How To Make Josh Carlson Of Redscroll Records Pull His Hair Out- An Interview

October 20, 2010 by Chris Grosso

If you’ve ever been to a show at Cherry St Station, or any of the other Wallingford, CT area venues (and I use that term loosely), chances are you’ve found your way over to Redscroll Records. If you were trying to find an album from Bloodlet, The Jazz June or Rorschach, and didn’t feel like waiting for it in the mail, chances are you’ve been to Redscroll Records. Or if you live in CT and give a shit about independent music, then you’ve been to Redscroll Records.Josh Carlson has been dedicated to providing hard to find releases to the residents of CT since he was 15 years old, running a distro out of his SUV. He personifies the word dedication, as he now owns and successfully runs Redscroll Records, CT’s definitive independent record store. 

 

An Interview With Josh Carlson Of Redscroll Records

TIS: As far back as I can remember, I’ve seen you distro’ing at shows throughout the state, and New England for that matter, which ultimately culminated in your opening Redscroll
Records. Can you talk a little about the history there?

JC: Sure, I started a label under the name “Redscroll Records” when I was 15. After putting out a few releases, I had sort of accidentally built a distro through trading with other small labels. It was shortly after that when I started making orders from distributors. It was just sort of a fun hobby until after I dropped out of college and was just working a stupid job. Then I decided to go at it full time and I was rolling up to two or three shows a week with a thousand titles. It got to be too much, I couldn’t fit everything into an SUV and I was constantly getting into altercations with people who would mosh into my tables.

I had to make the jump to the next level, so I partnered up with my friend Rick and went legit.

TIS: What’s going on with The Redscroll Label? A few years back you released Wrench In The Works Prodigal Transmission Album but then called it quits. Recently however, you released an album from Hostage Calm. Anything else in the works?

JC: We released the Hostage Calm debut full length called, “Lens”. Since then we released a live cassette recording by Ipsissimus entitled, “Goatcultrites”. Last month, Ipsissimus inked a deal with Metal Blade. If you haven’t checked them out yet, get on it. We also have a 7″ coming out by Iron Hand.

The label end of things is just sort of a fun thing for us. A way to showcase what’s going on in Connecticut and what our friends are up to. We aren’t constantly hunting for bands or anything like that.

TIS: I remember seeing Call it Arson play an acoustic set a few years back at Redscroll Records. Who else have you had play there? Did I see something about Black Pyramid playing there a while back (and why the hell wasn’t I there if so)?

JC: There may be a secret event from time to time that I could open a portal to for you. Black Pyramid may have been at the other end of the portal last spring. Our blog (http://redscrollrecords.blogspot.com/) offers key updates.

TIS: A lot of the older folks I talk with, who went to shows back in the day at 158, The Tune Inn or Boiler Room seem a bit jaded or disgruntled with what’s become of the CT music scene, and no longer attend shows. Granted, the late 80’s-mid 90’s was an amazing time for music in CT, but there seems to be a resurgence that’s been happening which some people possibly aren’t giving a chance. And of course, there’s also people who will say the scene has always been great. So, where do you stand on all of this?

JC: People get old and busy. They don’t want to hang out with kids young enough to be their own kids on their one night off a week. Saying, “the 90′s were an amazing time and then there was a drop off,” is a nostalgic point of view. People from the 70′s, 80′s and 00′s also feel their time in underground music was an amazing time, and it was for them. It’s all relative.

TIS: What up and coming bands should people keep an eye out for?

JC: CT is a hot bed for new music activity. Here is a short list of active to semi-active bands from this state that deserve your attention: Iron Hand, Ipsissimus, Canvas, Estrogen Highs, Medication, Stone Titan, The Hammer, Cable, My Heart To Joy, Hate Your Guts, Stabyou, Brass Caskets, and Ferocious Fucking Teeth.

TIS: High Fidelity. True to life, or Hollywood jargon?

JC: No one should ever be that big of a douche to a customer unless they cross a major line.

TIS: Top 10 albums of 2010 so far?

JC:  Top 10 lists make me want to pull my hair out . So far these are the real stand outs for me. It’s not 10, but its the best I can do.

Vaccine – Human Hatred
Integrity – Blackest Curse
Gray Ghost – Succubus
Nomos – Notes From The Acheron
Black Breath – Heavy Breathing
Burning Love – Songs For Burning Lovers
Rival Mob – Hardcore For Hardcore

TIS: Ok, getting a little tougher now, how about your top 10 albums of all-time?

JC: This is a hard question to answer. Certainly in no particular order. I’m going to regret this as soon as I’m done but roughly,

Neurosis – Enemy Of The Sun
Bloodlet – Seraphim Fall
Bad Brains – s/t
Judge – Bringin’ It Down
Cro Mags – Age Of Quarrel
Refused – Shape Of Punk To Come
Integrity – Those Who Fear Tomorrow
Page99 – Document #8
Majority Rule – Interviews With David Frost
Chain Of Strength – The One Thing…

TIS: Anything you’d like to add in closing I didn’t cover?

JC: Thanks to Chris for the interview & for putting together the website in general, I already find myself checking it once a day for updates!

Redscroll Records is located at 24 North Colony Rd, Wallingford, CT 06492. Store Hours Are: Sunday & Monday 12-6pm, Tuesday-Saturday 12-8pm.

Visit Redscroll Records Online Here!

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Chris Grosso is a public speaker, writer, recovering addict, spiritual director, and author of Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality (Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster) and Everything Mind: What I've Learned About Hard Knocks, Spiritual Awakening and the Mind-Blowing Truth of it All (Sounds True). He writes for ORIGIN Magazine, Huffington Post, and Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine, and has spoken and performed at Wanderlust Festival, Yoga Journal Conference, Sedona World Wisdom Days, Kripalu, Celebrate Your Life and more. Chris is passionate about his work with people who are in the process of healing or struggling with addictions of all kinds. He speaks and leads groups in detoxes, yoga studios, rehabs, youth centers, 12-step meetings, hospitals, conferences, and festivals worldwide. He is a member of the advisory board for Drugs over Dinner.