Teree Yount, DJ Tigerbunny, has been playing left-of-the-dial rock music at Chapel Tavern every Thursday night for nearly two years. She has a startling record collection, a vast knowledge of rock music and a knack for picking the right songs.
What kind of stuff do you play?
Well, usually it ends up being sexy or groovy or hot in some way. [Laughs.] That would be my favorite. … Lots of Kinks is hot. And Front 242 is hot. Blonde Redhead, Clinic, old ’50s surf music, a lot of psychedelic music …
What makes that stuff hot?
Bass [laughs] and darkness.
The name of the night is Sonic Mass. Where’d that name come from?
Well, when Ian [Yount, Teree’s husband] and I started it together—but of course he dropped out after like two months—he thought of it, and [owner] Duncan [Mitchell] really liked it because it’s Chapel, and mass happens at chapels. And “sonic”-ness is obvious. [Laughs.]
Why has Chapel been a good fit for you?
Because it’s eclectic, and people go to that bar either after work, or before dinner or after dinner, you know, and then there’s the late crowd. So you have a revolving door of people all night, and everybody’s different. Every group likes different music. You can tell what they like, mostly. I like when people request stuff, so I can remember what they like forever. And hopefully they keep coming back because they feel special.
How can you tell what people like?
Well, because I watch their body language and their facial expressions, and if their heads bob or if they sing or if they scowl or if they yell. I’m just observant. I’m a silent observer. [Laughs.]
What kind of reactions do you want?
Oh, I just like it when people are happy. That’s my main objective. Some people just play what they like, and they don’t care, they’re just like, “This music is rad, and you’re going to like it,” but I don’t like to do that so much. I mean I’ll play stuff that I know no one listens to, but only interspersed.
And then you’ll gauge how people react to it?
Exactly. And I’ll play more like it if a large number or a big ratio seems to … not hate it.
Have things changed there in the two years?
Things change because groups of people change. Some people stop going, some people start going. But a lot of the people keep going. At least twice a month, I’ll see the same people, and that’s fun, but I always see people I’ve never seen before. Every week—and that’s kind of scary sometimes … because then I have to figure out what they like.
And you don’t do too much mixing … you mostly pick songs you think people will like …
I mostly just play songs, but I do … I don’t really match beats. I’m not into the beat matching so much as atmosphere and aesthetics, and enjoyment, and to make you feel like you’re somewhere else maybe. Like if I play a whole bunch of psychedelic ’60s music, it makes you feel like you might be not in Reno in 2009. It makes me feel like that.
So you play songs to fit the mood.
Yeah. And you can change atmospheres. Like, you could probably make someone fight, just by playing hate songs.
Have you ever tried to do that?
I haven’t, but I thought of it a few days ago. Just for fun. But I remember when I played the Snow White song, “Someday My Prince Will Come,” a man slapped a girl, and then a couple of my friends got up and like beat him up and got him out of the bar. And the ambulance came and took him, because his face was bleeding and it was because of Snow White. So you never know.