Interview: Cult Culture

Hi, I’m Chris and I guess I’m pretty much the one man band that runs Cult Culture.

Was Cult Culture simply born out of the desire to press Mine’s debut release or was the plan always to expand and release other artists’ music?

Well doing a label was always something that I wanted to but I just never found the drive to do it as I had a lot going on with previous projects. But I felt the first MINE EP presented a good opportunity to try my hand at it.
We didn’t know that we would put the EP out through Holy Roar at the time so I suggested that I release it on a limited tape just so there was some form of physical release. This was before we teamed up with Holy Roar. Once I started the label and everything was arranged with the tape, I then started to think about moving on to others artists, such as Black Coffee.
 
The resurgence of the cassette has taken the underground rock and metal scene by storm. What’s the attraction to putting out music on this format? Is the label planning to release music on other formats eg vinyl, CD?

Theres just something about tapes that I really love and its a bit of a nod to the days when everyone was releasing records on tape and tape swapping to get new bands out there. Although tapes are popular, vinyl overtakes them dramatically so I guess you are presented with a bit of a challenge to make it more appealing, i.e. packaging etc.
At some point I’d like to move onto vinyl but for the time being I’m pretty happy putting out tapes whenever I can. The fact that tapes cost a lot less than vinyl means I have a lot more freedom to put them out as and when I want too.
 
You’ve recently announced the release of Texan hardcore punkers Black Coffee’s birthdeathbirth EP. How did that collaboration come about?

I first heard Black Coffee through Give Up, who I’ve worked with a lot over the last few years and he sent me the self titled release that he did for them through Sisster Ssound (not a typo) a while back. I suggested working together on the next release but unfortunately he had a lot on so he couldn’t but Ryan (Black Coffee) contacted me after to speaking with Give Up about the UK release and we just sorted it out from there.  I’m really excited about the release, Black Coffee really embody everything that I love about hardcore and punk, totally aggressive, no bullshit, sounds kinda like SSD…..awesome!

The Mine tape was definitely something special in terms of presentation; what sort of elaborate packaging can we expect for the Black Coffee release?

Thanks! I was happy with the way they turned out and I wanted to do something a little special for it. My girlfriend wasn’t too excited about the mess I made on her bedroom floor spray painting the cases but she got over it ha!
All the art for the tapes has been printed up and I’m waiting on something from Give Up that will wrap around the tapes, a little like a book binder. I’m sure I’ll be sticking in some little extras too.

Is Cult Culture going to specialise in punk or are you keen to release music from a diverse range of genres?

My taste in music is pretty all over the place these days so I’m hoping to accumulate a very varied roster for Cult Culture, just putting out bands that I like and have confidence in. Black Coffee are little known over here but I’m into them and when I’ve shown them to friends of mine, the response is always positive. So I guess I’m just relying on my own taste not to let me down haha.

What labels/bands influence you and your direction with Cult Culture?

There’s a lot of labels that I’m interested in and feel I can rely on them for good releases. Notably and not being totally biased, I think Holy Roar is really on top of things right now, especially with the latest releases that Alex has announced and the future only seems bright for that label.

In the US, I’ve always felt that A389 was a label I could always rely on. Lets say I was flicking through a distro and I noticed the logo on a record, I’d probably pick it up without hesitating even if I had no idea what the band sounded like. They released Anne – Dream Punx which is now one of my favourite records and its totally far detached from the other heavier bands on the label.

I feel that running a label and going with releases that you personally like is going to be so much more rewarding than being a label that just jumps on any current bandwagon that’s coming on by.
 
Any other releases you’ve got coming up that you can divulge information about?

I’m talking to another band right now about putting something out in a couple of months but nothing is set in stone yet, I’m excited about it though should it happen!

Got any UK band recommendations for our readers?

Attack! Vipers!, Svalbard, Opium Lord, Ok Pilot, Let It Die and Wade. That’ll keep you busy if you haven’t heard any of these guys before!
 
What’s the best way to keep up-to-date with all Cult Culture activity?

Just the usuals, Facebook (facebook.com/thecultculture) or the website (cultculture.co.uk)
 
I can’t wrap things up without asking how things are in Mine; proud of your achievements so far?

Things are good right now and we’re excited for this year, we’ll be a lot more active for sure! We are really proud of the first EP and the response its had so far. Putting MINE together was a very organic process and its just been flowing along pretty effortlessly in regards to song writing and agreeing on ideas together, its been a totally refreshing experience for me personally.
 
You’ve recently revealed you’re recording again with the band; what’s the plan? New EP? Split? Album!?

Well I can let you know that there will be a follow up to the EP and we’re planning a few special things for the release…..but that’s all I’m giving you, sorry haha.

A big thanks to Chris for taking the time to talk to us. Go to the Cult Culture webstore and buy some stuff.

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About Lewis Clark

Long time fan of rock and metal, webmaster and lead writer at UK Scumscene. Occasional co-host of Catbird's Sunday Roasting on TotalRock.com, 12pm to 3pm every Sunday View all posts by Lewis Clark

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