The midnight oil has been burning deep in the South to fan the flames of Primitive Violence Records & Visuals. Creator, resident She-Wolf and guitarist Jean Saiz of Shroudeater has been releasing some of Florida’s heaviest and cosmic blasphemies. The latest from death thrashers Hot Graves arrives with a figurine and some bad ass stickers. I scored the Orbweaver release awhile back and the packaging art was one of a kind. Jean always has something brewing and took the time to answer a few questions about the process:
Tell me about the inspiration behind the label?
Initially the label was created as a way to release Shroud Eater stuff without saying that we “self-released” an album. By doing that, however, I knew I didn’t want this to be some vanity label either, so there was a commitment towards working with and releasing other bands as well. I also knew I didn’t just want to release a cassette, I wanted to do something unique with each release. I’ve always been a sucker for cool packaging, and I needed some sort of outlet for my illustrations and the plans I had towards creating merch with those. Essentially all of these ideas collided and formed the basis for the label.
Years ago you told me cassettes were coming back, but I didn’t believe you. Now it seems like many bands only put out cassettes. What do you think drives this appeal?
Only speaking from my own experience, I think certain sounds really lend themselves to the cassette medium. Personally, I don’t care much for over-produced and highly polished recordings. I like some grit and hiss and that’s definitely something that comes across on a cassette release. There’s also nostalgia involved because cassettes are fun, compact and tangible. I like the feel of them, how they look in the package; visually and sonically it all works for me. And the interesting part of all of this is that it forces people to listen to music on something other than their iPod or computer.
For Hot Graves you produced a figurine en masse – what were the challenges (if any)?
I’ve been following a lot of custom and bootleg toy makers on the Instagram circuit, and I had thought it would be cool to do a figurine for one of my releases. Luckily Hot Graves had cover art that leant itself to this kind of treatment, so I sought out Dr. Gonzo of Etc. Toys and commissioned him to do the toys.. I loved the colors and craftsmanship he used on his other figurines and figured it would be a good fit. I had to scrounge eBay looking for toys that Gonzo could use to create the bootleg “Sorcerer” Figurine and goat head. Beyond that being said, I didn’t personally create the toys, however I know there was some consternation in the way that the toys were created with the resin molds breaking or not settling correctly(something very foreign to me). Luckily Gonzo is a stand-up dude and pushed through to create the 50 figurines for me, just in time for the release. Also, the Post Office sucks, and almost lost the last shipment of toys, so that is always a challenge dealing with them.
If you could release for any band – who would be some of your favorites?
That’s a tough one. I would, of course, want to work with bigger bands I love like YOB, or UFOMAMMUT. Shit, L7 is back together and touring, that would be a dream come true!
What do you see in the future for Primitive Violence?
I would like to push the illustration and artistic side of the label more in the future. I’ve started small with setting up some merch (stickers, buttons, prints) of some of my illustrations, and I hope that those start piquing people’s interest in my work and just organically growing the way the label and musical side has. Otherwise, I look forward to working with more bands and keep coming up with interesting extras… There’s a lot of stuff in the works, which I never like to divulge, so for now, it’s just pedal to the metal, rinse and repeat till it all gets done.
For more releases visit the Primitive Violence website.