What was the first record you put
out and why did you decide to do it?
The first record Sinister ever did was a 7" from a band called
The Fantastics. It was my friend Alex who used to be in a band
called the Monsignors, whom also played with Nolan McGuire who
now roadies with Alkaline Trio in a band called the Parker Brothers.
Anyway, Alex moved to Colorado and started up a pop punk band
called The Fantastic with some locals out there. He came back,
we were at the Elmhurst VFW, he played me the tape I was like
"this is awesome!". I had told him I had been dabbling
with the idea to start a show distro, so I told him that, he said
"why dont you just put our record out", I said
"sounds good to me". That is when Sinister all started,
in early 1997. The reason I wanted to start a record label was
because I cant play any instruments and I wanted to be involved
in punk rock. So I figured I could help my friends bands.
Do you prefer to put out vinyl or CDs?
Not too many people purchase vinyl anymore. i would love to do
both, but yeah...
How are the relationships between
you and the bands you put out?
I believe most of the relationships with our bands are great.
Both Mike and I go out on the road with them when we can. I have
been going out with Frontside for years on their road trips. Most
of our bands weve known previously to doing records, so
its just an extension of our friendships. I havent really
run into many conflicts with people we work with, Im sure
there are some problems, there always are, for the most part we
try and be honest and open with everyone.
What Chicago bands would you like
to work with that you havent yet?
Ive always wanted to work with John Brown Battery, those
guys are awesome. Do you
prefer to go to shows in the city
or the suburbs and why?
Suburbs shows seem to be a lot cooler than the City shows. Although,
I do like the City shows because they are more convenient for
me to get to. Dupage basement shows are amazing, everyone is having
a fun, no attitudes, tons of mosh, it rules.
Do you prefer to go to record stores in the city or the suburbs
I dont really care for too many of the record stores in
the City. Clubhouse and Lauries Planet of sound are cool. I cant
handle reckless and the shitty music those people like. Not that
my music is any better, but I dont have an attitude about
it. All Im saying is, yeah I might like some stuff you dont
like, I can understand where people might think its shitty, right
on, whatever... But Reckless employees believe for some
reason the horrible stuff they call indie rock or 80s or
whatever trend is going around the wicker park underground scene
is the only acceptable music. All the same people giving you snide
looks when I pick up records look like they got attacked by the
ugly section of the thrift store, its quite astonishing.
Suburban shops that are awesome. First off, they are 100 times
easier to deal with if your a record label. Which is understandable
due to population density lends itself being less of a hassle.
And they have more records I would be into, I like the way the
stores are laid out a bit better. Cool suburb shops; Warehouse
Music, Music Werks, Record Breakers, Threshold, Bizzy Bee, among
others. I might be raggn on Reckless, but overall its a
cool shop that does support a ton of indie bands and labels.
Do you ever think the fireside will
If it closes that will mean more basement shows, which would be
What was your favorite Chicago band
Hands down Oblivion.
What Chicago band could you never stand more than any other?
A lot of those homewood bands that all sounded like the same pop
punk band around in 1996.
Who do you think is the most underrated
band in Chicago now?
4 squares & Vida Blue(10 Grand)
Who do you think is the most overrated
band in Chicago now?
Sweep the Leg Johnny(not saying they are bad, but they do have
a distinct sound that I dont think most people who hang
out in the fireside bar or Rock n Bowl can all enjoy. Its
like those people who go to Columbia College or Art Institute
who trick themselves into thinking they like reading books and/or
being an artist. I like some of both books and art but I know
that its not for everyone to the extent that they go on about
it. Have you ever been to the Art Institute and seen some the
projects they do? My God.)
Do you find that you get along with
most people in the scene?
No. I have met a few really cool people from it though.
Who do you hate the most?
these guys who date rapped these girls I knew. I once poured pop
all over him in hopes he would fight me but he wouldnt.
If there was going to be a massive rumble who do you think would
win between the Dupage scene and the Arlington Heights one?
Dupage has more heart, the Heights has more brawn. Man you got
Shane up in that shit, hell clear out the room. The dupage
kids wont stay down for long, this one Dupage kid was so
ready to fight in the Heights he punched the wall and broke his
hand, then proceeded to pass out.
Which scene in Chicagoland do you
think is the strangest?
you rather be at an Apocalypse Hoboken show in the 847 in 1996
or a 30 Seconds Deep show in the 630 in 1994?
I never got into hoboken or 30 seconds deep. I did see 30 seconds
deep with Mu330 in naperville and totally skanked it up for MU.
Do you think Ryan Durkin Would be
in the scene today if it werent for Dave Eves and the Elmhurst
Dave Eaves trained Mr. Durkin to be the man he is now. Ryan would
little more then a guy that should be from Villa Park if it wasnt
for Dave Eaves. I went to Ryans house once and saw this
weird shrine with pictures of Dave and Ryan and then just Dave
around this diorama. Its fairly awkward when he shows it to you,
but when he tells you the stories of all the good times they had
together it makes sense.
you ever see a good show at Scrap Skate Park?
In Truth played with Frontside once, that was straight. other
than that, no.
Do you feel responsible for the
large punker enrollment at Depaul?
I attribute the large punk enrollment to a man named Hardcore
Any last words to wrap this up?
Please before purchasing any drive thru records or atticus clothing
do a quick analysis. Those two things are the worst things ever
to come out of punk rock. Some rich guy in Blink 182 marketing
to punk rock kids, what the F
its like the sensationalizing
of punk rock, saying anyone and everyone wearing a shirt with
this book I read in 8th grade characters name in it, is
down. As for drive thru
They try to make every band a band
that can be on the major so this busted guy can make some money,
they also have tons of bands demo for them in California with
no intentions to do anything with them but have them be their
street team minions. Its fucking busted.
Last words: Get involved,
start a zine, book a show in your basement, help your friends
band, do some records, get involved in your community; food not
bombs, rainn, etc, do something to make a difference, stop watching
M2. And think about what your buying instead of buying into this
crappy consumerism that some of these labels/people try and sell
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