Erik Funk talks about the Triple Rock Social Club


You alluded to Extreme Noise, a record store that you started… Yep, I was involved in the beginning, yes. But then the Triple Rock took me away from it, but it’s still going. Extreme Noise is still going strong is it still, is everything good? Yeah, but I have not been involved in it in a long time. What was behind you wanting to do that? It was kind of like, my friend Bill in that band Bloodline, he was one of the ones involved with starting it up and he was like “Hey, we need some more people to get involved with this, ” so, I put in a bit of money and I was like an “Owner” in the beginning or whatever, but everyone was a volunteer, but a few of us had put in cash, so we were technically “Owners” or whatever, so… Yeah it was just a cool thing. Still a cool thing. How did the Triple Rock thing happen? It was my wife’s idea. Gretchen. At the time, we played a lot of basement shows and stuff, but we had all turned 21, and we all didn’t have any place in Minneapolis to hang out that we felt like – you know it’s like the CC Club was the older generation’s like, place, but we didn’t feel like we had a bar that was for our thing, for our kind of generation. We were kind of young and were dumb enough to think that we could do it and I don’t know, we just did it. I still don’t know exactly how we did it, we just did it. Was Blondie’s for sale at the time? Yep, Blondie’s came up for sale. We looked for about two years though, so… So you knew you wanted to do it. Yeah. I mean, we worked on it really hard and actively and just scratched up enough loan money from different sources, and… Did you know right away that you wanted it to be a venue? Yeah, the goal was to be a venue, right from the start. It was supposed to be live music and food and full liquor, but we couldn’t find a place to do all three, but they we found Blondie’s, and then the idea was that live music would have to come later, cause we knew there was a chunk of land that we were getting with the property, so we figured at some point if things go well, we’d be able to build on it, which we did. And that’s what we’ve done for the past five years – it really changed the place. What were your primary aesthetic ideals for the venue place? Were you involved with designing it, or did you have people come in and do it? Our friend Scott Muellner was the architect. He was in an old hardcore band called Blind Approach. I don’t know. I thought it would be cool if the stage was, like if the back part was – kind of like the Entry, where if you had a lower part and in retrospect, it doesn’t really work that well, because the stage isn’t very high, so I don’ t know. I mean, believe me, that was one of the biggest things I’ve ever gone through, was trying to figure out how to get that thing built and going through that process. I mean, there are so many elements to it, and I’m really glad that we got it done, but there are so many things where I go back now and say “What were we thinking? Why didn’t we do it this way or that way?” But that’s a luxury that you don’t have when you are actually doing it. Are there any other plans involving it? Right now, it kind of just is what it’s going to be. We can’t really expand anything because of parking codes and regulations, there really isn’t anything else we can do with it. We can constantly try to make it better and keep it from being destroyed and try to you know… But at least for the physical structure, there is nothing else that we can really do. Do you have a favorite memory as a venue owner, looking back over the years? Um, yeah, well the first Dillinger Four show there was fun. I think we played with the Epoxies, and we played two songs? Three songs? Something like that and um, Paddy was so drunk that he just couldn’t play at all. And we literally just fell apart after three songs and, you know it was crowded, and I started thinking about it and I’m like “Wow. I own this place.” So I was like “OK, fuck it. We’re done. Dollar Buds for the rest of the night” and we just walked off stage and I was like “That’s cool.” To just be like, you know. “We’re not going to play any more music for you, but I’m going to put a beer on special. That’s good enough for you people. Have a nice evening.” But it’s been hard too, like when ** played there, they wanted four bottles of Moet & Chandon, but it was really expensive champagne, it was like $90 a bottle. And they insisted on their rider… A lot of times on people riders, there a lot of stupid stuff that you realize isn’t a big deal, but this became a ‘thing’. Like literally became like “We won’t fucking play” You didn’t have it, they showed up and…. Well, that day we were like “Do you seriously need it?” “Because we are going to have to go someplace to buy it. It’s going to cost more than your entire budget times like three just for these items, and it wasn’t budgeted in,” and they just said: “Deal Breaker. Won’t play if we don’t get it.” And they literally were packing up cases of this expensive champagne and shipping it back to England for their collections or whatever. That was sort of disheartening. I mean, I love that band. And I love that they played there, and I loved watching it, but… And it wasn’t them. It was just their tour manager or whatever, and I don’t if those guys knew or cared or whatever, but.. Yeah, that was sort of disheartening dealing with that. so that was sort of the downside, I guess. Not a favorite memory, but a sobering memory.