Insurgence Records Interview
1. Habt Ihr jemals Ärger mit Faschos gehabt? Hate Mails bekommen?
IR – Cutting straight to the chase, eh? Ok. First off, hate-mail and other internet-related nonsense is never a problem, especially from those who would rather not confront us face-to-face. We're seeing a lot of younger types these days in the world of skinhead and hardcore music who probably spend *way* too much time behind their keyboards. Things are done very differently in the real world, so we have a policy of not responding to that time-wasting internet crap. But with that said, the existence of fascism in this subculture is certainly problematic. Many of our critics maintain that we’re instigating the problem by being political. Some go as far as suggesting we are using skinhead as a political recruitment tool! If fascist skinheads didn't exist, would we still be producing skinhead music from this end of the spectrum? Damn right we would! The reality is that fascism is a problem in this subculture and there are only two responses to that; Address the problem or ignore it. Both of these are conscious *political* decisions.
2. Erzählt uns mehr über den Verlag. Gibt es Bücher oder Zeitungen?
IR – To date, we've sponsored the production of a booklet entitled 'The Militant Tradition – Commemorating Canadian Volunteers of the International Brigades', which is a small and concise reader on North American involvement in the Spanish Civil War. We have a couple of videos in the publishing catalog as well. At the moment, we’re sticking to what we do best – music. But that’s not to say something other than that won’t be issued in the future.
3. Wie wählt Ihr die Bands aus? Müssen die unbedingt politisch sein?
IR – It’s been a very natural process. Our bands have gravitated to us as we have done to them. They are as committed to producing quality music as they are to their lyrics and activities outside of their respective bands. When Insurgence started out, we initially wanted to promote skinhead and hardcore bands that had something worthwhile to say. They had to sound good as well! This wasn’t difficult, seeing as there were many decent bands in our midst that weren’t getting support or recognition for their efforts. We began showcasing a few imports that we thought stood out in terms of their antifascist stance and this got a positive response from the people that mattered to us. Our trials, errors and successes have provided us with the foundation on which to finally begin fielding for North American talent, which is where we're focusing now. The newer bands usually approach us first because they've heard what we're about. And honestly, there's no one else around that does what we do. There are some noteworthy streetpunk labels and bands that conduct some amazing product, but they're not us. And I think people recognize and respect that. By the same token, we try to work with a lot of broader initiatives because we are mainly here to promote the traditional values of this subculture. Nowhere does it state or is it inferred that our bands must be political in order to get on side with us. On the other hand, it doesn't make sense for us to support a band that says 'no politics' because that would mean they're inherently saying no to us! Reactionaries in the skinhead scene vent a lot of (political?) steam trying to convince folks that we are as much a cancer in the scene as the fascists. If we're guilty of anything, its quite possible that we tend to inspire some degree of polarization in the areas we effect. But when it comes down to boneheads storming your gigs, it’s important to know who's got your back when the shit hits the fan. I guess it’s not as important for the people who turn tail and run.
4. Was gab es bis jetzt an Feedback? Wie kamen die Sampler an?
IR – The Class Pride World Wide series has had amazing feedback! When we started the label out, bringing in mostly imported material, these comps were initially the only products that were totally produced under our direction. Our aim was to deliver a resounding fuck-off salute to the pricks that came up with the White Pride World Wide compilations, which truth be told are musically shoddy inferiors, never mind the politics! You may or may not notice that the artwork for our compilations is modeled after Spanish Civil War posters circa 1936-39. We’ve made a conscious decision to incorporate this theme (see our label logo for example) as a reply to all those ridiculous fascist skinhead bands that make liberal use of the World War imagery and suchlike. We deemed it appropriate for the label to counteract this nationalist mythology with an example on class terms that actually fought tooth and nail against this. It’s made a tangible impact in terms of weaning kids off of these false notions and at has at least keyed them into the existence of a real alternative. By the time the second Class Pride compilation came out a year back you began to see a few bands on there from this side of the world who now feature on our label. The whole project has been very worthwhile. Class Pride 3 is currently in the works.
5. Was habt Ihr in der Zukunft vor?
IR – We have some big plans for the coming years. The next main event we have coming up is an east coast Canadian tour for the Stage Bottles to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of RASH. The tour will be supported by Fighting Chance (Baltimore) and Fate 2 Hate (Montreal), two bands that have full-lengths coming out on Insurgence. This will be occurring at the beginning of May, so we’re looking forward to that. We’ll be sending more information about that as we get it in hand.
6. Arbeitet Ihr in irgendwelchen politischen Gruppen mit wie der Antifa?
IR – We are only a music organization, so our 'political work' is limited therefore to fundraising and organizing event security. We work with a fellowship of bands, groups and friends around the country to do this. The anti-racist movement has largely ignored us, I think because we exist in areas where the liberal left is absent. We believe a new left opposition needs to be built, but a record label is certainly no means to do that. It takes many different approaches to make the world go round, however. Some organizations close to our hearts include RASH, AFA, and Class Action.
7.Warum gibt es das Label überhaupt?
I think a lot of that has already been explained so I don’t want to belabor the point too much. Our basic reasoning was to lay down some decent history for our side and have a good time doing so. We’ve been able to roll back the tide of support for white power music in many areas and offer a true alternative. There’s a long way to go in this regard but we’re going from strength to strength. Many independent music labels these days complain about sagging sales and tough times. For us this will no doubt hold true for the duration. We try to get our product into HMV shops around the country, but we don’t suffer sleepless nights if the demand from those customers ain’t there. No surprise. Fascist record labels in North America rely *completely* on an undergound network for their sales. If four out of five of our potential sales is going to the likes of these scum, then that’s where our sights are set.
redstar73 production 2002-2005