After many months in various lockdowns, live music is still not fully what it was before. Venues have had to shut, with many of them on the brink of closing their doors forever. #saveourvenues is a initiative that has helped raise money for many of our favourite independent venues. Now, Hideous Mink Records is helping the cause, by releasing a cassette and a zine, full of unreleased songs by up and coming bands. We chatted to one of the organisers (and member of Opus Kink) Jed about the cause.
RC: You’ve just released a compilation album with Hideous Mink Records to raise money for #saveourvenues, how did the idea for this come about?
Jed: There’s been a few great compilations out over the past couple of years, group therapy do an amazing one – i think seeing those are what initially gave us the idea. It’s such a nice idea to get together a load of bands that might not even know each other and make them apart of something. This is our second charity campaign for #SaveOurVenues, the first was a quarantine E.P with Opus Kink – the release was out on physical cassette only and all the proceeds went to the campaign. They’re not stopping anytime soon, so why should the rest of us in the industry?
RC: #saveourvenues is a charity that has helped raise money for venues across the UK that have been impacted by the pandemic. Why is it so important to save independent venues for the music industry?
Jed: Grassroots venues, independent labels/promoters, unsigned bands – they’re the backbone of the industry, they’re the ones slugging it to build the community and the scenes that everyone loves.The hard work starts at the bottom, it’s just the top that reaps the rewards. So to answer your question, it’s important to save the independent venues, because without them, there wouldn’t even be an industry.
RC: As someone who is in a band yourself, how has the pandemic and not being able to perform impacted you?
Jed: We’ve adapted, like everyone else. We’ve turned our hand to the film world, of which will be revealed soon. We’re lucky to have Sam as a production wizard so even though we weren’t all together, we still managed to get an album worth of Demo’s together.
RC: You’re selling cassettes of the compilation album which includes a zine as well, with more information about the cause. Apart from raising money for the venues, what would you like people to take away from the campaign?
Jed: Apart from the inner satisfaction of donating to a charity and bettering yourself as a human, you get 10 amazing tracks that might never have been released otherwise. You also get your fingers on a hand made Zine, designed by Eddi Combes. There may be some artists you’ve not heard off before, so it’s a way of finding new music.
RC: What was the process of selecting the bands for the compilation like?
Jed: It was fun. I Got to re live in my head some of the best gigs I’d been to pre covid. I got introduced to a couple of new bands I wasn’t as aware of. All these bands and artists bounce off each other in some way or another, so the process kind of ran itself.
RC: What can people do to support the venues once they reopen?
Jed: Buy tickets and go to shows.
RC: What are you most excited about when venues are reopening properly?
Jed: There’s a few bands on the collective I haven’t had the chance to see live – they’re first on the list. We’re looking forward to putting on shows, You can expect a big Hideous Mink day festival over the summer.
RC: Is there any venue that is particularly special to you, and why?
Jed: Sticky Mikes Frog Bar, If you know you know. R.I.P.
Get the cassette here.