Steady Beat Recordings Interview
Redstar73 Blog: Pls can you tell us more about the start of your record label.
Luis: Started the Label in 1993 because i noticed a lot or most of the bands that Ray and I were booking did not have any demos or any type of music to listen to or sell. I only wanted to put together a few cassette releases but it turned out I started something bigger. As if the So. Cal Ska scene was waiting for a label to kick ass. At first it was cassettes, but then a distributor (Sounds of California) Bill , suggested i do records and I did. that was the beginning of Steady Beat Recordings, soon after 2 7″s and 2 casstees i started working on SKAuthentic, all the while distributing the Ocean 11 CD, i was the one that brought this CD to the Masses. Soon came Mobtown and everything else.
Redstar73 Blog: For a few years I haven’t heard anything from you. The label is back with a few great 45s now. Why did you stop to release music and why are you coming back?
Luis: I took a break in 2004 from producing shows and releasing music. In 198 things in the music business got real bad, I was getting returned product form Tower Records Sam Goody Music and all other Music chains that were not selling any more music because of the state of the industry (see napster) may music stroes shut theior doors and there was no way for me to distribute music for the time being. The Ska concerts were not pulling any more new heads and that generation had grown up and settled down. I took a back seat and concentrated on my Family Life. Until 2008. During this time 2003-2008 whenever i would go to a show or see people from the scene, the question was always the same,. When are you gonna do more shows?
One of the reasons i stopped producing shows was because bands were expecting more $$ than we could bring in on a show. They did not understand that if we set up a show at the whisky agogo, the rent was going to be high and less $$ for the bands. obviously if we had a smaller less known venue the rent would would be less but the bands usually would not want to play. Also Bands expected the promoter to do all the work and promote, some bands would not even want to hand out fliers.
So the reason i stopped doing shows was because there was not people sharing the load. AND the only way i was about to do any more shows was if a club called me and said “hey we got 150.00 for you to spin and bring a band and free beer all night long” AND THAT did happen.
So there was no risk involved anymore and i accepted the challenge. Feb 2008 we started doing shows at the firehouse in lomita, then at the San Pedro Brew co. We dropped the Firehouse and started “rockers on the waterfront” friday reggae nights. this was simple , we had a set amount for the bands, regardless if people showed up or not.
Once i was back in the groove of things, i found that there were a few good bands that needed to be listened to. My friend Elvis from Smelvis records (hellcat) told me he was going to release limited edition 7″. I thought that was a great idea and started putting together some acts for the label in the summer of 2010. Hell it took almost a year to press and get the final product out to the scene. the key was finding someone to press only 200 records. I am pressing these records to let people know about the So. Cal ska scene, and also to have people who were not around in 1998 to have a taste of what it was like.
Redstar73 Blog: Whats going on in the LA ska scene? Any new good bands we should check out?
Luis: the scene is vibrant, new bands of course the Delirians, the Rizlas, Arise roots, Pachamama, Pan Dulce, rude Boys outta jail (2tone cover band), Allentons, Seespot, Bohunks,
Redstar73 Blog: The spanish speaking comnunity seems to have a huge influence on the ska scene in south california. They seems to have their own shows and bands. You have more details?
Luis: YEA they do, when you speak of the spanish community, what you are really saying is the latin ska core comunity, these bands like Raskahuele, Chencha berinches, Etc.. are not traditional ska acts, they borrow more from the 3rd wave skapunk movement. its like playing in an Orange County ska punk band singing in spanish. They have their place in the scene. As a matter of fact before this latin ska core was popular i was booking these acts alongside trad ska acts. YESKA was one of the 1st acts to bring these 2 scenes together.
Redstar73 Blog: Last words.
Luis: from the mouth of Coxsone Dodd. “Keep on Keeping on.” keep on rocking to that rock-STEADY BEAT!