the newspaper spoke with Ryan Mills, original launcher of the webpage 20hz, which was later sold and changed to Stillepost. "At the end of the 20hz era, I was offering to give the community away to anyone who wanted the responsibility of managing it,” says Mills. “The amount of time, energy and money I was putting into the site was starting to conflict with my other projects,” continued Mills, referencing his touring and recording.
The only person who showed any interest was an employee of El Mocambo with “a great personality [and] superb web skills,” Mills notes, with some experience to boot, organizing a similar site for London, Ontario. Mills offered to give the site away, free of charge, “but the owner insisted on paying for it. It was a big hairy mess that financed my tiny recording studio and lit a fire under the community itself, so I think everything worked out in the end.”
The sell-off has been called controversial in the past, mostly due to the fact that Mills sold it to Abbas Jahangiri, who attempted to turn El Mocambo, a legendary Toronto club, into a dance studio. Some of Toronto's music community were not thrilled with the sell, and the resulting transformation into Stillepost, but Mills feels that the project was a success, saying, "They were much better suited to manage the site and oddly enough that employee from El Mocambo ended up being a big contributor to Stillepost over the years... so I think it all worked out great."
Dylan Reibling, former moderator of the Toronto board from 2005-2007 and occasional contributor, wanted to make sure that tribute would be paid to the site, and especially the interactions and relationships created thanks to Stillepost. "When I heard that the board was coming to an end at the end of the year, I wanted to make sure that we commemorated it in a substantial way rather than let it just blink off and disappear."
Reibling has organized a funeral for the virtual forum, in "an attempt to pay tribute to the spirit of the boards - and especially the kinds of interactions that it made possible: spontaneous, participatory, and fun." Fans and friends of Stillepost have been asked to attend the event on January 8th at the Garrison, where Reibling plans on handing out "eulogy booklet/zines with contributions from community members and the local press who have watched the site grow."
Despite the sadness that surrounds the unfortunate demise of a truly interactive, autonomous and blessedly ad-free place for the Canadian music community to connect, there is satisfaction in what Stillepost managed to attain. "I'm very happy to see that Stillepost is going out with the same mentality it had when it started,” resolves Mills, “Nobody sold out - nobody gave in - no bad creative decisions. Every five years is a rock and roll generation and I guess it's time for this one to move on to different projects."
Illustration by Kate Wakely-Mulroney