Slow Death Records is a British Columbia-based label that has been dropped killer hardcore releases from Chain Whip, Blood Ties, Vacant State, and Bootlicker, among many others. "I started the label in 2015 on a small inheritance from my Grandmother," label founder Lewis Podlubny told No Echo in a recent email exchange.
"She passed and left some money for me that I didn't want to piss away in respect of her so I put out the Blockhead and Oaf tapes and got the ball rolling for more BC punk and hardcore bands to do releases with us. My dear friend Tomek got on board shortly after that and started helping out."
I asked Lewis—who has also played in such bands as Headcheese, MassGrave, and the aforementioned Bootlicker—if he had a clear vision of what kinds of bands/records he wanted to work with from the start, or if that evolved with time. "Absolutely," he said. "At the time I had been doing a radio show on the college radio in Kamloops and was hunting for fresh bands every week to make up the hour long programs, and that's where the idea for a BC exclusive label started.
"I always appreciated the labels that were documenting or preserving their immediate scenes as it made my weekly hunt a lot easier. I thought it would be cool to make a one-stop shop for at least a fragment of the punk scene here.
"To say we encompass all within this area would be a stretch, but it is definitely curated to a certain aesthetic or group of the hardcore scene here. That being said, the first few bands on the label were just the ones making a ruckus at the time of the label's conception. You can follow it throughout the last 6 years and watch 'em come and go."
So, how would Lewis describe Slow Death Records and the types of records he's released to date to someone who hasn’t come across the label yet? "A little bit of everything within the punk and hardcore demographic. We've done the ugly, the heavy, the fast, the blown out, the goofy, the juvenile, the militant, the clean cut, and everything else in between.
"The punk scene here is pretty diverse when you really hone in on it. If you're looking to find something new, play a little catch up, or reminisce, were a good place to start."
Of everything the label has done so far, what would Lewis' personal pick be for most underrated Slow Death Records release?
"Tough question because I really enjoy everything on the label except for my own shit. To throw the underdog a bone here I need to say the Nettle demo from 2016 deserves a Grammy. That band was swept under the rug and unfortunately didn't get out much during their short time as a group."
What’s on the horizon for the label for the label for the rest of 2021 and beyond? "Well, Tomek took a year or two off from helping with the label but he's gonna be back on with me soon here which is huge. That's gonna help a lot with overall workload.
"Before 2022 you can expect at least two more 7 inch releases and one collection tape from one of my favorite BC bands from the past 10 years. Getting back into pressing records has been fun, and it's off to a great start with the recent Blood Ties 7 inch. They're going like the hot cakes. We're already in the process of getting the next releases out."
Lastly, has Lewis ever started working with a band based off of an email pitch, or has he kept everything within his network of friends/musicians? "I've reached out a few times to fresh bands starting up via email but most of the time it's always people within an arm's reach.
"I've only had one band take themselves too seriously to do a demo with us despite being a perfect fit and I don't think they ever ended up doing anything after that, which is a shame. I think they were under the impression we were like Epitaph or something?"
Despite that one weird experience, Lewis keeps a great humor and attitude about it all. "I had some good laughs. Sometimes you get stuff like that even within the 'network.' I'm always open to new groups hitting us up, though, that's what were here for."
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Tagged: record label profile