Formed by Zachary Wuerthner and Crucial John from GIVE, Moshers Delight has evolved from a one-page fanzine with demo reviews and one interview per issue, to a prolific hardcore punk tape label, focusing mainly on new youth crew and straight edge bands. 4 years since its inception, they’re wrapping it up and opening a new chapter under a new name New Absolute Records. We took a chance to sit down with Zach and ask him about his DIY endeavour, Moshers Delight’s history and evolution, dissolving the label and starting new DIY ventures.
Photo: Zach live with INTENT, 2014, by DroidxRage Zine.
Hey there Zach! Thanks for your time. How’s it going? How’s 2017 been treating you so far?
No complaints here. Hardcore in DC is sick as hell right now.
You bet, haha! I get literally loads of features for bands from your area.
How about you? You’ve just released two new additions to your catalogue. Can you introduce both THE REAL COST and WILD SIDE to our readers?
THE REAL COST is a new hardcore band out of Texas that explodes with youthful energy during their live performances. Sounds like all your favorite meat and potatoes NYHC from the late 80s without the fat, just straight to the good shit. I think the songs on the demo we released for them are their best yet, and I’m very excited to see where this band goes next.
WILD SIDE is a hardcore band out of Toronto and has been playing shows for a couple years now. This group is the definition of a “live band”, one that you truly need to catch at a gig to fully understand and appreciate. Their demo stood out to me right from the start because it sounds like the perfect homage to WARZONE and MURPHY’S LAW, some of the best hardcore bands of all time. The promo tape we released for them is a natural progression for the band while still keeping it rooted in “more of the same”, which is absolutely a good thing. It’s as nice little preview of coming attractions, which will be their full-length LP on Triple B Records due out in early 2018.
Awesome! How do these bands fit into the rest of your catalogue? How do you pick up bands? What’s the key?
We have a saying “Only showing what’s worth knowing”. If we dig a band, we’ll hit them up and see about doing a demo or promo tape.
Is this why you started this label? An urge to help, or rather shout out about worthy bands? What led you to launching Moshers Delight Records?
MD really started with John wanting to do a zine again, but different from his first zine “Nothing Can Compare” in that it would be a very specific 1-page format. It was very simple – the front would be reviews of a few current demos that we felt people should know about, with the back being a 10-question interview with a band we also like. The label started shortly after as the next logical progression of this mentality. We wanted to document and release stuff by bands that we liked and wanted to share with people.
How have you evolved over the years? How do you widen your reach and operations?
We started releasing promo tapes and live/interview tapes after about year of doing the label. This was a way for us to connect with current, more established bands that we also really liked.
Ok, so back to your current projects, what noteworthy records have you put out earlier this year?
The last batch of releases we did at the tail end of 2016 were tapes for STEP FOR CHANGE, THE REAL COST and WILD SIDE. We haven’t actually released anything in 2017 as of yet, but we’re really hoping the Demolition 12″ gets wrapped up soon so we can release it by the end of this year.
All of your releases are on cassette format. Why is that so? What do you love about tapes?
Simply put, cassette tapes are easy to produce and share with your friends. I became a head-over-heels music lover at a very young age, and at some point I figured out that I could record my favorite songs off the radio onto a blank tape. I would listen to these songs nonstop and then as new music came out I would record over those songs on the same tape. As I got older I would trade mixtapes with friends and in exchange would get access to stuff I hadn’t heard before so I just kept going from there.
As a label, it’s pretty much the same – cassettes are easy to design, dub, and create all by ourselves. You can make them as you go as opposed to vinyl where you have to order a set amount up front and need space to store the product. It feels very fulfilling to have been involved in every step of the process (inception to shipment) of making a tape – we have complete control to make everything just right. I love vinyl, and we have put out a 12″, but most of the bands on MD had no musical output when we originally connected with them so a demo tape was the most logical path forward. The process of pressing vinyl is much longer and more drawn out – tapes allow us to release music much faster. And, from a business perspective, much less is at stake when you can create cassettes on the fly instead of having a ton of product on your books.
Are there some items or bands on your want list for MDR in the future?
Our final release on MD will be the Demolition 12″. It’s already in the works and should hopefully be finished by the end of this year for release in early 2018. There a lot of really awesome new bands coming out that I would have liked to work with, namely DIZTORT – they’re the shit. I’m happy that their demo was put out by our good friend Marco at Advanced Perspective.
Why call it quits now?
We’ve done everything that we wanted to accomplish, and we’re always changing and looking forward to exploring new ideas. MD has a very strong aesthetic and sense of identity so we felt it would best to keep it as an entity that existed in a very specific time and place. Once the Demolition LP and issue #10 of the fanzine are out we will be officially closing our doors. John and I have already started a new label called New Absolute Records that will only be releasing straight edge hardcore. Our first release was the OPEN YOUR EYES demo earlier this year.
In just a couple of words, how would you sum up this endeavor? From your first learning about DIY labels, through starting and getting your own off the ground, to letting it go. What did you learn?
In short, I learned a whole lot about creative expression, networking, production, business, etc. But looking at the bigger picture, I realized that it’s possible to inspire an entire generation of younger hardcore kids to form their own bands, create their own scenes and everything that comes along with that simply through what we’ve done as a label, fanzine and idea. That’s more than enough for me to feel fulfilled.
Alright Zach, thanks a lot for taking your time! Feel free to drop your last words and take care. Cheers from Warsaw!
Thank you for the interview, and I apologize that it took the better part of a year to finish! If anyone has any further questions about MD we can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.