Mike Riley (Toxic Pop Records)
1. What are your top five albums that were released in 2015? (In order 1-5)
- Night Birds - Mutiny at Muscle Beach
- Hex Dispensers - III
- Tenement - Predatory Headlights
- Beach Slang - The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like We Do
- Widows Watch - This Message Repeats
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?
The Creeps (Canada). Somehow I slept on this band for years despite owning a bunch of their records, but one day earlier this year I popped on Eulogies and I just couldn't stop playing it. I've listened to that album this year more than anything else by far. Melodic punk rock perfection with an essence of gloom hovering over the whole thing.
3. How will you remember 2015? (In terms of music)
The year Night Birds wrote their best album and my buddy Darick took over on drum duties for them. The year Baltimore's most underrated band, Dead Mechanical, called it quits. The year I got to see the Replacements live and it was way better than expected.
4. What can we look forward to from you in 2016?
Volume 2 of Tenement's Bruised Music and the 2nd EP from Baltimore's Advlts.
5. What records are you looking forward to most in 2016?
Iron Chic's next album.
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?
For me personally, purchasing physical formats are how I support a band on the road. At the same time I'm struggling with the amount of stuff I have and I'm constantly fantasizing about selling the majority of it and just going digital with everything since that's primarily how I listen to music these days. I think the cassette resurgence is a fad that will have come and gone by the end of 2016. Vinyl will continue to be the format of choice for many, as it has for years, and fetishized by people who think 180g re-release of an Eagles album is must-have.