Chris Mason (Dirt Cult Records, Low Culture)
1. What are your top five albums that were released in 2015? (In order 1-5)
- Royal Headache - High LP
- Radioactivity - Silent Kill LP
- Vacation - Non Person LP
- Tenement - Predatory Highlights LP
- Sonny Vincent and Rocket from the Crypt - Vintage Piss LP
2. What band did you discover in 2015 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?
Probably the best discovery of 2015 was Ex-Cult, whose name I'd seen around, but who I had never really bothered to check out until I stumbled into their show earlier this year. That show still stands out as one of the best of 2015 and I'm not entirely sure why, except that for whatever reason every band was exactly what I needed to hear at that exact time. Another band that I discovered that night was a local band called Dark//Light. They are ex-Triggers. Unfortunately, I don't think they have anything released yet.
3. How will you remember 2015? (In terms of music)
This was the year that I tried, and failed, to slow way down in terms of releases on Dirt Cult. What can I say? Releasing records is an addiction. Also, I probably went to more shows (that I didn't play) this year than any other. As I'm writing this on Nov. 10, I believe the count is somewhere around 75.
4. What can we look forward to from you in 2016?
Low Culture is hoping to record a new LP in early 2016. And Dirt Cult has a ton of releases coming up from Defect Defect (their last record), Bullnettle (ex-This is My Fist), Turkish Techno, Blodad Tand, Marriage + Cancer, Fashionism, Divers, and more I'm sure...
5. What records are you looking forward to most in 2016?
Aside from the ones mentioned above, I heard Bad Sports and Mind Spiders have new records coming out on Dirtnap. I've also heard Witches With Dicks is back and releasing a 1-sided 12" on Dead Broke. Marvelous Mark (from the Marvelous Darlings) is releasing an LP on Drunken Sailor. I'm sure there's a ton of additional releases that I will be excited about...I just don't know about them yet.
Low Culture is hoping to record a new LP in early 2016. And Dirt Cult has a ton of releases coming up from Defect Defect (their last record), Bullnettle (ex-This is My Fist), Turkish Techno, Blodad Tand, Marriage + Cancer, Chandeli'ers (ex-Bent Outta Shape, Ringers, Besties, World Inferno Friendship Society), Fashionism, Divers, and more I'm sure...
6. How relevant is the physical format record/cd/tape in 2015 and going into 2016? What do you see changing in terms of physical vs. digital discussions?
I'm still a fan of physical formats - specifically vinyl, but this is the first year that I've had a Spotify account and I kinda love it. But while I certainly don't fault anyone for preferring the convenience of streaming services, I still prefer to have a physical copy of the records I love. Perhaps that's materialistic. I don't know.
As for a shift in the conversation on a label level, it seems like my label owner friends have shifted from decrying digital media to begrudgingly accepting it to embracing it. While there will always be a market for physical media (the majority of people who are currently buying punk records will probably always buy punk records), the convenience of digital media will likely win over most people. And, really, I think that's ok.