Chris Mason (owner) Dirt Cult Records, Low Culture
What is your name and band/label/etc?
Chris Mason - Low Culture/Dirt Cult Records
What are your top five albums that were released in 2012? (In order 1-5)
- Frozen Teens - S/T LP
- Toys That Kill - Fambly 42
- White Wires - WWIII LP
- Swearin' - Swearin' LP
- Mind Spiders - Meltdown LP
What band did you discover in 2012 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?
Frozen Teens was easily the best new band I've heard this year. It's not that often that a band puts out a record that I can listen to over and over again and not get sick of. But their S/T LP is perfect, scrappy, DIY, "pop" punk, just like I like it. Honerable mentions go to Swearin' and Terrible Feelings.
How will you remember 2012? (In terms of music)
2012 was the year I went broke (and crazy) putting out more records than ever before. It's also a year that saw the release of some simply incredibly records. Putting together the top 5 above was grueling. So much good stuff was left off!
What can we look forward to from you in 2013?
Tons of new full lengths from Big Dick, Rumspringer, Sundowners, and probably more. A 7" from VVHILE and definitely more. Tapes from Rumspringer and Fear of Lipstick and probably more.
What records are you looking forward to most in 2013?
Is it selfish to say that I'm looking forward to Low Culture - Screens LP coming out on Dirtnap on January 9th? I'm just super excited that my band is releasing a record on pretty much my favorite current label. Other than that and my own label's stuff, I don't really know what's coming up. I guess I'm out of the loop...oh wait...Toys that Kill/Future Virgins - Split 7" on Drunken Sailor, a new Steve Adamyk Band LP on Dirtnap, a new Dead Dog LP on Dead Broke...and probably a million more that I've forgotten or don't know about yet.
Fundraising sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have made a strong impact on the ability of artists to release music. Do you think this approach is a trend, or will it continue to shape how artists produce their material?
I've never used Kickstarter and have actually never actually donated, but I could see that changing. Perhaps I've held a sort of old school sort of approach where I've believed that bands and labels should save their pennies and do it themselves, but these days I suppose I've decided that if the incentives are appealing enough and people are willing to donate then more power to them. In fact, Dirt Cult somewhat of a kickstarter approach to releasing the recent Dan Padilla LP, Sports Fans, by assuring people who donated a certain amount for a pay what you will download on Bandcamp received a physical copy, and that worked out wonderfully. I like the idea of finding new and innovative ways to promote records, and Kickstarter certainly appears to be one of them. I don't think it will be going anywhere anytime soon and, if used properly, I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing.