Scott Hamilton gives us the lowdown on US based label Small Stone Records…
How did the Small Stone Records label start off?
Growing up, I was always infatuated with music (like most kids who came of age in the 70′s and 80′s)… I knew that i wanted to do something in that field, but I really had no clue what that was… Flash forward to the early 90′s, I was working in some record shops in the Detroit, MI area around the same time that Sub Pop, Am-Rep, and Touch & Go were really starting to explode, and I figured I could do the same thing with the music that I loved from the region of the world that I live in… I started the label in 1995, but it took me a good 4-5 years to really get it off the ground and aimed in the direction that Small Stone has become today.
Which have been the most successful releases to date?
Five Horse Johnson “Fat Black Pussy Cat”, “The No. 6 Dance”, “The Last Men On Earth”, “The Mystery Spot”
Dozer “Through The Eyes Of Heathens”
Dixie Witch “Smoke & Mirrors”
Freedom Hawk “Holding On”
Gozu “Locust Season”
Halfway To Gone “Second Season”
Los Natas “Corsario Negro”
What do you look for when signing a band to the label?
I look for a few key things: The band must have a kick ass monster of a drummer, A love of early 70′s rock, Have a great work ethic, be super cool as people / easy to work with, and be able to crush a stage! When you take away any of these ingredients, it just does not work all that well.
What releases have the label got planned for the rest of the year?
We have had a very busy first half of the year, which saw new releases from: Infernal Overdrive, Dwellers, Mellow Bravo, Sun Gods In Exile to name a few, and post June 1st, we have new releases coming from: Greenleaf, Mangoo, Sons Of Otis, Abrahma, Nightstalker, Skanska Mord, Mother Of God, Lord Fowl, Five Horse Johnson, and Gozu.
How do you think the live music scene may look in five to ten years’ time given the fact that a lot of the 70’s and 80’s bands will have stopped touring by then?
I am hoping that dinosaurs of yesteryear get off the road soon… The majority of them are just doing it as a cash grab, and not even delivering a quality performance. There are hundreds of great acts out there who are currently smaller, hungrier, etc., and given the proper chance these bands could actually grow a decent fan base and replace the oldsters… That is what I am hoping for anyway.
Has the internet helped you get your music out there or has it in some ways hindered it by websites offering free downloads? Do you still rely heavily on CD sales as opposed to downloads?
The internet is a double edged sword… Without it, none of the indies and smaller acts would be given a chance to compete with the bigger fish or global market, but at the same time it has also desensatized people to music in general… the art once known as music has become “files”, not neccesarly a complete package that myself (and many others) actually grew up with… Lot’s of people expect files to be free, and that sucks, but it is where we are currently at in the game. With that said, We are relying more on vinyl sales then cds or downloads these days… Plus, vinyl is just better then the other formats in general… And, we still do sell a few cds, just not as many as we would have sold 5-6 years ago.
Any good rock ‘n’ roll tales to tell…
Lot’s, but someone may take legal action against me for saying them, so I will keep them locked away for now…
Is rock music in a better state than say five years ago given with magazines like ‘Classic Rock’ and the plethora of dedicated websites and specialist radio shows?
I think it is has always been in a decent state (except for the late 70′s with bands like Foreignor taking over). Actually, come to think of it, those shitty bands like Nickleback do not help that cause either! But great magazines like Classic Rock are helping to educate and entertain the people about the rock… So are all of the specialty radio shows and websites. It would be fantastic for the big dogs like Rolling Stone Magazine & Commercal FM Radio to actually pay attention to real rock, and help deliver it to the masses… Perhaps, once they all go out of business (for promoting crappy music that know one really wants to hear anyway), they will come to grips with the major errors.
What do you enjoy doing in your time away from music?
Time away from music? I have never experienced that! But, I do enjoy Surfing (in the ocean, not the web), Playing guitar & drums, and for some reason I have developed a keen knack for gardening.
Anything else to add…(please feel free to add links, plugs etc)
Acid King European Tour 2012
All these dates are with SUMA, except Muskelrock.
02.06. SWE – Tyrolen, Muskelrock,
03.06. GER – Hamburg, Hafenklang,
04.06. GER – Berlin, Cassiopeia
05.06. DK – Kopenhagen, Loppen
07.06. FIN – Helsinki,Kuudes Linja
08.06. FIN – Turku, Klubi
09.06. FIN – Oulu, Nuclear NightclubAll UK Dates W/ St Vitus
SARDONIS11.06 UK – London, Underworld
12.06 UK – Manchester, Academy 3
13.06 UK – Bristol, FleeceThese Dates W/ Sardonis except Hellfest
14.06. NL – Willemeen w/ Toner Low and Monomyth
15.06. B – Liege, La Zone
17.06. F – Clisson, Hellfest 2012
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Power Plays w/c 8 August 2022 (Mon-Fri)
BORN LOST Take Time (Mouthpiece) (Revolver Records)
JAIME KYLE Driving With The Brakes On (Conquest Music)
SCARLET DORN Born To Suffer (SPV Recordings)
HOLDING ABSENCE Coffin (Sharptone Records)
TYRANNOSAURUS NEBULOUS Get Some (Echoed Past Records)
KROOKED TONGUE When The Beaches Bleed (indie)
SKYPILOT Knifed On The Beach (The Distortion Project)
Featured Albums w/c 8 August (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 LESSMAN VOSS Rock Is Our Religion (Atomic Fire Records)
12:00-13:00 H.E.A.T. Force Majeure (earMUSIC)
14:00-16:00 THE SLAMBOVIAN CIRCUS OF DREAMS A Very Unusual Head (indie)
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