"From the time I started buying punk records and began getting involved in the international DIY punk and hardcore community, I always knew that I wanted to start a record label."
That's Dave Brown, the Nova Scotia-based founder of Sewercide Records, a Canadian label behind beautifully sick releases by such bands as Booji Boys, Fragment, and Heavenly Blue.
I'll let him continue Sewercide's origin story: "One of my earliest bands had self-released a record in 2003 and handled all the distribution for it. We started trading records, making friends with punks all over the world, so that really was what kicked it into full gear for me to want to make it a reality.
"Unfortunately due to money being tight, I didn’t get the opportunity to actually start the label up until 2007," says David, who is also a musician who was previously the drummer in Career Suicide, and is currently focusing on his Misanthropic Minds project as well as doing vocals in BPS (Brain Pollution Syndrome).
"Money was still extremely tight then, but I didn’t really care, I just wanted to start making records for bands that I liked. A few people I knew told me it was a waste of money, but I’ve never been one to pay attention to attitudes like that, so I just did my own thing anyways and pretty soon we had released the first Sewercide record which was the Criminal Intent 7 inch."
One of the label's most recent releases, Seaside Sickness, serves as a great showcase of why Dave is doing what he's doing:
I ask Dave if he had a clear clear vision of the kinds of bands and records he wanted to release with Sewercide Records from the very start, or if that evolved as the label progressed.
"When I first started the label, I was living in Toronto and had asked a few bands that I really liked if they would be interested in doing records. The only bands that seemed even remotely interested in working with me were ones that lived back in my home province of Nova Scotia. No one was paying attention to the bands from there at the time, so it seemed like that’s who I should be supporting and helping out.
"Aside from a couple of my own bands and projects, Sewercide ended up turning into a regional label and we’ve continued releasing 7 inches and demos by bands from our area ever since. As far as the bands we do work with, there is a lot of punk and hardcore, but it’s never been strictly limited to that.
"If there’s a local band that I like, who I feel fits with the whole DIY approach of things and has good people in the group, then I may ask them to do a record. I try to do everything in my power to help get them the attention I think they deserve."
So, how would Dave describe Sewercide and the types of records he's released to date to someone who hasn’t come across the label yet? "I came up with the term 'Miserable Maritime Mutant Music' not too long ago and I feel like that fits quite well with what we’re doing.
"There’s a lot of fucked up and ugly-sounding DIY punk and hardcore thats surfaced here in the maritimes (a small cluster of 3 provinces on Canada’s East Coast) over the years, which I think is the result of our isolation from the rest of the country and the often gloomy weather."
Dave continues: "I think the result of that is our local scene is a full blown freak show of sorts, which I absolutely love. It’s not a bunch of punks that know all the cool bands and look like they stepped out of Finland in 1983, it’s just a cesspool of weirdos, outcasts and mutants that want to be a part of something, which to me, is what punk is all about in the first place.
"The records that we’ve released are the result of this scene, so even though Ritual Warfare might sound nothing like the Booji Boys and Misanthropic Minds sounds nothing like Heavenly Blue, they’re still all coming from the same weird place."
Putting him on the spot, I ask Dave of everything his label has released so far, what would be his personal pick for the most underrated Sewercide release? "I always go back to the Word on the Street - Street Spirit 7 inch. It’s just such a massive blast of an EP. When I moved back to Nova Scotia 11 years ago, they were the first local hardcore band that I saw since my return that really made me go ‘holy shit, what the fuck is this?’."
"Word on the Street was doing this fast style of hardcore like Straight Ahead, Brotherhood, and Lärm that I absolutely loved and their demo tape got a ton of play on my deck. I feel like a lot of punks might write it off because of the cover (which I always thought was great) thinking it might be another Youth Crew style band, but make no mistake, that record packs one hell of a punch and to this day, I still say they’re one of my favourites from here."
Dave clues me in on his plans for Sewercide Records for the rest of 2021 and beyond: "The label had a brief hiatus for a few years but got back into the swing of things in 2018 and since then, each year has been better than the last. People seem to enjoy what we’re doing and we’re trying to tackle more and more stuff each year.
"Unfortunately due to Covid and various lockdowns here in Nova Scotia, it’s slowed down a lot of label stuff in 2021, but I’m hopeful that things will start to move again here soon. Currently we’re waiting on test presses to come back for the new Antibodies 7 inch, which is exciting because not only does the record rip, but it’s also our first time doing a release for a Prince Edward Island band.
"Beyond that, there’s a few releases already planned, just waiting on bands to record. I think people will be stoked on what’s coming up next."
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Tagged: record label profile