Last week, we brought you Part 1 of our interview with The Day After The Sabbath's proprietor Rich. This week not only includes the rest of our interview, but a mini-playlist of five tracks hand-picked by the man himself. And while you're at it, be sure to check out the latest TDATS compilation (#71), his third collection of tracks featuring female vocalists and no doubt a fitting companion to our August issue. 3. In putting together your compilations, are they all made up of stuff you have or do you do a fair amount of digging around for new stuff? Your compilations focus on obscure bands, but which one has been the most arcane so far? While I would love to have the time, space and money to own vinyl of everything I use, that’s definitely never going to happen! As my searches progress, I do buy them from time to time. I have original presses of about 30 of my all-time favourite obscure albums and about the same number on CD, which can also be surprisingly expensive and hard to find if the reissues were limited.
English rock historian Vernon Joynson has put out a few essential, and comprehensively huge, guides to 60s/70s psych from around the world and Canadian journalist Martin Popoff has written some great books veering more to the metal side of things. Other than books, I am indebted to the hardworking characters who run rarity labels like Rockadelic and Rockadrome as well as countless others out there on the internet who research, catalogue, buy, rip and share everything they can find. It is a truly collaborative effort and people around the globe contribute to huge databases like RateYourMusic.com, while guys like Robin Wills at purepop1uk.blogspot.com dedicate their lives (and mortgages it would seem) to revealing the most obscure stuff imaginable.
I think the special contribution I make is to crystallize and connect our finds in a way that is interesting to metal fans in particular, also making it quick and easy to hear the music as opposed to just reading about it. The other unique thing I aim to do is to theme the collections in ways that have not been done before. This helps to give historical context and efforts like the Native American comp I’m formulating at the moment are satisfying challenges that always produce interesting results.
As for an arcane favourite, I’ll go with Crank. This band is important to me as they are another of the bands, along with Budgie, that showed the potential quality of what you can find if you look a little further. They were brought to my attention by yet more knowledgeable types on the old stonerrock.com forum and very little is known about them, who the members were or the exact year of recording. Their demo tape from approximately 1969 was found in a murky Kansas studio basement quite recently and put out on vinyl by Rockadelic records. One track in particular called "Don't Push Me Away" is an absolute stormer, the sadly untapped talent and potential of the guys who recorded it floors me every time.
If you had the power to give ONE of bands you've featured on your compilations the recognition it deserves, which would it be and why? Night Sun. A German band (a country that pops up very frequently on my blog) who made one album called Mournin' in 1972. The sheer nastiness and aggression of this record never fails to amaze me, but it is equally doomy and progressive. It has it all and demonstrates the innovation that came out of the Krautrock era (the album was produced by Kraftwerk’s early producer, Conny Plank). They were one of the only bands, including any famous ones you care to mention, that could have easily gone head to head with Black Sabbath in the heavy stakes, and in some aspects of their sound, even outdoing them. They only lasted a couple of years or so and pretty much vanished without trace, although a couple of members did contribute to subsequent bands.
To help give our readers a better sense about what your compilations are all about, tell us about five songs from your many, many volumes—why you like them, why they might be into them or anything else that comes to mind.
Mushroom—Crying For You (1970) This is a brilliant Dutch single that I found while researching some compilations I did for the organiser of Roadburn festival in Holland. Crazy heavy slide guitar!
Captain Beyond—Raging River Of Fear (1972) One of my less obscure choices that some of you may know, this band featured the original Deep Purple singer, Rod Evans, and one-time Iron Butterfly guitarist Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt, who sadly died this year. Everyone must hear this album, it rocks to an insane level from beginning to end!
Crank—Don’t Push Me Away (1969) See question 3.
Night Sun—Living With The Dying (1972) See question 4.
Jericho—Ethiopia (1972) A really talented Israeli band that started out as The Churchills making psych in the mid-'60s and made a couple of great hard rock albums in the early '70s as Jericho.
Be sure to check out The Day After The Sabbath and, while you’re at it, enjoy another of my personal favorites from all of the volumes I’ve digested so far…