Denver's Angry Neighbor Is Making Big Moves In The New Year

| January 08, 2019

Angry Neighbor is the brainchild of Reid Pellegrin and Tara Zeman. Two years ago the duo joined forces with the mission of representing local talents and collaborating with the vast community in the Colorado music scene. Since cultivating their project in Boulder and then expanding to Denver,  the team has undergone immense growth as they continue to spearhead their way into Colorado's growing music culture. 

We had a chance to interview the up and coming owners at Angry Neighbor about where they got started and their plans for the upcoming year. 

iEDM: What are your backgrounds in music?

TZ:  I started working for React in Wisconsin when I was just about to be a sophomore in college. I was street teaming for three years and then my last three years were filled with working artist hospitality and bartending at the main venue in Milwaukee. I was also artist running- taking artists from the airport to their hotel, taking them out to dinner, driving and attending their show and bringing them back to their hotel for the night. Also dealt with artist riders and picking up the listed items for the green room. I got the most experience doing artist hospitality because I was working more behind the scenes and helping book talent as I shadowed.  Fast forward to 2016, I moved out to Colorado and have been doing all that for another two years.

RP: I don't have an extensive background in music. My journey started in bars and restaurants. I've always had an affinity for music though. I played the drums when I was young- not that good. My stepdad played guitar and taught me-once again, I was not that good. 

Working in a bar, it's an entertainment industry. You need to create entertainment in order to drive sales. Through the journey of creating entertainment, I started getting associated with music again. I was booking local DJs- this was in Breckenridge, Colorado. I did that for about three or four years and we progressed to booking bands. We booked people coming through but it was a small ski town so nothing crazy. 

Eventually I took over Boulder House. It was more of a hybrid- bar meets venue meets nightclub. Once again, in order to find ways to make sales and get more people in, as a manager of a business, I had to dive into the music side of things.

I love the fact that it became such a community and brought a sense of togetherness. 

iEDM: How did you two start working together?

TZ: An influential person in the Denver music scene, Brian Greenblatt, responded to a status I posted on social media about getting sushi before a show at Boulder House. Brian said he knew the owner and that he needed some help putting up flyers before the show and that I could get a free ticket. I said, "Ya, I've been doing that my whole life. Give me some flyers to hand out. "

I met Reid at the Boulder House and instantly started talking about the work I have done in Wisconsin and that I was looking for something similar in Colorado.

When I was working with React I was helping give recommendations. I lived on campus and knew the music scene and what people wanted to hear. So I was getting more into the talent buying side. When I moved out to Colorado I decided I wanted to do that for myself.

When I met Reid, I told him I had some recommendations. We got food and told me he’s been needing someone to help with the exact skills i could bring to the table. I brought up my graphic design background and helped him with his marketing flyers for the Boulder House. A year later we started Angry Neighbor.

RP: At that point our street team was not very strong, we were having trouble keeping people engaged. She came down and wanted to do it. I didn't have a talent buyer and I needed help with marketing and because of her background with React, we had the crazy idea to start Angry Neighbor.

iEDM: What was the inspiration for the name Angry Neighbor?

RP: There are so many influences.

When I was a manager at a bar in Breckenridge called the Gold Pan, there was this bar across the street. They would stand outside sometimes and just stare at us- so angry, so upset. The other bars in that area- walking distance; you could throw a rock and hit one- we all worked together. We would help each other, talk about dates and collaborate on parties. We weren't against each other even though we were competition and this other bar would just stare at us. I think that's where it began even though it didn't officially start there. 

Then there were things that started happening in Boulder. There were places that didn't want to work with us. Saw us as competition and foreigners. It was always frustrating to me because I feel, as humans, first and foremost, we should be accepting. We all have different battles.

Then there was also Bassnectar playing at Dick's and people complaining about thinking there was an Earthquake. That also played into it. 


All of these things struck me and I just thought "Angry Neighbor. This is what this is."

We had DJs at this time that had been working with us and they weren't getting any love or attention. Other entertainment companies in the area were keeping the scene monopolized. Because of that the artists weren't getting fair opportunities and they were getting pushed around. We decided to help represent them and use the venue to help get their names out there. 

I went to Tara and said, " You've worked for Boulder House. You're my number one. Do you want to do this with me? I don't think I can do it alone. I think with your background and my background we can mesh and start something special."

Then it just snowballed. 

iEDM: What's your vision for Angry Neighbor?

RP: Angry Neighbor is a movement, not one thing specifically. It's about bringing the community together and representing those that don't have a strong voice. We 're trying to tone down the corporation-style mentality and keep it grassroots. 

We are looking to get people in a position where they are accepting of all levels of music. Uniting promotional companies with venues that don't usually work together. Uniting performers and live painters. Representing the community aspects that make this scene so special. 

TZ: There was a meme going around about the Colorado scene and it read “that there isn't enough room for these thousands of promoters”. But if people worked together a little bit more, we could all be successful. You are going to deal with competition and certain companies that just don’t want to be easy to work with. I think as Angry Neighbor we want to be as fluid and easy going as possible. Life’s too short to be difficult.

And building off of what Reid said we are just trying to work with different genres, people working behind various special events (non-music related) and fusing everyone’s talent and placing them in positions they feel is their most strong suit. And hopefully by the end of it all we will have a lot less “Angry Neighbors” and more people working together.

RP: Through Angry Neighbor, we want to help people understand that we are all in the same boat. We are all trying to make it. But 'making it" should apply to working together as a community- not actual dollars or titles. That's what we want to break down. 

iEDM: Can you tell us what you have for next year? I know your guys are getting real excited.

RP:  A lot. People will see for the first time the phases of the levels of branding and marketing. We will be releasing two other companies within our company so, basically, Angry Neighbor will shift to the mothership. We'll have other companies that are owned by Angry Neighbor but exist as their own entities.

One being an agency and management company. The other Compound Sound, a festival in Wyoming.

We are going to be announcing phase one soon. We'll have three phases. It will be like the Hill Block Party where they had a great thing going and then we came in and took it to another level. Same thing here. I expect people to be wowed and taken back by how big the surge of change will be. 


We're excited about our residency at the Black Box.

We we have some live stream shows coming.

And we're starting to push a little bit more outside of Colorado too. The past few days we've been talking about how everyone's from a different background. Colorado's a pretty big melting pot from people all over. So we want to go back to where we came from.

TZ: I owe so much of my upbringing the past six years in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I wouldn't be where I was today in the scene without that. I’ve been wanting to throw a show back home, but its crazy to think it’ll be mine this time, so myself and Reid definitely want to do some sort of “back to your roots tour”.  We’ve been working a lot with Temple Nightclub , had our first show at the Fox Theater, so excited to see where the New Year leads us with the past venues we’ve been connecting with.

RP: We also work with a MMA company and a media company currently. They're showing interest in creating a synergy between the three companies. We recently did a toy drive for the MMA company. 

They're really great guys. They do a lot of giving back to veterans. They give back to the homeless and underprivileged kids. So I think there's a lot to learn from other people in other businesses. They've learned from me. I've learned tremendous amounts from them. And we just want to continue doing that. We want to continue working with more companies.

There's a quote that I've heard, "The wealth of all the dreams lie in the graveyards." Basically, people take so many dreams and ideas with them when they pass and nothing ever came of them.

We just want to consistently get those ideas out to the surface and into the world . Help people facilitate their dreams.


iEDM: Is there a particular process when deciding what artists you represent?

RP: I guess in the beginning it was just myself and Tara knowing people.

Our friends at first and then networking

They believe. They understand. They get the vision and they see the big picture and they want to be a part of that. I think we obviously musical talent helps.

The biggest part of selecting artists is who they are. Do they possess certain characteristics? Are they dedicated? Are they driven? Are they hungry?Are they teachable? Do they want to learn?  If they have a willingness to learn I think it's important to give them a chance.

Yeah but we have met a lot of our artists through other people or friends saying, "Hey, I have this friend, he's really good. He just hasn't had a chance to play." We love giving people an opportunity. 

But there are situations where we have really good artists and we don't feel like the character is the right fit. And we don't feel like we can help it at the time and so we kind of have to go a different direction. I think for us it's about balancing it out. Life isn't just about talent and what you can do for entertainment purposes but it also matters in how you treat people and how you treat yourself.

iEDM: Anything else to share? 

RP: Our two year anniversary's coming up.

January 24th the Black Box.

Mystic Grizzly, CRow, Quite Possibly, Ziim, Magnetik and Dank Lloyd Wright in the main room. And then Drum Spider. The Dirty Gemstones. Thought Process with parkbreezy and pheel. Pheel has been there almost since the beginning.

Then we have Dissolv, which is a band coming with Drumspyder and they're pretty sick. They have a violinist that kills it. And then Davy Daydream and Terminally Chill, which is part of the Fosters of Frequency.

A lot of thanks to Submission. They've been a big help to us. They've been with us since we started. They were one of our first shows with the Widdler.

And Nicole and the Cories have been great to us. Tyler Manning with MorFlow. Chris with Mile High Sound Movement and Diana with Potent Productions. I think it's important to give them some appreciation for helping us out. Temple and Beta.

All of them. All the people out there who believe in what we do and want to make the community better. Thank you to all of them and just keep doing it. Hard day's will happen but if we all just keep working together we'll make the world that we all wanted as kids to live in.


You can find tickets to their Two Year Anniversary Celebration HERE. Don't forget to FOLLOW Angry Neighbor and see what the team is up to. 


Here at iEDM we love supporting the dreams of music lovers. Check out our exclusive On Blast Interviews HERE and stay updated with the world of EDM. 




about the writer


Read More...Corinne is a Denver-based visual artists and writer.

She grew up in Chicago and then received her BA in Studio Art at University of Minnesota- Twin Cities before making her way to Colorado.

Her first festival was Electric Forest which inspired her to pursue a creative life. She began participating with the Bassnectar team and shortly after starting working behind the scenes of a multitude of music and art events.

You can find her running around Denver getting involved in all things art and music.

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