RS: I believe the artistic course of does actually join [these artists] all through the many years. Simply the problem of getting a gaggle collectively and getting ’em right into a studio, and the complexity, with any stage of expertise, of really getting one thing onto tape. These are enormous widespread threads that everybody we work with shares.
However I believe there’s a significant transition that occurs when there’s an understanding that music may very well be a part of a broader nationwide and worldwide neighborhood. When bands are touring DIY across the nation, and so they arrive in a brand new city and there is an viewers ready for ’em—simply to listen to the thoughtproper? They do not know the music essentially. However there’s this concept—we are able to name it punk rock, we are able to name it DIY, there’s a whole lot of phrases for it, over time, however there’s an viewers ready for that. That’s the main paradigmatic shift, as I see it, between [‘90s independent music] and what was taking place within the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.
Again then, you possibly can be essentially the most unbelievable band on the planet. You go to a brand new city, they do not wanna hear the songs you wrote. They wish to hear the hits on the radio. That was what a stay present was at a membership in, within the seventies, proper? In order that adjustments, that goes away, and a brand new paradigm emerges. When Ken and I began going to reveals, it is a bunch of children in a unclean basement, and so they’re performing their very own songs. And we simply understood that that is the best way it was. In the event that they have been performing another person’s songs, that is a canopy band, proper?
However within the seventies, that is only a evening out. You go to listen to a band and so they’re taking part in “The Look of Love,” after which they go into “Celebration,” and so they’re entertaining the group. That’s an enormous distinction.
It’s been attention-grabbing for me, as somebody who really lived by way of the ‘90s, to look at a historic narrative take form across the music of that decade. Like, it’s all constructing as much as Nirvana and it’s all downhill after Nirvana. By resurfacing all this underdiscussed and hard-to-find music from that point, do you are feeling such as you’re making a counternarrative or an alternate historical past, a distinct telling of the story?
KS: Completely—however Numero has been telling the alternate historical past of standard music for 20 years now, proper? We’re simply championing the unheard, the under-heard, the bands that simply by no means actually acquired there. And even a band like Unwound, who I’d think about to be a pillar of that period— the final tour they have been taking part in for a whole bunch of individuals, and now, I simply noticed them final evening with 2,000 individuals. It’s actually pleasurable to be presenting that to individuals, and exhibiting them what they missed. When you have been busy listening to those different issues, right here was this different world that existed.
Historical past is written by the winners. However whenever you take a look at a band like Duster or Unwound, and also you take a look at what number of youngsters there have been at this factor final evening—that’s a complete new era of people who find themselves gonna determine what’s price saving from an period. Whether or not you return to the blues collectors moving into Robert Johnson within the late ’40s and early ’50s or to psych-rock collectors within the early ‘80s, issues get rediscovered after which individuals champion them and so they develop into necessary as a result of they have been all the time nice—it simply took a lot time to floor that stuff. And now with the ability of the Web, that distance is far shorter. You’ll be able to hear all the things, and also you don’t need to mail-order it or wait for somebody to place one thing on a tape. There’s a vast quantity of the way so that you can go and hearken to Unwound or Duster if you wish to. In a whole lot of methods we have arrived at a very fascinating crossroads in music historical past—distribution’s flat, and it’s not certain by style, it isn’t certain by 12 months. It is simply certain by what you are into.