Last Years Youth

Subculture zine — Issue 1

1

Sister Suzie

Sister Suzie

When and where did Sister Suzie form, and who plays what?

Andrea: We formed in our friend Lindsey’s basement. Alex, Alfredo and I were jamming with her for a bit, then we continued on with Mark and James and became Sister Suzie in 2016, but didn’t actually play a show until the end of summer in 2017. 

Alfredo – Drums
Alex – Bass
Andrea – Vox
James – Guitar
Mark – Guitar

So first thing’s first – how did you guys come to form a glam rock band, why now?

Andrea: I think I had posted “Va Va Va Voom” by Brett Smiley online and asked if anyone wanted to jam some glam or rock ’n’ roll. I got really into junkshop glam over the years through punk and oi! stuff, and love the influence of early rock ’n’ roll and rhythm and blues in the ’70’s tunes. So I just really wanted to jam styles from Eddie Cochran to Giuda. 

Mark: Andrea, Alfredo and Alex were already jamming when they invited me into the fold. Why now? Why not? Our jams are an equal split of playing fun tunes and cracking jokes. No better way to spend your time.

Alex: We formed Sister Suzie now, I think because Edmonton has a lot of really great and talented bands that cover a range of punk-related sub-genres, but nobody was doing this kind of early mid-70’s mid-tempo, kinda sleazy rock ’n’ roll. So we stepped up. 

James: Biggest influences are probably Slade, Cock Sparrer, Slaughter and the Dogs and Rose Tattoo. 

What previous subcultures has everyone been involved in prior to the band, any previous bands etc?

Alex: I was in The Horribles (1997-2000) and the Detentions (2004-2006), both in Winnipeg, and then moved to the arctic for a while.

Andrea: I was in a powerpop band called The Pez Heads (2010-2011) and was in Hard Pressed, so were Alfredo and James. I basically just got into punk when I was 13 then got more into oi!, hardcore, mod, glam, etc. from there. 

James: I was really into hardcore when I was younger, though I loved punk and oi too. I was in a Vancouver hardcore band called Out of Sight in 2010-2012. Also, a d-beat band called Wild Cravings that never did much.

Mark: Mostly punk and hardcore. I was in a band called Maus a few years back. 

Who do you feel are the most underrated Glam bands of all time?

Alex: The Fast.

James: Probably Jook, The Rats and Iron Virgin.

Andrea: Angel, Brett Smiley and Hollywood Brats. 

Glam instantly brings to mind images of platform shoes, long hair, and very flashy, quirky fashion in general. Is this an aesthetic that you guys find important? Why or why not?

James: It’s a great aesthetic and I appreciate it but it’s just not my style. I really love the more toned down ’70’s bootboy look of bands like Jook. And Slade’s skinhead phase…10/10.

Mark: An aesthetic definitely adds flavour and Andrea brings it every show with the shoes alone, but it’s not the be-all-end-all. Representing and respecting an aesthetic is cool, but trying to rigidly adhere to it can be stifling and limiting. 

Alex: Andrea blows away that aesthetic for us. Besides, I might roll an ankle in those shoes…and, I feel like long hair would interfere with this militaristic hyper-masculine schtick/receding hairline I’ve got going. 

Andrea: I don’t think the aesthetic is the most important thing…that being said, I love platform shoes and glitter and jumpsuits. I love the style of bands like The James Boys and The Sweet and being in this band is a fun excuse to wear the over-the-top stuff.

Sister Suzie

Unlike Oi!, glam is no stranger to (albeit era depending) mainstream exposure. What are some of your favourite guilty pleasure songs/bands, both old and current?

James: I don’t really have any glam guilty pleasure… unless you count Gary Glitter.

Alex: Anyone who likes Gary Glitter should be in a Vietnamese jail. 

Mark: No such thing as a guilty pleasure. Like what you like, haters be damned.

Andrea: Yeah I don’t feel really guilty about my love for the more mainstream glam bands like the Bay City Rollers, or the disco-leaning junkshop glam stuff like Zenda Jacks – Rub My Tummy. It’s sweet, I don’t care!

You guys so far have played extensively in your home province of Alberta, as well as a jaunt to the BC coast last summer. Where have been your favourite places to play, and bands to play with?

Andrea: Sled Island in 2019 and Kamloops at Pizza Pi had to be the most fun shows we played. For local shows, our favourite venue in Edmonton’s 9910 and my favourite band we’ve played with has gotta be The Marked Men – that was a blast!

James: We have had some great shows at the Palomino in Calgary. Sled Island 2019 stands out. Kamloops was so much fun too. We played with a killer band called Minx and everyone was dancing during our set. Also, we really felt the warm welcome in Victoria. 

Mark: The Palomino in Calgary is basically our home away from home, but it’s tough to top the pizza place in Kamloops.

Alfredo: My favourite gig would be Kamloops and my favourite line-up was with Masterless Dogs, Janitor Scum and Tommy Grimes at the Palomino in Calgary.

Alex: Wigwambamloops. ‘Cause the show was in a pizza restaurant. The Victoria show was great too because some people were singing along to the songs we have up on Bandcamp. That’s a good barometer for doing something right, and it can be a little hard to gauge that playing shows in your hometown.

After listening to a sneak peek of your new album, there is definitely a progression from earlier demos. It’s fair to say there are elements of what may be the original blueprint of Boot Power compilations, but also a fair amount of just tight, good rock n roll ala Thin Lizzy. Has this been a deliberate shift, or just something that’s happened organically, or both? Also, will this album be the first thing that that band releases on a physical format?

James: That’s the result of us trying to hone our sound over the years, as well as multiple band members contributing to the songwriting. Andrea’s riffs are more classic glam, whereas Mark writes those ripping solos, and tends to favour more melody and duelling leads. I just write stupid street rock riffs, with the odd rock ’n’ roll lick here and there. 

Mark: Definitely organic. That doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t write something like an earlier track if someone had a good riff.

Alex: Once we figure out HOW it’s being released, this will be the first physical release for us. There’s one track we did that was for a This Is Pop compilation, so it depends on which manages to get out of the gate first.

What does the future hold for Sister Suzie? Where would you guy’s most like to play one day?

Alex: Glam bands are supposed to say Mars. So Mars. We would like to play on Mars. Or Uranus.

Mark: Hopefully the future holds even more shows. Where would I like to play? Anywhere that’ll have us.

James: Europe would really rule.

Andrea: Europe or Japan would be sweet! I’m also always trying to convince the boys to play Cold Lake, Alberta.

Any final comments?

James: SISTER SUZIE RULE O.K.

Andrea: Thanks so much, Mike and Meaghan!!! Really pumped for Last Years Youth! 

Royal Hounds

Royal Hounds

How and when did Royal Hounds form? Who plays what?

The Royal Hounds started about 3 years ago. Me and Fizzy were just fucking around for a while with our friend Noah, who was our original lead guitarist. We quickly brought in Simón on bass and from there the band has gone through a few lineup changes. Fizzy was originally on rhythm guitar while we tried a couple singers but eventually we figured out it was pretty clear he should do vocals, and we had our friend Carlos take over as rhythm guitarist who played with me in a band called Los Perros. Now, the Hounds consists of myself on drums, Fizzy on vocals, JR on rhythm guitar, Simón on bass, and Max on lead guitar. In terms of ages and occupations I guess I’ll start with myself. I’m 23 and usually work as a line cook, however since the outbreak of COVID-19 I’ve been working as a courier. JR is 31 and also works as a courier. Max is 34 and is an appraiser and he also runs Oi! The Boat Records. Fizzy is 35, he does security and works in a record warehouse. Simón is 29 and he is a working artist, mostly doing commissions for bands and working on his many other musical projects.

You guys have a unique sound – elements of Oi!, glam and an emphasis on hooks, yet also I hear a very punk backbone to it all. What bands have influenced your songwriting, what’s the process? 

We are all skinheads and we all love Oi!, glam, rock, punk, and all of the usual affiliated genres, but each of us are also into a wide variety of music outside of that. To me, I think it’s important that we stay away from pigeonholing ourselves into the archetypal sound and lyrical content of Oi!, streetpunk, or hardcore music. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, but we are much more influenced by bands who were able to expand beyond that into multiple genres. Bands like Slaughter and the Dogs, The Blood, Frankie Flame, Eddie and the Hotrods, and Klaxon come to mind as examples of bands who have influenced us. Our songwriting usually starts with Simón coming up with the skeleton of a song or a main riff and then we will all build on it together, everyone kind of making up their own parts.

Lots of new Oi! bands including yourselves are evolving from the traditional sounds, making a lot of bands more oi-adjacent then straight up Oi! musically. Do any of of you come from different subculture backgrounds, and if so how does this affect the sound you’ve achieved? Is it an evolution of Oi!, or a departure?

I don’t think I would call it an evolution or a departure. Oi! music has always done this, but I think since the 90’s a lot of bands started to sound alike and adopt more of the generic street punk sound you affiliate with Oi! today. But look at early Cock Sparrer, that first album was just glam, and they kept that catchy pop sound. The French scene in the 80’s created its own unique sound that certainly moved away from what bands in England were doing at the same time, and then in the States and in New York the Oi! scene had more hardcore influences. It’s weird playing in an Oi! band now because we have access to all of this information on the internet and we can pick and choose what you want to be influenced by looking back at what other people had done, but back then I imagine bands were much more directly influenced by their immediate environments. Most of us started getting into subculture through punk at first, but I don’t think any subcultures exist in a vacuum and genres bleed into each other. Some of us are more into black metal, others into Oi!, or punk.

With New York having a long history of skinhead bands both hardcore and Oi!, how has the reaction from the older generation been to the band? Are any of you native New Yorkers? What local bands do you tend to play with?

It’s been great. The older heads have shown us a lot of love and come to our shows to support, which is really cool to see. Simón grew up in LES, JR is from Staten Island, and Fizzy is from New Jersey but has lived in and around the city for most of his life. Max is from Indiana and I grew up in LA. I moved to New York when I was 18, and it’s pretty crazy coming from another city to see all of that history and just how alive the NYHC scene still is. Like as a kid I would watch videos of bands playing Thompkins in the 80’s and then when I moved here you can actually still see like Cro Mags playing in the park, or you’d see Stigma at a show, walk by NYHC tattoos, or you can still go to A7 (now Niagra) and sometimes they still have hardcore shows in the back there. But while that stuff still exists and bleeds into the newer scene, there definitely is a separation between like old school nyhc and the younger generations. Over the last year or so I think we have tried to play less local shows, just because we are all busy, and half of us live in Philly now. It’s not as practical for us as it used to be. Our last New York show was our tour kick off with Chubby and the Gang from London, and it was great, I think it sold out. We played with our friends The Stance, who are from Boston but they all live in the city now, and Burning Man. We generally just try to play with our friends’ bands and have a good time at our own shows.

Do you think there is more common ground, and “unity” if you like between the younger generation of skinheads and punks in the states? If so, why do you think that is?

I think it varies from scene to scene. In New York, there are definitely skinhead shows and punk shows mostly separated from each other. While we are friends with some punks and there aren’t problems if punks come to our shows or if we go to theirs, that schism still exists. It’s kind of funny, a lot of punks love listening to Oi! and romanticizing the subculture, but get uncomfortable at the idea of actually playing with Oi! bands or being around actual skinheads. A lot of that might have to do with the history of the scenes here that other cities don’t have as much of, I don’t know. But it’s interesting, when we travel around and play to different scenes you kind of see all of that bullshit go away. Someone who lives in a smaller city that has only a couple of places to actually see live punk bands is less likely to be picky about whether there are skinheads there or not and vice versa.

What have been your favourite places to play outside of NY so far? Where have you had the funnest, and weirdest time? Top 3 cities you’d like to play that you haven’t yet?

Royal Hounds

Personally, I love playing Chicago and seeing our homies out there, last time we were there on tour and played with Fuerza Bruta, and before that was with them, The Templars, and Betón Armé. That show was wild, I don’t think any of us remember it very well haha. The Rock Room in Pittsburgh is always a good time, and we’ve played with Unruly Boys in Charlotte a couple times which was great. We’ve only played Boston once, for the Last Rights show at the Middle East, that was a really good show. On tour we played a lot of places we’ve never been before with Chubby and the Gang, and playing in Atlanta with Dino’s Boys was a lot of fun. I’d like to go back there. Three cities I would love to play that we still haven’t been to are LA, London, and Paris. Last summer we had a show set up in Montreal with Ultra Razzia and Betón Armé that we were really excited for, but after driving like 8 hours with all of us packed in JR’s car we got to the border only to find out that Fizzy and Max aren’t allowed in Canada due to prior offences, so that kind of shot down all of our hopes of ever playing Canada. We had to turn around after being held at the border for a few hours.

What are your top 5 Oi! albums, and why? In addition, what are your favourite new bands of the day?

I’m not sure I could narrow down my top 5 Oi! albums, but some of the current bands I really like are Fuerza Bruta, Betón Armé, Burning Man, The Stance, Chubby and the Gang, Ultra Razzia, Shipwrecked, and Battle Ruins.

What is the Royal Hounds discography to date, and where can people buy it? Any recording plans for the future?

We have a 12” EP, “God Bless the Royal Hounds”, out on Oi! The Boat Records in the States and on Contra in Europe. We’ve been a band playing around the East Coast for quite some time before we ever released our first album. Part of that was due to us dragging our feet, but mostly it was because it was originally supposed to be released on another label that ended up ceasing to exist before it even really got started, so then we went with Max to Oi! The Boat and that whole process took a lot longer than we could have expected. At the moment we have a split coming out with Chubby and the Gang on Goner Records which has one new track from each band, and we have songs recorded already for another split with The Stance. Ideally, we would like to put out another full length by the end of the year, but with the whole COVID-19 pandemic, there is no telling how far any of that might be pushed back. We hope to get back to recording, writing and playing music as soon as possible, as I’m sure most other bands are also dealing with the same issues right now. 

Any closing comments, shoutouts etc?

Thanks for interviewing us. Look out for announcements from us regarding upcoming shows and releases as everything is up in the air right now. Shout out to all the NYC skinheads, and our friends and families across the globe, we hope everyone is staying safe right now. 

Longshot/LSM

LSM Vinyl

Introduce yourself for any readers not aware – who are you, where are you from, and over the years where has Longshot/LSM been based?

Well… I am Mike, and I am originally from Manitoba (Canada), but for the history of the label, that began when I moved to British Columbia in 1992. I was living in a small town up in the mountains and in 1997 I put out the first release on Longshot Music (“Urban Soldiers: A Tribute To The Oppressed” compilation 7” EP). The following year I moved to Vancouver where I lived for 5 years and the label really took hold with about 10-12 releases over those years in Vancouver. The big one being the “Tribute To CockSParrer” 7” EP that included an undercover Oxymoron as ’The Oxys’ as well as one of, if not the first song from Dropkick Murphys to be released with new singer Al Barr. From there I moved to Brooklyn, NY in 2003 where I stayed for 5 years and those were tough years to keep the label going. NYC was so expensive and vinyl really was in a bit of a low point, so most releases were CDs (which I have always personally hated!). But then in 2008, I had the amazing opportunity to move to San Francisco which I did in a heartbeat and it was there that Longshot Music really took off! I was in SF for nearly 10 years and probably put out 100+ releases (mostly all vinyl!). I had been splitting my time between SF and Portland starting in 2015 and in 2017 I made the move to Portland officially, only to be deported from the USA in October of 2017!!! Doh. So out of necessity, I moved back to Vancouver (which has been great!) and the Longshot Music label was retired… In 2018 I started a new off-shoot label called LSM Vinyl that is a vinyl-exclusive label AND no colour vinyl!! With LSM Vinyl, I only want to put out music on vinyl, minus all the gimmicks of colour vinyl. And that is where we are at now, in Vancouver with 20 or so releases on LSM Vinyl over the past 2 years so far. We’ll see what happens going forward with this damn COVID pandemic. Ugh.

What prompted you to start the label back in the mid-’90s? Where there any other Canadian labels at the time?

I really started the label by accident… I had been living in London for a few months and while there I had been going to some distress there to buy music directly that I could not easily buy back home in Canada. So when I got back home to Canada I hit up those distros to buy more music for myself, and they thought I wanted to do wholesale orders to distribute, so they sent me their wholesale catalogues with better pricing, etc. So I just kind of said what the hell and ordered a bunch of CDs and 7”s to try to sell to my friends. It kinda worked out, so I kept doing it and then I eventually figured that I should try to make my own record. My plan had only ever been to try it once, just to say I did it, but 20+ years later and 200+ releases later, I am still doing it… At the time, there were not really any punk specific distros or labels in Canada that I was aware of. Keeping in mind that this was WAY before the internet made it easy for people to buy all the cool records. The one guy who I knew from my days living in Winnipeg was Mark at Too North who had moved to Calgary but he always had all the best (and expensive) collectible vinyl to buy!

How would you describe the nature of the skinhead scene in Canada back then, from your own experience? How does it compare to that of today, what are the pro’s and cons? Who were your favourite bands back then, and now as far as more recent bands?

I am gonna sound like a grumpy old man here, but back in the 90’s, the scene seemed way better. It was smaller, and there were still some knuckleheads and idiots, but at least all of us involved back then were pretty sincere about it. We didn’t just see some glamorous image of a punk or a skin in some glossy fashion magazine ad, or at Hot Topic in the mall that made us jump on-line to buy all the clobber. We learned about it organically, by trading cassette tapes of music, so you had to be “deserving” of it to have a friend make a mix-tape for you. Not like today where any dumb-ass can go on-line and search for all the cool bands. And as far as the fashion, we had to search far and wide to find anything legit or passable to wear. None of us amassed a closet full of top clothing or an amazing record collection in a matter of weeks. It took us years of dedication to the lifestyle of punk and skinhead to be who we were. I am still friends with a large number of people from the 90’s who have remained loyal, whereas I can’t tell you how many people I have met in passing over the years. So for some, it really is “a way of life”.
As for the latter question about the bands, there honestly weren’t really any skinhead bands in Canada in the 90’s that I recall, or at least that I was able to see play live. Probably the closest thing was The Glory Stompers in the 90’s who I sadly never got to see play live, but definitely had some of their records. Then later in the 90’s and into the early 2000’s there were more good bands in Canada — the best thing to check out is my buddy Rob’s compilation “Oi! This Is Canada” that has 20+ amazing Canadian bands from that time in the late 90’s. As for more recently, there aren’t quite as many bands across Canada as we had in the early 2000’s I don’t think, but there are definitely some good ones! Out here on the west coast there is of course No Heart! I am admittedly a little biased about that band! haha. And probably the most well known Canadian band at the moment in the skin/Oi! scene is Bishops Green. I have also been lucky to see a few of the bands out east play now and Reckless Upstarts are great guys as are The Prowlers.

Quite often people who start labels are also in bands, you being no exception – what bands have you played in over the years? Where have the best gigs been, from your experience in both Canada and internationally?

Oh man… where do I start? I guess at the beginning in Winnipeg. My first ever band was back in 1989 called The Boi!s. Definitely kind of a silly name, but it was a life-changing band for me. I am still really good pals with Shane the guitar player from that band to this day! And our highlight was that we opened for Bad Manners one time in Winnipeg at a venue that was maybe about 1000 people? Probably more like 200 when we played of course. But the highlight of that night even more was watching Buster Bloodvessel party. It was impressive. But after the gig, some university rugby team took exception to the skins at the show, and of course skinheads never look for trouble… but they also definitely don’t run from it! So there was an epic street-battle out front. For some reason we were billed as the “Turnbull A.C.s” for that show as a side-note. After that band ended, some of us formed a new band called Frontline and we had some good songs and good shows, however sadly back then it was not so simple to record so we have no recordings from that band. At least The Boi!s have a live recording of that Bad Manners show!! After Frontline there was another shake-up with the line-up and we went a little more punk with a band called Angry Young Bastards. With all 3 of these bands, it was me and Shane that stuck together and an interesting fact about this band was that the guitar player was a snotty young punk who was the younger brother of Mitch Funk of Personality Crisis. That seemed pretty cool to me, but years later I found out that Aaron is now the world-famous EDM musician known as Venetian Snares. I have no idea WTF that means or sounds like, but still kind of a funny detail… From Winnipeg I moved to Kamloops and I played some music there, but not really bands that are too noteworthy. The first was kind of a heavy rock/almost grunge (shudder) style that I did mostly just to be able to keep playing music. The guys were fun to hang out with and it was just fun to play music. Then the other band in Kamloops was called 12 Pointbuck and back to more of a punk rock/streetpunk style and I am still good friends with those guys to this day. Then I moved to Vancouver and that is where I started to really accomplish some things with bands that I am proud of to this day. First was Subway Thugs and we were together for about 3 years and released 3 EPs and a split LP and just recently had a complete discography released as well as a one-off reunion show at a festival in Munich, Germany! We also played at a festival in Phoenix, Arizona back in the late 90’s that was fun. After that me and Nick from Subway Thugs started a band called Emergency which to this day might be my favourite band in many ways. We sadly never achieved our full potential and I think if Emergency was around now rather than 2001/2002 when we started, then we would be relatively successful and putting out records and touring Europe, etc. At this point, I moved to Brooklyn in 2003 and in 5 years of living in NYC, I never really managed to find a band. I jammed with a bunch of people and had some half-ass bands that never got past a few practices unfortunately. Next stop was San Francisco in 2008 and shortly after moving there I joined a band that was still in the early stages of forming called Sydney Ducks. This is another band that I have a lot of pride in, and I think another band that could have achieved more had we not fallen apart after our European tour in 2012. That was the first big tour for most of us, and I think that when we came back we just needed a break and never really found that momentum to get it going again. We did a couple one-off shows after the tour including opening for Dropkick Murphys in SF and playing at the last TNT festival in Hartford, CT. By that time, I had already started playing with some other guys as a “side project” and that actually has become my most important band to date as Suede Razors was formed by me and Bryan and we do the majority of the work that goes into being in a band — booking shows, planning tours, doing interviews, writing songs, planning releases, etc. That started in early 2013 and even though I have been in Canada since 2017, Suede Razors is still very active as we are currently writing for a new EP and hoping to tour Europe in 2021 assuming that this pandemic fucks off by then. There have been a lot of highlights with Suede Razors already but the hands-down obvious one is playing at the Rebellion festival in August 2019 on the Empress ballroom stage to about 1200 people!! And speaking of being deported in 2017, that led to my return to Vancouver and with that, I was able to team up with some old pals here and I joined up with Greg (Subway Thugs) to play bass in Alternate Action! We did a 15 day tour last April and the highlight of that show was definitely playing in Paris at the Bals de Vauriens II festival. Amazing. At the same time of playing with Alternate Action, I started to play 2nd guitar with No Heart for about 1-1/2 years. I was only able to practice once a month since they were in Victoria, so band practice was a 12+ hour round trip that included a ferry ride! It was super fun and I was sad when I had to step away from that project as I was not able to keep up with how prolific those guys were at writing songs!! The highlight with No Heart probably includes Alternate Action and Suede Razors as well when all 3 bands played a show here in Vancouver and I was on stage playing in all 3 bands that played that night! It was exhausting but I was surprised that it was kind of easier than I had expected… Maybe partly because I had to stay sober out of necessity! And that brings us to the present… At the moment there is not a single active band that I am in, but as mentioned before Suede Razors is still working on new material and plans for the future. And I had been playing music with some guys here before the covid lockdown, so that has been put on hold. But we have a few songs that are coming along and there is yet to be a name decided, but hopefully this project will get off the ground once the pandemic lockdown eases up…

Mike (Longshot)

How has doing the label changed over time, with the ebb and flow of interest in th scene aswell as the advent of the internet? Is it more enjoyable over time, or less?

This is an interesting question to answer… The grumpy old man in me will say that things suck now and were better in the old days. Which in many ways is the truth. But if I have to be honest, the internet and all the luxuries of that have made doing a label easier in many ways. So I can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and I have to admit that things are easier in many ways. There are so many amazing bands now and you are able to find them and connect with them on-line, etc. And it has been easier to connect with people to book shows and tours, etc. So yeah, the overall scene is much healthier now, but I still miss the old days… 😉
As for enjoying the label, it has been a love/hate affair for probably at least 1/2 of the past 20+ years of my life. I can wake up one day and absolutely loathe it and swear to never put out another record, but then… I hear an amazing band or I hear from some old friends and I get all excited about some new songs and I want to put out a new release and the cycle of love/hate starts all over again!! haha.

What have been your favourite releases, and has it coincided with most popular records or not necessarily? What’s one record that you didn’t shift many of that you really feel should’ve been more noticed?

I can definitely tell you that just because I really like a band, there is absolutely no guarantee that it will be a successful release. In fact, I think I kind of must have awful taste in music because it seems like I have no clue and will be super confident and excited in some bands/releases only to have them fall flat sales-wise. And then sometimes other releases just take off!! As a fan of many types of music, I did try to release some non-Oi!/skinhead bands and in general, those releases were never as “successful” for me. They were good bands/releases, but I think early on I just established that Longshot Music was more of a streetpunk/Oi! label. So I have tried to stick to “skinhead music” for the past decade or so and in that way people will know what to expect from Longshot/LSM. As for my favourite releases, I can’t pick one really. As a big fan of Bonecrusher, I have always loved to put out records by them. More recently I have been super into the new Doug & The Slugz and The Young Ones LPs. And for a little less skinhead/Oi! music, you should check out Savage Beat! They are a great rock’n’roll band and I was super happy that Suede Razors got to play a show with them in Germany last year. Along the lines of a more rock’n’roll band, I am a massive fan of Hard Evidence from St. Louis — such a great blend of punk and rock!! And I have always really liked working with the Aussies. Marching Orders and Razorcut have been a couple great bands that I have worked with and they have become really good friends to the point where I was at Doz and Al’s wedding in Melbourne a few years ago!! As for a record that I feel should have sold more… There are a few, but I think the band that I released and was most excited about but did not sell very well, that would be the band 1918. Another band from St. Louis and just a super energetic kind of rock’n’roll influenced American Oi! style that I think should have had more of an impact!

As much as anyone can say these days, what are you plans for the future with the label?

Haha. Yeah, in these upcoming post-covid days, I honestly can’t say. I am sitting on a few releases at the moment that should have been out for spring/summer and for a couple of bands that had tours planned, etc. So to be honest right now, I have no solid plans for any new releases until we are all well and clear of this pandemic. I am hoping that maybe by the fall things will be more stable and I can start to plan on some new projects then. I do have a couple of bands that I had already had agreements with, so as soon as things get back to more “normal”, hopefully those projects will get off the ground… We shall see.

Any last words, shout outs etc?

I tend to blather on a lot, so I think that I have already said enough. I’ll just wrap things up by saying thanks to you Mike for taking the time to ask me these questions. Hopefully once we are able to get out and travel again I’ll get over to Victoria or you’ll get out this way and we can hang out and have a few pints!

Take care everyone.

DJ Scene – Hamilton

Hi, can you tell us a little about yourself- who you are, where you’re from, where you spin records?

My name is Shane and I go by DJ Boss Chops.  Currently spin in Toronto doing a night we call Knockout! I’m originally from Winnipeg but now live in Hamilton.

Where did your love of music come from?

My love for music came from my family.  We were a musical family and my dad did some studio work in Hollywood in the 1950s.

What got you into collecting?

My dad was a record collector and I followed suit.

How did you get into DJing?

I got into DJing as a way to share my collection.  Big shout out to the Tighten Up guys in Edmonton for helping me when I was living in Regina and the guys from the Boss Sound Syndicate in Regina.

Reggae or Soul?

My Reggae Collection is better than my soul but I love and play both.

Top 5 tracks?

My Top 5 Reggae tracks:

Belly Lick – Dennis Walk
Don’t You Know – Pioneers
Cold Up – Maytones
Don’t Let Me Down – Marcia Griffiths 
Skinheads Don’t Fear – Hot Rod All-Stars

Last words?

Thanks!


Hi, can you tell us a little about yourself- who you are, where you’re from, where you spin records?

Hi, My name is Jason and I am a vinyl addict. 😉

I am from Hamilton Ontario (just outside of Toronto) and have been collecting records since I was 15 and spinning them in public off and on since about ’99.

Most recently I have been throwing a monthly party called Steel City Soul Club, however, with the current COVID19 pandemic, that has all ground to a halt. I have shifted focus to my other hustle, selling records (and other vintage collectibles at www.theecollector.com). <- shameless self-promotion

Of course, I have had an itch to spin but the only options right now are FB and IG steams which just seem awkward to me at the moment… let’s see how long this lasts.

Where did your love of music come from?

My parents gave me a record player when I was 8 years old and that fostered an interest in both music AND records in my life. Of course, my first album was ELO’s Out Of The Blue, followed by Kiss’ Love Gun (because my parents loved dancing to “I Was Made For Loving You” at the discos….barf!).. so my musical journey had started at 8 but certainly has progressed and diversified over the years.

What got you into collecting?

In the late 80’s I went through the whole “Mod” phase… and it was at this point I was attending local record shows to find those elusive 6t’s tunes. I remember one dealer seeing me in my parka and Fred Perry, giving me an original UK pressing of The Small Faces Autumn Stone for $10 because he knew I’d enjoy it more than anyone else in the room and, as he said, money wasn’t everything. He was absolutely right! That record is STILL in my collection and even though it isn’t exactly “Mod” stuff, it’s still my Desert Island record. Since then I’ve been in many a dusty basement, dusty attic, dusty barn and dusty garage sales and flea markets looking for rare and collectible records. There is only one record I’ve paid big bucks for and the rest of my expensive records have been found for a fraction of their value…That’s half the fun of doing this!!

How did you get into DJing?

I have always been the “Music Marshall” at my apartment/house parties through the 90’s to the present, however, my first real DJ gigs were at the Niagara Scooter Rally back in the late 90’s and early 00’s. …. What a blast! I’d spin from 8pm to 8am (to the chagrin of some of the folks who were trying to sleep) fueled by beer and mushrooms (which I traded for requests!). After that I guest DJ’d here and there, had a short-lived Soul night with a friend from High School called Soul Shake Down (in about 2001 or 2002 I believe) and apparently was required to DJ all my friends’ weddings….oddly enough I was not allowed to DJ my own! The last 5 years has really seen my gigging get much more serious, especially with Ram Jam & Soul Club.

Reggae or Soul?

Hmmmm… That’s actually an odd question for me as I see them as perfectly complementary. I mean, I’m always going to be a Soulie at heart but you know, Reggae Got Soul! My old DJ partner and friend DJ Boss Chops and I had a monthly called Ram Jam that we did for three years or so and it was a mix of Soul & Reggae 45s. It was a fantastic combination. We put it on hiatus over a year ago but I miss it. I feel like there needs to be multiple genres in a night to keep things fresh and exciting. Even if you’re playing the rarest of the rare, too much of the same thing can lose the interest of everyone but the most devoted.

Top 5 tracks?

Ooof! Hard question! … my top 5’s change like the weather.. here’s my current top five Soul records “that I own” in no particular order:

Unsatisfied – Lou Johnson (Yellow BigTop 101)
You Hit Me (Right Where It Hurt Me)
– Alice Clark (Warner Bros 7270)
Our Love Will Grow – The Showmen (Swan S-4219)
Bettin’ On Love – Len Jewell (Fontana F-1599 DJ)
So Is The Sun – World Column (Tower 510)

Last words?

There seems to be a lot more DJs than there used to be. I’ve been in many a heated debate and have my own personal opinions about folks who DJ because it looks cool on Social Media, Folks who DJ “Northern Soul” nights with mostly reissue’d records because digging is too hard, folks who DJ on a Macbook vs Vinyl…. At the end of the day, the dancers don’t care where the music is coming from, so just be honest with yourself, do it the best you can with what you got and have fun…what’s the point otherwise?

Hopefully, this COVID19 issue will soon be behind us and we can get back behind the decks at our local pubs and clubs! See you there!

Cheers,
Jason
@the45selector

Reviews


Ultra Razzia/Dead Hero – Split LP

2020 Primator Crew
Ultra Razzia / Dead Hero split LP
Ultra Razzia / Dead Hero split LP

Split LP, a format I’m personally very keen on! First up, we have 6 songs from the cream of the crop of Montreal (Quebec) Oi! Ultra Razzia. Right off the bat, I’ve noticed that in addition to the very Blitz-esque sound that they’ve showcased on previous releases, there is a definite influence from French “cold wave” style bands, with the introduction of both reverb on the bass and the odd minor chord now being thrown in. Brilliant stuff, and definitely a great follow up to their LP – think a mix between The Violators and Short Days.
Next, we have Dead Hero from Bogota, Columbia. Musically they instantly remind me of the more melodic Red Alert numbers, with vocals sung not shouted. The second track harks back to Welcome To The Real World-era Business, with a really anthemic feel, brilliant. The third song is just as catchy, with a slightly poppier edge that’s pretty infectious – then perfectly rounded off with a killer, sung in Spanish cover of Blitz – Solar. A band I wasn’t aware of before and one I’ll definitely be following from here on out! On the whole, a very strong release, while the bands are quite different they complement each other very well, all the ingredients for a perfect split record.

- Mike


Death Ridge Boys – (Don’t Let Them) Divide Us

2019 Blackwater Records
Death Ridge Boys - (Don't Let) Them Divide Us
Death Ridge Boys - (Don't Let) Them Divide Us

7″ single from Portland, Oregon’s DRB. While generally they have(and do retain on this to an extent) quite a hardcore-punk-meets-punkier-oi! sound, this single is definitely a fucking ROCKER. Hammer-on guitar riffs a plenty and an unmistakable swagger to these songs make it reminiscent of equal parts Criminal Damage and Rose Tattoo. While politics in Oi! related bands can be a sore point, these guys manage to talk about the issues at hand these days without being preachy or divisive(bit of a theme here!) The title track is well written and straight to the point, and on the whole I’d like to think just generally agreeable across the board lyrically. While the b-side “Working” is good stomper with some great licks, it’s all about the A-side of this for me. Very solid record, very solid people.

- Mike


Brux – s/t LP

2019 Evil Records
Brux - self titled
Brux - self titled

Demo-turned-long-player by this Barcelona, Spain based band. They don’t mess about, nearly every song is at an unrelentingly busy pace, with cookie monster Oi! vocals soaked in punk snarkyness. The guitars have an almost surfy, urgent treble sound that goes well with the busy bass-lines – musically they are tight as hell. For a point of reference, for me their somewhere between early Templars and 80s skatecore band JFA – absolutely worth a listen, and safe to say they’re a blast to watch live.

- Mike


Alternate Action – Violent Crime 12″ EP

2019 Rebellion / LSM
Alternate Action - Violent Crime
Alternate Action - Violent Crime

First release from a re-formed Alternate Action from Vancouver, British Columbia. This maxi-EP contains 4 brand new songs, and a re-vamped version of the classic “Skinhead Way Of Life.” It’s abit different to their previous stuff – while the hooks are still there, it has a much harder, brickwall sound. The guitars have more gain(and effect for leads, my personal favourite part of the record), with abit of distortion and reverb on the vocals. While some may prefer the cleaner sound of their earlier stuff, I’m sure there will also be plenty who prefer this more aggressive edge to the band – standout song for me is “One Way Street.” Looking forward to what they do next.

- Mike


Royal Hounds – God Bless The Royal Hounds 12″ EP

2019 Contra / Oi! The Boat
The Royal Hounds - God Bless...
The Royal Hounds - God Bless...

7 songs of catchy singalongs, from New York City, US of A. Royal Hounds blend a cocktail of genres ranging from Oi! to glam to glimpses of hardcore punk, and it works brilliantly. The opening song “Heading Out” is the clincher for me, catchy yet hard sounding with very non-typical lyrics for the genre. The majority of these songs are absolute anthems, and stick in your head for days. While every songs is very melodic and guitar lick happy, it also has a very punk, slightly lo-fi production that keeps it gritty even at it’s poppiest. Only slight criticism, a couple of the songs consist of one sentence repeated, which to be fair absolutely makes it stick in your head, but i’m left wondering if that was the intention or not. Either way, this is a great record start to finish and definitely my favourite newer Oi! band from the states right now.

- Mike


Bootlicker – Nuclear Family 7″

2019 Neon Taste
Bootlicker - Nuclear Family
Bootlicker - Nuclear Family

3rd EP from this outfit from the town of Kamloops, British Columbia. I always think small towns breed the most unique combinations of genre blending, and these guys very much hold true to that. Primarily a d-beat band, but there are also nods to early British Oi! and UK82 peppered in unmistakably. It has the unrelenting assault of d-beat(which normally bores me to tears after a few songs) but enough melody and chant parts to keep it fresh and non-crusty sounding(the clear barking vocals lend to this alot.) Think a bizarre mixture of Discharge, Crux, 4 skins and Chaos UK – it sounds dubious, but does it ever hit the fucking nail on the head. If your going to listen to just one song, make it “Shellshock.” Best punk band from western Canada right now, check them out as they tour regularly across North America.

- Mike