Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Cassette Store Day 2017: Interview with Bucket of The Toasters

For the third straight year in a row, Jump Up Records is participating in Cassette Store Day--which is this coming Saturday, October 14, 2017. Jump Up is issuing twelve cassettes (!) from acts like The Toasters, The Slackers, Mephiskapheles, Green Room Rockers, Roger Rivas, Danny Rebel, CeANNE (of Mighty Fishers and Pannonia Ska Orchestra), Flying Vipers, The Drastics, as well as a Jump Up compilation titled Pressure Hop (a detailed list of Jump Up CSD releases can be found at the bottom of this post).

In anticipation of Cassette Store Day 2017, Bucket of The Toasters was kind enough to answer a few cassette-related questions for us from San Antonio, Texas, where he was in the midst of getting a new diesel engine installed in one of his vehicles and keeping a sharp eye on some mechanics who were attempting to scam him by sneaking in some old parts amongst the new...

The Duff Guide to Ska: Back in the 80s and early 90s, cassettes were standard issue for all releases and I remember Moon selling respectable numbers of them--what do think about the resurgence of this format and why do you think it is happening now?

Bucket: "When we debuted the label, the standard release format was 12" vinyl and cassette--starting with the now legendary NY Beat release. The last Moon release to have a cassette format was Dub 56. After that time, distributors wouldn't take them. You may recall that we started that collectors' series of see-through 7" vinyl singles in order to have a different format than just straight CD."

DGTS: Jump Up has released several Toasters releases on cassette--"Dub 56," "2 Tone Army," "Skaboom"--will the rest of the back catalogue be issued on tape eventually (like "NY Fever," "Thrill Me Up," and "One More Bullet")?

Bucket: "That's the plan. I would ideally like to have all releases in all formats. But that's quite an epic task at the moment, given the poor turn around times for vinyl especially. We are increasingly turning our eyes to Eastern Europe in search of vinyl production capacity. For example, we are doing some releases with a Polish label. Expect One More Bullet vinyl from them, a release of Thrill Me Up on digipak, and more.

DGTS: Do Toasters cassettes sell well at the merch table and if so, who's buying them--old timers or the kids?

Bucket: Mostly old timers who drive old trucks! Some kids pick them up. Frankly, they have sold much better than I thought they would. Chuck was pressing me to take them and he has proven to be correct (once again, he he!).

DGTS: Do you still have a working tape deck (or Walkman?!) somewhere?

Bucket: "Actually, I don't. Having moved to Spain and back over the last 12 years, most of my old tech got sold/disposed of as, of course, no US gear works on that voltage grade there. I was thinking of heading over to Goodwill and picking up an old boombox. They have loads there..."

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Jump Up Records 2017 Cassette Store Day Releases:

The Slackers: “Wasted Days” (Limited to 150 copies; includes bonus tracks, never before on cassette.)
The Slackers: “Red Light” (Limited to 150 copies; first time on cassette, includes three rare bonus tracks.)
Mephiskapheles: “God Bless Satan” (Limited to 150 copies; first time on cassette, blood red shell).
The Toasters:  “2 Tone Army” (Limited to 150 copies; on black/white split shell.)
The Toasters “Dub 56” (Limited to 150 copies; back on cassette.)
Various Artists: “Pressure Hop” (Limited to 200 copies.)
Green Room Rockers: “Sweat Steady” (Limited to 100 copies; on clear green shell.)
Roger Rivas: “Last Goodbye"/"Autumn Breeze” (Limited to 100 copies.)
Danny Rebel: “Boombox Sessions Volume 2” (Limited to 100 copies.)
CeANNE: “Ukesteady” (Limited to 100 copies.)
Flying Vipers: “The Shadow Tape” (Limited to 50 copies.)
The Drastics: “MJ A Rocker” (Limited to 75 copies.)

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Jon said...

I'll admit it, I just don't get it. There is simply no plausible reason for a cassette revival. They sound bad, they break easily, they aren't dirt cheap (to buy - they are dirt cheap to produce, which I think is the key), they aren't as portable as digital, they don't have the artwork benefit of large vinyl.

It's silly nostalgia, period.

Get on with it and bring back CDs as nostalgia while you're at it, Chuck!

Chuck Wren said...

$5 a tape isn't cheap?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jon above. There is absolutely no hole in the modern world that is filled by cassettes. They are inferior to all competing formats in every aspect. If there's a market for them then by all means sell them. It doesn't hurt me at all. But if I start to see cassette-exclusive records I'm going to scream.