Growing up in the Sioux Falls punk scene, Fresh Produce writer, Brian Bieber, often found himself among the audience at Nordic Hall – a scene that would come to grow into its own culture, community, and economy by a group of unassuming teens. Eventually, that scene would also spawn a feature-length documentary filmed and produced by Bieber.
“As a teenager, you’re within the established structures that most people are in – sports, theatre, the school band, and all those avenues where a lot of people go. We didn’t really fit in any of those. We were buying our own instruments, booking studio time, and figuring out where to press records.”
The early stages of I Really Get Into It: The Underage Architects of Sioux Falls Punk was inspired by surfing the Rapid City punk rock archives.
“I started asking around for people to digitize records and tapes [from the Sioux Falls scene]. From there, the conversations I had with people got me thinking about how many artists from the punk scene were doing remarkable things.”
“You can say ‘Holy cow, we were 15 years old and not very good at playing instruments’ or you can say ‘Holy cow, we were 15 years old and we made a record’.”
The making of the documentary began in June 2018 with a dinged car and a $900 insurance check. Bieber used the insurance money to buy a camera, which was packed up in that dinged car and brought to Kansas City for the first interview with Kristin Conkright, who sang for the legendary Sioux Falls band, Switch.
“The benefit of having a community that encourages a do-it-yourself ethic is incredibly valuable, especially to young people, and this documentary is an example of that. I didn’t know how to do it when I started, but I taught myself as I went, and got plenty of help along the way. You never really just do it yourself. It’s more about understanding that you don’t have to wait around for permission, and I think that’s incredibly important.”
A few months later in October 2018, a four-week sabbatical from work gave Brian the focus to think about what he wanted the documentary to be, and by December 2020, I Really Get Into It: The Underage Architects of Sioux Falls Punk rolled out in a swatch of merch from pins, postcards, and cassette tapes to a DVD format and limited edition VHS tape.
“At Fresh Produce, there’s plenty of room to work on your own thing, but having a month off to only think about the documentary let me put all my creative energy into that.”
To purchase merch or a DVD format of the documentary, visit ireallygetintoit.com.
Read about what other Fresh Produce crew members did during their month-long sabbatical.