Not many know that Fluff was the label that released the debut singles by Boyracer and Hood. Not many know that most of the records Fluff released are among the hardest to find. I was lucky to be in touch with the enigmatic DMLC who used to run the label and ask him a couple of questions. Please, enjoy!
++ Fluff Records must be one of the most obscure indiepop labels around which is quite strange as you released the debut records by Boyracer and Hood. Why do you think this is it? You can’t just google Fluff Records and find any valuable information!
There is no information on Fluff because it’s better that way. there’s always too much emphasis on labels, instead of the bands. labels always get too big and end up releasing rubbish to make profit; 4AD are a prime example of that.
++ So how did the label start? Who were behind it? Where was it based? How did the Fluff office looked like? Was this your first venture into releasing records? How involved were you with the scene back then?
Things were ran out of an attic space. it was my second venture into making records after leaving school.
++ And why did you call it Fluff Records?
It was called Fluff, not Fluff records. The name means nothing. I used to get a lot of hate letters from a group of American women studying in England because they thought the name was referring to ‘bits of skirt’. Now some of these people write for the guardian newspaper.
++ What about the DANNY catalog, what did you release under that name?
The Danny catalogue was for anything that wasn’t a vinyl release. most of that stuff was used to make trades. I think we got up to Danny 74 in the end and i know i don’t have a complete set of all those items, so I can’t provide a definitive list.
++ You practically hand-made everything! How many fanzines did you put out? what were their names? How important was the DIY ethos for the label? Do you think that DIY is something worth fighting for, something that can change the ways of the world?
There was noDIY ethos; just used what facilities were at our disposal. As of this time, the only two DIY bands worth their weight are Sex/Vid and Mob Rules. DIY can’t save the world; only John Mcclane (Bruce Willis) can save the world.
++ So let’s go back to that great catalog of yours… I did write a piece about Aspidistra, but would you tell me a bit more? They seem very obscure! Did you ever meet them? How did they end up signing to your label?
Aspidistra came from Perth in Scotland. they liked to party and they were very cool. I don’t know what happened to them though. Btw, Perth used to have some amazing record shops. I was very envious that they lived there.
++ Well, then you released Boyracer who’d later went to Sarah and then to a bunch of other labels. Did you know Stewart? Why didn’t he stay in the label? Have you followed the thousands of songs he has released? Any other anecdotes you’d like to share?
I used to meet Stewart every Monday at Gadsby’s. We fell out for good after the notorious red and brown sauce fight in a chip shop on Harehills lane. apart from the ‘room’ 45 I pressed up for myself, the last time I heard any other Boyracer track was in 1993. I was going to go and see them last time they were in my town as they were playing in the venue opposite my house. however, the missus’ dog died that day, so I had to stay at home and do the right thing.
++ The other band in the label that went to be a known name for many was Hood. How did you end up putting records by them and how there are only test pressings for “Laughing in the Face of a Contemporary Extractionist Viewpoint 10″ or the split with Liechtenstein Girl? And why was the “Cable(d) Linear Traction LP” withdrawn for sale?
The album was pulled at the band’s request. Despite them taking up so much room, I’ve been very good and not sold a single copy of it since. I used to make a lot of test pressings of records that never got released. knocking up the metalwork was very cheap back in those days.
++ There is one band that I’ve never heard in the Fluff roster: Spine. Who were they? How do they sound like?
Spine were immense. I lost all their tapes in a house move; totally gutted on that. The drummer now lives in Brooklyn and does experimental performance art. Not sure what happened to the rest of them. The reverse of the spine sleeve has a picture of Frank Zappa on there. On the day the sleeves were delivered, I opened them and looked at the picture just as the news bulletin came in to say Zappa had died. I love crap like that.
++ What about Super Eight? They really had some ace tunes! Which is your favourite song by them and how did you meet them?
I like Super Eight’s instrumental film soundtracks. They were wonderful people. I still owe them a pint after I poured bitter into their pints of lager. Last time I saw them was two years ago. They failed to recognise me dressed as a b-boy.
++ You told me that next year there will be one final release by Liechtenstein Girl. Can you tell me a bit more about it? I bet there will be lots of people interested, so plug in some shameless promotion!
We are releasing one or two records next year and then that’s it. Both will be one-sided with two/three tracks on each. Additionally, we will be playing one live gig next Christmas.
++ And now tell us a bit more about the band?
They were voted the second worst band in Leicester, ever. That’s all you really need to know.
++ Most of your releases were done during the 90s, after the whole indie explosion was over. Did you feel you missed the wave? That Fluff records would have been more influential if it was around the late 80s? Or you have nothing to regret? What was the biggest highlight of running the label?
I didn’t miss the wave. I deliberately stopped the label and moved on to form another label. At the time, Britain was bathing in the britpop scene. That scene killed music which is why indie music is so bland today in this country. The biggest highlight was definitely the Boyracer 45. the best £25 i ever spent.
++ By the way, did you get to attend any gigs by the bands on your label? Any favourite gigs?
I did attend gigs by the bands. I have lots of videos and photos of those gigs, but they are yet to make youtube or flickr.
++ Is it really true you set on fire your stock?
Is it true i set fire to the stock? yeah, I did. I kept one box of everything though, mainly for trades. I’d still like to know who stole the entire stock of hood 45s though. Was it them?
++ So after you stopped putting records out, what did you do? Are you still a music obsessed person?
I never stopped putting records out. each year, i have formed a label; then killed it and set up another.
++ Thanks again so much! Anything else you’d like to add? Maybe some pointers to someone who wants to run a label?
I have no advice.