December 16th, 2015 by Amelia
I saw the Tampax “Suck My Cock/Snivell” 7″ for sale on Punk & Destroy’s website in Osaka. (I still have yet to see it in the USA minus Discourage Records.) I then furiously got in touch with the label in Rome, Italy directly as there were only 445 copies or so pressed and I had to get my hands on one. After corresponding with Pier of Rave Up Records, I decided it would be interesting to interview him. He does a lot of releases of early punk rock, hardcore, and seventies glam rock mostly of reissues and unreleased material. Here is Pier of Rave Up Records and Road to Ruins Festival. This is part of the Create to Destroy series.
What does Rave Up Records seek to release?
My mission is discovering the big music scene from the US underground between ’75-’81. Basically this is the “focus” of my job!
Are you a KBD maniac?
Yeah, my bigger music passion is US punk rock. Of course is not the only one, I’m huge fan of ’60s garage punk too. In 1986, at the age of 17, I started as a Back from the Grave collector, only in the mid-’90s I moved into obscure ’70s punk rock. Basically I love two chord rock ‘n’ roll, but I like also ’80s minimal synth, late ’60s early psychedelia and hard rock, Italian library music, Latin jazz, bossa nova, UK freak beat, kraut rock, glam rock, power pop, northern soul, ’70s funk…
What’s your personal record collection like?
I have over 7,000 records, but I’m not a collector. I use to sell my “jewels” in case they became too expensive. I think that it makes no sense to pay over one hundred dollars for one record! I prefer drinking wine, buying drugs, eating at restaurant, traveling than jerking off with records!
How’d you get in touch with Tampax?
I contacted Tampax in the mid ’90s. In that period with my band, Ufo Diktatorz, we played many of their songs. In December 1998, I managed their show in my hometown, Ascoli Piceno, in the local squat. It was funny, Tampax were dressed as a native tribe and performing a sort of dada-istic show without music. People was really angry, ’cause they thinking to see a punk show, not a “Lakota ritual pipe songs concert!!!!!!” Crazy night…. really dangerous for me! This is the spirit of Tampax, get it or leave it!
How’d you come up with the “cock” adaptor for the recent Tampax release? Do you think that was a little lewd? Was this your doing or Tampax?
The cock adapter was an idea of Ado, the lead singer. He said to me, “Pier, I don’t want to reissue our old material in a ‘normal’ way. I don’t care about a memorialistic release for your boring collectors friends! So, take this or fuck you!”
Have you done creative things like that with other records?
My other job is produce and write documentaries. As film director, I released many works on satellite television (FOX TV channel). The best ones are Crollo Nervoso (about new wave scene of the ’80s), Italo Disco (Italian disco of the ’80s), Mellotron (on Italian progressive rock of the ’70s). Right now I’m working of The Italian Job, about the Italian soundtracks of the sixties/seventies (such Piero Piccioni, Piero Umiliani, Ennio Morricone, Louis Bacalov and more).
My other regular activity is organizing Road to Ruins festival. It started as punk rock festival eight years ago. I managed great shows such Crime, Unnatural Axe, Sham 69, Eater, Dictators, Agent Orange, Kids, Angry Samoans, Cheetah Chrome, Fast Cars, Adolescents, Private Dicks, Subway Sect, Dennis Most and the Instigators, Chainsaw and many many more….right now, I changed the focus…. Road to Ruins is a rock movie festival! It was boring to organize shows, too much stress!
The last one is playing music… I started with Ufo Diktatorz in 1992, a punk band that used to play pure KBD punk rock (covers such “51%” by Defnics, “They Saved Hitler’s Brain” by Unnatural Axe and so on…). We were a bunch of chaotic and alcoholic weirdos. Every show was a small battle…. broken noses and provocation a go-go! After a tragic show near Roma, I decided to close the experience with Ufo Diktatorz and start with Transex. It was too dangerous to continue with UFO! The testament of this band are two seven inches. Transex released two albums and one 7″ of great midtempo punk rock. Check our albums somewhere! Recently, four years ago, the band Illuminati….a parodist catholic psychedelic band…. we done two albums, the first on Hit Bit and the second one on Misty Lane records, a fine Italian label of sixties stuff.
Are you just surrounded by aging punk legends living in Italy?
Ah, ah! nooooo!!!I know all the old punks of my country, but my daily friends are guys of the local r’n’r punk scene, such Giuda, Human Race, Alieni, Mega, Lexicon Devils, Holiday Inn, The Hand… Right now I’m goin’ to release some of these bands, they’re all great!
How do you track down the record labels and bands that long ago became defunct?
Well, before internet was really hard. I had some friends who helped me for contact the bands (Benjahn Mirhadi, who died some years ago, Mario Panciera, Chuck Warner, Frank Manley, Dave Fergusson and others…) but I done 95% of the job myself. I used to phone in the night searching the contacts on the US telephone guide! I remember those days as pioneer-istic, totally different than right now. Finding contacts is really easy… All the social media sites are a great help for my mission!!
Do you release any current material or just reissues and obscurity?
I never released new bands, but some months ago I started to help some friends of mine. I will only produce some few stuff, only on 7″ format. Just for joke… my job is another! I have at least over 70 albums of old punk bands to release!
Synthetic Shadows Records?
As I wrote before, I also like ’80s post punk and electronic synth music. Synthetic Shadows is the sub label dedicated to this kind of stuff. I also have Backstreet Records, the label devoted to power pop, another style of music that I love a lot!
Rave Up books?
Well, right now I’m also an editor, with Rave Up books project. The first two books are dedicated to Italian punk scene of 1977-81 (Lo Stivale è marcio) and new wave 1981-85 (Noi conquisteremo la luna). I really hope to release both in English if I find someone interested. Let’s see!
The new book is dedicated to the Luther Blissett project, a movement of “agit prop” influenced by Situazionism, active in Roma between 1995-1999. During those years I studied at University, but I was also a radical activist into the squat movement. Funny period… lot of riots, fighting in the streets against cops and more.
Can you make me a mix tape?
Sure! 30% US punk, 20% US teenage Back from the Grave garage, 10% obscure Kraut rock, 10% UK sixties freak beat, 10% glam rock, 10% power pop and… 10% Italian library music!