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New Blood! SLUGBUGS, STEEL CHAINS and ON POINT

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

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Create to Destroy! Pepples Donuts

Josh Levine is an Oakland staple and a man about town. He has a storied past, from ...

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Records of the Week: VATICAN DAGGER 7 & RIXE 7

VATICAN DAGGER – “Not to Be/The Mess” 7" Kudos to VATICAN DAGGER for foisting their hate ...

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Everything is Not OK at The Conservatory in Oklahoma City, Sunday, March 15, 2015.  (Photo by Garett Fisbeck)

Monday Photo Blog: Garett Fisbeck

Being from Oklahoma, I'm always a little surprised and stoked to see that punk is ...

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John from ARTIMUS PYLE / CONQUEST FOR DEATH just chillin' with a vulture in Mongolia.

MRR Radio #1449 • 4/19/15

This week on MRR Radio, Greg and Alex play new music, laugh a lot, discuss ...

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MRR Comics & Art Issue Artist Q&A with Luca Retraite


March 16th, 2015 by

This month’s MRR magazine is the Comics & Art Issue! Throughout March we are highlighting some of the participating artists right here on MRR.com. Today we hear from Luca Retraite from Strasbourg, France.

LucaRetraite _art

What are your main publishing projects?
I have a comic called Poupy out. It’s a split comic with Pierre Ferrero’s Isaac Neutron. It’s the story of a dog and its master. They live in a strange world and are a bit cruel to each other. Still available at Arbitraire Editions. Poupy is now published in each issue of La Corde. I am also part of a collective called Psoriasis, we put a big zine out every year. I draw gig posters and record covers for the bands I play in. I still like to put out my own Xeroxed zines, but I haven’t had so much time to do it these last few months… Oh and there’s a split zine with Fabio Viscogliosi coming out soon, printed by my friend Pierre at Gargarismes Editions. It’s called Belvederes. It’s a collection of weird landscapes.

What are some of your artistic influences?
It’s really hard to sort out a few influences, there are so many. Here are a few names in no particular order: Mattt Konture, Pakito Bolino, Mark Beyer, Kamagurka and Seele, JM Bertoyas, Robert Crumb, Pascal Doury and Bruno Richard, Rory Hayes, Herge, Mike Diana, Fabio Viscogliosi, Moebius, Jean Pleyers, Carl Barks, Ivan Brunetti…

Musical influences?
NTM, Brainbombs, Flipper, No Trend, Serge Gainsbourg, Wu Tang Clan, Suicide, Zero Kama, Missing Foundation, Burzum, the Seeds, les Olivensteins, Spacemen 3, E.A.R., Esplendor Geometrico, Rhys Chatham, DNA, Mars, Captain Beefheart, DAF, Stooges, NEU!, Les Rallizes Denudes, Swans, Throbbing Gristle, Jesus and Mary Chain, la Grande Triple Alliance Internationale de L’est… I’ll stop here, it could go on endlessly. I also listen to more and more hip-hop and traditional music (mostly from Maghreb, but also from Turkey, Bali, Thailand, Iran, Iraq…).

How would you describe your style of drawing?
I never thought about this before… let’s say I try to draw dirty stuff in the cleanest way possible.

What other punk projects are you involved with?
I play music in a few bands, it’s as important for me as drawing. I currently play in Sida, Ventre De Biche, Charnier, the John Merricks, Ass, Au Bout De Mon Sang, Motif Python… I also book shows, mostly in a basement we’re not supposed to book shows in.

What’s in the future for you as a cartoonist/artist?
My friend Thierry (Charnier, Année Zéro, la Course à la Mort…) recorded Ventre de Biche, one of my solo projects, this summer. It’s gonna come out as a LP with a book of drawings to look at while listening to the record. I’m also working on a special Poupy issue (inspired by a legendary French comic for kids called Pif Poche—this will not be for kids at all) and slowly preparing two exhibitions in Strasbourg and Paris. If you’re curious, you can go check stuff here: maisonderetraite.bandcamp.com and maisonderetraite.tumblr.com.

Merci, bisous.

For links and more info about this artist and all of the artists in our Comics & Art Issue, check out the artist bios page.



Record of the Week: SIERPIEN Zawsze Nasze LP


February 24th, 2015 by

Sierpien_LPWow, this is such a gem, already a record-of-the-year contender for me and it’s still only spring! Moscow’s SIERPIEN may have recorded this album last year, but it could easily pass for a top-of-the-class recording from 1982, blending and transcending a slew of influences like CRISIS, SIKIERA and the MOB in their quintessentially Eastern European take on dark punk. A studio-only two-piece masquerading as a power trio, the proceedings here are consistently anthemic as all hell; usually cold and yearning, occasionally funky and danceable, and, on songs like “New Middle Ages,” approximating a more anarcho SAD LOVERS AND GIANTS. I could blather on forever—it really is impossible to capture a perfect record in mere words—but trust me when I say this is not the kind of thing you can afford to miss. Simply genius.
(Mass Media)



Create to Destroy! Warthog Speak


February 18th, 2015 by

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I know Justin Briggs through MRR. He is one of the characters in San Francisco punk that is still going strong. He has released top-notch local bands here and is an all-around good man with the cutest dogs in the world. Here is Justin on his label and distro Warthog Speak

Do you love hardcore?
Let’s just say that if I had to choose between friends or records, sorry humans, my dance card is full.

WarthogSpeak_3

Warthog Speak?
Pretty awkward, right? When I was trying to think of a name for the label I wanted something “different.” In the 2010s most hardcore bands, record labels, distros, and whatever the hell else, are named from song titles, album titles, or lyrics from the same pool of predictable/classic records. I wanted to avoid that. I was also looking for something that related specifically to my beb-punk days by referencing a mid-’90s central-Massachusetts sphere of influence. I scoured the lyrics, song titles, and artwork of the “important” TCHC (Twin City [Fitchburg and Leominster, Mass; not Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN] Hardcore) bands of the era and on first pass I found nothing. I was sure there was something to be found so I looked again. The lyric “Hear the pig, warthog speak…” from the HATCHET FACE track, “Warthog” stood out to me, and “Warthog Speak,” out of context, sounded pretty cool, slightly confusing, and unpredictable, so I stuck with it. But, yeah, in the end I still ended up referencing something created by punks in a previous era.

I guess that works. Why do you release the releases you do?
I do this for me, first and foremost. I and I please I. The bands I ask to release records for are records that I personally want to exist so I can…well, so I can listen to them. I’m my own target audience and I am picky fucker. Don’t get me wrong, I also like to help out my friends whenever possible, but if I’m not fully into the music I’m not gonna release it. As of now, I only plan to do 7″s. There are a couple LPs/12″ EPs always in the back of my mind that if the opportunity arose to release them, there’d be no question. With a 7″ you only have a couple minutes to prove yourself or it’s curtains. To be perfectly honest, there are easily less than 50 LPs that I can listen to in one sitting without getting bored, and nearly all of them were released prior to ’84. Not trying to discredit “modern” music, or anything. I’m trying to discredit all music. As far as my releases go, including what’s at the plant right now, I’ve done eleven records and one demo tape. With the exception of GAG, PERMANENT RUIN, and VACANT STATE, every record I’ve done has been a “debut” record. I think that’s pretty important. All bands eventually morph somehow, and that first record, when their attitudes are more likely to be uncorrupted and everything is still fresh and exciting is most likely to get the most primal offering.

WarthogSpeak_VacantStateEP

Your last two releases were NARCOLEPTICS and VACANT STATE EPs. How are those selling? Wanna tell us a bit about those bands and how you came to release ‘em…
They are actually the first two records where I didn’t know a single member of either band personally prior to agreeing to release their record; odd that they happened at the same time. Both were sent to me unsolicited, and just worked out. VACANT STATE was easy, since I knew the band, liked their previous records and my plate was empty at the time — why not? Great record. NARCOLEPTICS is a different story. I think at the time I got the email from them I was about to leave town for vacation or something. I opened the email and just didn’t have time to respond or listen to the tracks that were attached and just plain forgot about it. Fast forward a month and I stumbled across a link to some band’s tracks—on a message board, I think—and the name rung a bell for some reason, but the tracks I heard were totally ass-kicking. I think it was about a day later that I remembered the name of the band from that email and I went back home to my computer to check. Lo and behold I was right. I wrote back to say how great I thought the record was but that I assumed some brainy, enterprising young label exec certainly must have scooped it up by now, but no one had. Fools!! Haha!! I offered, we worked it out, and the rest is (recent) history. It’s easily one of my favorite records of the last several years. Not just the ones I put out. Since then, Bradley, the NARCOLEPTICS guitarist, who is a native Bay Arean, moved back here and works down the street from my house, so we see each other a few times a week and he’s become a friend. Still never met a VACANT STATEr. They’re both selling well but in different ways. NARCOLEPTICS has been out a couple months longer and the first press is getting very close to being sold out. VACANT STATE is selling at a similar pace, but where NARCOS sold quickly via individual orders, VS is selling more via wholesale. VACANT STATE is also the first record I’ve done where there was a simultaneous European (or any foreign) pressing.

How is your first release different from your last?
I don’t think they are different. I started the label to release the STRESSORS 7″ because after a bit of time trying to help them out and convince Martin to do their 7″, I realized that I should just do it myself, so I did. The ball has kept rolling from there. The CAGED ANIMAL 7″, which was the second release, was supposed to be a demo tape and somehow those idiots convinced me otherwise but I’m glad they did, since I’ve had to repress it twice so far. Now that Tony became a teen sensation… Plus, it’s a cool, pissed off hardcore record. At the time I started Warthog Speak I’d already been working for fairly large, independent record distributor for nine years, so I had the benefit of learning via the mistakes of others and I didn’t have to make them on my own.

What do you have in store for us?
Next up are BUSTED OUTLOOK and FATIGUE 7″s. Both from the Bay Area and both are bangerz. After that I will probably chip in and help TRENCHES with distribution and production of their 7″, but that’s still being worked out. Then I have nothing lined up as of now, so chances are high that I’ll probably be taking a break for a few months while I settle into a new job, but as soon as the right release presents itself…

WarthogSpeak_2

Who do you use for sleeves, pressing, mastering, and so on? Please, tell us your secrets of a well-oiled label machine.
I haven’t really stayed too consistent with the vendors that I use to manufacture parts. It’s all dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Until recently the only person I used on every single WS (vinyl) release was going to Prairie Cat for cutting lacquers but, unfortunately for the music industry, Mark has now retired. I just used Infrasonic for the BUSTED OUTLOOK lacquers but have yet to hear the tests of that. For audio mastering I’ve used a few people: Dan Randall at Mammoth Sound — he’s a dumbass but he does a killer, highly professional job. Jack Shirley’s mastered a couple. FATIGUE used Jack Control at Enormous Door for their record. For everything else I’ve used Will Killingsworth over at Dead Air and I think he does an excellent job maintaining the big yet gritty tones I enjoy in a recording. For sleeves and inserts I’ve used Imprint a bunch, 1984, and done some myself at K****s. But again, I haven’t stayed consistent. Oh yeah, I’ve used Brian Stern at Bad Skulls for the two screen-printed covers that I did. Another true master of his craft. I’m really looking to work something out with a local printer to try and set up some sort of consistent set up for covers and to designing my own die and all that jazz, but I can’t get one single response and it’s getting super frustrating after contacting printers about once a month for a year or so. For the records themselves, I’ve done one job at Bill Smith and another one there now, and all the rest at Rainbo. The secret to a well-oiled machine is all in the mind of management, tbh.

I do this all out of a love for hardcore punk and hating on squares.

I use Jack Control for all my mastering. Who do you sell wholesale to usually? Do you mostly do wholesale or individual orders? I see you sell in Japan, we all love the Kazu, yes?
Haha, yeah, Punk And Destroy rules. I’ve been been a fan of theirs for a while and ordered a good bit of records from them, but when Kazu wrote to get copies of NARCOLEPTICS, it was my first direct dealing with them on this end and actually the first sales I’ve had to Japan at all, wholesale or individual mailorder. Maybe there were one or two copies early on but I don’t think so. Hopefully that will change. I generally get Warthog Speak releases in with the usual suspect distros: Sorry State, Grave Mistake, Revelation, La Vida Es Un Mus, Feral Ward and a bunch of smaller ones, but I rarely reach out and opt to wait for people to come to me. I have full confidence (and hope) that the tunes I release will speak for themselves via bandcamp sites or whatever, time willing, and people will hopefully hear something they like. But I’m generally of the “if you want something done right, do it yourself” mindset. Is that cocky? Probably, but it’s reality. Except for Revelation. I will always reach out to Rev before they reach out to me, and at this point they sell about 15-20% of what I press. Oddly,r I almost never sell copies through my job unless there’s some sort of non-HC crossover appeal.

It’s not cocky, that’s some TCB right there. Why do you sell what you sell in your web store. Why have a web store?
Being able to piggy-back my shit with records from other labels that I deem kick-ass is a no-brainer.

Isn’t all of this kind of a pain in the ass with very little profit margin and hours wasted at the post office?
Sure it is. As far as profit margin goes, there isn’t one. I’m pretty sure I’m breaking even, I’ve just never crunched the numbers. I doubt I ever will. I’m just happy that some people dig what I dig. Avoiding lines at the post office is real easy if you know how to go about it. However, I am real slow about packing records. Physically assembling records and packing records in boxes is my least favorite part of this whole shebang. I avoid it as long as possible and only pack mailorder once a month or less. Sorry people!!! It’s what I do full time, M-F at my job, so when I get home it’s the last thing I wanna do. As the FEEDERZ say, “Work is a ‘secret touching game’ that molests us all, and what’s touched by work is always ruined.” Packing records is not immune. I have found a great balance of making records pay for records whether you’re talking early hardcore rares or new shit and releasing records, it supports itself to where I can sorta just kick back and let the ox plow.

WarthogSpeak_1

I’m on a first name basis with my postal employees, it helps! How is the state of hardcore in San Francisco right now?
I dunno. Kinda dead at the moment? There’s quite a few active bands and a crazy amount of secret/studio ones, but there’s nowhere to play, besides bars and a couple rip-you-off-anyway “DIY” spaces, so almost all good shows happen in Oakland now, and I rarely attend. Out of laziness, to be honest, and the fact that there’s never a usable goddamn bathroom, and I always need to shit, so fuck that. It’s sad, ’cause there are so many people in San Francisco moving and shaking for punk, besides bands, but there’s nowhere for it to happen. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with 21+ shows, but the fact of the matter is that bar shows are just a fucking bore. I hate statements like this cause it comes off like “now suux, maaaan,” and it’s not true at all, but when I moved here ten years ago it was a lot more exciting, with good spaces to play, and a giant gene pool of young kids revolving around like WARKRIME, K-BAR, FRAGILE X, SUBURBAN DEATH CAMP and that whole crew. There were hundreds of teenagers showing up to CAREER SUICIDE and STRUNG UP shows at Burnt Ramen and Hazmat and it was insane. Now, I think LIMP WRIST is the only band that can draw those kinda numbers. And it’s usually not teenagers. BOSTON STRANGLER is next week and I’m curious to see if the huge crowd I expect will show up.

I hate bar shows—all ages or bust, baby. I miss WARKRIME too, but punk Brace is dead and never coming back. Have you ever been ripped off buying, selling and trading records?
Not really. The post office losing shit is the only way I’ve been fucked over, as far as the label goes…so far. I can’t claim that I’m perfect either. There are a few personal, decade-plus, very pre-label related trades that I owe people for from the ’90s, where I fucked up/got fucked up and never sent for various reasons, that I’m fully prepared to own up to in whatever way I can, but the majority of the names are long forgotten.

How can we stay up to date with your label?
Sometimes I update warthogspeak.com, or you can email me at hearthekingwarthogspeak {at} gmail(.)com, especially if you just wanna chew that fat about FIT FOR ABUSE or ’82 hardcore of the Boston or Finnish variety.

Any last words, Justin?
I don’t know. Hippies, use the side door? I’ve said “I” and “me” and “sell” and “customers” and shit like that quite a bit in this interview, done a bunch of name-dropping, and I’ve talked about punk and music in general as mostly a commodity, but I hope it’s obvious that I do this all out of a love for hardcore punk and hating on squares, and I’d like to think the people that I reach out to in assisting me with getting this shit out there feel the same way about what they do. Live it or leave it. And if you are reading this and have test pressings of any FIT FOR ABUSE records, get at me. I will ball hard. Glad I could sneak that in there. Thanks for the interview, ‘Meels!

See you fucks at the bar.



Create to Destroy! Mike Warm


February 11th, 2015 by

CreateToDestroyLogo

I know Mike Warm from booking DEFECT DEFECT (RIP) when they played NYC a few years back and a shared community with mutual friends. I was obsessed with his food stand, Grilled by Death, at the old Blackwater Records location in Portland, OR. It was the best — I think my favorite offering involved almond butter and agave? I ate a lot of Grilled by Death when given the opportunity. I have not gotten the pleasure of eating Mike’s falafel yet, but I will be hitting up his Falafel House food truck next trip to PDX. Here is Mike Napkin on “striving to survive causing least suffering possible” to animals while feeding the punks and many more lucky persons.

MikeWarm_image_Slabtown

Where are you from and what was your first punk show?
I’m from the suburbs of San Diego, and my first punk show was all local bands: EVERREADY and CARTER PEACE MISSION at an all-ages space in Poway called Hangar 18. JON COUGAR CONCENTRATION CAMP were on the bill but canceled because the singer got his tongue pierced and couldn’t sing.
What a wimp! So, what bands have you been in? Bet you never dropped off a bill after getting your tongue pierced…

I played drums in the MINDS, the OBSERVERS, LAND ACTION, BLOODBATH AND BEYOND, ARCTIC FLOWERS and DEFECT DEFECT. There have been others but the ones I listed made records. My first band was called NAPKIN which I started with some friends at age 11, but we were together (learning our instruments) for seven years so the name Mike Napkin has stuck in some circles. I am not in an active band these days, but I’ve been talking with friends about getting something else started.

I always wondered why you were called Mike “Napkin.” So, how’d you start feeding punks?
I guess I got started feeding punks as a regular thing when I started Grilled By Death at the old Blackwater Records. I’d always like to cook and talked for years about opening some kind of food-selling operation in Portland. I was inspired by street vendors like the tamale lady who always shows up selling delicious and cheap tamales when you don’t realize you’re hungry, and by punks around the world I saw doing a similar thing at shows. Whether a box of homemade tamales or premade sandwiches on the merch table, or elaborate meals from huge squat kitchens in Europe, I always got stoked when I saw someone slinging food at punk shows and I wanted to follow suit.

Tell us about Grilled by Death…did you only do it at the old Blackwater Records location?
When I learned that Keith was opening an all-ages show space in Portland I told him about my idea to sell food at shows. He was into it, so we set up a little sandwich stand in one corner of the place with a couple cheap panini presses and a mini fridge. Being a fermented foods nut I made my own sauerkraut for a veggie Reuben, and since I was teaching myself to bake bread at the time, I endeavored to make all the bread from scratch. I learned a couple hard lessons doing that, and burned myself out a bit. But I had a small crew of willing volunteers who picked up some of my slack and kept us serving as often as possible until the building sold and the space moved. By the time the second Blackwater location was taking shape I had started making other plans.

MikeWarm_image_2

Is everything you make vegan? Are you vegan?
I’m not vegan, nor even strictly vegetarian to be honest, though do I eat that way the majority of the time. I make a conscious effort to minimize the cruel or harmful practices I’m supporting when I buy food, but to me that doesn’t always mean abstaining from ingesting any and all animal products. But since the impact of my own personal eating choices make a much smaller impact than the choices I make as a business owner, I am committed to serving a vegetarian menu. Grilled By Death was veggie and Falafel House at Slabtown was entirely vegan.

I’m glad you have a conscience and are making the efforts you do without having to label or restrict yourself. I commend you, Mike! Why do you think vegetarianism and veganism important in punk?
Punk to me is about creating the world you want to live in, in defiance of our fucked up greater culture and its norms. And the world I want to live in is one where humans aren’t the only lives deemed valuable, and where kindness prevails over cruelty. Strive To Survive Causing Least Suffering Possible, y’know? I know punk isn’t the same for everyone, but for those who feel similarly, the tenets of veganism are an awesome introduction to the ills of the common western civilized diet, and the many creative and delicious ways a person might avoid them.

What happened to Falafel House? What’s Slabtown?
Falafel House at Slabtown was a step up from slinging paninis in the corner of a punk space. This time I subleased the kitchen of a local punk bar called Slabtown and ran a legitimate, licensed operation serving scratch-made vegetarian Middle Eastern food. We were open seven days a week and I had an awesome staff of three or four people who helped me retain some degree of sanity. People largely seemed to enjoy the food and we received an uplifting amount of praise for what we were doing, especially as the business gained steam and we got better at it. Sadly, Slabtown closed its doors in November 2014 and Falafel House is on hiatus while I put together plans for the next step.

Where do you think your next location will be?
I’m going to open a Falafel House food cart, most likely in one of two potential locations in North Portland. I don’t want to say more until the details are sorted, but I’m excited about either option.

How’d you go from just having a George Foreman grill to a restaurant?
Baby steps. I still have a hard time defining myself as a restaurant owner because I think that title implies a job bigger than the one I’ve yet taken on. I was very lucky to start my business in arrangement with an existing bar because it reduced the necessary investment to a manageable amount of time and resources. I couldn’t have opened a restaurant from the ground up when I started Falafel House. Don’t get me wrong, I busted my ass, but I had training wheels.

Grilled By Death!

Grilled By Death!

Did you do it alone?
Definitely not, I’ve had a lot of help, from people who gave me chances like Keith at Blackwater, and Doug the owner of Slabtown, all of the bartenders there, friends who helped pick up my slack at Grilled By Death, the rad staff at Falafel House, my awesome partner Kari, and all of my friends who’ve helped in lots of big and small ways.

How has the punk and vegan community in PDX supported you?
I’ve been lucky in the support I’ve received from punks and vegans in this city. I had complete strangers from the vegan community step up to organize events that brought me great business on otherwise slow nights at Slabtown. A huge amount of our business was generated by word of mouth, thanks to people spreading the word about what we were doing. Some of the best support I’ve received has come in the form of well-timed compliments. Just when I’m daydreaming about quitting to start five new bands and go on tour for the rest of my life, someone will tell me “dude I had your food at Slabtown last week and it was awesome,” and I’m completely reinvigorated.

Are you friends with Eiji from DSB who does Vespera’s Falafel in Tokyo? If not, you should be!
I’m not, but if I’m lucky enough to visit Japan again I absolutely intend to stop by his shop and I hope to connect with him.

He’s the best! I think what both of you are doing is really cool, it’s funny how falafel and punk go hand in hand all over the world. Did you really have bingo night at your old location?
Oh yeah, definitely. The bar dabbled with hosting bingo on slow nights from time to time with mixed results. But then some motivated customers took it upon themselves to coordinate and advertise a monthly “Vegan Bingo Night,” and it became quite successful.

What are your new and improved plans for your food truck?
A lot will be different when I’m operating a food cart instead of a bar kitchen, and I expect to face a whole new set of hard lessons. While there were many benefits to operating my business in tandem with Slabtown, I do look forward to the simplicity of operating completely autonomously. I’m getting those training wheels off and I’m excited and a little daunted by what all that will mean.

How can we help and support you during this transition?
I would love to hear from people! And when Falafel House reopens, come check it out!

Any last words?
Thanks MRR!



Create to Destroy! Beach Impediment


January 28th, 2015 by

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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.

Randy and Mark at Mike "Bay Bay" Scibetta benefit in Richmond, VA (photo by Amelia)

Randy and Mark at Mike “Bay Bay” Scibetta benefit in Richmond, VA (photo by Amelia)

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.

BeachImpediment_MercyKillings

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.

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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.

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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:

EEL 7″
VAASKA 12″
DESPERAT 12″
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 beachimpediment {at} gmail(.)com 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.