Another agent mission completed for the ItsWesSmithYo! interviews. This time I floated over to the UK for a chat with Olly Gee, label manager at Punks Music. Punks released Wes Smith's Cali Cuts EP August 3rd and trust - they are all HEATERS.
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Tell me about your role at Punks:
I am the Punks label manager. I work with our artists, distributors, A&R people and designers to improve and promote our product. I also handle most of the day to day running of the label. Mark and Dom (Stanton Warriors) are very hands on with Punks so I essentially act as a filter between all of the contributors and them. Everything is signed off by the Stantons so I condense all the information into manageable portions for them to go through. We meet as often as possible to talk about how things are going and to make decisions on what is going to work for the label going forward.
Give us a little history on Punks and what direction you are heading:
The label has been around a long time, well over a decade. It has always been a slow burner though as the Stantons have released most of their music on bigger/major labels. Mark and Dom relaunched Punks early last year and it kinda blew up from the word go, they have built a great legacy musically and command a huge social media following with which helps us a lot. All the magazines and blogs have been really supportive of what we are doing and the Punks artists have really come through with great material for us. This has allowed Punks to grow quite quickly, everything is coming together as we hoped it would.
Wes Smith/Punks, how did you choose Wes? Do you have a personal favorite on the EP?:
Actually, Wes was picked up by Mark And Dom before I came on board. I know they are well sold on Wes musically. Wes carries himself well in the industry, he promotes himself very well as a brand and what he does really fits with Punks.
My personal favourite on the EP is "The Tribe”. I’ve been playing it out for a while now, those metallic sounding perc loops are on point. We’ve also been playing Techwerk and getting a good response on dance floors. People seem to enjoy the whole EP. The tunes are tried and tested so we know it's going to be a great release.
Where have the tracks been featured?
Wes's tunes are a part of the Big Bass Party mix in Australia:
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As well as the Stanton Warriors podcast #38 they did for Triple J in Australia when touring for the Rebel Bass album:
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You mentioned that you had been playing Wes's tunes out. Tell us about you as a producer/dj - who are you as an artist?
I am one-third of the Freerange DJ's from Cornwall (UK). We’ve been DJing together for a lot of years and out 1st release came in 2009.
We all have our separate strengths within the group but we work together really well which is ace. We try not to put too much pressure on each other and things just always seem to work out well for us, its pretty cool like that actually.
We’ve been really lucky in that we have been able to accomplish the majority of our goals when ever we have set them. We try not to take ourselves too seriously but for some reason people keep on booking us. I think its because we like to party…. As long as we are having fun that all that matters to us really. So far so good!
We have some fresh new material finished which will be available in the next few months that we are really excited about. It's definitely the best material to come out of Ave’s studio to date.
Check out Freerange DJ's "Beat Goes On" remix here (free download). That BREAKDOWN WHOA!
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What's next for Punks?
We’re constantly working on new ways to improve the way that the label runs and the extend the support that we offer to our artists.
We’ve had a great reception from DJs and fans alike from all over the world. Everyone's podcasts/mixes seem to be absolutely crammed with Punks tunes and some people are even having the Punks logo tattooed on themselves which is amazing.
The Stanton Warriors new Rebel Bass album drops soon. It's a fantastic record and the level of hype for it is huge, I think it will be a bit of a game changer. Although Rebel Bass is coming out on Central Station Records its going to bring a lot more eyes and lend a tone of credibility/exposure to what we are doing at Punks.
I think the next logical step will be for us to start throwing some Punks branded parties. Our artists and the Punks brand are definitely strong enough to make a good job of that and It would be great to be able to offer extra entertainment to our supporters whilst pushing the Punks sound out to new audiences.
We have a lot of ideas that we want to launch when the time is right. Right now Punks is enjoying a really nice period of organic growth, it's an exciting time all round really.
Any final thoughts/words?
We are looking forward to the Wes Smith release, its been in the pipeline for a little while now so we’re happy to get it out there for everyone to enjoy. Early feedback suggests that its going to be a hit!
All of our artists have some awesome new music on its way. Mafia Kiss, Marten Horger, Sly-One, Nixon and Left/Right all have wicked releases coming up in the next few months that we’re all super hyped on.
Punks has a lot of plans that I won’t go into now, but we have really big goals set for the label and artists. Everyone will see a huge push in the next 12 months to get as much progressive new music as possible out there for everyone to enjoy. We are really enthusiastic about the next phase, the wheels are in motion so keep an eye on our media pages for updates!
We here at Juice Recordings appreciate your time and thank you and Punks for keeping the beat go on and on....