March 3, 2016 01:33 PM

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A champion of the local scene, Mitch “Heffe” Briggs used to run Heffe’s Saloon. Now, he is trying to turn the ‘used to run’ into ‘runs’ again.

Why did Heffe’s close?
Heffe’s closed its doors because of some unfortunate business partners. I tried to re-lease the building but the landlord refused to rent to us. I’m looking for a new location to continue to book bands that seem to have no other venue that will allow an anything-goes atmosphere.

What do you have in store for the new Heffe’s?
At the new location, I will continue with a policy of booking any style of music or performer that would like a stage.

What is your vision for booking bands? What are you trying to bring to Lafayette’s music scene?
My vision is pretty simple: let them play. I love all types of music and never wanted to own a club that would not book a style of music. I feel very strongly that every type of act has a right to perform. I feel that too many venues only book one to two genres. We have had everything from doom metal to hip hop. Heffe’s has hosted comedy shows, burlesque and performance art. I have always intended to make a home vibe where patrons and performers feel like they have a home.

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Would you rather book a band you don’t like that will draw or a band that you like that won’t draw? Why?

Every club owner wishes for a band to have a good show. My personal taste never weighed in on what I booked. I want the local scene to grow. I feel like that only can happen when all types of shows are hosted.

How strong or weak is the scene right now?
The scene right now is weak. The reason in my opinion being that bands are not always willing to work together or blaming the venue for a bad show. I have hosted plenty of shows where there has been no promotion from the band and they wonder why nobody came out. Also, when a band over-saturates the market ... playing every weekend in a town like Lafayette is too much. Bands should be playing out of town as well. Hit up Lake Charles one weekend and other near areas. Meet other acts and get to know them. Then put together a show with them in town. Grow the scene. That being said, people need to get out and check out new bands. This attitude of, ‘Never heard of them. Why would I pay five bucks?’ People will never hear of new acts with that outlook.

What is your favorite local band?
I have a few favorite acts right now. The Nameless just hit the scene and they bring it. Define is also a group that puts on one hell of a show. I have always been a huge Project Kitchen Band fan. Girra also has a great show. Rebel Cruiser has been earning their stripes. Black Feratu puts on one of the best shows in town — Bonehead can shred the guitar, Glenn is a killer bass player and Mac Black holds it all together. Also Brother Jac — great local rock.

What is the most under rated local band?
I would have to say the most underrated band in town would be Porch Squad. Killer hip hop group. One of my favorite shows to watch.

Why did you get into booking local music?
I started booking local music because I love it. I think it’s one of the most important thing a town can have.

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