martes, 31 de mayo de 2016

Major Destroyer Records Interview

 Estos señores tocan en varios proyectos y grupos, ya sea rock experimental, blues “rasposo” o noise. Tienen un magnífico sello independiente con artistas americanos, uno inglés y ahora uno español. Kyle y Mike tienen un gusto especial por cualquier estilo que sea auténtico y crudo. Como debe ser. Disfruta:

How and when did you meet? Did you have a band together? did you tour?
Mike: Kyle and I met way back in 1998, shortly before our high school years in Minnesota.  We met through a mutual friend while skateboarding one day.  I remember Kyle threw on a Ramones album the first time we hung out together.  He had some experience playing guitar, and I had some experience playing drums.  Eventually, at 14 years old, we found an old kit, and Kyle got a guitar and amp, and from there we went.  I wish we could find that old drum kit....

Kyle: That kit is long gone unfortunately! haha
Mike: We played a lot of punk and rock music, and whatever else came to mind and experimented with all types of janky recording setups.  We were in a few "bands" together but nothing that we pursued apart from ending up with some obscure recordings.  No touring, just jamming in whatever spaces we could find and pissing people off.  Kyle still has every single cassette that we ever recorded on!

Kyle: Those tapes mean a lot to me. It's history. I have preserved it all!

What was your musical background as teens?

Mike: Well, I can say I definitely grew up during ... one of... the MTV eras.  Having an older sister who was passionate about music, I was exposed to "popular" music at an early age.  I caught the end of the "grunge" era here in the states, listening to bands like Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots as a young kid. You still had some heavy metal in the mainstream at that time also, Guns n' Roses and the like.   90's Gangster Rap was mixed in there. This led into the "alternative rock" music which sadly then led to the cringe worthy "Nu-metal" era of the late 90's.  This was pre internet mostly so what can I say, unless you were going to underground records stores you were limited to what you heard on TV and radio etc.  Finally; and this leads back to question one, I would say right as I met Kyle we were both just starting to explore lesser known music, both old and new, by paying attention to films and skateboard/snowboard videos. One band that opened my eyes and ears as a teen was Fu Manchu, some of the heaviest, most distorted stuff I had heard up until that point.

Kyle: I basically piggy back everything Mike said. It's been a melting pot for me musically. But I started to take notice of the music I was into around late middle school/high school. My old man would send me The Clash, Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, Ramones etc. this stuff was really filling that void for me around the time and then I kept exploring through friends and the interweb THANK YOU NAPSTER!

What instruments do you play and which ones do you prefer?
Mike: The only instrument that I would consider myself proficient in is drums and percussion.  My father was a drummer in his younger years, and I had some other family influences in that area.  Sadly, I have not owned a real kit since about 2000. I always enjoy playing when I can sit behind one.  Currently I have an electronic kit that I can sit down at from time to time. I can make noise with just about any other instrument also,  but I would not consider myself to "play" anything else. 

Kyle: My main focus is drums also but I can play guitar and bass well enough. Really anything that makes noise and sounds pleasant I will find a way to play it. 

What are the DIY ethics for you? How do you apply them to your music and the label?

Mike: DIY is very near and dear to our hearts.  Although we are mostly now having our tapes and vinyl professionally manufactured, we will never stray away from doing occasional DIY, self-copied releases and whatnot.  We create the majority of our art, conceptualize, and play a major production roll on all of our releases from start to finish as needed.  It also just goes back to, if you don't get off your ass and do something, nothing is going to happen!  
Kyle: Mike is right get off your ass! This quote sticks with me, something my dad said "Don't just stand there! Do something, even if it's wrong!" haha it's true though have to keep progressing. I like that fear of starting something and not knowing how it will finish from beginning to end. If your heart was in it fully then that is the reward especially when you DIY.

How did you come up with the name for the label?

Mike: The name did not have any type of deep meaning or anything at first.  It was a term that I heard a friend describe someone as when we were drunk as hell one night.  It came up in my head one day when we were trying to think of a label name and that was that. We do like destruction in a certain sense as well.  It's nice to have some clothing that says "Destroy" on it. 

What's your jobs (apart from music) and why did you choose them?

Mike: I work in the IT field for a video game company down here in Southern California.  Not a passion of mine, but it pays the bills which I have a lot of right now.  I somewhat do enjoy a conflicting life though, not making money from any of my many passions.  That has been a constant theme my entire life.  
Kyle: I do video production for a university on the east coast of the states. I originally went to school for audio production, freelanced a bit recording bands, still do from time to time but I landed a job doing basic desktop support and moved into the video field from there. I am kind of a do everything kind of person meaning I like to learn in the field. My mind is constantly searching for another challenge which is how I always end up where I am at that time. 

How is that you live in different coasts? is it much harder to keep on collaborating?
did you live near firstly? if so, why did you have to move?

Mike: I grew up in the area surrounding Minneapolis, MN my entire life.  Kyle grew up on the east coast in Rhode Island.  He moved to MN for a period of time which is when we first met and became friends.  He moved back to the east coast midway through high school.  We have never lost contact since.  I visited Rhode Island and/or Massachusetts just about every year since I was a teen.  Currently, I live in the Los Angeles area and Kyle in Boston, MA.  We both hold down jobs in these places and have somewhat carved a life out for ourselves.   We see it as a positive however.  With my presence in the west, our roots in MN, and Kyle out in New England, we can spread Major Destroyer across the continent!  We'd love to be in closer proximity someday, we'll see what happens. With the internet and traveling, we get work done.  It just takes longer.

Kyle: It definitely takes longer but it also allows us to sit on creative decisions which in my opinion is a huge benefit. I've lived in a lot of apts throughout my life and it just seems to go that way. haha Mikes hardcore and always makes it down to work on our projects!

Listening to the Major Destroyer releases, I have the feeling that you fancy live, raw, even harsh recordings than those produced in "more standard ways". Is it accurate? 

Mike: I would say that is very accurate.  We really don't have a specific genre of music that we promote.  We love it all.  However, there likely is a consistent message in a lot of the music we create and promote.  Destruction, dirty recordings, music that is heavy as fuck.  We are all about it. I can put on a thousand bands that are recorded and mixed exactly the same these days.  Give me some raw passionate music that says "fuck you" and I'm down!  Bands that are essentially doomed to fail solely because of their name or subject content, bring it on. Whether it's expressed through vocals or pure sound, we want to hear a story.  Music that speaks for itself.

Kyle: hahaha yea he nailed it! The world is not perfect so why should things be made that way? Plus it's easier to listen to the "status quo" recordings and such, which don't get me wrong I can enjoy but it is a lot harder to listen to raw, aggressive and disruptive music etc. makes you listen a lot closer and use your imagination!

And the bands you publish don't play mainstream music. There are noise, experimental, hardcore punk, doom. Are you open to other styles?
We are absolutely open to any and all styles.  Kyle and I are both probably some of the most schizophrenic music listeners out there.  We love raw, heavy stuff and tend to stick within those means with our releases but there are no boundaries with Major Destroyer.  If music speaks to us that we love, we will get it out there if possible.

Kyle: Yes schizophrenic indeed!

What are the points you seek in bands? is there a certain attitude?

Mike: We simply look for passionate, original music.  In most cases, it's really simple to hear honesty in music.  We are interested in that stuff.  We don't give a fuck about what a band/artist looks like, how they dress, what they are singing about.  We don't give a fuck about whether they want to do the typical band activities, taking promo shots, marketing, and making their product blend in with everything else out there. We just want great music. We want to promote shit that could be in cult films, skate videos, etc.  Timeless stuff.  We don't negotiate contracts or make any money, we just want the opportunity to create.  Among a vast sea of material out there, if you open your ears you will find jewels that need be packaged up in physical form and available in record stores!

Kyle: If it speaks we hear it.

Check their releases here: