Chris Mason (Dirt Cult Records/ Low Culture)
1. What are your top five albums that were released in 2013? (In order 1-5)
- Radioactivity – S/T LP
- Iron Chic – The Constant One LP
- Hard Skin – Why Do Birds Suddenly Appears LP
- Future Virgins – Late Republic LP
- Big Eyes – Almost Famous LP
2. What band did you discover in 2013 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?
I've discovered a ton of bands in 2014 (many of whom I'll be working with in 2014). Allvaret is an awesome Swedish band that people who enjoy Masshysteri and the Vicious will love. Blank Pages from Germany play awesome melodic hardcore for fans of the Wipers and Red Dons. Oh and Needles//Pins! Awesome power-pop from Canada.
3. How will you remember 2013? (In terms of music)
2013 was a great year for music (specifically punk). I found myself more excited by new bands and the caliber of releases across the board than I have in quite some time. In terms of my own involvement, 2013 was amazing. Low Culture released a record on my favorite label (Dirtnap), got to tour Europe, and play a lot of shows all over the US. Oh, and Dirt Cult released 14 new records, all of which were pretty great if I do say so myself.
4. What can we look forward to from you in 2014?
I have a ton of stuff in the works this year including LPs from Allvaret, Blank Pages, Needles//Pins, Muhammadali, The Distressers, and Unwelcome Guests, an Apocalypse Meow! 7" in addition to a split 7" from Iron Chic/Low Culture. Low Culture will also be doing the Southwest leg of the Iron Chic US tour which will be great. I always love spending time with those dudes. Dirt Cult is also doing a showcase show in Austin on March 15th which should be interesting.
5. What records are you looking forward to most in 2014?
I'm certainly looking forward to all of the upcoming Dirt Cult releases. Past that, I'm not too up to date about a lot of upcoming releases. I do think there is already another Radioactivity record recorded which will no doubt the destroy anything else that comes out in 2014.
6. There is a lot of debate over streaming sites and royalties, namely with Spotify. What is your stance on the economic policies behind the current streaming services? Do you have a preferred one?
I really don't have much of an issue with the streaming services. I mean, they certainly don't pay well, but I think that they expose more people to the music I'm releasing. In 2013 I also saw an uptake in digital sales and I would hypothesize that this is at least partly due to people being exposed to the bands through the various streaming services. It really seems that at least some people are using these sites to discover new music, and are still willing to throw down a few dollars to download the release if they enjoy it.