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MISTY LANE RECORDS: I’LL MAKE YOU A COPY, BUT YOU’RE A LOSER

December 27th, 2012 · 1 Comment

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Nicholas Froehlich

If you’ve ever bought a garage rock album or psych reissue in the last 20 years or so, there’s a good chance it came from Italy, where fans of the fuzz never stopped pressing vinyl and whole clubs still look like a scene from Antonioni’s Blow Up. But before great labels like Akarma or Rave Up or Psych-Out became infamous abroad, the label that started it all (and which produces a thick magazine of the same name packed with paisley interviews) was Rome’s Misty Lane Records, which has been going strong for a quarter of a century as a label–and, now, a book publisher, not to mention running its young rockin’ subsidiary, Teen Sound Records. We caught up with label head and founder Massimo del Pozzo, known by swingin’ go-go guys and gals around the garage rock world merely as “Massimo,” on a cold, cold night in a Roman whiskey bar, where he warmed our hearts with his enthusiasm, never-say-die attitude, and utter contempt for 80’s home cassette recording. This interview by D. M. Collins.

You personally played lead guitar in Gonn, the 60’s garage band that did “Blackout on Gretely.” How did that happen?

Massimo del Pozzo (label honcho): I played because Gonn played in Rome twice in 1996 and then they came back in 1999. We were already friends through the internet. Craig Moore, the leader of Gonn came, and we recorded and album together with my band, the Others. We split the album in two – one side was Gonn with Gonn songs, and the other side of the records was with Rudi [Protrudi] of the Fuzztones singing and playing harmonica and the Others. So that was the Others, and the record was called ‘Yellow Apart From Green.’ That was a nice time: we had Greg and Rudi all together. In the year 2000 we got a festival together in Rome with the Chocolate Watchband, we had 12 bands. Fuzztones, the Things, bands from my label, the Others. And we played Atlanta…

When were you in Atlanta?

Massimo del Pozzo: In 1997. I was playing with the Others and we were part of in this line-up in a three-day festival called the Fuzz Fest. That was with the Fleshtones, Gonn, Fortune & Maltese, a lot of bands that I can’t remember the names now.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Fortune & Maltese.

Massimo del Pozzo: I was at the club, and I didn’t know it was illegal to drink beer outside of the club. So I had my beer in my paper cup outside of the club, and this car stops on the other side of the road. And this cop, he just looked at me very badly, and I say to myself “Uh-oh, there’s a problem, it looks like … what’s the movie?”

Mallrats? Gremlins? Chicago?

Massimo del Pozzo: Um…

Bridget Jones’s Diary?

Massimo del Pozzo: Supervixen! A Supervixen kind of cop with the glasses on, staring at me and looking and moving his club, looking at me like “I’m going to kill you.” I said, “Oh my god, I think there’s a problem. I’m going to get back into the club.” And I get to the door and the door guy says, “Hey! What are you doing? Where were you?” I said, “I was outside.” “Well, what are you holding?” “I’m holding a beer!” “You’re holding a beer and you’re outside the club? What are you doing?!” I said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t know that there was any problem.” “Well, that’s why there is a cop behind you.” “The cop?! Oh shit! I gotta get inside now!” So I got inside, I was standing there inside for 35 minutes like a statue, I ditched my beer. I told the whole story to Craig Moore and Gonn and it was like, he is from the Midwest, so it was like, [imitates nasally Midwestern accent] “Har Har Har!”

You know how hard this is going to be to put in print? Like in italics, “He said in a Midwest accent…”

Massimo del Pozzo: The most important thing is when we recorded the album, we recorded a version [of “Blackout on Gretely”] and I said, “Craig, you know I’m a fucking purist, could you just spell it the way you used to in 1966?” And he goes, “Yeah, yeah you cunt, I’ll do that for you.” And then he did it completely different, because he did it like “The universe is permeated by kerosene! Da-da-da! Da-da-da!”

Whatever pain he caused you, it’s nothing compared to the pain it will be translate your inflection into a print article.

Massimo del Pozzo: I went on tour with them, because they came to Europe for about 12 gigs, a tour. I was supposed to be a rhythm guitar player, but the lead guitar player, he had a problem, he was drunk all the way all the time. So after the second time, I was the lead guitar player. I said, “wow” – I was the shit, I was very proud of it, I don’t know what I’m doing… The thing is, I was with these guys, not only the Gonn guys, but their wives, and their sons – it was like 40 people in the van and I was driving the van. Through the alps!

And you toured Canada. And crossed the border from there to the U.S. How did that go?

Massimo del Pozzo: Oh well, you know. The whole story goes, we’ve been stopped for a few hours there. They asked if we were Communist, or if we had intentions to kill the President, or if we were into fucking young Americans, like underage. And unfortunately my guitar player decided he was Communist! I was like, “You are not serious. You did not write that.” He said, “I’m serious.” So I’m like, “We’re going to be stuck here forever now.” But then, they didn’t check our car. I was surprised, because we had guitars in there and they had to charge us for the fact that we were going to play in America. We’d have to pay some taxes for it. But they didn’t check our car, and we could have had a corpse in the baggage.

Next time you should really kill somebody when you’re in Canada. It’s so cold there that the body will keep for several weeks! But let’s back up and talk a little bit. When did you start Misty Lane Records?

Massimo del Pozzo: Everything started in 1989. For a brief period I had sort of a fanzine on my garage group that was called the Sidewalkers and then another band I had was called Sudden Shapes. We needed something to show to people when we were at the shows. I was using this Misty Lane moniker and logo way back then, because I was so much into that song. Because Misty Lane is to me sort of a perfect song because it’s garage, and it’s pop, and it’s easy to remember, and it’s catchy–it’s a song by the Chocolate Watchband. Their influence to me was so huge, probably more than any other band.

Why so?

Massimo del Pozzo: I can tell you that the Chocolate Watchband influence to me was big because they were not the Rolling Stones, but they were the Rolling Stones for a lot of people. That’s what we were aiming to be. In 1986 and 1988, 1989 we were playing songs to people and we were doing “You’re Gonna Miss Me” and “Pushin’ Too Hard.” And people were coming up after the show to us and saying, “wow, that’s so cool, what the heck, what’s this fucking stuff all about? This is your stuff?” And we’d say, “Yeah…” because we liked the fact that nobody knew it.

In the last couple of years we’ve lost a lot of the singers who wrote songs like that. We lost Sky Saxon of the Seeds, we’ve lost Arthur Lee of Love, we’ve lost Sean Bonniwell of the Music Machine, and in a way we’ve Alex Chilton who also was in the Box Tops and was in that era of music. Is it just the time, everybody from that era, is it their time? Do we have to expect to lose Roky Erickson next?

Massimo del Pozzo: No, I think Roky is doing pretty well. I mean, he has a record out and I’m amazed that he made it. At the time, I wasn’t surprised much that Sky Saxon had a record out. And Sean Bonniwell, he wrote a book, so he was still alive. Roky – he looks like he was completely lost somewhere and nobody knew about it. It was a surprise to me. I cannot say that the record really hit me that much. But it is good that he is still alive. And he is a great mind. I admire all of these people that survived their own times and the time in between. I really have a lot of admiration for these people. Who I really miss, a lot, is Sky Saxon. I have a nice memory of him because we had been chatting a lot, and I have interviewed him in my magazine before. He came to Rome to do a show, and he did the show twice, one year after the other, and I saw him twice. The first time that I met Sky, he was very nice to me. We talked like two days before and he was completely clean and he remembered everything. So I went to him and said, “Hi Sky!” He said “Hi!” I said, “I’m Massimo, we did an interview two days ago.” “Oh sure, I remember you, yeah how’s it going?” We chat for 35 minutes, and then he said, “Do you have magazines for me? I want your magazine.” I said, “Ok, I’ll go back in the car and grab some copies for you and I’ll get them to you. Just wait for me, five minutes.” And I come back in five minutes, and I said, “Hi” and then he says, “Hi I’m Sky Saxon.” And I’m like “Oh my god.” So then we had to do it all over again. It took me 35 more minutes to get it into him. But that was Sky. But what I was afraid that I miss, when Arthur Lee came, I knew that he was a difficult person, but I would expect him, looking at him onstage, so clean and so tight and he was in perfect shape, so maybe, I thought, he’s okay. But then in person he was like cold, like, “Hey you don’t touch me, stay there and I’ll stay here.”

Did you meet Sean Bonniwell of the Music Machine before he passed away?

Massimo del Pozzo: I haven’t met him in person, but he’s been a huge force in the way I’ve been listening to the music of the 60s, and the way I’ve been hearing the music and writing my own music. I discovered it [the Music Machine] through other bands of the 80s, like the Fuzztones – through the way that the Fuzztones and the other bands of the 80s were using the Music Machine, and the effects like the fuzz and the organ and the instruments. We sort of became friends, in a way, through the internet and Facebook. Lana, who now plays organ in the Fuzztones, she’s been playing organ with Sean, and I knew of Bonniwell Machine, the project he did a few years ago. When he died, it really surprised me, I wasn’t expecting it. Just like for Sky Saxon, it something that you don’t expect and then it happens and it’s very sad. I last had a chat with Sean about the fact that I have a pretty rare 45 of “Talk Talk,” an Italian version on *Badet*’Records, which is an Italian 60s small label of the times. We had a lot of laughs together, because he didn’t know that actually “Talk Talk” was released in Italy way back in 1967 (that version), and he asked me,” How much did you pay for it?” I said “I’m sorry, fifty cents. And he said,”Oh wow, that’s fair game, that’s good!” And I said, “Yeah, but you know how much I sold it for…” Then he was like, “How much?” “$500.” He said, “Holy shit! Why’s that?” I said, “Because, it’s a picture sleeve and he said, “A pictures sleeve?” Like, we had a pictures sleeve out on a very tiny Italian label at the time. Then I had to tell him the story. In the 80s there was this very garage, bad sort of band, that was called Talk Talk. The guy who sold me the single, he looked at me very badly and said, “Are you sure you want to get this one? Okay, well, give me 50 cents.” That’s it. I gave him fifty cents and sold it for $500. So yeah it was like, so far out way back then. We got more excited about the fact that nobody knew that stuff. Everything started like this. There was a fanzine, there were a lot of demo tapes, tapes of the band I was playing with, and then it started like, a label. In 1990 we recorded our first single and everything started then. Now it’s 253 records from way back then…

Wow! What’s the most recent record that your label has released?

Massimo del Pozzo: Um, that’s a tough question – do you have another question, ha ha? You know, I’m very proud of many of the records that I’ve done. But the Chesterfield Kings, the Fuzztones, the Thanes, and Stamps: those are four of the best bands for me, in the 80s, that really gave me an influence for my own music, my own band, and all the people that got involved with my scene at the time. So I am very proud of that. At the same time I am very proud of the fact that I–in 1988, 1989, it seemed that everything was coming to an end, everything was finished. The only label in Italy and Europe that was very strong was called Electric Eye. It was an Italian label that made Sick Rose? and other bands. It closed down, and then I said, you know – I don’t like this, I’m going to start a label. And that’s what I did. But I had no idea, way back then, that I would be doing this for 25 years, at all. As my mother said, “Get yourself a life, get a job” – I keep saying this to myself every week.

You keep bringing up the Fuzztones. Why have the Fuzztones captured the imagination of people in Europe far more than they have in the U.S.? There were so many bands in those paisley days, like the Miracle Workers…

Massimo del Pozzo: The Cynics, the Liars …

Yeah! Of all those bands, why did the Fuzztones catch on so well in Europe? I mean, to the point where Europeans have Fuzztones tattoos and wear Fuzztones-style Flintstones animal tooth necklaces?

Massimo del Pozzo: There is a word that my girlfriend here would say, but there is no way to translate it in English, it’s “coati.” C-O-A-T-T-I. This is a way to say that they had a, sort of an “imperialistic” attitude, ha ha! They mix power, garage, punk, sort of a little bit of metal, bikers, rock n roll, and a masculine attitude and things, all together, you know. Still, all the girls in front of the stage here, they like the Fuzztones more than the other bands because Rudi is doing his thing, his own thing. It’s like, “I am the rock ‘n’ roller and you’re here for me – you wanna see my cock?” He’s doing the Jim Morrison thing, like “you’re here for me and you’re here for rock ‘n’ roll and nobody else is doing it, so I’m gonna do that”. That’s why people are still there in front of the stage, because they know exactly every show, Rudi could change his line-up, every year – and he’d do that, every year because nobody stands it. I mean I’ve been in the Fuzztones myself.

Oh really?

Massimo del Pozzo: I had never been fired, because I left the band before. But we’re friends, we’re so much friends. Every time he asks me, “why don’t you join the band again?” I say, “you know, I’ve been there once, it’s okay with me.” Ha ha! But you know what? The people in the band usually have this urge to show their own personal attribute, but once you’re in a band with someone like Rudi Protrudi, you know where you have to stand. You have to stand behind and show who’s the leader. And that’s part of it: it’s fun. Most of the people in rock ‘n’ roll nowadays, they’re too serious. And Rudi is serious about himself as much as he’s not serious about himself, as much as he’s not serious about the whole thing. He can laugh about it, but at the same time, once he’s up on the stage, he is serious about it. And that’s what people recognize. And so they have fun. That’s why I think, people in Europe, they have this relation with this kind of thing, because other bands they’re probably—possibly—way better. Even 60s style related, like the Liars, the Cynics, and the Miracle Workers—all these bands were very good. Extremely good! But the Fuzztones, they had this appeal. The Chesterfield Kings–I brought these bands to Rome, they played in Rome. The Cynics, the Miracle Workers, and the Chesterfield Kings, they were perfect. They were way more 60s than the Fuzztones, all the way – but they didn’t have this sort of rock ‘n’ roll attitude that the Fuzztones have, which is, let it go. Let it go, let it be fun. They were great, but they were probably a little too serious. In Europe people like to get the serious part of the 1music. In fact everybody will say that the Chesterfield Kings are top in the 60s scene, the Cynics are the tough band, the Liars more of a rock ‘n’ roll band, but the more fun band, it’s the Fuzztones. Because you’ve got this guy there, the 60s aura, and he will still show his dick and do it onstage; come on, we wanna see that. We wanna have some fun. He’s all about fun.

You have all these big events out here. Recently you had the Morlocks—how have their shows gone? We don’t get to do those huge showcases as much in the U.S.

Massimo del Pozzo: Personally I have to say that being friend with the Morlocks it’s a personal point of view and Leighton is a great guy, I really have a lot of admiration for him. as a matter of fact, it’s a personal story, because one of the first garage songs I fell for, it’s “Spooky” by his earlier band, the Gravedigger V. “Spooky” is my anthem! When I was 16 years old, I was going, [sings] “It’s spooooo-ky! Yeah, it’s spooky.” That was me! And that’s the song. And when I met my girlfriend, she is a friend of them too but not only this me and Leighton, we had a great time I was DJing, he was playing. The next week I was in Paris, and he was DJing, and I was playing, and we were together again. He is different from Rudi but I see him as a way of living the rock ‘n’ roll and garage thing, he’s very passionate and very easy and very rock ‘n’ roll in the true word. So I showed them, I really like them, it’s not the original Gravedigger V because Gravedigger V didn’t know how to play, but we loved that. They were punk and they had no idea how to play their own instruments. They had the wrong chords and we loved that. When I was listening to “Spooky” way back in 1985, possibly, I said to myself, “oh my god, this is awful, I hate it, it’s bad, it doesn’t sound good, but… oh my god I like it a lot. Shit! I love it! Oh my god I want to be like that…” and it was very fast, it just punches you, just get you, and the Gravedigger V, they’re good.

Does Gravedigger V still play?

Massimo del Pozzo: Gravedigger V still play. I saw them play a festival, they played the songs from way back in 1985, so the songs are okay-

Do they have any original members aside from Leighton?

Massimo del Pozzo: I could be wrong, but but nobody from gravedigger five and the Morlocks is in the band anymore except for Leighton. It’s only him because he moved to Spain, you know. Just like Rudi, he moved to Germany so it’s obvious that he has new people. but besides that – I still play garage music after 25 years and I had a reunion of the original lineup of my own band.

Which band?

Massimo del Pozzo: The Others. We did form in 1989 – we play together and the worst thing about the lineup wasn’t the music, it was that I was older than them but they look shittier than me, way shittier than me – they look bad.

How did you get other bands to contribute or say, “Hey, we want to put out music on Misty Lane?”

Massimo del Pozzo: Well, most of the bands simply write me. They get in touch with me and say, you know, we’ve recorded some songs, we’d like to send them to you or whatever, and a few years ago I would receive weekly like 5, up to 10 demo tapes or CDs, whatever. Nowadays they just upload the songs and say just go listen yourself and if you like it we’d like to have a record with you. I don’t go online much and try to find a band myself unless on Myspace or Facebook or whatever someone suggests to me to go and listen to a band. There are so many bands out there. The problem is, what to do when you have a band. If they upload their songs and they are available to everyone for free, then why have a label? Answer: the label is something to go in between and help the band to get some connections, some exposure, and at the same time some gigs. And I’m working on getting in touch with bands from Australia, Canada, and the States because they want to build a connection from other countries to Italy. The Italian bands, they don’t need a label. They don’t want a label.

So what you’re really saying is that you’re helping them break into the European market.

Massimo del Pozzo: Yeah! that’s what I’m interested in. last week I got a CD from this band from Minneapolis, I guess they were called Trolley, I guess they’re probably paying since 15 years or something, they’re a power pop band more than a garage band, and I liked it. So I said, you wanna come here, have a show, tour Italy and Europe, can I help you? Ok, let’s do a record together. You buy a certain amount of copies of the LP, you come here and sell your stuff and bring your last copies to the States, and then I have distribution in the States, and that’s it. I’m way more interested in working with bands that come from abroad than working with just bands in my own country. The bands here, they are lazy. Most the time even if they are very good, they have no chance. And this is a big problem with Europe and most Italian bands. Even if you have a very good band—and I’ll give you some of records, you will listen to some of these bands I produce and you will listen and say, wow, this is actually really good, I wouldn’t expect something so good coming out of Italy. And it’s so good because Italian band especially are so fixated with garage and psych and 60s and they got heavily into it, as much as they got heavily into being fans the garage scene of the US paisley underground, so the same attitude that they put into listening and being fans they put into playing the music. At the same time, the radio and everything we have here, they don’t give them as much support as they could give to any touring band. So at some point I’m forced to work with other bands from other places from other countries you know.

So what are some younger bands that have come through that you’ve put out records or put on showcases or helped out?

Massimo del Pozzo: Right now, the new band that I’m putting out is the Thunderbeats–they’re from Moscow, from Russia. They’re very young and they play amazing garage with a little hint of psych as well. Very into Back from the Grave kind of stuff but they’re not the same old thing they’ve been listening to 1,000 times. But I have to tell you that most of the bands nowadays I don’t like. I’m talking about 60s-kinda influenced, 60s garage stuff, because you’ve heard it a lot of times already, so they’re boring. I’ve heard like 300 songs that start like that and finish like that, so unless it’s a band that I really want to hear and it’s an outtake or something that I haven’t heard before, I don’t want to hear it. I think the reason that garage music exists now is for people who never heard it before.

No preconceptions; they can just enjoy the music for what it is.

Massimo del Pozzo: Yeah exactly. I prefer to play in front of an audience of a bunch of squares. People from other kind of music, whatever music it is. Punk, metal, and say wow, that’s exciting, it sounds like—I don’t know what it is, but it’s good.

Well, that’s how things were in the 80s, right?

Massimo del Pozzo: yeah well this was happening in 1989 when I started and it’s exactly the same now. They don’t know what the fuck we are talking about. Nobody knew about that. They have stuff taken from the internet they don’t have the record I have 22, 000 fucking records in my collection. It’s my house, my garage, my second garage, my friend’s garage. I have records everywhere. I mean I’m not saying I’m good because I have records, but I have to go there and buy them every single fucking record they have like “oh, I have so many megabytes.” I don’t have megabytes; I don’t know what you’re talking about. I have sleeves. I have fucking rock records.

But as a record company owner, do you sell digital music?

Massimo del Pozzo: yeah I’m into it, I’m into producing any kind of music that can be sold in any way.

Lee Joseph of Dionysus Records said this, too, that his stuff might not be around anymore if it weren’t for the digital downloads.

Massimo del Pozzo: Yeah, digital is okay but what I don’t like is the idea of people ripping the music and the heart and whatever you put out because you are doing something and you are involved with the record producer, a studio, instruments, buying strings, paying for studio, paying for your recordings, paying for your clothes’ and paying for everything you have to pay for it so why do people have to get it for free when it’s not free art have never been free people have to work on their own art and unless the government gives you some money and they will never, why do I have to do it for free want my own fucking money from it. And it doesn’t matter if it’s one dollar. It’s the idea. A band has to be paid when they have a gig. A record has to be paid when you get it. If you download it for free and you don’t even find a fucking address to send money to, fuck you, you’re selling my music for free, or you’re giving away my music for free. I’m sorry, you’re not doing the right thing, and I don’t think that people should praise or like what you do because you are not doing a favor for the music, you are killing the music. And there is only one way that music can be alive: it’s to be paid.

In the days before downloading music did you ever copy a record onto a cassette?

Massimo del Pozzo: You know that’s a funny story. When in the 80s, you had to copy onto a cassette, you were a loser. Oh, you don’t have the record. Poor guy, I’m sorry for you! Ok, I’ll make a copy for you, you loser. Because why? Okay, oh, you don’t have a job. But you have money to get out and get drinks, and you have money to go out and get shoes and money to get drinks for your girlfriend, and you love this garage music so much, but you don’t have one fucking dollar to get a record? I’m sorry, that’s a problem between me and you. I’ll make you a copy, but you’re a loser. That’s the thing. We were into having that thing, the real thing. The real thing was art, it was like having a book. It’s not about spending money … it’s the idea. Personally, when I started putting out records I used to press 3,000, then 3000 got to 1000 copies, and now I press 500 copies. 500 copies means that the band gets 100 copies for free. From the the other 400 copies, the band buys some copies from the label, and the rest, which is probably 250 – we sell that. Do you think that a label is a real label if they only sell 250 copies? And do you think that a label is a label if every copy only costs you 10 bucks? We’re talking about 2500 bucks worth, and how much is the cost of one record press? $1500. So every record I sell, I make, possibly, 1,000 bucks. You think I’m getting rich out of it, even with 253 records out? No. It’s fucking hard. I like it. I will do it until the very last factory closes, I will put out records, I don’t care—because I like it and I think it’s worth it. But the band has to believe in it and believe in what they’re doing. And they don’t have to change their name after two months. And they don’t have to put their music for free on the internet, and they don’t have to blah, blah, blah. There are too many mistakes that a band does, so the label is trying to do their best to support the band, but the band has to do a lot. They’re not into working a lot anymore, they’re lazy.

Do you have any California bands on your label?

Massimo del Pozzo: No, unfortunately. I was supposed to work with a few California bands. the new exciting thing is that since we have a few friends based in LA and San Francisco, me and my girlfriend, not that we want to move there, but we have an idea about trying to go there and looking for some bands that are interested in playing Europe and having a European label and trying to do what I was telling you before. Try to build a connection in between – especially for California bands but not just those types of bands. She is into a lot of modern rock and stoner rock.

We have a lot of that nowadays.

Massimo del Pozzo: Yeah you have a lot of that. Her thing is, she works with me on with the graphics, she works with illustration, and she does the covers for the albums and things. She has a lot of connections with new bands as well, she’s working on her own label and her own collection of bands and she wants to do something with the more stoner bands and that’s her own thing. And my thing is, I want to go back to L.A. because I’ve been there many times, way back in the 80s and the 90s, and I was very young then. So right now we don’t have any bands there, but we want to look for some bands that are interested. We’re going to California, and will find some bands who want to come to Europe and play. If it works.

What are some good, dynamite bands from Italy that people in California might like?

Massimo del Pozzo: There is a band called Bradipos IV, it’s an animal that walks very slowly, like a monkey, sort of –

Like an orangutan?

Massimo del Pozzo: Sort of, yeah.

An ape? With no tail?

Massimo del Pozzo: We say that in Italian, too. [Subsequent investigation shows that he was saying “Bradypus,” which is Italian for “tree sloth.”] It’s a band that’s played for fifteen years. I managed to give a CD that I produced on my label of their sound to Quentin Tarantino, because he liked that kind of stuff. They went this summer to California, they had a tour – actually probably September – they played on a very famous California radio. One of these guys has a whole surf scene…

Phil Dirt?

Massimo del Pozzo: Yeah. They had a picture together with him because they were on his show on the radio, they were very excited. One of these shows on the radio, they got this big, big band coming to their show. Bradipos IV. Another one that is very influenced by California and the Fuzztones, is the Preachers. Not the original Preachers, but a new band – they’re very nice. They made a record together with Rudi and Lana of the Fuzztones as well, because they’re friends. Another band we are producing right now is from Germany, they are called the Cheeks. They have this new album out, which is very, very fucking American-sounding. It’s more American than any American band I’ve heard.

What do you mean by “American?”

Massimo del Pozzo: When we went to the States, for us it was places like Corpus Christi and Austin, because we wanted to go to the original punk scene. And then Ohio: all these places where all these garage bands of the 60s were born. We were coming from Toronto and I was driving the car, and they were like, “where are you taking us?” I’m taking you to Parma, Ohio. “Where the hell is, Parma, Ohio? Why are you driving us to Parma, Ohio?” Don’t ask me, I’m driving you there. You will know once we’re there. Then we got there and I got a picture of this big “Parma, Ohio” sign, why did I have to do that? There was this band from the sixties called the Alarm Clocks, they wrote a song called “Yeah, Yeah.” And they were from Parma and I was so much into it that I had to go there. My friends were like, “fucking stupid, we had to drive there 200 kilometers, you’re an asshole.” But we had to go there because the Alarm Clocks played there in 1966. And you know what? The Alarm Clocks, they got back together, they reformed, they got an album together. And we talked in emails, and I sent them this in emails, and they were so proud. I know it’s stupid, I’m not saying it’s not dumb. Don’t look at me like that, I know what you’re thinking. It’s like when you go to Disneyland. It’s stupid, but you have to do it!

ISSUE #21 OF MISTY LANE MAGAZINE IS ON STANDS NOW. ALBUMS BY THE THUNDERBEATS, THE VICE, THE ELECTRIC SHIELDS AND MANY MORE COMING SOON ON TEEN SOUND RECORDS.

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