Feature / Music
Pass The Mic: Record Labels and Artists on 2008

Words: Michael • October 16, 2010

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Smartbomb (Erik Widing)

What are your top five albums that were released in 2008?

  1. Last Lights - Last Lights
  2. Dead to Me - Little Brother
  3. Hit the Switch - Demo
  4. Bad Religion - New Maps of Hell (Deluxe)
  5. The Swinging Utters - Hatest Grits: B-sides and Bullshit

What band did you discover in 2008 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?

A great band that I was able to discover and watch grow this year was a great hardcore band from our home of Worcester, MA called Last Lights. Right off the bat this band just exploded on the scene, everyone knew that they could have possibly been the gnarliest hardcore band Worcester has ever seen (Yeah I know Bane is from Worcester, Last Lights were that good). Unbridled energy, blistering and tasteful riffs and solid, SOLID drumming. Erik Perkins (Smartbomb's/Outbreak's drummer) really saw something special in the band and brought them up for the guys at Think Fast! Records. Basically they loved it, and had a meeting, and, it is a really tragic story but Dominic Mallory, the singer and main songwriter tragically suffered a stroke and passed away concluding a big show for them with another great Worcester band, Four Year Strong. We were all devastated, completely shocked?ya know? The impact, for me is like this: This band just exploded in front of everyone's eyes and maybe had the most potential out of all of us. By us I mean the whole punk and hardcore and music scene worldwide, these guys really did have what it takes to blow everyone away with their music. It is just heartbreaking to know that our friend Dominic is gone, but his life and artistic works will be celebrated. That is the impact. If anyone wants to know more about Last Lights and Dominic Mallory refer to http://www.myspace.com/lastlights

How will you remember 2008? (In terms of music)

2008 will be remembered for me as the first big year for Smartbomb. We got signed and released an EP ("Chaos and Lawlessness") and an LP ("Diamond Heist") on Think Fast! Records and Mightier than Sword Records (who release the vinyl). We've been on a handful of tours across the U.S. with bands like Outbreak, Far From Finished, Hit the Switch, and Broadway Calls. We've been around the world with our other bands No Trigger and Shock Nagasaki but it means a lot to be able to tour with our main squeeze, Smartbomb. Some more notable 2008 events were our drummer Perkins' playing drums on some great tours for Outbreak (Through the Noise Tour Canada) and Set Your Goals (Warped Tour). It's really been a bang up year for all of us with all of the touring and writing and recording we've been able to do this year. 2009 is going to be crazy though!

Vinyl record sales saw a significant increase this year while hard copy sales continued to dwindle. Is this a return to the glory days for vinyl or just a phase? Explain.

In my world, vinyl has always been a way of life, THE golden standard. There is nothing more rewarding than throwing on a brand new vinyl from a favorite band, looking at the artwork, reading the liner notes, and holding that masterpiece in my hand. I think vinyl is in for a massive resurgence. I see it like this; digital for when you are on the move (until we get a record player installed into our short bus) and vinyl is for the home collection. Some labels have the brilliant idea that when you purchase a vinyl LP, you can download the mp3 files of the songs for free along with the artwork. Hello! Meet the new industry standard!

What was the most memorable moment for you in 2008? (Can be in terms of anything)

All those memorable times on tour with our friends come to mind. Hit the Switch, the Outbreak dudes, Far From Finished. Made some amazing friends this year.

Seeing my nephew and niece for the first time comes to mind! Welcome to the party, Remy and Ella!

What can we look forward to from you in 2009?

You can look forward to hearing a new record from Smartbomb, in one form or another. Whether it is an EP or a full-length or a mix tape. Also, the LP version of "Diamond Heist" will be released within the first month of '09 courtesy of MTS records. You can expect us to be touring the States quite frequently and touring the United Kingdom with Outbreak in April. Oh, and holding it down. We intend on doing a lot of that in the New Year.

What three records are you looking forward to most in 2009?

I would love to see records from No Trigger, Hit the Switch, and Outbreak in 2009.

Homepage: http://www.myspace.com/smartbombpunks

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