Do it yourself
Mac Shopen, 26, was behind the counter of Reno’s newest music store, Sound & Fury Records, 271 Wonder St., 324-6133. The store mostly sells punk rock CDs, although it also offers vinyl, a bit of clothing, music publications and zines. Currently, it’s kind of an austere environment, and the smell of paint is thick in the air.
How did you come up with the name?
Well, it’s a line from a Shakespeare play; it’s also a Faulkner novel; it’s also the name of the first Youth Brigade LP, which is more directly where it came from.
When did you open?
About a month and a half ago.
Tell me a little about the store. How did it come about?
Pretty much, we’d been talking about it for a while, and we really just wanted for there to be a place in Reno where kids could come and buy this kind of music. We didn’t want to sit around and wait for someone else to do it, so we took the initiative.
Me and my partner, Joe Ferguson.
Do you do other things here besides selling punk-rock music?
Punk rock and hardcore, and eventually we’ll expand into some hip-hop. But pretty much selling records. We have in-store promotions for bands from time to time, where bands will come in and play. Generally we just wanted to create a community place where kids can come, buy some records, hang out.
Is this building attached to the house next door? Do you live there?
My partner lives there.
Have you had any success creating this community you were talking about?
We’re really fortunate in that a community like that already exists in Reno. We want it to have a focal point. Every city needs something like that, whether it be a venue or a record store or a house or whatever. At the moment, we were lacking anything like that. The community was there, we just wanted something to bring it together.
What else could the city do to promote this kind of community?
That’s a good question. If it really, really wanted to, a city-funded venue like a teen center, community space for bands to play and kids to go to. That would be good. But I don’t see that happening.
Have you worked in this industry before?
Yes. My first real job was at Tower Records. I also worked at Resurrection Records. I’ve worked at record stores outside the area. That’s pretty much my career, although I don’t want to say “career” because, what kind of career is that? But it’s pretty much where my experience is.
Are there other attitudes that kind of go along with selling this kind of music? I notice you have some free publications over there that foster kind of a global view of things, the do-it-yourself kind of ethic?
With this particular genre, its very, very liberal—liberal to radical. And of course, the do-it yourself ethic is a key to anything you try to do. I think it goes hand and hand with this music. If we can promote that kind of thinking, I’m stoked.
Where do you want the store to go in the future?
I get asked that a lot. Pretty much my goal is longevity. I don’t need to have a bunch of different chains. If we can just stay in business and just improve, do a quality job for an extended period of time, I’ll consider that an astounding success.