Nightlife / News
Chop Suey Appoints Devin Floyd as New Talent Buyer
by Dave Segal
on Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 1:52 PM
On Dec. 5, Chop Suey general manager Hisato Kawaminami announced that Devin Floyd will be taking over as talent buyer for the Capitol Hill club. “[H]e will be handling all aspects of the talent buying, national and local. One of the tasks that lies ahead for him will be booking our CHOP SUEY 10 events…a year long celebration of shows for our ten year anniversary.”
This change caught previous talent buyer Matt Moroni by surprise. He found out yesterday, with no warning, he says, that he had lost his job to Floyd, a 21-year-old intern whom he was mentoring over the last year. Moroni had been with Chop Suey since 2008—first as local talent buyer under the tutelage of Pete Greenberg and then, starting in January 2010, as head talent buyer.
“As far as I know, my performance as international talent buyer met expectations, and even exceeded expectations, considering the lack of professional support I was given to carry out the job,” Moroni said in an email interview. “Because inadequate managerial efforts were put into club and event promotion (whether it be due to Chop Suey's inability to comprehend the fundamental value of budgeting promotional aspects or due to the non-availability of sufficient funding for such matters), my unspoken actual position duties reached far beyond those defined within the position description. My hiring terms that were discussed prior to my acceptance of the position in (January of 2010) were never put in writing and never delivered upon in the area of compensation, which has been hourly, not salary.”
During his tenure, Moroni (who DJs and produces music under the name Introcut) boosted Chop Suey’s status as a prime Northwestern destination for high-quality local and international electronic music and hiphop.
“My achievements at Chop were both of professional and personal (and overlapping) note,” Moroni notes. “I got the opportunity to book some highly respected acts, to throw memorable parties and shows, and to make new contacts, friends and connections. I got to work with so many of the true artists and music enthusiasts the city of Seattle has to offer.”
Besides his work as a talent buyer, Moroni keeps busy promoting the long-running Stop Biting and Trashy Trash events while maintaining a hectic DJ schedule, as well.
“Artistically, I'm stoked to have time to work on music,” he says. “Get some more beats done and a bunch of new mixes. Being a talent buyer / booker can be a very thankless job. The goal of booking 31+ shows a month can be very stressful and, at times, senseless. Especially when you're under-paid, over-worked, and unappreciated, etc.”
As for Moroni’s immediate future, he’ll be helping Lo-Fi Performance Gallery with some of its bookings and he’ll be “seeking out other opportunities to continue my efforts in the Seattle music scene as an artist and promoter.” He also will be DJing at Stop Biting, as usual, and opening for Juan Atkins Dec. 16 and playing Zac Hendrix’s Midnight Hotline Rendezvous Dec. 30, both at Lo-Fi.
When asked what his booking strategy will be and if there would be changes in Chop Suey’s content, Floyd responded, “With the way the current music scene is in Seattle, competition-wise, it's hard to give you well-defined answers to those questions. I'm not planning on making any drastic changes here at Chop Suey. Making our space accessible to local groups is going to be important, but so is bringing in more national acts that appeal to Seattle. I'm really excited to be taking on this position, and I'm looking forward to the upcoming year here at Chop Suey.”
UPDATE: Hisato Kawaminami on the change of bookers: "Moving into the new year, our 10th anniversary, I feel that Chop Suey needed someone with more local ties and national band knowledge. Devin has his ear to the street and he goes to local shows to meet bands. He has a willingness to learn yet take criticism. With the ever-changing musical landscape, I think we needed a change as well.
"I would like to add, in response to Matt's statement, that Devin started out as an intern but was promoted to be a key member of our office staff. He then assisted Matt booking dates he could not fill."