We were excited when we sold our first 10 records. I always felt that if we could get the music out there, and if people became accustomed to it, then a substantial number of them would enjoy it.
There are several books out on punk history, but I haven't read any of them. I was there.
I still think the best metal bands have a blues feel. The first Black Sabbath album is kind of a bludgeoning of blues. Deep Purple also started out as a blues band.
Putting out the things that I like best hasn't been the easiest way to run a label, and it still isn't because it requires finding an audience for each record.
I listen to everything that comes in. I'm not real worried about demo sound quality. I can hear through that sort of thing. If a band can play, then they can play.
The Minutemen were seen as more of an art thing than Black Flag, although I didn't see them that way. It confused people when we put out Saccharine Trust, too.
If people are really excited about their music, and that's their primary motivation, then that comes through in demo tapes. That's the most important ingredient.
We're not good at propping up old carcasses. We want to be on top of what's vital at any particular time, and not just hold onto something because it has a name.
The REM and Nirvana successes don't mean much to me except as a potential distraction for bands who want to cash in on the trend. Don't try to sound like someone else. REM and Nirvana don't sound like anyone else.
It took us two years to get our first real gig. That was a big dream. We ended up booking a lot of our own gigs and putting on a lot of our own shows. We were trying to get our actual music across, trying to make a connection there.
We've gotten involved in cat rescue we take them in and find homes for them. I've always loved cats. I saw how homeless cats were living out there. We take them in, put out flyers.
The biggest disappointment has been seeing the number of people in this business with very shortsighted views.
There's not much music I'll listen to if it doesn't have pretty heavy swing. Rhythm is so important. Punk rock would have more power and feeling if it had swing.
SST was formed to put out the first Black Flag record. Basically, there wasn't anyone else to do it. I felt that what I was doing with Black Flag was very worthwhile, and I wanted to get it out there.
Punk rock really came out of N.Y. as a philosophy before the groups were ever recorded. I had a kind-of intellectual interest in the idea of creating a new scene that could be a grassroots thing.
I like a lot of electronica. I like older jazz rather than newer.
The English scene got more media attention with their emphasis on fashion, with the safety pins and all. There were some really good bands over there. The Sex Pistols were great.
It is a fact that each song an artist creates is unique and although fans tend to be loyal, ultimately the quality of the record will decide how it sells.
Black Flag was formed in 1977. We first recorded in 1978.
I didn't have a lot of overtly political songs. I think it was more the actions of the group that were threatening to the authorities, and also our political philosophies apart from the music.
As a label, you have to treat every group and every record as a unique entity. I think that that has been our success, rather than relying upon a fan base.
I had business experience. I had made my living designing and building electronic equipment. Basic business was not new to me, but the music business was completely new to me. I knew nothing about distribution, or any of those things.
People from major labels were afraid to go to Black Flag gigs throughout most of the bands existence. They treated our gigs as something threatening. Im sure that it probably was. They probably had reasons to be scared.
The public is usually slow to catch on to new things, and its important that musicians stick to their guns and not look for that instant gratification.
Most good things happen with time; especially music, which needs time to breathe and to find its own way.
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