Tazy Phyllipz has literally made a career out of helping unknown bands grow their audiences. If you don't believe me, just ask No Doubt, Sublime and Maroon 5 – three groups who received airplay on Phyllipz's radio program The Ska Parade long before corporate America knew what a hollaback girl was.
But now it's time for that good fortune to come Phyllipz's way as the radio host – who broadcasts The Ska Parade on Phoenix, Ariz.'s KUKQ from his home studio – has created an Indiegogo campaign to fund a book he is writing that will detail his experiences in the music industry. The Irvine resident has a goal of $35,000 and hopes that money will cover expenses for things such as a page designer and a copy editor.
The Ska Parade has been on the air for more than 20 years, which means Phyllipz has a lot of potential stories to include. Because of these numerous tales and his financial situation, the would-be author says his book is not yet finished, but explains that more money equals more chapters. As of this writing, Phyllipz's campaign has 31 days remaining and has earned a total of $816, so if it's ska stories you want, you best be donating! We caught up with Phyllipz via email to talk about his book and his motivation for wanting to spill the beans.
OC Weekly (Ryan Ritchie): Is the book a continuous narrative or a group of collected essays?
Tazy Phyllipz: Basically, it's a collection of short stories.
OCW: Can we have a snippet?
TP: Yes. “Another time when I was over at the Beacon Street house (where No Doubt members lived and rehearsed)… Tom Dumont said 'You gotta come with me to see this one band.' We got into Tom's car, picked up their drummer Adrian Young and a couple of girls; and we headed to the Coconut Teaser in Hollywood, CA. That was the first time I had ever seen Sublime live. They had a good show that night. Afterward, I remember talking with their manager, Miguel, and getting his contact info. A year and a half later, I ran into Miguel; and we totally hit it off. And that's when I got Sublime to commit to play live on Ska Parade, which ended up being their greatest live set ever!”
OCW: What about some teasers? Specifically, what are you going to write about?
TP: When I found out the music was called ska; how I almost ended Jimmy Kimmel's career during my KROQ days; the story of how a mutual friend's good advice given to Travis Barker helped him choose to go with Blink-182; the chance story of when my wife and I ended up snorkeling with Reel Big Fish during our Hawaiian Honeymoon; how I actually got my horn-rimmed glasses (which has a No Doubt connection); how I helped out a young Maroon5 in getting their first radio ads; behind the scenes of actually doing a ska stage at the 2010 Warped Tour; the great story of how I almost set up one of my Ska Parade interns with going to his high school prom with Gwen Stefani.
OCW: Are you going to tell stories that might make people look bad?
TP: Not that I am aware of at this time.
OCW: Why now? And why the need to share your stories?
TP: It's time! I have not led a traditional life and it's another means of sharing my love of ska music with the world.
OCW: Why Indiegogo instead of Kickstarter?
TP: Kickstarter only gives you the funds if you meet your goal. With Indiegogo, you have a choice. You may either select if you meet the goal or collect what is already donated.
OCW: Are you writing it yourself?
TP: No. The stories were put to paper by me. However, I have a difficult time writing, so I will need to hire help to assist me, as well as a co-writer. The quality is what I will be paying for that will make this the book shine even more.
OCW: Do you plan on self-publishing?
TP: Yes. End of story.
OCW: How did you determine the $35,000 amount?
TP: I wanted to cover the basics of getting this book done. So, the more raised, the more stories would be included.
OCW: Who are the others involved (page designers, copy editors, etc.)?
TP: As of now, I have a co-writer and an assistant, but I may or may not need additional help.
OCW: What happens if you don't reach your goal?
TP: I don't know. Hopefully, we will reach our goal, but if not, hopefully we raise enough to move forward with as much of the book as possible.
OCW: In regards to the $2,500 private pizza party…do I get to milk the cows that give the milk to create the cheese on the pizza? If not, do I at least get free re-fills?
TP: No on milking the cows; yes for the free drink refills!
OCW: Couldn't/shouldn't No Doubt just write you a check?
TP: That would be nice, however that probably would not happen.
OCW: The last time I wrote about you, I said, “A book could be written on Phyllipz's involvement in both the Orange County music and ska scenes.” So do I get a piece of the action for inspiring this book?
TP: Ryan, you may have a personalized shout-out on the Ska Parade Facebook page or your name added to the special thanks section of the book.