at the edmbiz convention where he was also able to speak during Pasquale’s keynote speech. He coined the phrase “This is a weekend where the past meets the present and the future arrives.” That is what Bones is all about. Connecting the history of dance music culture with what is happening now, and moving foreword with it to create even bigger things. He said that he has been trying to introduce the past to the present for about a decade now and that he has always believed that EDM was a future foreword movement. Frankie Bones was in town for the convention but also for another big reason. That same weekend he performed at EDC at the Odd Car stage on Saturday night. “I like the odd car because it’s low-key. I don’t want to be thrown on a stage with 40,000 people, because they don’t know me. I want to keep it communal like a couple hundred people. It’s a blessing to be involved in this and I’m just happy to be here,” said Bones.

This interview was truly an honor to be able to host at the Unity Travel booth this year and the inside look at dance music history that Frankie Bones and Dj Deadly Buda were able to supply was absolutely incredible.

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Check out the full interview at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvWRoWnujqw&feature=youtu.be

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