A few weeks ago, we started to cover the Bands that are part of Hidden Volume Records. Originally I had asked Scott to write a few words to introduce his label , he thought it best if I asked him some questions and this is the result of all of that. Hidden Volume Records is putting out some truly amazing sounds not to mention the cool art work that these 45’s are encased in. At the end of this interview , there will be sample of work from the bands that Scott has been a part of. Read on kids….
A few questions with Scott from Hidden Volume Records….
For those not familiar with your work over the years, can you give us a short history of your musical journey..
I am originally from Orlando, FL where I played in a few bands. And always played bass. My first regular gigging band (and this is pertinent to the story) was a group called Giant Man around 1990 who lasted a few years before breaking up. Significantly, that’s where I met Ken Chiodini (drums) and Mick Crowley (guitar) and we went on to form The Hate Bombs with Dave Ewing (guitar). The Bombs lasted from 1993 to 2001 as an official touring band with records on several labels like Screaming Apple, Dionysus and 360 Twist. I was also in The Lears (Paul from The BellTowers’ former band) for a short while. In 2001 I moved to Baltimore where I joined/formed The Stents with Steve Branson, Bonanza Jones and Pat Brown in 2008.
2. What inspired you to start your own label?
A strong desire to lose money! But seriously, I had done a small label with Ken back in the 90s called Speed-O-Meter that was basically a way for The Hate Bombs to put out our own records. I did the art, Ken did the logistics. It was a lot of fun but we were pretty limited in our resources (like, no internet, kids!) and money so it never really took off. So after I moved to Baltimore and The Stents started getting shows I started formulating this idea of a garage rock 45s only label. I put out the first two Stents singles starting in 2012 but no real intention of doing it for real with other bands. Then last year The Hate Bombs did a reunion show in Atlanta with The Woggles and during one of our rehearsals in Orlando, I hung out with Ken (See? It’s coming full circle) and I threw out this idea of doing a label. I’m not sure if it was the beer or not but he agreed to be my shipping guy and sound board and that was kind of the tipping point. I was also in a place where I had the resources and time to do it right.
So inspiration? The primary inspiration/reason is basically a desire to help bands that I love be heard and seen.
Aesthetically: Norton Records, Estrus Records, Blue Note, etc. Labels where everything from the design to the recording was/is part of the whole package. I’m a designer by day so this part of the “label thing” is incredibly appealing.
3. What does success as a label look like to you?
Hmmm. I think it is mostly getting messages from people saying how much they love what I’m doing, that they love the bands. And also hearing from the bands that they feel like they’re part of something cool.
4. Will you put out some of The Hate Bombs work?
Haha! I have no idea. There’s actually tons of unreleased stuff we have in the archives but not sure if there’s really an audience for that anymore! (he says as he turns to dust).
5. When you look at Bands to have on Hidden Volume Records, what are you looking or listening for that makes you say. This bands belongs on Hidden Volume.
Well, I must say that I run everything by Ken at some point. Like with the Ar-Kaics…I heard their demos and I lost my mind it was so good but I sent an email to Ken and said “Am I crazy or is this incredible?” and he responded with “You’re not crazy. Holy shit.” So that was that.
In a nutshell, I try to find a band that has that mix of sound and look and attitude that just gives me chills. I mean, it has to be garage in some sense but mostly the whole package has to floor me. There’s probably some kind of thread that ties a band like The BellTowers (jangle-pop) to Sick Thoughts (bad mood punk) and somewhere in that nexus is “The Hidden Volume Sound”.
6. What are some of your favorite albums of all time, the ones that you find yourself listening to? Again and again over the years?
Oh geez, I guess most of mine are pretty obvious: “Odessey and Oracle” The Zombies, the first Soft Machine album (go ahead, laugh, it rules), “Rock and Roll” The Cynics, “Guitar Romantic” The Exploding Hearts, “Notorious Byrd Brothers” The Byrds, anything by The Mummies, “Some Kinda Fun” The Untamed Youth. I’m now double checking my records and realizing I left off basically everything.
7. How do you juggle all that you do, from Work, Home, Kids, Band and now a label?
It’s insane. Having Ken do the shipping is gigantic of course. I can’t thank him enough. But I owe it mostly to my wife who also does 20 things at one time and for being super cool about everything, always. I also don’t watch a lot of TV. We just recently finished “The Wire” so that means we’ll be finishing “Breaking Bad” around 2021. No spoilers!
8. Can you share just a few of your favorite all time ?gig moments .
Most of my gig stories involve hitting my head on something or some similar injury. In the Hate Bombs I was electrocuted, hit in the head with a whiskey glass (by the Delusionaires old drummer Brian!), jumped full speed into an overhanging monitor and fell off my amp too many times to mention. In The Stents, Steve hit me in the face (by accident, I think…) with his headstock and I bled like a stuck pig. Very punk. Or very clumsy.
9. What are the plans for some of your bands in the near future and are there tours coming up for these bands?
I think most of the bands are just going to keep on gigging and seeking out free bar tabs. I know Sick Thoughts is playing Gonerfest this year, The Ar-Kaics are touring always and The Stents are working on an LP. I really hope to get all these bands together someday for some kind of big show. I’m sure that’s usually how most labels begin the doomsday clock to bankruptcy but it seems like it would be fun. I’m an optimist.
As for the label, I’ve got at least 3-5 more records to put out this year. I would definitely like to put out singles by more West Coast bands and definitely more bands from overseas. And if I could do a single with Kurt Baker my head would explode.
Stay tuned in to 50thirdand3rd for more “Meet The Bands” coming out of Hidden Volume Records