steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

20 questions
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with 905 tapes' mike haley

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 juice?

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 regrets yet.

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 tape though.

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 the label?

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 trouble, etc...

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 though...

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.

interview conducted by Michael Tau
February 2009



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