Hello hello everyone and welcome back to MKQ blogs! Thank you all for continuing to be apart of season 3!! This interview I am featuring today I’m so siked to be sharing. I have admired the artistry that this person possesses for so long. He is an avid raver, an amazing Kandi kid, an honest friend, and just all around a good human. Today I have the honor of featuring Spanky!! 1. So Spanky tell me a bit about yourself: Where are you from? What’s your background?  I’m from California, born and raised. I worked in security for the space industry for almost 10 years before I went into engineering and now I do engineering consulting and work for a non-profit doing events. 2. How did you get into and how long have you been in the edm scene?  I remember the first electronic music song I heard was Castles in the Sky when I was 12, that song will forever hold special meaning to me. I was an on again, off again fan of EDM until 2015 when I found the MrSuicideSheep youtube channel and that’s when I really got back into EDM. My first festival was Countdown 2017, which is a lot later than most people think I started, but that was my first. I loved it so much I went to my next event, HARD 2018 with some friends and after that I rarely missed a festival. 33 so far if my math is right, it’s been a packed 5 years. 3. I think back on my first event and how the rave culture of newbie ravers seemed to be. That all seems to be changing now. What was your first event and what advice do you give to the new ravers coming into the scene this year?  My first event was Countdown 2017. Just a group of 4 friends, none of us ravers, none of us really knew what was going on but liked the music. If I was going to give some advice I would say, if you have friends that are veteran ravers go with them, listen to what they say, it will be a much more enjoyable experience. If you don’t have someone like that you’re planning on going with seek out one of us through social media and kinda get the rundown. It’s not like just going to a concert, there’s a lot of things that can be planned or done that will greatly improve your time at your first rave. But with either way I would say the most important thing is go with an open heart and mind, and bring positivity and kindness. You don’t need to know what “PLUR” is to go to your first festival, but hopefully you bring kindness and love into this new world you’re about to experience. It’s really special to us and we are looking forward to sharing it with you. You’ll learn what PLUR means and hopefully learn to love to spread it. 4. What’s your favorite genre of edm/Favorite artist?  My favorite genre of music is melodic dubstep. Trance also has a special place in my heart since that’s where I started. Favorite artists, I’m really a big fan of Seven Lions, in 2020/2021 till now I’ve really gotten into Jason Ross a lot (don’t sleep on him at festivals), I love Said the Sky, and some of the best sets I’ve heard come from 3lau. I really enjoy artists who mix up the genres in their festival sets. 5. What does being a Kandi kid mean to you?  I think being a kandi kid is an embodiment of PLUR. Everything I have on me is either a gift for me or a gift for someone else. I think it’s really the deepest end of the culture and it’s being an example and ambassador to PLUR, which I think we need more of. Every person I interact with I try and hope I brighten their day and their festival experience. That’s what being a kandi kid is for me. 6. How did you get your rave name/persona?  My “rave name” is actually my real life nickname. People call me that at work, it’s on my jerseys for work, it even is a real live email address for me at work. I actually even published an article on how I got the name. It came from when I worked at Lockheed Martin, I had a coworker that gave everyone nicknames. When I came into work we would have a standup meeting and my coworker said we all looked like the Little Rascals, and that I looked like Spanky, the leader (which might be a dated reference now, but you Gen Z’ers can look up the movie haha). Well, he started calling me that and soon everyone was calling me that but I had no idea, no one told me. They went 6 months of calling me that without me knowing, by the time I finally heard it, it was too late. You don’t pick the nicknames that stick right? It’s followed me ever since. 7. At Beyond Wonderland you mentioned to me that at every event you mentioned to me you carry pasties with you at every event. Can you elaborate on why and what rave safety means to you?  Yeah I do, so at festivals, other than having kandi, and some other things I try to carry like ear plugs, wipes, phone chargers, hair ties, etc. I always have a bag full of pasties on me. Some people who know me and know I have them will come up and ask for them now, haha, which is always welcome but the reason I have them is as backups for people wearing them or in case someone’s have fallen off. A lot of people love to wear them but don’t have anything as backups if they fall off or they have an issue with their outfit. I started carrying them after one festival I saw someone crying, arms wrapped around her chest because her pasties had fallen off. I never want anyone to have that happen to them, so that’s why I always have pasties. I’m more than happy to hand them out for fun, or hand them out so people can wear them just because they want to! but the reason I carry them is for helping people who have issues with them. And I’m not the only one who does this! Shout out to Positive Mike from Positive Pasties, if you ever need pasties at a festival him and I always have some. (although he makes his through his company, check them out) Also, I have some tips for everyone who’s about that pastie life, while you can always find me for pasties at a festival, if you’re wearing some, bring extras, a lot of them will not stay on the entire festival, especially if part of your outfit is rubbing on them. If you want them to stay on all night I highly recommend prosthetic glue. As for rave safety, just like the reasoning for providing pasties for everyone who wants them, I really do want everyone to have a good time. Rave safety means everyone has a good time and everyone gets home safe. Raves are a magical place where we can all be happy, but we do need to look out for each other and safety starts with all of us. 8. How did you learn to make Kandi? /how long have you been making it?  I was taught the basics by someone probably around 2018. I’m definitely still learning haha. Cuff and Perlers are not my strong suit. 9. What is one misconception you think that is made about ravers today?  I think the biggest misconception is still the age old misconception that everyone just goes to these as an excuse to get messed up and do drugs. And that’s just not true. Festivals are just a wonderful place where people are able to be free and bond and enjoy the love of music. There’s more sober people there than these people realize. We really are there because we love it. 10.  What is one thing many people wouldn’t know about you that you think is important to share?  I really struggled to answer this question, I’m not quite sure what’s really important to share. I guess, I’m a very sentimental person, I cherish every single gift and piece of Kandi given to me. I hope everyone listening to this comes and finds me at a festival! 11. Here at Ravetalks we stress the importance of Women and Rave Safety. From your perspective I would like to know what do you think can be done to further ensure the safety of attendees during and after leaving an event?  Like I said before, we need to look out for each other. I think we can further ensure safety by thinking about safety in our groups and talking about it. Raves are a wonderful escape from the world but the world is not a kind place. There are people in the world meaning to do us harm, and we need to be conscience of that. Women are targeted more than men and we need to be on the look out for that. People by themselves are an easier target than people in a group. Never let someone in your group walk home or leave the festival alone, go with them or the whole group can go together. If someone is really messed up don’t send them off by themselves even in the festival, stick with them, make sure they are ok. If you see something say something, I’ve pulled a guy off of a girl before when I noticed what he was doing wasn’t being consented to. It all starts with us, and unfortunately as we see less PLUR and more just “partying” at these events and the increasing of pickpockets and other unwanted things at these events it’s on us to think about and protect the people in our group. Making sure each other is alright, making sure no one walks alone to their car, making sure everyone gets home/to their hotel safe. That’s how I was raised too. Walk your friends home, when you leave leave in a group, get a sober driver or get an uber/lyft home, or do what I do and take the shuttle. Be safe and look out for each other. I could literally talk about safety and planning for hours. 12. Many of us know you are known for trading your beautiful cards! How did you get that idea and what’s the greatest card you’ve ever made?  I mean, I’m by no means the first person to trade kandi with cards on it. I got traded kandi with Pokemon cards on it from a few people, but I have never seen anyone trade kandi with Magic the Gathering cards. I played MTG my whole life and have a ton of cards so I started using them to make kandi. I also started to make some with some other cards just to be different or make some that I haven’t seen before. Uno cards, themed playing cards (like my Nocturnal Wonderland playing cards ones that I only give out at Noc), and others do it but Pokemon cards sometimes, but that’s rare because I don’t want to make a lot of those when that’s the thing for some other kandi artists. What’s the greatest card kandi I’ve ever made? Well the most expensive was a $40 card that I put on a necklace haha. One of the craziest stories was the one that Said the Sky posted about. At Escape one year I was watching STS and there was a girl across the rail in GA kinda barely holding it together. The song Potions came on and she turned to her friend and yelled “I’m going to f**king cry”. She looked at me and I just walked towards her and opened my arms. She started crying and I hugged her while the song played. When the song was over I looked up and the camera crews had been filming us. I traded her a necklace with a card on it, and then she left. I was really bummed to share a moment like that with someone and not get her contact or see her later or anything, so I posted a missed connections in the artist’s fan group with a picture of the necklace and Trevor (Said the Sky) tweeted it and it got shared all over. I eventually got in contact with her but nothing but this funny story came of it. One of the coolest trades I’ve ever given away didn’t have cards on them but I made kandi for the DJ Blastoyz and his family when they were touring the US. I was able to trade it to all of them. It’s in his Beyond Wonderland after movie that came out with the release of his and Seven Lions new song Reason for Fighting. It was a really cool experience. You can watch the trades at the end of the video, it’s really cool. 13. What is your favorite type of Kandi to trade?  I always trade singles, either with cards or if I’m making something special I’ll use stones or crystals and try to make a really cool single. I’m really limited in my time so I’m usually rushing to make trades right before an event. I always say I try to have the coolest singles possible haha. Sometimes I feel bad only having singles and wish I had bigger pieces to trade but I struggle to find the time to make what I do. Plus I will go through a lot of singles. I’ve gone through 60 singles at a SoCal rave and I went through over 100 at EDC:O 14. How do you feel about Kandi being a commodity that is sold for purchase? I have been offered $300 for a cuff I was wearing at a festival and turned it down. I don’t think that’s what it’s about, especially since they were all given to me. That being said, I’m not against ravers buying or selling kandi. Buying cuffs and perlers supports the raver you’re buying them from, which if you’re buying them to wear yourself for fashion thats cool, that’s one thing. Buying them for someone else I think is ok too, if you disclose that, but obviously these things mean more if you make them yourself. Buying from a company is another thing, but if you’re buying it for rave fashion for yourself? You do you. I do think the core concept of it all is the act of making it yourself, and I think everyone should sit down and make them themselves at some point. Especially trades. I will say though, I do see the appeal of buying pre-made trades haha. Luckily I have a friend who makes singles with me to trade. 15. Do you ever think there is an appropriate time to trade away Kandi that was once traded to you? I preach that this is the unbreakable rule of Kandi, and I try to never trade what was traded to me, in fact I try to carry every piece ever given to me (if you know me you’ve seen my belts full of every piece I have) but, I have traded away pieces once traded to me. It’s rare but the only reason I do so is if that piece is tied to a person or memory I no longer associate with and I want to forget and not be reminded of them or it. I’ve discussed this with a few other ravers and we genuinely agree that this is the best thing to do. Either that or disassemble the Kandi and make something else out of it. Raves are a good place, don’t wanna bring that down with bad vibes. Someone else can enjoy that piece that brings me bad vibes. But that’s the only time I think it’s ok. 16. What was the first Kandi piece you learned to make? A single and I haven’t progressed much further than that haha. 17. Is Kandi making in your opinion a “dying art form”?  I don’t think it’s dying, so long as we keep it alive. I wasn’t around 10 years ago but I definitely think, and have heard it’s in a decline. 18.  How long do you think kandi making and rave culture will be around for? I think it will be around for as long as we keep it around. I will continue to keep making and trading as long as I’m in the scene. I’ve seen friends pick it back up or start it after seeing me and what I do and I love that. I hope I can inspire more people to do it. I think that it’s an important part of the scene and an integral part of PLUR, and I think it’s important to teach this to the new ravers entering the scene. 19. So what’s next… when you have the time what’s the next big Kandi piece you’ll be making?  Having time really is the issue haha. I have a couple necklaces planned that I’m excited about and some fun singles projects that I’ll keep under wraps to surprise people with but the next big project I’m wanting to do is I actually found all my old vintage Pokemon cards. Base Set, Fossil, Expeditions, etc. I want to get certain cards, people’s favorite Pokemon, graded and make necklaces out of them. I know I said I rarely did Pokemon cards but I think this will be different enough and limited enough. I’m running into issues having them graded (cost and ability to get them submitted to the grading companies) so I might have to settle for just encapsulating some without grading but still I’m looking forward to the idea. Thank you Spanky so much for sharing. I agree Rave Safety is about everyone having a good time and everyone getting home safe and I look forward to seeing some your cards graded and traded soon!! As always follow us on our Instagram @ravetalks_ and on Facebook Rave Talks and also subscribe to our newsletter. Make sure to tune in to our first and second episode of season 3 found anywhere you get podcasts… we have some amazing giveaways and special treats coming your way. I love you all… MKQ out ☺️

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