Emo Nite SF & an Interview with Babs Szabo

Emo Nite
Rickshaw Stop, SF
January 31, 2017

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Babs Szabo
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Emo Nite is a party for all us emo kids who grew up to be emo adults because "Every Nite is Emo Nite" so you better "Ride or Cry." Before we got "Sad as F***," we interviewed girlboss Barbara "Babs" Szabo from Emo Nite and Ride or Cry at Emo Nite SF at Rickshaw Stop.

If you haven’t been to Emo Nite, you are definitely missing out on being “Sad as F***.” Don’t worry, Emo Nite isn’t as sad as it sounds; it’s the complete opposite! It’s one of the coolest parties you’ll go to. With three shows in one night at three different cities, we had the chance to interview one of the cofounders of Emo Nite, Barbara “Babs” Szabo, during their SF show.


How do you, Morgan, and T.J. know each other? What made you guys start Emo Nite?

T.J. and I met at a friend’s birthday party and it was a karaoke event. We realized we both liked Dashboard Confessional, so we just did a Dashboard song together and I think it was “Hands Down.” After that, he was like “Oh shit we should do this at a bar and get all our friends together and just play these songs and sing along to them.” Morgan worked at the office where we worked at the time, and his friend worked at the first bar where we threw Emo Nite so he let us do it there.

Did you guys expect the success from Emo Nite?

No! I honestly thought five of my friends would come and five of T.J.’s friends and that’s it. And then we had 500 people around the block just lined up! Like, holy sh** this is crazy. I mean it was kind of amazing to see that there are a lot more people out there like us.

Your 2 year anniversary [for Emo Nite] was in December and you had some great guests: Tyson Ritter and Nick Wheeler of The All-American Rejects, Captain Cuts, Set Your Goals… Describe that show in 3 words.

Life-changing and… It was just life-changing. The whole night, I was like, “None of this is real like All-American Rejects is here. What is happening to my whole life? And Aaron from Underoath!” It was all so crazy.

What's your favorite part about hosting Emo Nite?

I just like meeting people, kind of across the country and across the world, who grew up listening to this music and still listen to this music because I feel like if you’re at a party and you don’t know anyone and then you meet someone and they’re like, “Oh I like Taking Back Sunday.” Immediately, you’re like, “We’re friends. You’re cool.” I think that’s my favorite part, hanging out with people who are essentially strangers but I feel like they’re not.

How do you guys curate the playlist? Do you look at your old iPods?

I think in the beginning we did. Now we just have an ongoing playlist where we’ll pull songs from it all the time and then we have a main playlist with all the songs we’ve ever played for Emo Nite, which I think is like hundreds upon hundreds of songs. When we go to different cities, I like to see what songs people like to request cause you can request it in the Facebook event and tweet. I don’t know how people are gonna tweet request us today because we’re doing three [shows] tonight. We might have to come up with a hashtag. I like to do a lot of requests. That’s my jam because I literally only want people to hear the songs they want to hear and some of the stuff I like.

What song would you say is the one that everyone goes crazy for if you can pick one?

I think The Starting Line “Best of Me” is the universal song that gets everyone going, and then, Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar We’re Falling Down.” We always start with that. And then, of course, My Chemical Romance “[Helena] So Long & Goodnight” is a staple.

When you guys announced this tour, like you said, you guys have three shows in three different cities (SF, Portland, San Diego) today. What made you guys do that? Was it logistics?

It was kind of logistics where we’ve done this for two years now and we’re able to go to a city by ourselves. We don’t have to go all three [of us] and be there for each other emotionally. But now it’s like we’ve done this so much that it’s easier to throw these, and also we hadn’t done any in January like we didn’t even do one in LA. So we kinda wanted if we’re gonna do any in January we should just do a bunch so we just put three at the end of the month. It’s a good way to break that break...and the whole world is falling apart and we gotta celebrate however we can.


You guys are hosting Warped Rewind [at Sea] in October, which is super rad, because you’re on a boat with 3OH!3, The Starting Line, Cartel, and Good Charlotte. How stoked are you for that?

First of all, I’ve never been on a cruise, so in itself I’m so excited about that. But that lineup is amazing and I’m honestly just really honored to be a part of it. It’s the first one and I’m so honored they asked us to be a part of it. I can’t even believe it. It’s gonna be so fun. I really encourage everybody to go because I think, even though the tickets are kind of pricey, I think you’ve got to look at it like it’s a vacation. It sounds like a dream. I’m so excited and it’s on Halloween too. Possibilities are endless with the outfits.

I read your three day diary on HelloGiggles. I was totally inspired and I admire you so much more. It looked like it was super easy and you were writing effortlessly.

I was having such anxiety about writing it because it took time away from doing things. I almost had a panic attack doing it, but I’m so glad I did it.

You’re such a girlboss doing Emo Nite and Ride or Cry. How do you do it? What keeps you sane?

Honestly, I don’t know because I’m a huge introvert. So all of this, I’ve pretty much taught myself to pretend like I’m not. In my ideal world, I’d be at home with my boyfriend and cat. That’s my ideal world, but at the same time like I love doing this too. I think it’s the love it that keeps me going and all of it is really cool. So as much as sometimes I have really bad anxiety or really bad depression or whatever it is, the fact that everything we’re doing is really cool and we get to meet so many cool people keeps me going.

What is your spirit animal? Is it your cat?

He’s such a sweet baby. I really like sloths and I heard in Portland there’s a place you can go to play with sloths. So that’s on my list of things to do. But yeah, of course, cats also. But sloths are tight.

I just wonder how sloths got perpetuated into being just so big. Like, have you noticed that. Like yeah sloths and it’s just like where did that come from.

It’s like with memes. I don’t know. Where do they come from? Morgan and T.J. love memes. I’m sure you’ve seen on our socials, it’s only memes. And I’m just like I don’t understand any of them. I don’t like them. If it’s a cat meme sign me up, other than that I don’t know.

Who was your favorite emo artist/band way back when it all started?

My first pop punk emo show was Sum 41. But growing up and to this day, my favorite band is Taking Back Sunday. All things aside.

There were a ton of emo trends both good and bad. What was your favorite and least favorite?

My favorite was just band shirts, but I force myself not to wear it. I don’t know if I had a least favorite. Maybe people look at my band shirt and think “that’s lame.” But you know how there was that rule, I don’t know if that still exists or if it’s something I made up, but how you weren’t supposed to go to a show in the same band’s shirt. I did that all the time, and my friend’s would tell me not to.




Do you have any current obsessions? It could be anything: food, music, movies, a person...

Super random, but my most recent obsession has been Sailor Moon.

I saw you went to that [movie premiere] event and they were playing it. How was that? Was it good? OMG, my childhood.

So f***ing good. So good. And I never really was into that and that was my first introduction into that and I’m obsessed with it. It’s so culturally relevant like girl power and they’re all so cool. I wish I was that cool when I was their age. Yeah, I’ve been obsessed recently with Sailor Moon. Music wise, Movements. They’re so good. They’ve played Emo Nite in LA twice now. It’s like spoken word, screamo, and emo. You have to listen to them. It’s all I listen to now.

What else can we expect from Emo Nite or Ride or Cry this year in 2017?

I mean honestly everyday I’m like, “This is what we’re doing,” and then it changes. Like the Warped Tour cruise thing came together at the end of last year. For Ride or Cry, we have a ton of stuff coming up. Morgan has been directing a bunch of music videos. We’re working on a ton of cool stuff that’s coming out. For Emo Nite, we’re just touring throughout the year. More of everything and then new things that come up that are unknown as of yet. A bunch of fun stuff and then a bunch of acupuncture.


(*Originally posted on OneAvenue.TV)