Rozhovor s Jasonom Flowerom (muzikantom, vydavateľom, producentom, cestovateľom, archivárom, zberateľom a čo-ja-viem-čo-ešte) som robil pre fanzin HLUBOKÁ ORBA č. 30. Tam si ho môžeš prečítať v českom preklade.
Tu je v pôvodnom znení:
1. Hello Jason, where you got your passion for music? It was any musician in your family?
I grew up listening to my parents 60-70s rock LPs & neighbors heavy metal records. My grandfather in Australia played violin, my uncle in Canada played guitar...but the only real artist is my estranged uncle in Australia, he is a famous painter. My passion for music came from escapism; day-dreaming of far away sounds & places which I believe was strongly inspired by my parents. They met in europe when travelling and both always spoke about it as the greatest experience in their life, i feel the same. When I say "escapism", its because I was never content with my home surroundings, expectations others put on me, and I was always feeling different than the people around me. As a child, I either didn't feel included or other times chose not participate because I was interested in different things. When I was a kid my first passion was playing street hockey, then it turned to collecting rare hockey cards. When I was ten years old I really let go of hockey and began to strongly embrace the music I was growing up with; Kiss, AC/DC, Joan Jett, Black Sabbath, Quiet Riot, 80s punk groups, etc. I was enrolled in a special program at school that gave me the chance to do a historical research project. I believe it was that school program that spearheaded my eventual desire to become somewhat of an archivist.
Jason Flower, November 2013
2. Where and how did you got your first recordings/records? Do you remember of your first record ever which you bought?
The first things I got were some pop & heavy metal LPs as gifts. The fist items I ever got for myself were early speed/death metal cassettes on Banzai Records such as Venom & Metallica in 1984. The first LP I ever bought was via mailorder Thrash Queen LP (1985), it was an all-women lo-fi metal group. Some critics consider it one of the worst metal LPs ever made, however Thrash Queen were feminists and despite the terribly poor recording I still have it and like the LP. This year I was in contact with their singers boyfriend, sending him a rare photo that nobody else had of them. I am a great fan of women in rock music.The first local demo I bought was Armoros "Debut Assault" (1986), its the first underground metal demo from Victoria. Immediately after I began to buy all the local punk demos.
3. When did you discover indie music?
Well, there were always local independent groups and I didn't know the difference between them and famous groups, I was a child when i became aware. I knew a local heavy metal group named Intruder when I was 11, but had already seen rock bands when I was a kid. My friend Jeremy, whom I've known since birth and played with in Stick Farm (1989-91) had grown up seeing Nomeansno as a child; such things happened here. I suppose my true consciousness of differentiating between independant and commercial was in 1983 when I started to goto the music shops, but I was very young and it would not be until later that I began to collect local music.
4. When did you began to travel for music and bands?
When I was about 20 when I began to feel very empty & unsatisfied in Victoria, so that would be 1993. I still feel unsatisfied with familiarity, it is a curse and a burden which makes me restless & discontent. The only solution to calm my dis-ease is to travel and day dream. I toured with the pre-group of Submission Hold, named Insult to Injury...later I toured Canada with my groups MPA and Third World Planet. However my own groups never toured much because of our personal lives. As far as personal travel, I have met many of my old penpals, will always travel and search for music everywhere I go in the world...I wish to travel more often.
5. When you first traveled to Europe and which countries you visited?
1997 I came and toured with Martin Valasek & Battle of Disarm. Between 1997-2007 I've been to : UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Swiss, Austria, Belgium, Luxemburg, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Czech, Poland, Holland, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Georgia. Since then I have gone to others. I went to India in 1997 also. Since then I have been to many more.
6. What was the reason that you settled in Poland?
I was always fascinated with Poland since I was a kid, i loved the language & the contemporary music of the 80s (punk, metal, jazz, rock). I used to drink Inka coffee when i was a teen and write to metalheads & punks when it was still communist. I wanted the challenge of culture shock, because Canada & Switzerland (where i lived for 2 years) were too easy and there was no magic. Poland was hard but the people had sparks & passion. I met the right people from Wroclaw and knew it instinctively so I moved there, soon after I met a woman and miraculously feel in love.
7. What was your impression of Europe, the people of the punk scene? How did you feel about the scene in the Czech Republic of the other half of 90´s. And what about India? Did you found at that time - in 1997 - some punk / metal bands in India?
When I first came in 1997 it very exciting for me. Mexican Power Authority had pockets of fans everywhere and I was meeting with a lot of old pen-pals. I loved and still love how culturally diverse it is, and the architecture is exactly what an aesthetically sensitive person like myself thrives on.
The Czech scene was great, there were a lot of groups I loved; Mrtva Budoucnot was a favorite at the time. I also loved the jazz-punk scene, metal, rock, psych, jazz, etc. However I grew out of much of it and now only hold onto the music which is connected to sentiment.
India? Amazing, it changed my life; 6 months, North – South, West – East, Andaman & Nicobar, Sikkim…yes I bought over 50+ cassettes and found two heavy metal tapes. Millennium from Bangalore, and The Crisis from Nepal.
Guys from US proto-punk band DEATH + Jason
8. I know that you played in a band COCONUT BULLDOZER. How did the collaboration with the guys? Did you play in some other projects or bands during your stay in Europe?
CB happened in a funny way. On their website, I found Sheeva Yoga calling their music “strang”, a musical term that MPA claimed to describe our sound. In fact a few groups have adopted the genre-term over the years… When realizing SY were living in Ostrava, only a few hours from my city Wroclaw, I half-seriously proposed we collaborate together. A few months later they emailed me 6 songs which I immediately wrote lyrics for. Things grew quickly; we met and recorded the songs in a Wroclaw studio…we played some shows and recorded again; totaled 16 songs if I recall correctly. I always enjoyed visiting Ostrava, Skulda was an especially great host & I’m grateful for the hospitality. Skulda wanted to issue it with his ‘zine but it didn’t happen. I hope someone offers to release it one day ; we did a great Nasrot cover!
Third World Planet reformed in late 1998 and played for about 1 year. I played guitar in a Polish punk group named Atak in the early 2000’s – don’t recall what year but we did a great gig with Oi Polloi and recorded the show. My last group in Poland was Automaton in 2006. A trio with two very good friends; Maciek from Robotobibok and Dawid from the Kurws. We played some kind of 1960s inspired mixed with of rock & new wave. As the years went by, my goal was to play music different than what I had done in the past…and that endeavor continues.
9. How did you come to the Polish alternative music in Canada in the 80's.? Can you mentioned a few bands that you fascinated?
In 1987 I saw a documentary program on the Polish Jazz scene and the same year I bought a cassette bootleg made by a US label of Jak Punk To Punk with The Corpse demo added to the end of it. Soon after I began writing with punks & metal-heads there. Eternal Torment ‘zine was amazing, still one of the best from that era. Back in the 80s I loved Rejestracja, Separator, Wilczy Pajak, Siekiera, Dezerter, Abaddon, HCP, Process, TZN Xenna, Imperator, Schizmopathic, Po Prostu, Slashing Death, and many more.
10. Ok, let´s go to issued things: Your first order of business was to SUPREME ECHO - VA-Polish punk called „Victim Of Safety Pin“. How did it with old punks, bands members and what was their response to the issue of their old stuff on vinyl?
When I did Victim of Safety Pin there had not yet been a boom of Polish punk reissues, and nobody had touched the original era of punk. It was impressive for the musicians that I was Canadian, and when I said it would be vinyl-only they immediately and eagerly agreed. Everyone was quite receptive, only Zykzak from TZN Xenna was skeptical, and that quickly changed when we met - he turned out to be one of the most personable of them all. Robal from Dezerter met with me many times…Magura (Deadlock/Kryzys) and I still keep in contact with each other. For me the most magical moment was Tomek Lipinski’s response; his words, smile, and look in his eyes just shined allover me, I felt proud.
11. Then you set about mapping the Georgian underground. The first thing was CD of post-punk RETSEPTI and I know that now you are preparing another records of Georgian punk/ metal/rock bands on vinyl. What makes you so fascinated by the Georgian music?
I love Georgia, its my favorite place visited until now, its crazy but I love it. It is not simply a fascination with their music but instead a love for the people and everything they have cultivated over their history. The Caucasus is a part of the world which unfortunately has known conflict and war very well, however it is also an ancient region rich in diversity, colours, wonderful food (!!!), polyphonic singing, beautiful architecture & geography, etc. all due to the bold charactered people.
I'm planning a compilation LP on the 80s scene, it will be titled "Qartveli Rokerebi" with 8-10 groups from the 80s-90s, but must admit it has already taken a long time and will take a long time to complete. I became good friends with many of those old musicians, some friends for life. Gogi, the singer of Moritur...Zviadi from Komendatis Saati...Lado from Retsepti...Levan from Mdzime Jwari...so many more.
I first went to Georgia in 2000 and met Lado from Retsepti. We kept in touch and after 6 years of very hard work the original masters were restored and I had pried an interview out of him to create the cd. It had always been planned as an LP, however he kept insisting on a cd because he held the format with prestige (and ego!). I still hope one day to reissue it on LP. Since 2000 I have collected a large amount of Georgian folk, funk, psych, beat, jazz, punk, rap, metal, etc. Georgian singing is incredible, and their traditional styles are heard in most contemporary music as well. Ironically their tradition is not strongly featured in much of the punk & metal, but you still have that unique and beautiful Kartuli language, and the groups to be on the v/a LP are very special.
Photo from Tbilisi with Zviadi (on left) from first Georgian punk band KOMENDATIS SAATI and with Lado Burduli (on right), singer from post-punk band RETSEPTI
11.+ How did you contacted punk people in Georgia?
My introduction was thru the semi-legitimate Retsepti 7" EP that Rudiger Nitz facilitated through Luk Haas for TAM 89 Records. When I first went there in the summer 2000 it was still a strange & unsafe place to visit, but of course people were friendly like anywhere. People had told us bands practiced at the old conservatory of music, so my partner & I were walking down the street on the left bank looking for it when a freakish looking guy saw us. We were obviously foreign and he came up to say hello, then took us to the conservatory where we immediately met musicians. His name was Temo, DJ Temo; he is a Georgian DJ that lives (or lived?) in Budapest, Hungary. I mentioned to Temo that I knew of Retsepti, and Tbilisi having only a small underground scene, he was able to take us right to Lado Burduli.
Lado then introduced us to many musicians, including not only his local comrades but also his rivals. We were connected to the Kutaisi punks as well, which was a city with a totally different scene and at one point very vibrant. Kutaisi is where Outsider came from; they were the sole Georgian group to have an LP released - good luck finding it! After the beginnings, it was just a case of my own investigation of gathering names, obsessing over the chronology of the Tbilisi alternative music scene, and ignoring gossip in order to include as many groups and people as possible and befriend them.
11.++ You mentioned Lasha Gabunia, old punk from Kutaisi and music critic promoting Georgian alternative music. How did you meet him?
Lado connected me to him and we became good friends. Lasha is a great person, and completely passionate about music. Lasha had a TV show in the chaotic early 1990s in Kutaisi when the scene was booming with Outsider at the forefront. As a music critic, he had no choice but to graduate to a larger city to survive using his expertise.
Lasha Gabunia and Jason, Lasha is old Kutaisi punk and improtant Georgian music critic, he promoting Georgian alternative music
11.+++ How is the punk scene in Georgia today compared of the 80´s?
Now most of it sounds much more Western, more homogenized however most groups still sing in Georgian and there do still exist groups melding ethnic melodies with contemporary music. It is much easier today to get equipment and there are rock festivals, but its still not easy to be an alternative musician in Georgia; the scene is small, society quite conservative, traditional & nationalistic.
11.++++ Did you visited some record shops, clubs, venues there? What about punk gigs, zines/magazines or record labels? Are you looking also for actual bands, or just or old ones?
There are no record shops, but my friend was planning to open a cafe/bar with LPs in it. There are not many punk bands, its more like a scattered scene of single groups from different genres; death metal, ska, alternative rock, traditional heavy metal, post punk/new wave, hip hop, electronic, punk rock...all make up the small Tbilisi underground. There are also not many places in the region for groups to play. From Tbilisi, a group would probably only go to Kutaisi and Batumi in Georgia, and then perhaps Baku (Azerbaijan) and Yerevan (Armenia). If a group is very ambitious they could go to Ankara & Istanbul in Turkey, but that is a big trip. Within Tbilisi there are some nice clubs for alternative music groups to play, i forget their names. Zines? The Retsepti CD cover is from an old underground art zine...sure there must have been some old art & music zines but i don't know them. There is or was a new indie label named Bravo, and there is a studio named Sano...but I don't think either one do much really underground music. There are some culture magazines featuring modern groups, i forget their names. One thing for sure, is that the Retsepti CD i made was very popular in Georgia and Lado claims to have sold it for very high prices. Myself, I struggled to sell it because despite the great reviews, CD is a dead format for such music. Fred from Darbouka Records (TAM 89 distributor) once said "if it had been an LP it would have sold out". I do plan to reissue it on LP, its already authorized and I have paid Lado royalties so its just a matter of if/when i choose to do it. No, I am not looking for new bands. I am happy to hear/see them but my work is focused on history only.
Luk Haas and Jason in Sukhumi, Abkhazia
12. You´ve sent nice picture with Luk Haas. Are you in contact with him? How did you meet him in Abchazia? Btw, is there some punks in this country? Are you in the contact with some other record labels focusing to exotic underground scenes?
Luk and I have been in contact since 1991, we always wanted to meet. He helped us arrange to visit him in Abkhazia when he was heading the Red Cross there, it was a dangerous but beautiful place to be. Punks? huh, well in 2013 punk is mostly an urban lifestyle/image and Abkhazia is a war-torn region that is full of instability, post-war trauma, corruption, drugs, and Russian tourists...but interestingly one evening after dinner we in fact saw an Abkhaz heavy metal group perform and they did songs in Abkhazian, which was very cool. Having been there, to even imagine if there are "punks" there seems naive or just unrealistic but certainly there are people listening to punk music everywhere in the world, and people for sure are struggling to survive and rebuild their lives there.
13. I know you like to searching record in street markets. What jewels did you find in last years?
Gunesh, Progresiv TM, Orlan, Zartong. Those are the greatest pearls of my last trip in 2012.
14. Jason, you mentioned that you traveled to the Czech Republic with Martin Valášek, active publisher of HC / punk recordings. How did you conacted with him? Later you released a split album of your band Mexican Power Authority with Czech noise-weirdos Zabloudil - Mikro Vivace EP - Ať Chceš Nebo Nechceš, Jseš V Jiném Stavu. How to happen, why just ZABLOUDIL? And tell short about another international cooperation vinyl release with Ivailo Tonchev - 7" Bulgarian Archives 1985-1990.
My old label Break Even was producing a lot of cassettes and vinyl between 1989-97 and I predominantly distributed Eastern European vinyl & cassettes which I had received in trade from labels such as Martin's label Malarie. I liked writing with Martin, same as with Michal from NNNW and Filip from Trujaca Fala amongst many more. Following a cross Canada tour with Third World Planet, I wrote to Martin telling him my plan to come to Europe. He informed me of a tour he was organising for Battle of Disarm and invited me to tour with them as a roadie; we did 11 countries.
The MPA split was organised and released before I arrived in Czech, Martin suggested it. He did not pass me copies until I arrived there. I suggested Zabloudil because I liked their 1993 CD, but the material they provided for the split was in my opinion weak. I met them in 1999 and they were not friendly, but that's ok. Martin is a really nice and funny guy, yet did not keep his word with me, lost / sold things of mine, etc. I believe his intent was good, but he was quite chaotic.
Ivailo & I wrote and traded for many years, I always loved the BG underground. We decided to expose those early groups on a compilation; he was concerned that the groups would have rock start attitude, disagree, or not get authorisation from the then-collapsing Balkanton label.so we did it without authorisation. Within a few months the project had earned him good relations with those groups so it became approved of my the groups after it was released.
15. One of successful edition on your previous label record Break Even was NEOS "Fight with Donald" release. When did you discovered this crazy band? You saw them live in the 80´s?
Yeah, that sold really well! I knew about the Neos since I was 14, they're from Victoria and one of the pioneers of "hardcore". I met Steve (guitar) when I was a teenager, and a few years later Kev (bass) invited me to sing for a band he was forming using the same model as the Neos; fast short songs.the band was Mexican Power Authority. Neos played their last show in 1983 and then continued with a studio project named Harvest of Seaweed. There was another group similar to the Neos named Jerk Ward and Kev started up Sludge Confrontations with their drummer. Later Jerk Ward mutated into a band named Mission Of Christ and Kev joined them. I saw M.O.C. play many times, they signed to Metal Blade but never recorded/released their album. Neos material has been bootlegged a lot, and I have procrastinated reissuing it, but one day I will do an LP of their EP's and unreleased material.
16. Tell us about your another project - book All Your Ears Can Hear: Underground Music in Victoria, BC 1978-84. As this book was the book, how much time it took? Who all worked on it and how are you satisfied with the result?
It took 5 years to make, the main work was done by myself (Jason Flower), Kev Smith, and Ricky Long. I am satisfied with the result, but regret that it did not include the following groups: Royal, Terry Gilbert, Zipper, Lightdreams, The Shooz, Low Fun, and a few more. The book was not intended to be exclusively "punk", but the editor cut some music out of it. we won the 2007 M-Award for "best non-ficton book in Victoria".
ALL YOUR EARS CAN HEAR: Underground Music in Victoria, BC, 1978-84, BOOK & 2CD.
A professionally printed 80 page soft-cover book packaged with 2 CD's containing 79 songs by 46 bands (over two and a half hours of music). Punk rock, power-pop, hardcore, freak rock, and new wave...well, it's mostly punk. The book features one full page for each artist featured on the CD's and has hundreds of rare and never before seen photos, gig posters, record covers, etc. Contains written contributions from/about: Marcus Pollard (the Clix), Ricky Long (Commodes), Jade Blade (Dishrags), Ian Cochrane (Richards Records), Ray Ellis Dance Studio gig (March 7, 1981), John Wright (Nomeansno), Scott Henderson (Purple City), Murray Acton (Dayglow Abortions), Kev Smith (Neos), Andy Kerr (Infamous Scientists/Nomeansno), Tim Crow (Red Tide), Clod Neon (Steve Sandve), The preface is written by Rick Andrews. The foreword is written by Jason Flower. The book has received rave reviews internationally, setting example for other cities to follow, and a standard yet to be matched in the world of punk scene history. Contains: INFAMOUS SCIENTISTS, PINK STEEL, CLIX, AUTOMATIC SHOCK, SICKFUCKS, JERK WARD, VELOX STREPITUS, BEATEN RETARDS, NOMEANSNO, RED TIDE, KEYS, NEOS, CENSORED CHAOS, RESISTANCE, ASCENSIONS, EASY MONEY, DIOXYN, MALCOLM DEW-JONES, DISHRAGS, TWISTED MINDS, DISTORTION, DO-WOPS, FAKE DOGS, PURPLE CITY, SQUIRRELS IN BONDAGE, TROUBLE BOYS, HOUSE OF COMMONS, NOISE GENERATION, NEMATODES, NEVAR, COMMODES, DAYGLOW ABORTIONS, RYVALS, SUBURBAN MENACE, HARVEST OF SEAWEED, MASS APPEAL, DA JEEP, SLUDGE CONFRONTATIONS, TUMOURS, NUCLEAR ERRORS, RAY LUXEMBURG, NU-LIB, DIVINE RIGHT, SLIVERS, DISRUPT, and SALTY SEAMEN. Professionally 24-bit re-mastered. Limited 2nd press of 500 copies.
Qijuapik from NOTHERN HAZE with the original cover art of Sinnaktuq album from 1985
17. Your most recent recording is LP Northern Haze - Sinnaktuq. Where did those guys met? There are probably not so many Eskimo bands playing hard ´n´ heavy with the influence of BLACK SABBATH?
There is a history of Inuit rock in Greenland, Yakutia, and Northern Canada. Canada had rock groups starting in the early 1970s when radio & television were introduced. One of the oldest Inuit rock groups is Sugluk, they played a garage style. Northern Haze were something special, they took the music to a higher level of composition.
NORTHERN HAZE - "Sinnaktuq" LP (1985/2010) Ltd. 657 copies.
Hailing from the 69th parallel in the Arctic is a story unlike any other. Born on the land to Nomadic parents and later settled in the hamlet community of Igloolik, these childhood friends grew up learning to play on toy instruments until becoming accomplished musicians and forming a group in 1977. Their talent won success in the early '80s with contests, press coverage, and tours of isolated Northern communities until in '85 when CBC Radio invited them to travel 3000 km south to record an album. The result became the first Canadian Inuit Rock/Metal album ever made and first Indigenous language rock album in North America. Pressed in a tiny quantity of 500 copies for promotional use only, the LP quickly disappeared into the vortex of rare Canadiana. Over the 1990's and into the millennium, Northern Haze endured great hardship yet 35+ years on they still prevail. In 2010, a new recording and a documentary film on the history of the group was produced on location in the Arctic. Complete with traditional "ayaya" parts and sung entirely in Inuktitut, the end result is a heavy melodic rock/metal album played by veterans of the genre with a distinctly original character unlike anything heard before. For these men who live two lives, the old ways of the past meet with those of the present; "Sinnaktuq" (their "dreams") are truly embodied within the realization of this amazing deluxe collection of original material. "In my opinion, this is the most important re-issue this decade. It contains a vital collection of Northern rock." - Robert Williston / Museum of Canadian Music, April 2012. 11 songs total: seven songs recorded 1985, one song recorded 2002, and three songs recorded 2010, ranging from tight and heavy NWOBHM to heavy melodic doom-rock - and entirely with that unique Inuit sound! Exclusive CBC license, 100% authorized, remastered, original cover art painstakingly restored, 12 page booklet packed with vintage photographs + art + detailed history. Limited edition of only 657 copies!! The true Rock Shamans of the North!
"In my opinion, this is the most important re-issue this decade. It contains a vital collection of Northern rock." - Robert Williston / Museum of Canadian Music, April 2012.
"...Black Sabbath / Vanilla Fudge / Blue Cheer-style molten rock with a pronounced Jimi Hendrix influence, all sung and recorded in the group's native language, Inuktitut...fuses the 4,000-year-old Inuit tradition of "ayi ayi" songs with '70s stoner idioms..." - Nick Green / Decibel Magazine, June 2012.
"...riffs cribbing straight from the church of Iommi with ripping and concise solos jammed liberally throughout. Sabbath-y, Motorhead-y in all the right places..." - Matt Lee / Big Takeover (blog), Sept. 2012.
18. What are the next plans of SUPREME ECHO? Can we look forward to the next jewels of Canadian forests and mountains?
DISHRAGS "3" LP (1978-79) First Press 500 Copies
Formed in 1976, The Dishrags may very well be the first all women punk rock group in North America. The first to perform at Vancouver's first ever punk rock gig, a group which outlived every other first wave Vancouver punk act, performed with The Clash, The Ramones, The Dils, Black Flag, etc and co-wrote songs with Avengers members. Powerful, melodic, three-part vocals, energetic three-chord hits from start to finish. "3" covers the entirety of the original power trio, containing 14 unreleased recordings in very clear and powerful quality, plus: their debut 7", the two songs recorded for Vancouver Complication, one live bonus from their long out of print CD release. It will have an amazing member-portaits front cover, and the usual jam packed booklet with art, pics, and details...flawless and solid. Available December 2013.
MEXICAN POWER AUTHORITY - "Cold Natural Facts" LP (2013) Ltd 500 Copies
The final installment by one of Canada's most extraordinary underground cult groups to have emerged from the early 1990s. A group which transcended punk, grind, metal, free jazz, h/c, and noise reforms to deliver the absolutely unexpected; a solid album of heavy melodic rock with accents of doom and punk! A "best of 1973 to 1978 or 1971 to 1981", depending on who's listening. Featuring the powerhouse rhythm section of once band-mates Kev Smith (Neos) and Jon London (Jerk Ward), who played together 1984-87 in punk-haiku trio Sludge Confrontations and premiere speed metal act Mission of Christ. "Cold Natural Facts" stands as the final-salute to drummer extraordinaire Jon London, who suddenly and unexpectedly passed away summer of 2012. Available early 2014.
Coming in 2014:
TRITON WARRIOR - "Satan's Train / Sealed In A Grave" 7" 45 (1972)
Vintage doom aficionado's will be thrilled to discover Canada`s long-lost one and only Black Sabbath worshippers sole 45! Remastered, yellow repro labels, picture sleeve, extensive booklet.
TWITCH "Dark Years" LP (1974)
Canada's premiere proto-metal/doom/gutter-punk act, bound to leave a deep scar on Canadiana rock history. Features the entirety of long-lost recordings from the groups abruptly abandoned Satanic Proto-Punk/Heavy Doom era, totalling 7 songs recovered from two separate master tapes (1/4" reel on 5" spool, 1/4" 8-track cartridge). Shocking full colour photos predating the "black metal corpse-paint" image by over a decade, including such songs as: "Litany to Raise the Dead", "Satan's Blood", and "I Am The Wizard". Twitch performed alongside freak-show acts such as Ze Whiz Kidz and Jon Mikyl Thor, and would later go on to be one of the earliest groups to play punk rock in Vancouver, as well as alongside the Screamers in SF later in 1978. Complete with booklet, posters, photos, biography, and painstakingly remastered. Simply put, Twitch will make their mark justly as the Pacific Northwest's premiere 1970's proto-punk act. *Later followed by: deluxe flexi 7" reissue of their glitter-punk third 45 single (1976), and a second LP "Goodtime Punkers in the Alley" (1977-78) covering their final high octane power-pop/punk rock 'n' roll era.
TWITCH - "Mess'n With the Bull (Gets the Horns) / Spunk" 7" deluxe flexi (1976)
An absolutely prolific Vancouver underground group, this short lived incarnation produced a solemn 45 of back-alley glitter-punk 'n' roll, paving the way for what would carry them through the rest of the 1970's. Remastered, picture sleeve, extensive booklet.
EXPERIMENT OK - 12" LP (1975) Azerbaijan`s premiere heavy ethno-psych rock group with drum-breaks, formed in 1968. Amazing!
MORNING STAR - "Ain't We Fools!" LP (1972) Loner/freak psych & basement fuzz rock from Victoria, BC.
ZELLOTS - 7" deluxe flexi (1979) Vancouver all women punk rock, superb pop compositions.
ARMOROS - "Debut Assault" (1986) 7" EP Victoria's premiere underground speed metal act.
NEOS - "Three Teens Hellbent on Speed" full discography 1981-83.
DISHRAGS, the first punk band from Victoria formed in 1976, this photo was made on their reunion show
19. Jason, besides the releasing of records on your label, you played in bands past years. When you started to play on musical instrument? What was the first musical instrument on which you played? How many bands did you play? Tell about your current band sound, lyrics, gigs, releases ...
I had violin lessons as a child but quit because it was painful to hold the instrument at such a young age…ukulele & tuba in school but hated playing them because it was forced upon the students. I started to play guitar in 1984 at age 11 and only briefly had lessons at age 16. How many bands? Oh so many, about 30 total. My new group has no name yet but the line-up is stable and we have 8 songs. No guitar! J Two women, two men: Damon – bass, Soma – electronics/oscillator, Jason – drums, Ai – vocals. We play no-wave / trashy groove…it sounds like CAN meets ESG ! Ai is Japanese, so the lyrics are in two languages. Damon and I played together in Seat Belt 1992-94, Soma and I played in Recapitation in recent years. This new group, we haven’t played live yet, but we have lots of plans. Of course plans can change, just like with my record label…you never know where life will take you and what will happen.
20. MPA was probably your most popular band if I may say so. A few years ago you made reunion. How did it go? What doing the MPA today?
After 10 years break, MPA reformed in 2007 and did some big concerts playing a “best of” our old material, it was a great success. Then we decided to make another chapter of music, so we discussed what kind of music we wanted to play. We unanimously agreed we did not want to play any grindcore, and I did not want to growl. We wanted to do something we all enjoyed, and also something we had never done before: heavy 70s rock music. Ofcourse, in the end it still sounds distinctly like MPA, but it was definitely “new territory” for us. We recorded over 1 hour of material. We had three drummers between 2007-2010. Lincoln McCulloch (legendary local drummer from the 80-90s Victoria scene) played the reunions. Torben Wilson played only briefly, but we did a demo with him including a cover of “Give Me A Hand” by Paul Ngozi (Zambian rock legend). Finally our crown glory was Jon London (Jerk Ward, Mission of Christ, etc etc) drum god who played on out LP recording session. Sadly Jon died in summer 2012. Our new LP will feature 10 songs, will be limited to 500 copies, and is titled “Cold Natural Facts”. It included a rewritten version of a song originally done with Coconut Bulldozer, titled “Clouds”…as well as a cover of an old 1969 psychedelic rock group from Victoria named As Sheriff. We have discussed releasing a 7” EP in the future featuring unreleased songs with Torben and Jon on drums. One of the planed songs is a cover of an Automaton song, my final group in Poland, titled “Same, Same But Different”. As for today, I am not interested in playing music with MPA again so in my opinion it is finished since 2010…but there will be some releases.
21. You sent me few song of band Recapitation. When did you started? You released any recordings?
We played 2007-2012. It featured two members of Monkey Juice / Wire Bastard. Monkey Juice were a legendary punk group in Victoria from 1988, Wire Bastard were one of the best groups of the early 1990s. I was a huge fan of both groups and was happy to play with Gerald & Dwayne. I invited my friend Brian who had never been a group to join, we had a woman named Sam on bass but she quit and then Soma replaced her. We had a lot of great songs, and also played Wire Bastard & Monkey Juice songs. We played live only twice, and our recording session was never finished nor mixed, I do not even have the master. Unfortunately, there was far too much drug use and our drummer was extremely volatile & unreliable. I quit, Soma quit, and the group finally fell apart because despite the drummer being our close friend, he was unreliable. It was the most tragic group I have been involved in, and I think all the problems were because of drug use. We had some great songs: “Digger”, “For Britt Hagarty”, “Repeater” and others, they’re heavy! Britt Hagarty was a 60s punk from Victoria who called Victoria a “sad paradise”, which in my opinion is a fair analogy, so I wrote a song for him. If anyone would ever offer to release them it would be wonderful. Brian & Soma have a new group named Nearly Dead, they are releasing a limited 100 copies LP very soon.
I hope one day to make a compilation LP featuring all the groups I was in, so at least then you can hear such music…I hope!
22. Jason, please, write short scene report from Victoria. Can you recommend a new bands and actual activities from your city?
I can’t tell you much of anything about it. There’s a band I like named Six Brew Bantha, my friends play in Gods Balls…Budokon still play. The scene is (or was) big, but now its very splintered / secular niche-genres disenfranchised by the internet and the young all-ages scene is seems small or almost dead. But hey, maybe I am wrong...that's just my impression from afar. My life is more hectic now, interests change and my sentiment is with the time when I was young & naïve. Once you lose your innocence, it is gone forever.
23. You are active into punk/metal scene almost last 30 years. What differences do you see, move this time?
I grew up in a rural suburb between a town and a city in an era when MTV began and punk & metal identities/subcultures were still clashing with each other. Crossover erupted in front of me as a melding of two subcultures. As a kid, the identity really engulfed my existence, it was my escapism and creative outlet. It was a phase and a stepping stone which to this day reminds me to not submit to mainstream commercial/corporate culture.
I was in high school in the Pacific Northwest when grunge exploded and witnessed all the rich kids start to wear torn jeans and flannel coats; the same people who wanted to beat me up a year for looking that way and liking that music. Green Day used to play in my friends basements & free concerts in city parks. The sounds of rebellion are now safely sweetened, repackaged, safe, and commoditized.
24. What is your perception on punk of today? Can you see the differences that have become in punk scene during this time?
I see men & women in their 40s-50s who seem to have not grown past who they were when they were 18 years old, at least that's my sceptical opinion especially when I so often see them with a partner half their age. For most people I think "punk" in 2014 is little more than a freak-fashion, but I do still appreciate that it represents rebellion more than any other subculture and in some parts of the world it is still fresh & vital. It offers the opportunity for people to question their world & injustices, but can also be like a modern-day religion and people too often forget above all it means "no rules". I see new young people who are looking for an alternative to mainstream culture yet being creative under a very different climate of resources; internet has changed how people discover culture and how we network. Everything is at a persons fingertips through the safe and insular porthole of your lonely home computer. Our naivety and excitement of real-life experience can easily be replaced by online social networking, and I am no exception to this; its made my life more insular too, because we all use computers. Nobody just shows up at your home unannounced or just randomly phones you anymore, its all text messages and emails. Hm, what is punk in 2013-2014? Something different for everyone. I prefer the word "freak" over punk. Regarding image, in Europe these days there is mostly the generic crust-punk city warrior in all-black clothing with dread-locks. Of course looking beyond any stereotypes, there are some great people behind this image, but in my opinion any stereotypical image should be provoked and challenged. I know it is some kind of urban tribalism and with underground culture people want to show who they believe they are so others can identify them. As I've become older I have learned that the most extreme looking people are often the biggest poseurs of all, and I do believe that some of the most intriguing and extraordinary people are those who may look totally normal.
As for music, I am a passéiste preferring the first wave of any genre, whether its 80s grind-core, funky 70s jazz, or 60s garage. I think that in this time, the only 'spirited' rehash of genres which are no longer fresh & new are those played naively by people just discovering it or especially in new scenes. For example, the sound coming from Lebanon on Tam 89's recent split 7" of Detox & Beirut Scum Society are absolutely phenomenal.
24.+ What is your motivation after so many years and what gives you the strength to continue?
I consider my archival releases to be therapeutic; a healthy outlet to be obsessive about details/history and build an intimate relationship with people based on their creative peak. My strength comes from love for humanity, culture, and those magic moments when you make someone smile and see a sparkle in their eyes. I'm a very sensitive & sentimental person, and without love and happiness nothing means anything to me. Playing music is like a placebo/cure against the many compromises I find myself making to survive. Now I play drums, but singing is still the ultimate soul-satisfier for me.
Rare 10" shellac records found in Baku, Azerbjzan
25. Bonus question – what´s your TOP 10 of CS records?
Jazz Q – Symbiosis, Flamengo - Kure v Hodinkach, Blue Effect – all, Iva Bittova - Bittová & Fajt ; Bile Inferno; Iva Bittová & Dunaj...
Michael's Uncle - The End Of Dark Psychedelia, DG 307 - 1973-75, Mikoláš Chadima & the Extempore Band – Velkoměsto, Impuls – debut, Energit – debut, Root – Zjeveni, Master's Hammer – Ritual, Dybbuk – Rock Debut 1 , v/a Rollover Teplice, Našrot – Destructive Tour...
...top ten not possible! top many possible!!
Prúdy – Zvoňte, Zvonky, Zikkurat – all, Svatý Vincent - debut
...I want to trade with people in Czech for old vinyl!
I'm searching for:
Gattch - s/t LP, Zikkurat – 1979-82 LP, PPOTU - box set, VZ (Visací Zámek) – Hymna Šibeničních Bratří / Podvedený Kameloti 7", DG 307- 1973-75 LP, Pražský Výběr – Komu Se Nelení - Tomu Se Ženění / Jó, Já Se Mám…7", all old metal vinyl, Blue Effect - early singles, and many more! This is just a random list, I like all the Cz-Slo psych, rock, metal, punk, and jazz of the Socialist era.
That´s all Jason, thanx for your time.
Thanks Miso, live long. Xo
This interview was originally made for czech HC/punk zine HLUBOKÁ ORBA.
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