Montreal’s long-running ska/punk record label Stomp Records is back on top! They just got voted the #1 Best local record label in the annual Montreal Mirror “Best of Montreal” readers poll. The timing couldn’t be any better for ska fans, as the label is putting out more ska and reggae than ever these days, with recent releases from The Beatdown, The Aggrolites, and the Resignators, and a new full-length album from the Planet Smashers coming out this June.Check out the full article from the Montreal Mirror.
“I’m really happy,” says Stomp Records founder and maximo leader Matt Collyer. “We didn’t stuff the ballots, for once, so it’s nice to get that recognition.” Mere jest or awkward admission? Either way, Stomp legitimately edged out second-placers Dare to Care by a fistful of votes this year. Not bad for a label that flies the flag of ska, a sound and scene many have assumed to be dead and buried.
“The number of bands, the quality of the bands, the interest from kids and the press, definitely took a nice dip. Things come and go, and I think it’s probably a good thing. It wasn’t necessary to have it in the limelight the whole time. That said, through that whole period, there were some very, very good bands putting out ska music. It’s just that people didn’t hear about them. Hopefully they’ll hear about ’em now, and people will take another look at ska music.”
A useful tool in that respect would be the forthcoming All-Skanadian Club Vol. 5, a new installment in Stomp’s long-dormant flagship anthology series. “It was the first thing we ever did as Stomp Records. It was a group effort back then, the people involved have changed a bit but again, it’s the same idea. This time, we consulted the people from the Victoria Ska Festival and the Montreal Ska Festival for their input, not only to find bands but also to be part of the jury. I mean, there were 40 submissions and we could only fit 22 bands on there—only 22! It’s pretty cool, we weren’t expecting that kind of reaction. We didn’t think there were 40 bands out there, and we even missed some.”
That’s hardly the only release they have slated—following a recent record by L.A.’s awesome Aggrolites (“A Canada-only deal, but still, that’s a score!”), lined up for the coming months are albums from NYC’s Turbo A.C.s, psychobilly acts Coffin Cats and the Brains, and ska upstarts the Resignators and Rude City Riot. “Then we got a record in late June from some shitty band called the Planet Smashers,” Collyer adds, as though anyone cares.
“We work hard and we work hard in the subculture—the scenes, the different subcultures of the genres,” Collyer says of their surprising success in the BOM poll. “It’s going to be an exciting year for ska music. I hope the bands follow up with some good records and don’t lose the momentum we’re building here.”