Monday, October 18, 2010
There’s a new, vicious voice emerging from the East Coast when it comes to tough-as-nails, unapologetically DIY-driven indie labels.
Patac Records and its owner Dan Harrington are determined to be heard, releasing some of the rawest, most stripped down punk and hardcore, while also maintaining a healthy fetish for filthy, old school metal, as well.
Patac is finally beginning to get noticed,” explains Harrington, “and be taken seriously. It’s been a rocky road for sure, but I’ve built a strong home base in Boston with acts like Anal Cunt, Panzerbastard, For The Worse, etc. I’ve also been creating a strong following in California, as well, through acts like Executioner, which was an influential punk band back in 82, who hadn’t had a record out until now.”
“The only rule I have,” continues Dan proudly, “is that I will NEVER put out a record that I wouldn’t want to buy. I come from a primarily punk background, but I listen to a shitload of Venom and Motorhead, as well. I have plans to release garage, outlaw country, even a tribute to Screaming Jay Hawkins. I listen to everything, be it punk, metal, rock’n'roll, soul, blues, jazz… you name it. I love The Stooges, Dead Boys, Bolt Thrower, Throbbing Gristle and Leadbelly. Motorhead’s self-titled album may be the greatest album ever recorded. I am totally open to all types of music, but as far as the scene goes? Fuck it, I will never cater to them, but if someone likes my music, all the better!”
Fuck-it-all sentiments aside, Harrington has put a lot of work into getting Patac off the ground, as he reveals.
“Patac was a concept I’ve had for a long time. I was working at a record store, which automatically gives you the ‘under-appreciated music critic’ status in your own head. The name Patac started as a stupid joke—often I think of stupid song titles for shits and giggles—and one was ‘Punks and Thrashers Against Christ.’ I laughed and thought ‘that would be a kickass name for a label…’ Back in 2008, I was ready to start the label. I heard my friend Jared’s band Revilers demo, which would become the Isolation EP. It kicked me in the ass, and I was listening to a lot of UK Subs at the time, I pressed it on vinyl, and never looked back. Here I am, twelve releases under my belt, and still broke,
but that won’t stop me.”
On the subject of the initial obstacles and roadblocks, Harrington continues, “Everything was a struggle. Getting distribution, trading with other labels, advertising, reviews, it’s all extremely time consuming and costly. I went in with little to no knowledge, luckily I had help from Paul Sunderland of Give Praise Records; he works at a local print shop, and his feedback and guidance was instrumental in my success. Going into 2011, I’m distributed through Cockroach Media, which has gotten me a ton of exposure and product placement, as well as Ebullition, Revelation, and more. Patac isn’t a record label: it’s a big fucking middle finger pointing directly to the scene. To quote Maximum Rock ‘n Roll: ‘another reason to hate Boston.’ We will never cater to any one sound. I am sick of the trends, and the lack of creativity; we’re Patac, and we’re not going away.”
Further along on this sentiment, Harrington is also very firm in his resolve to remain staunchly indie and underground, though his sights seem very keen on the label’s growth and progression as a power.
“Right now, Patac is a one man show, but yes, sky is the limit. Recently, I’ve created a PR company called Distort, which provides affordable digital PR for upcoming acts and labels. I will be looking for contributing writers, and possibly internships and street teams in the future. I’m looking into distributing other labels through Cockroach, as well as expanding my web distro.”
The buck stops for Dan when it comes to being a launching pad for bands whose aims might aim for multi-million, platinum success, however.
“I don’t want to be a launching pad, fuck no. I’ve seen this happen to a lot of labels. I want to start consistently selling through releases with a primary focus on vinyl. Contracts are something I am now looking into, I have no qualms with an artist moving on, but I also want to cover my own ass. I know from my friend Mike that Equal Vision’s success got a huge boost by having a contract with Coheed and Cambria—who I hate—regardless, the label received a shitload of money from a major to buy them out of their contract. Buyouts are totally acceptable, since there is no way to calculate all the time and money you put into a label. Two years later, I have still not seen a return.”
Closing up shop on our chat, however, Dan’s mood turns positive for a moment, and reveals a bright, optimistic five year plan.
“I want to keep expanding, and hopefully introduce some people to new music. I want to bring some much needed integrity to the punk rock [and metal] scene[s].”
Written by MetalGeorge on October 13th, 2010