Well, time flies when you’re having fun. It feels like we just conducted our 15th anniversary interview, and it’s already five years later! Rhode Island based DIY punk/metal label Tor Johnson celebrates its 20th birthday with an exciting subscription series, to be unveiled in the coming months and years!
Having a bunch of great bands on board (Alright, The Body, Cyttorak, Dikembe, Dreamwell, Heavy Mantle, Horsewhip, Hundreds Of Au, Ian O’Neil (from Deer Tick), Into It.Over It, Late Bloomer, My Fictions, No Trigger, Nova One, Peace Test, Pohgoh, Save Ends, Sidetracked, Signals Midwest, Slingshot Dakota, Storm Davis, Thou, and Tyler Daniel Bean), the new series of 12 split 7”s spread across the year looks as a great treat for fans of underground and alternative music and is already live for pre-order HERE.
“All the songs are either new originals, never heard before covers, or remixes.” – says Tor Johnson’s owner Paul Dechichio. “We even have some of the bands covering each other on the splits. As of right now, all are exclusive to this project as well.”
Each 7” will come in a screen printed, hand numbered cover, limited to 100 copies. There are 50 sub spots that will get all 12 records, plus an exclusive shirt, tote, and other goodies, plus anything else the label puts out that year you will get on an exclusive color for no extra cost. The other 50 records will be split between the bands & select stores on the month it comes out.
The whole project is getting mastered together by Will Killingsworth at Dead Air!
As for shipping logistics, there will be a shipment every month, so there will be one 7″ released every month (TJR053-01 (January), TJR053-02 (Feb.), etc.) Each band will also have copies of their individual split available for sale on the month it is released.
Asked about his inspirations to launch this special project, the label’s owner Paul Dechichio says that he was always really into ideas like the “Post Marked Stamps” split series that Tree Records did in the 90s, or the Sub Pop sub series, or even the Pearl Jam Christmas Club.
“I decided I wanted to try to do something like this back in the beginning of 2020.” – comments Paul. “Originally I thought I would do 5 or 6 spread across the year, but after talking about the idea to Tyler Daniel Bean he convinced me that I could actually do this much bigger scale by just asking. Asking bands that I’ve booked over the years or have any small relationship to the label (Evan from Into It.Over It worked at a distro we used in the early 00s, etc).”
The whole vibe of this project is an OG 45, like from the 50s or 60s, so each record will come in a “label sleeve”, like pictured, and then handnumbered. “The sleeve is actually a rip-off of an Atlantic sleeve used in the 60s.” – admits Paul. “The label art (which will also be universal across the whole project) is a nod to a Bell Records design.”
To make the project just a little more special, none of the songs will be streaming anywhere online until Jan 2023.
“At that time, I will have the entire thing as one comp on the TJR bandcamp. Each band will be able to upload to other digital platforms at their discretion. Some might put it up right away. Others might wait until some sort of a “singles” collection. Others might not upload it at all.” – teases Paul.