If you’ve read Thrash Hits for any length of time, you’ll know we bloody love The Armed: the loudest, nastiest, most badass band out of Detroit that your poser mates down the pub have never heard of, who’ve released everything they’ve ever recorded as totally free downloads. Well, they’ve only gone and formed themselves a super DIY label, haven’t they? No Rest Until Ruin is now the home of The Armed, Old Gods, and Nice Hooves – and you’d be wise to get familiar with those bands if you’re not already. We dropped an email to Tony Wolski, one of the men behind the label, to find out what’s been stirring in Michigan these last few months…
The obvious, boring question first – why did you decide to start a label?
Being in a bunch of bands and having a bunch of bands in the area doing legitimately interesting things inspired us to put an overarching label on what we were doing. The idea is that these groups may be different, playing different music, but there’s this overall mission statement to everything. Different approaches working towards the same goal. Again, No Rest Until Ruin is both a label and a collective. Some of the bands are still working through other record labels, but we still get to identify our “crew.”
The label is obviously named after a song by The Armed – why that name? What significance does it have?
The name is significant because it sums up our mission statement – to not let down until we’ve destroyed either what passes for music to most people or ourselves. Play in a billion bands and make sick records that are exactly what you want them to be. Make a music video for a song thats 50 seconds of droning noise with ten thousand dollars worth of camera equipment. Announce shows in the tiniest venues the day of and fill most the venue with amps. Make your record release show a chili cook-off. Encourage people to start their own versions of your band. Give everything away for free. Do whatever.
Watch the video of the song by The Armed that’s No Rest Until Ruin’s namesake:
There’s an insane level of DIY philosophy going on with No Rest Until Ruin – can you talk us through it, and what made you decide to operate the label in this way?
Again, I think its just that spirit of no compromise. And the rejection of the mindset that you need X and Y to get to point Z. Sometimes you can figure your own thing out. It’s horribly painful sometimes. Doing things completely on your own accord can be expensive and sometimes it takes us a bit longer to figure out how we can pull it off…but the end result is always exactly what we intend, be that good or bad, and it’s at least pure.
Your website is insanely slick – what were your intentions for designing it the way that you have?
I don’t think we had any specific thing in mind beyond making something that showcased the bands doing what they do and providing the necessary information to the user. Lets be honest, most people are gonna get what they need off of Facebook or whatever so the website becomes more of a showpiece than some kind of crazy extensive information center. Might as well make it cool.
Detroit has a huge history when it comes to music – how would you say No Rest Until Ruin fits into the current musical landscape of the city?
I think really well honestly. Detroit has a long history of people hustling and doing their own kinda thing. People making grittier sounds- making ugly, noisy things beautiful. That’s one legacy I hope we can continue.
Detroit has famously suffered heavily in recent years because of the recession (and now bankruptcy) – how do you feel this has impacted on the city’s musicians?
Added grit. And sometimes a devastating blow to morale. Detroit is a weird city for music. Super cool stuff going on but its not the easiest city to go out and catch a show in…for tons of different reasons. As a result, sometimes you get really phenomenal line-ups, bands with great press in and outside of Detroit, playing in their own city to a fraction of the audience they’d play to elsewhere. At the same time, you can encounter really creative shows in bizarre spaces with a lot less oversight from surrounding neighbors or law enforcement. That’s really neat too. There’s definitely good and bad to it.
At present all the bands releasing on No Rest Until Ruin share members – is the label going to be exclusively for “your” projects, or will you be releasing music by other musicians?
We’ve already begun working with other bands on small projects…i.e., splits and compilations with bands in the “immediate family” of No Rest Until Ruin. After a while we hope to be able to work with bands on projects entirely their own through the label though, definitely.
And if so, what will you be looking for in prospective acts?
Bands that kick ass. We like all kinds of stuff . Just people doing their own thing who are cool and not shitty.
Watch the video to ‘Play Jazz’ by Nice Hooves:
What are your plans for the rest of the year? And 2014?
As I mentioned we have a couple splits in the works that’ll be out sooner than later. The Armed have a boatload of demos in various stages of completion. We’ve been quietly working on songs for a while. This is probably the most new material we’ve ever had in the works at one time. We may release something small with that band this year, but I’d bet on a new full-length album to come out sometime not terribly far into 2014. And if you remember properly, Spreading Joy and the Nice Hooves S/T were recorded simultaneously last year, so I wonder if something like that will happen again?
Oh and make sure to tell your boy Andy Copping that we still wanna play Download festival next year too. He probably thought he was making a friendly, innocent gesture when he tweeted “Nice Hooves for Download 2014” but we’ve already booked our flights. I swear to God we’ll be the best thing going on in a 1pm timeslot the European continent has ever seen. Look at us for Christsakes:
You can go download the entire No Rest Until Ruin catalogue, right now, for free, in lossless formats. Yep, the whole lot, for free. Head on over to their official website right now and fill your digital boots. You can thank us later. We’re not sure we’re in Andy Copping’s good books anymore, but you never know – you might just see Nice Hooves at Donington Park next year…