If you haven't heard of 905 Tapes, then you haven't been paying enough
attention to the noise scene as of late. Despite springing into existence
less than a year ago, 905 has put out sixty-seven tapes to date, and there
is no end in sight. The man behind the machine, Mike Haley, took some time
off from his fervent tape-dubbing regimen to answer our 20 Questions,
touching on everything from cinema classic Troll 2 to diarrhea, and
even a little bit about music.
1. What attracts you to noise?
i guess the easy answer is "i don't know". i could get into it with
some answer, but i hate when assholes come across as pompous or
intellectual when disusing noise. shit is lame.
2. What attracts to you to tapes?
i'm not really sure what it is. there's just something about cassettes,
and vinyl, that i'm really into. feels like you have something. cds just
don't interest me at all.
3. What significance does the number 905 have?
it's the address of my house (905 n. jackson st).
4. When and why did you decide to start up 905 Tapes?
i used to release stuff under the name no horse shit with my friend joe
b. we lived together a couple of years ago. no horse shit is a reference
to the movie big trouble in little china. anyway, joe moved out and nhs
kinda slowed down. when i moved into my new spot i wanted to start
something out on a clean slate. my lady friend and i bought this house
last january and i released the first 905 batch on may 6th, 2008.
5. What makes a really good noise album?
who knows? two things that really turn me off when it comes to noise
releases though are people that don't take things serious at all and
people who take shit way to seriously. i'm not into spray painted cdrs
with black and white photocopies that are cut all jacked up and just
thrown into a plastic sleeve or taped together. shitty artwork, that whole
deal. i feel like you should put some amount of time and effort into a
release. but on the other hand, if you do put in the work and come up with
something really nice don't act like you fucking cured cancer or
something. cause in the end, maybe a couple hundred people tops are going
to give a shit. i'm not going to name names on either end, but that shit
can really turn me off. i guess everything else is "good".
6. Would you rather drink a cup of diarrhea or a cup of garbage
if it was my own diarrhea, i think i could do that. but if was
anonymous, then i'd pick the garbage juice.
7. What are some fellow labels you particularly admire?
my friend sal runs a label called peasant magik that i'm really into.
all around awesome label.
8. How has the act of putting out a release changed since the very
first Tusco Terror / Wether split?
well, that was less than a year ago, so not much. i did pick up a
better duplicator a few months back for really cheap because the seller
listed it all fucked up on ebay. and i guess when i first started releases
905 stuff i just did open editions and tried to keep shit around for as
long as possible, but now i just do a certain amount and call it a day.
9. When you put out a tape, how many
copies go to the artist, how many goes to distros, and so forth?
all depends on how many are made, you know? i try to be fair with
artists. i think i am? you got me questioning myself though. as far as
distros, that is up to them. sometimes no one wants any copies, which can
be a bummer.
10. What are your favourite films?
my four standbys are the royal tenenbaums, the big lebowski, troll 2,
and big trouble in little china. i can watch those movies all day long.
extremely quotable. i got a royal tenenbaums tattoo a few years back. no
11. What record would you send to everyone in the world?
ccr "cosmo's factory" would be a solid choice. i'd rather send a mix
12. How crucial is the aesthetic (packaging, band names, etc.) in
terms of your releases? Does the context truly make the release?
i have a consistent aesthetic with the jcards of my releases that i
don't fuck with. that is very important. as far as cover art, i haven't
had to turn anything down yet, but i think i would if it was really
shitty. i like to do artwork for most stuff, but some people aren't into
my shit. as far as band names, i've gotten some demos, or whatever, in the
mail with names that were so bad i didn't even bother listening to the
material. sounds like a dick move, but whatever.
13. Your second tape, by Fossils, was reviewed by Wire Magazine. How
much of a surprise was that? Did it lead to an influx of attention to
i was actually really stoked when i found out about that. they also
reviewed the blown doors tapes in the same issue. i don't think there was
any kind of influx of attention, but i wouldn't expect that either. not
sure who really reads the size matter section anyway, you know? it's nice
to see though.
14. How do you end up with so many tapes to release (63 in a year
and a half!!)? How do you connect with the artists and bands?
it' actually hasn't even been a year yet. and since you sent these
questions, another batch of tapes came out, so
its at 67 now. pretty crazy for such a lazy dude. the problem isn't
dubbing and folding and shit, its writing descriptions. man, i really
fucking hate doing that.
15. Your releases all look wonderful. What inspires you from a
visual design perspective?
weed and spray paint.
16. Is there an artist or band whose music you dream of releasing?
i'd like to put out a 7" bootleg of the who's song "905".
17. When you produce an edition of, say, 50 tapes, do you dub all 50
at once or are they produced to order? How do you possibly find the
time to design, assemble, dub, and mail them all?
i dub and assemble everything before i announce anything for sale. i
don't like to move onto other projects before finishing the last. just
irks me. i got laid off a few months back, so i got tons of free time.
that isn't an issue.
18. Tell us a bit about your personal musical projects.
i do a solo project called wether. i guess that is what i put most of
my time into. i've been slowing down a bunch lately to work on stuff with
other people. heat conference, blown doors, clerics, big china & little
19. What is your favourite colour? Justify your selection.
i'm more into color combinations. i like a good green with a dark
brown. or red with tan. don't know how i am going to justify that
20. What does the future have in store for 905 Tapes? A month from
now? 5 years from now? 20 years from now?
just keep putting out tapes. maybe i'll find a new job and put out some
vinyl. probably not though.
conducted by Michael Tau
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