The A To Z Of Jade Tree Records With Co-Owner Darren Walters

November 11, 2010

The year is 1991 and Darren Walters, along with his partner Tim Owen, have a vision. They want to create a record label that releases quality music, without restrictions regarding genres or ethics, and to be the best they possibly can.

Fast forward to 1995, a 17 year old kid (yours truly), immersed in a love of independent/underground music, attends The Really Loud Music Fest is New Bedford, MA. Onstage is the band Lifetime, ripping through their song Neutral Territory off the Hello Bastards album released on Jade Tree Records. Kids are flying around everywhere, singing along, smiling, and having a great time. When I think about Jade Tree Records, I’m bombarded with a plethora of memories such as this, many of which, a Jade Tree band provided the soundtrack to.  

If you’re a fan of indie music, there’s a good chance you have a Jade Tree release somewhere in your collection. They’re responsible for such artists as Jets To Brazil, Avail, J Church, Four Walls Falling, Universal Order Of Armageddon and so many more! That being said I hope you enjoy this romp down memory lane with Darren Walters, co-owner of Jade Tree Records.

The Darren Walters/Jade Tree Records Interview (more…)
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An Interview With CT’s Precise Piercing And Tattoo Owner, Little Joe.

October 29, 2010

Precise Piercing And Tattoo is a bold name for a tattoo shop, one however, this shop definitely deserves. I speak from experience as I’ve had work done from two of their resident artists (one of whom recently relocated to Brooklyn, NY).  I’ve also known Joe Pantano (aka: Little Joe) since I first began going to Kustum Kulture Tattoo in Plainville, CT, where he used to work circa 1996.  When I think about Little Joe, the first thing that comes to mind is “work ethic”. That may not be the first thing popular society would associate with a body piercer or tattoo shop, and often, rightfully so, but Joe and the tattoo artists at his shop take their craft very seriously, like few others I’ve ever met. I’m proud to share some insight into the world of tattooing and piercing with CT’s own “Little Joe”.

The Little Joe Interview (more…)
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Olympic Mountain Thunder: Verellen Amplifiers- By Bernie Romanowski Of Cable

October 21, 2010

I don’t vote. Never have, and probably never will. I don’t do politics, and yet I consider myself a very political person. I don’t buy food from large supermarkets. I don’t eat at chain restaurants. I buy bicycles from independent companies and buy record albums from small record labels. These are my politics. My money is my vote. We all work too hard in life to just piss away our money to companies that don’t care about our well-being. Trust me, Chili’s or Outback Steakhouse don’t care if you live or die (in fact, I could make an argument that they’re trying to kill you). It’s important to me that farmers can stay in business and that small record labels can release my music.  Independent businesses are the heart and soul of our world.  These businesses foster vibrancy and creativity in an otherwise robotic world of Wal-Mart soccer moms.  Homogenization is the enemy. 

And then there are guitar amplifiers… From the wild, wet, and scary land of the Pacific Northwest comes Verellen Amplifiers. The land of big bears, big timber and big beards.  A land where rivers flow thick with fallen lumber and those fish that dare come to the surface of the water are often met with quick deaths at the claws of the Olympic Black Bear.   A land where guitar amplifiers are being made by real men with very large forearms. 

Ben Verellen makes amplifiers and he is proud enough to bestow upon them his surname. So proud, in fact, he has literally burned said surname into the grainy fibers of their wooden enclosures. He does not use circuit boards. He does not use plastics or tolex. He does not use mass-production to maximize his profits. But these details are less important than what Ben Verellen DOES do: Small-batch amplifier production that is informed by his vast knowledge of electronics and his love of loudness. Amplifiers producing sounds and tones that don’t “move” air, but rather amplifiers that face-rape the air with a hug on the back-side.  Amplifiers that are hand-built to maximize overall awesomeness with high face-melting capabilities.  Amplifiers that combine tried and true technology with a lumberjack’s sensibility. 

Making amplifiers that are sturdy, loud, unique, and hand-built is not a smart or cheap endeavor. In fact, beside starting a search engine to compete with Google, starting an amplifier company might be the second most risky business ventures a man can embark upon.  Ben is not a rich man, but he is a passionate, talented and intelligent one.  He is educated about nerdy electronics and he has a long history of making and playing music that destroys humans.  We live in a world flooded with Guitar Center’s mass-produced, generic amplifiers. This is also a world where vintage amplifiers are readily available to any doom/sludge hipster fanboy with access to mommy’s Paypal account and her Ebay password. Somehow, some way, Verellen Amplifiers is emerging as one of the newest and more-successful boutique amplifier companies in America.  And I mean “boutique” in a good way. 

One year ago, I sold all my guitar amplifiers and purchased a Verellen Loucks amp. It has changed and simplified my philosophies on guitar amplification. I spent my money with someone who is a musical peer and a talented (and handsome) gentleman. I feel good about that decision. I sleep well at night. Please support small American companies.  The United States might suck at the money, car and war businesses but at least we can build some quality goddamn amplifiers.

Ladies and gentlemen: Benjamin Verellen speaks with the Indie Spiritualist.

The Ben Verellen Interview (more…)
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How To Make Josh Carlson Of Redscroll Records Pull His Hair Out- An Interview

October 20, 2010

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 (more…)

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Jason Devin Of CT Indie Interview

October 7, 2010

In the few short years CT Indie has been around, it has established itself as the “go-to” site for all things independent related in CT. Jason Devin, creator of CT Indie, was kind enough to take some time to share a bit of his story, and vision of CT’s independent music scene.

(more…)
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