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The Slovenly is one of the most important “underground” record labels which focusing on “the best garage and punk shit rock” all over the planet. The story has begun under the name of 702 Records in Reno (Nevada) in 1994. The US Post has changed the area codes and 702 no longer belonged to the whole state of Nevada, just Las Vegas, so the label was renamed to Slovenly Recordings in 2002. They have offices in Spain, Holland and even Pennsylvania.

menchetti“really hard to get around is that it usually takes 10+ years for a band to get the attention they deserve”

interview with
Peter Menchetti,
the founder of Slovenly Recordings

The editor’s note: you can find a fine video under link of every mentioned band!

It seems that after the indie rock scene’s hip status, now it’s garage rock becoming the coolest type of rock music. What do you think about it?

I’m not really sure what to think, because what is garage rock? There are some bands playing under that banner that definitely don’t belong. I had the pleasure of working with Buck Ormsby, founder of Etiquette Records (and bassist of the The Fabulous Wailers, a garage rock band between 1958-1969 – editor’s note) in March when we had THE SONICS (influential garage rock band between 1960-68. Reunited. – e.n.) play our 20th anniversary party in Reno. He said that he had discovered them in a garage in Bellingham. That’s where the term comes from… the implication that remains for me is real, raw, budget, rock’n’roll. How someone like Jacco Gardner (plays baroque pop – e.n.) fits into that is beyond me… Maybe we should also ask THE PENETRATORS… the self-proclaimed “Kings of Basement Rock” (It’s a legendary punk band from the 70’/80’s. Reunited – e.n.) They probably have some ideas about their garage rock cousins, har!

When you started Slovenly Records what was different in the garage rock scene?

Well, bands like the OBLIVIANS and TEENGENERATE were still playing to pretty small crowds… we also had THE GORIES play our party and they were telling me about how hard they worked in the 90s, and about how often they played to 10-20 people in Detroit. Things have changed a lot, but a recurring theme that I’ve realized is really hard to get around is that it usually takes 10+ years for a band to get the attention they deserve. Only those who work relentlessly and have someone with money backing them up get somewhere more quickly. BLACK LIPS is a good example. They busted their asses hard for years with Vice (an international magazine – e.n.) backing them up. When I started Slovenly they were playing house parties in Atlanta.

What is your aim with Slovenly Records? Do you wanna jump a level and become bigger, or would you rather stay in underground status?

A big part of my aim is for our bands to be able to earn a living wage from their music. We work hard to promote our bands, if they work hard too (make videos, stay in touch with their fans, tour 3-6 months per year, keep recording new music, and etc) within a few years they should be able to make at least as much money as they would working a shit job in their hometown. It really does take at least a few years, though, and we are here to back them up until they can support themselves. After five years of hard work, a good hardworking band should be able to make a good living. Maybe they’ll get rich if they have a “hit”, but we all know that these days all hits are shit… so we never expect to have any hits on Slovenly, or to get rich doing it.

Why do you have sublabels? What is the difference between them?

Black Gladiator is Bazooka Joe’s imprint. He’s Slovenly’s label manager. He curates that sublabel. I Shit In The Milk is the other sublabel. I created when I was living in Spain. I wanted to put out a record by my own band but it wasn’t good enough to be on Slovenly. Then I decided to put out some other Spanish trash on that label.

Could you talk about the label’s new stuff?

The new BAZOOKA LP is a long time in the making… lots of delays, but it was well worth the wait. One of my favorite releases. Waiting for ACID BABY JESUS to finish recording their second LP… what I’ve heard so far is mind-blowing. Heading west to Italy, SULTAN BATHERY‘s debut LP is going to tear some heads open… moving to Spain, WAU Y LOS ARRRGHS!!! has recorded their 3rd album. Crossing to the Americas, LAS ARDILLAS is workin on their 2nd LP in Puerto Rico. On the mainland, we’re reissuing THE PENETRATORS classic LP, and looking forward to hearing what Elijah has been writing for the PAINT FUMES after his accident. Also in the works: debut LPs by the NIGHTMARE BOYZZZ, some raw Alabama punk heavy on the pop; and the amazing PY PY from Montreal, which is not gonna be easy to describe. I’ll leave that up to Joe — we’re doing that one on Black Gladiator.

How did you find the Greek scene? (Acid Baby Jesus, Bazooka, Gay Anniversary)

I was eating lasagna at Mama Spits house in Austin, when Erin showed me a myspace message from the guys from Katarameno Syndromo (club – e.n.) in Athens. I got in touch and ended up booking DAVILA 666 there. Then I that Acid Baby Jesus was playing the same fest in Sardinia some weeks prior, so I started listening and got in touch. We soon after agreed to release the “Hospitals” EP, and to tour together from Greece, through Bulgaria & Romania, to Poland. The guys are all super cool, so we quickly became friends and in subsequent visits to Athens I met the guys from Bazooka and Gay Anniversary. I can’t wait to hit Greece this summer and see all those beautiful freaks again…

When you get a demo from a no name band, what are you looking for in their music?

Something I haven’t heard before… and the right sound for Slovenly, which I don’t know that I can articulate… but I know it when I hear it! Joe looks for some “weird”, which is probably not too different from what I said: something we haven’t heard before.

Can you name any new bands who could become the new Black Lips or the new Ty Segall?

Any band making good records and working hard… which could be any of our bands (no need to be modest about this… obviously, I think all of our records are good, otherwise I wouldn’t make them), and some of my current favorites: USELESS EATERS, SHANNON & THE CLAMS, BLIND SHAKE

Have you played in any bands?

Yeah… I was the drummer for LOS FREGAPLATOS when I was livin in Spain! We sucked but it sure was fun…

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The interview made by Adam Lang. Magyar változata a Quarton lesz/van.


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