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Create to Destroy! 1984 Printing

This interview is with Richard of 1984 Printing who was affected by the recent fire in ...

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New Blood! VOIDED SOCIAL CONTRACT, LICKER, THE LOSING KIND and BEROSSZULÁS

“New Blood” is our weekly feature spotlighting new bands from around the world! See below for info ...

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Record of the Week: KRONOFOGDEN Arbete och/eller Fritid LP

The second full-length from Hudiksvall, Sweden’s KRONOFOGDEN ("Enforcement Officer") shares some obvious DNA with the ...

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Emily's Sassy Lime

MRR Radio #1448 • 4/12/14

Dan hands the reins to Jolie and Colin, who demonstrate their great taste. Intro song: DISTORTED PONY ...

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Create to Destroy! 1984 Printing


April 17th, 2015 by

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This interview is with Richard of 1984 Printing who was affected by the recent fire in West Oakland that started in a building attached to their building. Others who live in the AK Press building, also attached to the building where the fire started, were devastated by this harrowing incident in which two people died and massive damage was caused. Approximately 30 people have been relocated at present. I wanted to raise awareness and encourage monetary support as the two DIY businesses severely affected, 1984 Printing and AK Press,  are staples in our Oakland community and our international punk community. Your support is needed!

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What do you need the most of right now?
Mainly financial support for us and all the other tenants here. We have never asked for help before and feel pretty uncomfortable about doing so now, but we do need it. Since the fire, people have been amazing. From the moment the fire was out everybody’s community has responded as needed and as able. From punching holes in the floor to drain the water to keeping the building secure to food and coffee or just emotional support. It has continued since with clean up and roof repair. Now we need monetary support and ideas, as well. The City of Oakland red tagged the building, and we are navigating the process to continue to keep what we think is a safe building open for AK Press and 1984 Printing, as well as the many artists that have work space here and the tenants that call this building home.

How can local punks and the community here in the Bay Area help?
Look for support funds to help with and if you know somebody displaced please reach out personally. Many of us have various levels of emotional trauma depending where they were during the fire and how they are dealing with it. Many may need a place to stay. There are various benefit shows being organized as well. Please come out, celebrate and help.

How can the rest of us support you through this nightmarish time?
Order a book from AK Press. Let us print a zine or book for you when we get up and running. Buy art from artists that were in the building. I feel like a broken record about money, but a lot of us are from the DIY and/or punk scene so we handle this shit as well as we can- that said, we do not have any extra resources at our disposal. AK Press and 1984 were built on hard work and community support so we just need a lot of that.

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Peanut and Honey, survivors

So, in a condensed version, what the hell happened?
At 3 a.m. Saturday morning of March 21st, there was a fire that started in the building in back of ours. A neighbor saw the smoke and called the fire department. That unit became engulfed in fire, killing the two residents and spread to the roof. It then spread to our building. Smoke detectors immediately went off inside our building (we have 180 through out the building). My wife Amy was at the shop working and heard alarms in the press room. It had filled with smoke from the unit behind us. She evacuated with the rest of our building tenants. No one was hurt in our building. The fire burned four units and through to the roof. The fire was directly above our press room and the back half of AK press. We both sustained massive water damage. 1984 lost every piece of paper and every printed job in the press room. Amazingly our equipment seems OK. But, we’ve been too busy to get going again right now. AK Press lost a lot especially in the back half of their space. The rest of their building has smoke damage to varying degrees. They are still sorting through it all. The four hardest hit were the units upstairs areas that are total losses. One unit (David and Jen’s) is completely burned from floor to ceiling. Michele’s sustained both smoke fire and water damage. The fire stopped at her unit but 2/3 of it looked destroyed. Another unit is a total loss. It was burned from the loft up but destroyed everything inside. And Jason’s unit didn’t have any fire damage but smoke and water from the sides and directly above destroyed everything he had.

What did you lose? (Sorry to ask such a traumatizing question.)
We lost many printed jobs that were waiting for bindery, numerous pallets of paper waiting to be printed on, Amy’s main computer (but not her backup!) and our copier is down. We are still assessing damages and dealing with lots of lost time and distractions. We don’t live in the space so we still have a place to live. People upstairs in our building lost everything and two died in the building in back, so that is keeping all our losses and hardships in perspective.

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What are you glad made it through the fire?
Amy, my wife and partner, and our little dogs, Peanut and Honey. Business-wise, our four-color press is the most important thing and it made it through the fire.

What are your next steps right now, right this second?
We are working with our landlord to keep our building open at this moment. I’m on the phone trying to secure a bridge loan for him to help with the Red Cross payments and initial repairs. The live-in tenants are at the Red Cross at this moment learning about medium to long-term options and help that is available to them.

Where do you hope to be in a few months?
Same place and hopefully back to full production.

What was your last completed project?
Social Justice Journal. They just moved into the building this month! Stefania was amazing after the fire with hugs and offers to help as well as helping to push water out.

What were you working on at the time of the blaze?
Specious Species Issue 7, Found Paper Journal from Rowan Morrison and Louder the Room, the Darker the Scream for Timeless Infinite Light. We were working on all of them at the same time.

Why is is so important for you to print?
I have always loved the power of the small press. From the beginning, with political pamphlets to spread radical ideas, to posters and full-color art books that continue that tradition. This is also our project. Amy and I did shows, toured with bands and did lots of other work in different communities but this is all ours. We have created an amazing shop with hard work, a lot of awesome customers and caring friends.

Will you keep printing?
Yes! Send us your jobs!

Do you want to say anything?
Thank you to our friends and community. Please get smoke detectors and thanks for this opportunity. MRR and Tim have played such a huge part in my life. I’m always grateful and amazed to be a a part of it!

Thank you, Amelia!

Help out 1984 Printng at gofundme.com/1984printing



Create to Destroy! Dark Raids distro


April 8th, 2015 by

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This interview is with Mitchell from Dark Raids distro and label. I met him at a show in Oakland last year. I was blown away by his band MUTANT ITCH and I am always impressed when I browse his distro table at shows or web store, so I thought I’d interview him for the punx. Here’s Mitchell, straight outta Fresno…

What’s going on in Fresno, California right now? Do you get a lot of touring bands? Is there even a scene there? What the fuck is Fresno? Why should we check it out?
Fresno doesn’t actually have a whole lot going on. Our punk scene is quite small and desolate even though there are a fair amount of shows that happen regularly. Oddly enough, we actually get a lot of random touring bands because of the labels and collectives that bring them. Normally whenever there is a punk tour going on there is either going to be a show in Fresno or Bakersfield (which is about two hours south of Fresno) and that’s pretty cool because shows are a lot more accessible that way as we don’t have to drive to LA or the Bay.

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Fresno punx + Mitchell (right)

But we also have a shit ton of really lame indie shows that happen about twice a week. We’re friends with the people who book the shows and bring the bands because we operate within the same DIY music scene but none of those shows are too exciting for punks. Dark Raids was booking a fair amount of shows for a while, about 6–7 months ago but recently we’ve been heavily focusing on label releases, screen printing and taking care of things within our own personal lives. At the moment two of my bands mates run a small booking/art collective called Screaming Vomit and they recently put together a “Drunk & Disorderly” Fest which was a two part show then we, Dark Raids added a morning show (started at noon, haha) with BI-MARKS. The fest ended up being three shows in one day and its was full of drunken shenanigans. FUMIGADOS, AUSENCIA, SSYNDROM, CLASS SYSTEM, and, RED TAPE all played and it was a great fucking night. Some of the most fun I’ve had in Fresno in a long time and it was refreshing to see that many punks in my home town.

The scene in Fresno used to be thriving about 7 or 8 years ago. There were always new faces and younger kids that would come out to shows. In recent times the scene has dwindled down to the handful of punks you still see today. The few of us that there are, are all very tight-knit and most of us see each other as family — shit we’ve known each other long enough! Ha! So I guess that is one good things about Fresno, but I wish there were a few more punks hanging around and supporting shows. Fresno is surprisingly a very large city and is located in the middle of California surrounded by farmers and citrus trees. Fresno is a cool place to check out if you have never been, its city layout is pretty rad and to tell the honest true I always thought people from Fresno were a special sub-species of human. Kinda like if we drank contaminated water from Tromaville or something. Haha! So come check it out and say Hi when you do!

DarkRaids_MutantItch

Fresno, Troma County, USA. You’re in MUTANT ITCH…tell us about MUTANT ITCH.
Well, MUTANT ITCH started in January of 2014. We basically wanted to make a band that was total Japanese Noise core like GAI or DUST NOISE but then we started playing more of a bouncy, noise drenched Pogo punk style which I think we are all very happy with. We just recorded with Mike Kriebel in Los Angeles and we plan to release a new tape in March and we hope to have a 7″ out by the end of the year… Stay tuned!!

Tell us about Dark Raids. Where’d the name come from? Why start a distro? Is Dark Raids also a label?
I have loved records since I was a young punk, I remember my grandmother helping me buy my first record when I was eleven years old. Since that day I had always had a passion for collecting punk records and as I got older I kept the hobby I acquired when I was younger. So about three years ago I started staying more up to date as you would say on current punk releases and all of my friends were getting into the same bands as I was at the time. So when I would buy a copy of a record I would email and ask to buy multiple copies which I would then, sell to my friends. A month or so passes and I end up coming up with an idea to create a zine that would be released with demos or comps of bands or whatever really, I was mainly just brainstorming at this period in time. So eventually I didn’t really keep consistent with the zine and it some what got forgotten about. But I ended up going with the idea of releasing a tape and that’s when the idea occurred to me that I should start a label/distro. At that point I reached out to a really good friend and band mate, Phil and my girlfriend Kelsey to help me materialize my idea and that is when everything came together. It’s hard to say exactly where the name Dark Raids came from, but I mainly got the influence from the way some Japanese Metal punk songs have very Omnibus titles and sound kind of mythical and creeping. After going over countless SDS songs in my mind, I came up with Dark Raids and it stuck. As a label so far we have done three releases and we are currently working on our next three that are scheduled to come out right around the beginning March…

What releases have you done so far?
So far we have done three cassette releases. The first was unreleased material of Kelsey’s and I’s old band SOYA. We made that tape as a way to get Dark Raids going. We only made seventy copies and we mainly gave it to people who supported the band while it was current and gave copies to friends who run labels and distros in order to help spread the word of our new label we started. After that we released a demo for a local Fresno hardcore band called WALLFLOWER, which was great because they are rad people who play an awesome mixture of NEGATIVE APPROACH meets BIKINI KILL (just close your eyes and try to imagine it). Our most current release was the split we did for RADIATION and Canada’s KAITEN, which was pretty rad because it was a screened printed envelope that included a cassette and buttons so we just refereed to it as a “Punk Pack,” haha. So far that was our favorite release, it was a blast working with all of those dudes through out the release and then having our bands play together as we promoted it in Los Angeles was fucking great! We had a blast!

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Who do you use to do cassettes releases?
The first release we did we just purchased blank tapes and dubbed all of them our selves. The second and third release we did we went through a professional duplication company which was a little on the pricey side but the quality was unmatched to anything I could reproduce dubbing tapes in my room.

What type of thought goes into the packaging? How important do you think packaging and aesthetics are for your releases?
I would have to say we put a lot of thought into our releases, we like to try and add something special to every project so that each release is a unique document of the band. When we started getting more serious about our label we had plans to incorporate screen printing in the aesthetics of the packaging. Kelsey was taking a class on it in college and it just sort of worked it self out. Kelsey does all of our screen printing and she does an awesome job making all the releases look unique and with a total DIY ethic. Phil and I try to lend a hand when we can but in retrospect we are still learning the craft. I have always been a fan of extravagant packaging because to me it truly shows you how much time and effort the band/label had put into their release and that is something I can undoubtedly respect. I like to think the packaging is an important part of Dark Raids, but I mainly hope the listener digs the music within it. I think packaging is overall important but personally I’m fine with getting a tape with a regular xerox insert but for our label endeavors we like to add a little something extra.

You have quite a selection in your Distro. How do you find out about new bands? Do you do a lot of trades?
Why, thank you! We mainly find out about new bands from attending shows, and we keep an eye out for what other labels around California are releasing. Plus hearing what some of our friends are listening too/what they would recommend is always cool. Mainly we find out about bands from seeing them live then talking with them after the gig and checking out distro tables. Sometimes I’ll come across a bandcamp and find some cool tunes that way as well. We actually don’t do a whole a lot of trades but have done some in the past and are always open to it.

Is it hard to get international releases?
I wouldn’t necessarily say it is difficult to get international releases due to the help of internet communication which is awesome because it helps to bring the worlds’ punk communities together. But I would say it is quite expensive to buy international releases due to very high shipping charges. But majorly that doesn’t stop me from buying certain releases when they come out.

DarkRaids_StarkMoon

I know you distro in person at shows. Why do you use a Storenvy for your online distro? Have you tried other sites? Do they take a cut of your profits?
We started using a Storenvy for our online distro about two years ago and it was great and free! Recently when Storenvy issued a slight policy change and they started charging for sales. We had initially decided to use a Storenvy because they were the only store host I knew of that didn’t charge and did not limit you on how many items could be uploaded to your site at once. So the site use to work great but now the charges are a bummer because it charges us more which basically raises the price of everything on the store slightly.

Who mostly orders from your distro?
Hmmm, we mainly get orders from all over California, Arizona and Texas. Though we do get a hand full of orders from Canada and we have this one person from Finland that buys demos quite regularly. Which is pretty rad because I never thought someone in Europe would be interested in browsing our store

How can we stay up to date on your distro?
We have a blogspot that we sometimes update and our Storenevy that always has new products added to it, but the best way to stay current on what were up to is come to a show were we are tabling at.

I thought I was the last person to use blogspot. So, any last words, punk?
Stay punk, support punks, labels, distros and any one else who operates within the DIY scene. Thanks a ton to Amelia for the interview and thanks for putting up with my lagging on getting this to you!



Create to Destroy! Avi Spivak


March 18th, 2015 by

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I met artist/illustrator/cartoonist Avi Spivak when Andy Animal took me hostage one night after the premier of the Lemmy doc…I think I crashed his birthday party in Brooklyn? He was very hospitable and we’ve stayed in touch since. Since then, Avi has continuously caught my eye from his work twice appearing on the cover of MRR to record covers to his own publications. Here is Avi Spivak…

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How’d you start doing comics?
Sort of out of passion and as a way to communicate ideas and hopefully tell interesting stories. I guess I started out as a fan and I’ve always been interested in drawing so the progression was natural.

Did you grow up reading comics?
Sure, I was lucky enough to have an older brother around who was way into comics so there was always piles of them around the house. When the underground stuff started shoing up I got completely obsessed with it, I would sneak in old issues of Zap and Weirdo to school when most kids would bring in porno mags they stole or found in the woods or something…

What about zines?
Yeah, I read them too. It was a different time then. I would read whatever I could get my hands on. It was a strange time in history before the internet where if you wanted to be into punk you had to make a little effort and zines were a big part of that.

Do you have any zines in the works now? What zines have you done thus far? What about books?
I have a new issue of Human Being Lawnmower in the works, it will be #4. So far I’ve scattered three issues over the last six years or so with a full length comic book, Kicksville Confidential, appearing between issues #2 and 3.

AviSpivak_ACAB

How’d you get involved with submitting to MRR?
The first thing I did was a cover back in like 2010 or something. I was put in touch through the photographer Mark Murrmann, who used to do a column I think. I was happy to be involved because it’s been such a staple in punk for so long. And anytime you can see your work on the newsstand is a pretty big thrill. So I’ve submitted some comics to them over the years and designed some merch.

I really like the MRR buttons you did — I think there were four different designs, I think, sold in a set?
I’m pretty sure there were five of them. They asked for a design and I showed them a bunch of ideas for sketches and they ended up wanting to use all of them.

You did an MRR cover or two, right?
Yeah, two of them. The first one I mentioned which was a drawing of a crazy house party scene with the house getting struck by lightning while strange characters lurk about. The next one was in December of 2012, which was supposed to be the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar, so I put my Mexican friend Omar on the cover for that one in an apocalyptic landscape, of course.

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Merm was really set on the world ending, I’m glad she was wrong but it worked out in a great cover for MRR. I saw you did a cover for my buddy ALANA AMRAM & THE ROUGH GEMS, looks tight. Have you done covers for other bands?
Alana is a dear old childhood friend of mine so I was really happy to do her record cover. And I’ve done a bunch others over the years. I’ve learned to say no a little bit more recently though. Most of the time I don’t think cartoons work particularly well as record covers, however there are some notable exceptions.

I agree. What do you do to pay the rent?
Well, aside from the occasional freelance gig or selling artwork I have a part time day job, and as of earlier this year I’ve been operating a small shop with a couple of friends called Rebel Rouser. It’s mostly used records, comics, mags, VHS, paperbacks, etc. All the things I like… I actually think it’s a pretty unique thing in NYC right now. It’s located within an alleyway with a couple of other like-minded but different shops and is able to thrive within the current climate of a rapidly changing city. It’s a little hidden jewel and something you really have to see to believe.

AviSpivak_ramones

Where was the last art show you were featured in?
I have a semi-permanent exhibition at a cafe here in Brooklyn called Otha’s. I had an art show there when they first opened a couple of years ago and have been able to use the space to have shows and feature new work ever since. I’ve had a few different themed shows of drawings there, and am getting another together now for a new series.

Where was the last place you were published?
Probably Ugly Things, whatever their last issue was. It’s been my most steady illustration work the last few years, which I’m happy to say. Like MRR, it was something I was very familiar with before having any involvement and it’s great to be associated with such a fine publication. It also allows me to regularly collaborate with one of my heroes, Cyril Jordan, whose column I illustrate.

How can we stay up to date on what you’re doing?
I have a site that I try to keep fairly up to date at www.avispivak.com, and if you’re in NYC come by Rebel Rouser and say hi. Located in Flea Market Alley, 867 Broadway in Brooklyn.



Create to Destroy! Life Is Posers


March 11th, 2015 by

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Mike “Rufio” Kadomiya art is a staple on the MRR Friday Funnies [returning this week! —ed.] and he himself is a long-running character in the Boston punk scene. His art has been featured on records such as the WHO KILLED SPIKEY JACKET? LP and even a very limited reissue of a TOM & BOOT BOYS pogo punk Christmas split on Total Fucker Records. His comics are called Life is Posers and there have even been two books released. Rufio’s witty and biting social commentary on the street punk scene and punk in general displays an intelligent humor while getting us to laugh at ourselves. Here is Rufio on Life is Posers

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Did you grow up reading comics? If so, what?
I’ve been reading comics in all forms, for as long as I can remember. I have never been a big reader, comics were as close as I got reading books. Garfield was my first real favorite. Newspaper strips like Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, and even Foxtrot, were all huge influences for Life is Posers. I also collected comic books in the 90s. I was really into Image and Marvel. Unfortunately, this is when comics were at their pinnacle of juvenile misogyny. It was a pretty abysmal era, but there were a few decent reads here and there.

How’d you start doing comics?
I have been drawing, and drawing comics since I was a little kid. That’s the beauty of comics, it really doesn’t take anything more than a pencil and a sheet of paper to “start doing” them.

Why commentary on punk?
Like all of my creative output, if I make something I make it because it doesn’t exist yet. When I write a song it’s because I wanna listen to a song that doesn’t exist yet. The same goes for my comic. Obviously Life is Posers isn’t the first “punk” comic ever created, but I do think that I’m telling a story that hasn’t been told in this format. Also, in my adult life I have acquired no skills and no education. I guess punk is the only thing that I truly understand.

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What specific punk scene did you come up in?
I grew up in Cambridge (just over the river from Boston). When I first started going to shows, they were either at the Rat (RIP) or the Middle East, with a handful of shows at churches and basements. If it wasn’t at shows, I was hanging out in Harvard Square. Back then it was just called the “punk scene.” Once I got older and started touring, etc., I guess people would say that I was part of the “street punk”/”spiky punk”/”chaos punk ” scene? But I’ve always tried to just surround myself with people I like, regardless of their scene affiliation.

What were your first shows?
My very first show was at the Rat in 1996. The lineup was the SHOWCASE SHOWDOWN, ANTI-FLAG, the UNSEEN, the DUCKY BOYS, and the FREEEKS. I was blown away by my first show at the Rat. I saw a bunch of people who weren’t much older than me, playing great cohesive songs and they were on a stage that was only a foot high. When they got off the stage they were standing around in the crowd just like the rest of us. It felt really special and inspiring at the time. Later in life I would go on to play guitar for the UNSEEN, and the guitarist and bassist from the SHOWCASE SHOWDOWN are my current landlords.

What’s it like now in Boston?
Right now in Boston the scene, and every faction of it, is huge. I feel like today the US is experiencing what I imagined the UK to be like in the early 80s. All youth culture is subculture. It is great in a way, and it means a very active and strong scene. However, when all youth culture is subculture, all subculture is subject to being a noncommittal phase for some — just another part of going through the motions of modern life.

The Boston scene is as good to me today as it ever was. I’m on the older side and I’ve known all the cool kids the longest (kidding, sort of) so it’s hard to know what the scene is really like. I know it is just as lousy with bullies and sociopaths as it ever was, I just don’t really fall victim to that element anymore. But overall, there’s a lot of people Tim (Total Fucker), Kimberly Jane and Chris Peeples (to name a few) are working really hard to make sure there’s always something to do and somewhere to go. In that sense I think the scene is stronger than it has ever been.

The only thing that makes me really sad is the lack of really young kids. Most of my friends and I started going to shows around 13 and 14 years old. That was the norm. Nowadays there aren’t nearly as many young kids at the shows I go to. The scene is really underground and most shows happen at illegal venues or 18–21+ venues. It’s a lot less accessible for a 14-year-old these days. Before I come off like a pedophile, I should clarify that I’m not disappointed in the lack of 14-year-olds to hang out with, I’m bummed at the lack of places for 14-year-olds to hang out.

LifeIsPosers_Aftermath

Do you get a lot of local support?
All of my friends in the Boston scene have been super supportive of everything I’ve done with Life is Posers.

Who has used your art?
I’ve done fliers and posters for the BOUNCING SOULS, the VIRUS, TOM & BOOT BOYS, REVOLT and AUTONOMY. I’ve done album artwork for WHO KILLED SPIKEY JACKET? and NO SIR, I WON’T. My friend Sam from Montreal who I knew from INESPSY just sent me shirts of his new band, SKULL N BONE, which had my characters in the design. There are also a few international fans translating the comic and releasing it online and in print in their own languages.

LiP_DestroyPoserton

That’s really cool to be a part of the international punk scene in that way. Do you think the art you did for WKSJ increased your popularity?
Nobody expected that record to be as huge as it was. I think that the exposure mutually benefited the band and the comic.

Didn’t you release a book?
So far I’ve released two books: LiPV1 “Howie’s House Party” and LiPV2 “Aftermath.” LiPV3 “A Hard Day’s Oi!” will hopefully be out by the end of the year! You can get stuff here: lifeisposers.bigcartel.com.

What are your future plans?
Smash Art is about to release a punk comp called Destroy Poserton — 14 unreleased tracks from some really great bands! Otherwise, my plan is to keep up regular LiP strips for as long as I find it fulfilling to do so.

Any last words, punk?
Not any time soon, I hope.



Create to Destroy! Manic Relapse Fest III


March 4th, 2015 by

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This interview is with Chris (also known as Scooch) and Kyle who are responsible for Shithammer Records and the Manic Relapse fest. Manic Relapse Vol. 3 is this weekend in Oakland. These boys have tirelessly organized this fest all year and have contributed a lot to the DIY Oakland punk community through their efforts. A lot of cool stuff is happening this weekend from the Bizarre Bazaar kicking things off this Friday afternoon to crazy lineups beginning Friday night to after shows and a slew of cool cassettes from Shithammer Records that are limited and available at gigs. Even though Kyle moved to Philly last year, they’re both in Oakland now and tying up lose ends so that we can have a killer time. Here are the boys…

ManicRelapse_III_1

Who runs Shithammer Presents?
Shithammer distro, record label and booking is a collective of punks, run by Chris mainly on the West Coast and Kyle on the East Coast.

Who is organizing this year’s fest?
Chris is doing most of the organizing while drawing help from folks all over the West Coast, including people like Dark Raids, Nightrider Records, Human Double Face, MMM Discos and I’m sure a bunch of others we forgot.

How did things change when Kyle moved to Philly?
Things have definitely been different. We split our distro stock down the center and everything is handled by weekly phone calls, packages, PayPal, carrier pigeons, smoke signals and Skynet. It’s not a perfect science but things are moving forward more than ever. We are able to cover more ground, explore more scenes, and highlight our favorite things happening around us.

How the fuck did you get WORLD BURNS TO DEATH and then APPENDIX to headline? I didn’t even know they still played shows. Has APPENDIX ever been to the States before?
I don’t kiss and tell. APPENDIX has never been to the states before and we’re real excited to have them and it’s always sick to have a great band like WORLD BURNS TO DEATH and all the other hardworking, traveling bands coming from all over.

What local bands are playing — even if technically not all members live in the Bay Area?
STINKWARD, LECHEROUS GAZE, APRIORI, RULETA RUSA, PIG DNA, KICKER, SIDE.EFFECTS, RECKLESS, REMNANTS, KORROSIVE, SSYNDROM, RUKKUS and MONSTER SQUAD.

What about the after gigs?
…But after the gig? After gigs are always super fun and a chance to see a band up close and personal and always end up being full of chaotic surprises.

How many international bands this year?
Three and a quarter — APPENDIX, TERVEET KÄDET, LIFE CHAIN, and one member of MORPHEME came from Japan.

Is it hard getting international bands with the cost of plane tickets? How do you manage that?
It can be hard and stressful but with help from our community we find ways to make it possible.

ManicRelapse_III_2

Do you think we currently have a good scene here in Oakland? What is solid and what are we lacking?
With the tech industry booming in the last few years a lot of punks can’t afford to live here anymore, and it’s not as much of a crusty paradise as it was in the past. It’s kinda nutty, people are still getting killed daily and robberies have never been worse, but rent is still skyrocketing.

This has brought about a change in faces in our punk scene and has made the punks that are tough enough to stick it out way more integral than ever. It can get hard to separate the people who are actually doing positive and constructive things in our scene and who is just showing up for the party. But, overall, things are good.

Are you having problems with venues? Didn’t you almost not have a venue last year?
People have recognized all the work and effort we have exerted so far over the past two years and have come to rely on our ability to book shows. We aren’t considered as much of a risk and a definite trust has been established between us and our venues that might not have been there before.

What lessons did you learn from last year’s Manic Relapse Fest?
We’ve learned to be more preemptive with our planning and more thought out and constructive. We also learned when to ask for fucking help.

Besides the CRUCIFIX commemorative show for their 30-year anniversary of Dehumanization last year where they played under the name 1984, what were the other highlights from Manic Relapse Fest Vol. 2?
I think that was my favorite part of last year’s fest and most people won’t contest that. But, that being said the day show at World Rage with BLAZING EYE and RULETA RUSA and the after gig at Pink String with NOMAD and FUTURE were incredibly intense. There were far too many things to count on one hand and the fest was just killer over all. It was us trying to get our favorite bands in the world to play for hundred of our best friends and this year will be even more Manic.

Why is this year different?
The bands are getting bigger, the ideas are getting bigger, everything is just on a grander scale and easier but more exhausting at the same time.

What do you recommend to punks coming here from other places? Where should they stay if they don’t know anyone yet? Is Oakland walkable?
Be smart, be safe, respect the locals (whether they’re punk or not), don’t walk at night alone if you don’t have to, learn about the BART and bus routes and schedules, or download Uber or Lyft. Hotels can be found by the Metro and on the east side of town with little to no research.

Carry a knife. Can we get tickets in advance?
Pre-sales are currently sold out, but door admission is still available at the gigs.

How can we stay up to date on after shows and more bands being announced?
You can always e-mail us at shithammerdistro {at} hotmail(.)com or manicrelapsefest {at} yahoo(.)com. Check our Facebook at facebook.com/shithammerdistro or facebook.com/manicrelapsefest, and check the Facebook event here.

Any last words, punks?
We’re very grateful for how things have grown and progressed over the past three years. It’s cool to see a tight knit group of friends make meticulously laid plans into a reality through hard work and perseverance. We’re excited to see how this weekend will play out and look forward to Manic Relapse volume four.