New label in town! Actually in 3 different towns: Pittsburgh (US), Boston (US) and West Mids (UK). This brit/north-american joint released a compilation last year entitled A SHOWCASE OF TUNES TO 'FUCK WITH' SAMPLER VOLUME 1, comprised of very promising new groups under their roster. It features all sorts of styles: youth crew, 90's emo, hip hop and other variations on the good ol' hardcore punk.
3 FRIENDS, 3 DIFFERENT CITIES. HOW DOES IT WORK? ANY OF YOU WERE INVOLVED IN A LABEL OR BAND BEFORE?
Dan: We got me here in Boston, Steven down in Pittsburg, and Roscoe over in the UK. The whole idea for this label came from a conversation Steven and I had after Damaged City Fest last summer. He expressed an interest in starting a label, and I said I wanted to do the same thing. With a need for a logo, Steven reached out to Roscoe, and he came up with the running man design. After a few more requests for art, we just figured it would be fitting for Roscoe to come on board too. The label works very smoothly with all three of us being able to split up the work load and take some of the pressure off each other. Everyone has really showed their A game so far, and I credit that cooperation and dedication to the music for the small success we have seen so far. I haven’t been in any bands before, but Steven had fronted Instigate prior to the label, and Roscoe is in Gravity Grave, which was called Middle Child to begin with.
Steven: I've been in a band or two before nothing serious, played some shows here and there, weekend tour once. I've schemed a label a bunch of times I've just never had anyone I'd want helping me with it. Dan and Roscoe are a wonderful pair of dudes to run a label with. Us being all over the world just means we can show people in different areas the love we have for music. If you want some stickers to slap around your town hit one of us up. I love seeing our name anywhere people wanna throw it up.
THE BANDS ON RTR GOES FROM HIP HOP TO POP PUNK AND HARDCORE PUNK, WHICH IS VERY AMUSING BECAUSE YOU ARE DOING THIS SINCE THE EARLY STAGES OF THE LABEL. THE MAIN GOAL IS TO SUPPORT LOCAL UNDERGROUND PRODUCTIONS OR JUST MUSIC YOU’RE INTERESTED IN?
DO YOU THINK PEOPLE NOWADAYS ARE MORE OPEN TO OTHER GENRES INSTEAD OF STICKING IN HIS OWN CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE? LIKE HIP HOP KIDS LISTENING TO HEAVY STUFF AND VICE-VERSA?
Dan: With our first discussions about starting a label, I expressed my desire to NOT have this label be strictly hardcore. I didn’t want us to get lumped into any specific genre because that’s not all we listen to. Obviously we all love hardcore, but we all have our own interests, Roscoe for instance, he loves him some Oasis and Stone Roses, but he also rocks Wu, then you got Steven who pretty much is a walking hardcore dictionary, but he’ll jam hip hop, stoner metal, whatever, he just loves music so much. Then me, who you can catch playing anything from Clancy Brothers, to Miles Davis, to Tom Petty, to Lee Perry, to Bulldoze. If it sounds good to us, we will listen to it. But that kind of all over the place taste is something I personally think makes hardcore tick. You look back at a lot of the older NYHC bands, and they were doing some cross genre type shit years ago. For instance, Biohazard and Onyx, clearly Public Enemy and Anthrax. Shit, not sure how many people even remember KRS-ONE doing a shout on a SOIA album, but it happened. They also had House of Pain on a track too. Besides hip hop, you have a lot of hardcore guys doing some softer stuff, whether it be folksy type stuff or straight rock n roll, or Oi, or even metal, so this mixture of styles we are releasing just seemed fitting right out the gate.
Steven: I'm just happy to see people support music; no matter the genre. Music might be the only consistent thing I've had in my life. Honestly, I just love music. I love hardcore, I love punk, I love rap and hip hop and I love helping bands/artists music out to the world. Even knowing one person enjoys the band enough to buy a tape or a shirt from us to support the band is an incredible feeling. We started somewhat as a hardcore label but we didn't want to just hardcore or punks bands. We've released a hip hop artist so far and I do believe another hip hop group in the unseen future. We've released a pop punk band so far, that kinda just happened out of the blue when a good friend of Dan and I's came to us to release his band; he's a great kid so we were more than happy to oblige. We've got a bunch of hardcore bands with releases on the labels; most of them are actively playing shows and working on new music for sophomore releases on the label. We did have a few bands on the label break up this year. RIP Step Off. RIP True Worth.
8 RELEASES UNTIL NOW, ALL IN TAPE FORMAT (AND DIGITAL), VINYL IS INCLUDED IN LABEL’S FUTURE PLANS? WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU ARE FACING SO FAR TO RUN A LABEL IN 1 YEAR OF EXISTENCE?
Dan: All our releases so far have been tape format, not for any specific reason, it’s just what the bands wanted so far. We do have a HUGE vinyl release coming soon, one I’m particularly excited for. Oxnard’s own Retaliate!!!! The record is gonna slam man, I can’t wait to have this release come out. We also are re-releasing the Uprising AD cd very soon. Uprising AD, one of the best Tijuana bands there was. Those two releases have me pretty excited for 2015 so far. We haven’t really faced too many challenges, as all our bands are fucking great dudes and easy to work with, and the three of us communicate very well and handle our business.
Steven: There's been some hardships with getting releases out. Some production issues with the production of tapes. Dan and I both had moved at some point over the last year and settling in is always a little difficult with communication. So we did have a little and I mean little point in time where we were at a standstill.
ANY BREAKING NEWS OF UPCOMING RELEASES IN 2015?
Dan: We have some good shit coming out this year: the Retaliate and Uprising AD releases that I already mentioned, Rage – The Midwest Straight Edge tape, Different Face – Demo 2014 tape (split release with Criminal Rights Records), Clandestine AD – Demo tape, new Coolside, Reunion, and a few I’ll keep for a surprise.
Steven: Step 4 Change, Urgency, Rage, Clandestine AD, Crossface and Different Face all have demos coming on the label this year. We've got some bands doing sophomore releases on the label. Reunion's debut 7" will be out on the label sometime this year. COOLSIDE has something in the works. Hopefully we'll be doing a lot of cool releases this year. Also, the I Against I demo will be dropping very very very soon.
WHAT IS YOUR TOP 6 LIST OF WHATEVER MUISC GENRE WAS RELEASED LAST YEAR?
Dan: My top 6 for 2014 (in NO particular order)
1- Sheer Terror – Standing Up For Falling Down (just a great album from these legends)
2- Cold World – How the Gods Chill (these guys just rule, and I’ll always support bands from my birth town of Wilkes Barre)
3- Ghostface Killah – 36 Seasons (instant classic)
4- Wu Tang Clan – A Better Tomorrow (does anything really need to be said about this? It’s the Wu!!!!)
5- FM359 – Truth, Love and Liberty (it’s Mike McColgan, it’s a great album. This dude has one of the best voices there is)
6- Wisdom In Chains – We Never Sleep (they will make my Top List every year they release anything, they are just bad ass)
I also have to give an honorable mention to The Eulogy 7”, they missed 2014 by 6 days, but that 7” is by far one of the best 7”s I’ve heard in a long time.
Steven: BIG TAKEOVER - BIG TAKEOVER DEMO Big Takeover's Demo was one of my top picks last year. Late 80's NYHC tribute at its finest. Breakdown 87 has been resurrected.
TRAVIS SCOTT - DAYS BEFORE RODEO Travi$ Scott's Days Before Rodeo mixtape was personally my favorite hip hop release last year. He's got a great flow and the work he's done so far has not disappointed me.
DISENGAGE - S/T 7" Disengage's new Self Titled 7" blew me anyway. It made me so proud to be straight edge, such a driving release with a lot of songs about STRAIGHT EDGE PRIDE.
SPOOKY BLACK - LEAVING EP Spooky Black released one of most calming releases I've ever heard. A major R&B/Hip Hop vibe with a very dark twist.
SELF DESTRUCT - DEMO 14 Self Destruct put out seriously one of the craziest demos I heard last year, it just makes me want to jump off things and flip tables. Definitely suggest checking it out.
SNAILS PACE - SNAILS PACE DEMO The Lockin Out supergroup featuring members of Mental, Cold World and Free Spirit. This demo was pure gold to me. Great lyrical content. Incredibly catchy riffs and a lot of skank worthy parts.
FEEL FREE TO GIVE AWAY ADVICES OF ANY KIND, THOUGHTS AND SALUTATIONS.
Dan: My advice to anyone reading this would be to just give it a shot, whatever it is that you want to try and get started, be it a band, label, clothing line, booking agency, whatever, just do it. You aren’t going to regret trying nearly as much as you’ll regret sitting on your ass and not trying.
Steven: I want to thank everyone that's ever supported any endeavor that I've loved even if they were short lived and stupid. I want to thank Dan and Sarah for helping this label more than anyone knows. Dan is seriously the older brother I never had but always wish I did. I want to thank Roscoe for everything he's done for the label. Great dude even if he is a limey. I want to thank my girlfriend Kaitlyn who's always supported me endlessly no matter how broke or down and out I've been, I love her to death. I want to thank all my friends, their bands, their labels, their pets, their mosh style and their families. I want to thank RJ Loegsky for ever getting Dan and I together. I want to thank RC Cola for being the greatest Cola ever. I want to thank Tom Brady / Bill Belichik and the 4 Super Bowl rings their wearing. I want to thank whoever numbered Rob Gronkowski 87 because the 87 demo is gospel. I want to thank every band I've ever seen or moshed to. I want to thank anyone who's ever helped me out with my Lockin Out collection. I want to thank Greg Willmott / AJ McQuire for helping me out with my collection. I want to thank my cats; Nonstop, Brady, Gandalf, Gemini and Izzy. I want to thank the man that wrote My Name Is Earl.
I want to thank THE STRAIGHT EDGE.
HOW COLD IT IS TODAY?
Dan: It’s freezing here, says 9 (Fahrenheit) but -12 with the wind chill. And more snow this weekend to add to the nearly 100”s we’ve gotten so far. And on that note, I’m gonna get outta here and go shovel a new path for my dogs. Shout out to the 836 homies back in Illinois and Colorado, my buddies in San Diego, Retaliate, Uprising AD, Take Em Out, Holistic Hip Hop, and all the bands on the label. Huge thanks to my wife, my dogs, Steven and Kate, Roscoe Rickers, and thanks Zack and Rick for the advice. And most importantly, thank you to everyone who has supported us through this first year, it means the world to us and we cannot express our appreciation and gratitude enough.
Now, for an audio experience, I selected some current and upcoming releases from the RTR family:
First, the californian in COOLSIDE offers a fresh youth cru with dat Youngblood recs sound. From the demo EP "Own The Zone" they are getting ready for a new album, the Self Help EP!
DOWNLOAD Own The Zone EP + New Single
Another cali group, the REUNION made a big step forward on their crummy sound in their latest recording: the Summer Demo '14, that will get a proper release soon on RTR.
DOWNLOAD Summer Demo '14
From Washington, STRIKEFORCE brings the heavy side to the label, 4 stomps in the vein of Expire and Cruel Hand. New demo The End almost accomplished.
DOWNLOAD Substance EP
These bands are rather new therefore I never heard of REBOUND before and I gotta say, they do deliver! Their Hard Luck Demo is a full-bodied mosh and their new 2-song EP adds a notch up! Fast to mid paced hardcore with an awesome flow.
DOWNLOAD Restraints EP + Hard Luck
Orange County Hardcore in da house! Newest effort by I AGAINST I is pretty good and fun to listen throughout with speed and aggressiveness at the right levels!
DOWNLOAD Stuck At The Bottom