Create to Destroy! Beach Impediment
Mark from Beach Impediment is holding it down in Virginia Beach, VA, with his distro and record label. He has released some serious ragers like GAS RAG and has more in store for us. Read on, punx…
Where in Virginia are you located?
I currently reside in Virginia Beach, which is basically the most south eastern portion of the state. I lived in Richmond for many years but moved back to VB a while ago.
How’s the scene there?
Over the years the area has spawned some great bands that usually get overlooked by people from elsewhere for a slew of reasons but it is what it is. With that said, the majority of what goes on in the Virginia Beach area circa 2015 isn’t my thing, really. People that are into metallic modern hardcore and beard metal would probably love the gigs that I see advertised around town. I’ve even listened to some of the bands and most of them are coherent and nifty at what they do I’m sure, but it just doesn’t capture my attention or do much for me at all. I’m more of a fan of hardcore punk, hence I find myself making the 100 mile trip to Richmond when I can since tours in that vein seem to go there on a regular basis due to various factors.
Nonetheless, there’s a scene that’s been in Virginia Beach as long as I can remember and I’m thankful for the people and bands that make it all the more killer. For instance, my favorite band from VB at the moment is RHDP — when people ask me what’s the best band in my hometown that’s the one I point them to. The name stands for “Red Horse Drunk Punk.” It’s an homage to the Filipino beer that the Filipino gentlemen in the band like to drink and they play hook laden punk rock and roll with lyrics in Tagalog. In my opinion they are the area’s diamond in the rough, I think the 7″ is awesome and all but their live show is worth checking out should it come near you. Whenever I venture out to see them they floor me! I feel like a lot of people will inevitably overlook them due to coming from a shithole like VB and all that but I dig them. I’m grateful for bands like them that make the area not suck as much.
I love RHDP, I reviewed their demo tape for MRR. I was blown away! So, Beach Impediment — what kind of name is that? Are you trying to be cute or something?
Haha, not in the least! I actually got that from a song title by the band FRONT LINE. I’ll elaborate more on the release I did for them later, but I always liked the play on words ever since I’d obtained a dub of the original demo they did and noticed the name of the song. It gave me a chuckle. Then when I did the release I got a hold of the lyrics from the singer for layout purposes and thought they were awesome and on point.
Basically, a beach impediment is the acknowledgement that you’re a defective person from a defective area. It’s a cesspool of a town full of an odd mixture of transient weirdos that came here due to the presence of both the plentiful seasonal jobs and a large military presence, and folks that are legit lifers that were born there and fully intend to die there without bothering to experience much else of what the planet Earth has to offer.
The area flourishes in the summer due to the tourist industry and dies off pretty abruptly in the winter when all the tourists go back to New Jersey or wherever they came from. The people that are left behind are all fucked up morons that hate and fear one another, making the area their toilet with the greatest of efficiency. I’ve never thought very highly of my hometown or the people that inhabit it but it’s where I’m from for better or worse and I embrace the certain charms that come along with it all. I’m not ashamed to have been stricken with my own beach impediment and when I needed a name for the label that’s what came to mind.
Tell us about your distro…do you just do it online? In person? Why are distros important?
Yeah, it mostly operates online, for the few locals I know that are into what I carry I usually give them a heads up via text or email should they wanna meet up and grab some stuff. I know that most areas with culture and whatnot have actual brick and mortar record stores that are keen to the kind of stuff I carry, but that’s basically non existent in my neck of the woods so I make myself available to any locals that wanna meet up and grab some records when our schedules mesh. Sometimes I even barter!
Anyways distros are nifty, I’d always seen them at shows and such when going to gigs in the late ’90s/early ’00s, and that was how my friends and I would score the lesser known punk and hardcore records we’d read or hear about since the record shops in VB obviously wouldn’t be stocking that kind of stuff on the reg. My fondest distro memories revolve around when I first moved to Richmond about a decade ago and caught wind of Hardcore Holocaust. For those not familiar, it was a killer label that also ran an insane distro inside of a warehouse in the Jackson Ward part of town. They’d throw gigs there as well, such a cool spot. Anyway, I’d ride my bike down there on payday, bang on his big-ass iron door till he popped his head out of his third story window, go up a bunch of stairs, then partake in buying a bunch of wild-ass records that I still own and love to this day. I feel like he might’ve occasionally set up the distro at shows as well — I don’t know, my memories are kinda hazy. I’ve never encountered anything like that place before and probably never will again. Anyways, that place ruled, cheers Jay!
Distros come and go, I suppose. So, would you consider yourself to distro mostly “hip hardcore”?
I’m not entirely sure what would fall into that category. I try to do trades with friends labels when I can and buy some titles here and there but I’m also comfortable with that fact that I don’t wanna run a huge distro because I simply don’t have the time or space to “do it big,” as they say. Distros like Feral Ward, Sorry State, Grave Mistake and others I’m probably forgetting seem to have the big dawg distro game on lock down as they do a stellar job keeping very in depth and diverse distros, so I’m perfectly fine with leaving that to the professionals. With that said, I do try to grab records that I personally enjoy and wanna help with the spreading of and, when I can, I like to get international releases because shipping is such a pain in the ass these days. I feel like that was always my priority early on because originally I didn’t wanna do much of a distro at all, but I really liked the idea of making hard to obtain international titles easier to nab for folks over here.
You started releasing records in 2011? Tell us about the FRONT LINE EP…
So, like I said, growing up in Virginia Beach/the greater Hampton Roads area was just kind of weird for the lack of a better word. Within a three hour radius there were cities like Raleigh, Richmond and Washington, DC, that had rich and vital hardcore punk histories. As a teenager I loved discovering releases like 1981: The Year in Seven Inches, for example, that were chock full of not only various records by a slew of bands all on one CD but that had cool liner notes, lyrics, scans of original layouts, and all of that jazz. I appreciated that Dischord preserved those recordings in that format and, naturally, I began to wonder as to whether or not my hometown had anything like that going on at the time since the aforementioned cities had some killer shit going on. A big tip off was the back of the CD booklet for that release has a list of shows the TEEN IDLES played in their short existence, one of which was at a venue in Norfolk, VA called Taj Mahal. I thought that was fucking wild that they’d come down this way to gig and it got my gears turning even more in regards to researching about the beginnings of hardcore punk in the area.
After digging around and pestering record store employees that were in the know about such things I discovered the band GOD’S WILL from neighboring Norfolk. They did one 7″ that was released after they’d already called it a day that didn’t sell very well at all, hence stock copies could often be found in local dollar bins at the time. It was an awesome thing to discover, but again, I had to dig a bit more. Fast forward a few years I’m out of high school and living in Richmond, VA, and have the fortune of meeting older guys that had been in bands like WHITE CROSS, HONOR ROLE, GRAVEN IMAGE, and others. One of them turned me on to FRONT LINE, which was essentially half of GOD’S WILL but far more ripping and frantic. The only official release they’d ever made it onto was a compilation by the name of The Master Tape Vol. 2 that had come out on Paul Mahern’s Affirmation Records and had featured bands like MECHT MENSCH, NO LABELS, ZERO BOYS, along with a ton of others.
I’d found out about some other local acts here and there but FRONT LINE was by far the best of all of them. I’d be on tour with my old band and every now and then I’d get to chatting with some other dorky hardcore enthusiast like myself and the subject of GOD’S WILL and/or the lost FRONT LINE demos would come up at some point. I got the idea in my head a couple years before actually doing it that I wanted to do some kind of legit reissue of that material. Thanks to the internet and some cool older local folks I was able to track down the surviving members of FRONT LINE and release what was originally intended to be their first EP before the band ultimately imploded at the end of 1982. It was a great experience and I decided to keep doing more releases after since I dug it so much. Also, I made a friend out of the whole thing as well, the singer Andre is a solid dude with whom I enjoy drinking a beer every now and then. I love that release, very glad I did it.
Have you ever done a repress?
I’ve done a few here and there, I prefer to ask the bands first and get their feelings on it. I’ll never repress if they don’t wanna. For example, the FRONT LINE EP was cut off at 1,000 copies per the band’s request. I did two pressings of 500 on that. I could’ve sold way more due to the demand it was getting, but I respected their wishes and chewed it off at that. But yeah, I guess the most repressed releases I’ve done have been the GAS RAG records.
What records have you released that have sold out really fast?
The releases that sold the quickest would definitely have to be the FRONT LINE EP and both the GAS RAG Human Rights EP and Beats Off LP. BLOOD PRESSURE as well, those went pretty quick. Alas, due to Record Store Day I am still waiting for the repress on that one.
Yeah, Record Store Day has delayed one of my releases, it’s the worst when pressing plants bump your release for like, a limited Record Store Day Green Day record. Who do you use to master, press and do sleeves for your releases?
I’ve been all over the place really, but for sleeves Imprint down in Florida has been my main go to over the years. As for mastering of the tunes, I believe Dan Randall at Mammoth Sound Mastering holds the record for mastering the most Beach Impediment releases. Pressing plants I’ve used have been a mixed bag as I’ve done it at a few plants like Rainbo, EKS, A&R and some others.
I love Imprint. How do you wind up choosing who you release? Do you get approached by bands?
I do get approached every now and then, sometimes I get those corny mass emails from goregrind or ska bands that usually just go straight to the recycle bin but I do try to give everything else a listen that is obviously somewhat in line with what I release and am interested in. I’m not a big label by any means nor do I have the intent to flood the market with records by every band that I dig, so I obviously just go with what I dig the most. Someone asked me recently as to whether or not I’d known the bands I release before I do records for them and on most of them it was people I’d already been acquainted with. I’d met pretty much all of them through my old band WASTED TIME; first time I met Zach from GAS RAG was when WT gigged Albany and I found him half naked in a closet, kicked it with Chris from IMPALERS when we gigged Chaos in Tejas in 2010, I knew Jon from HASSLER via gigging with BRUTAL KNIGHTS, and so on and so forth. I’ve met some cool folks and I’m more than happy to assist them in spreading their music around. On the flipside, I’ve never met anyone from DESPERAT (well, I guess I met 3/4 of them via MOB 47 when they played Richmond but I was plastered and don’t quite remember much) but I was tickled to do a US press of their EP and I certainly hope to see them sooner rather than later. Basically, if its shit that I like and I have the bread along with the spare time to make it all happen I’ll more than likely release it.
What are your upcoming plans and releases?
I finished off 2014 with the release of the MERCY KILLINGS Snuffed Out EP and I’ll be starting 2015 with the release of a compilation by the name of HARDCORE: GIMME SOME MORE that will have exclusive tracks from S.H.I.T., PEACEBREAKERS, IMPALERS, MERCENARY, VIOLENT END and AJAX. I’m hoping to have that out late winter/early spring, we shall see. After that, depending on how slow the band members are at recording the tunes along with how slow the pressing plants are due to whatever ridiculous record store related holiday they think up next, I’ll be assisting in the spread of some more killer punk here and there. I can’t announce all of them yet but here are some that have already been referenced/hinted at:
ABSOLUT/PARANOID split 12″ (split release with Brain Solvent Propaganda)
How can we best stay up to date on Beach Impediment?
I’m horrible at updating the blog which is beachimpedimentrecords.blogspot.com and a couple years ago I made a Facebook page which can be found at I’ve been known to post a few distro updates here and there. People can just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send them customized label updates with a picture of my lazy-eyed cat. Or if ya really wanna excite me, send me a letter via snail mail to PO Box 8335, Virginia Beach, VA 23450 and I will mail you back. Apologies in advance if you can’t read my chicken scratch. Any other questions, comments, or concerns can be sent via email or snail mail.
Any last words?
Cheers for the interview! The label has just entered year four of its existence, many thanks to all who have supported it thus far.