Italy's Hundebiss Records, run by astute noiseheads Simone and
Barbara, puts out beautiful works of art that moonlight as music releases.
With only three discography items to their credit, they've carved out a respectable
role on the experimental scene, releasing two impeccable records by Olyvetty
and Hair Police, as well as a limited-run cassette by Dracula Lewis. And
they distro, too! I jumped at the chance to grill them on their record
label habits and animal resemblances, and although I let one
ethnically-themed faux-pas slip through, I think the results offer a nice
glimpse into their lives as label owners and generally cool people. Plus,
there's a picture of a dog riding a human being. Case closed!
1. First of all, where did the name "Hundebiss"
come from and what does it mean?
Hundebiss means "dog's
bite" in German, so it came from our love for
dogs. We support the animals' angst against the human race.
2. How did Hundebiss come together?
From our love: we're a team!
We found that we each love the same music
(almost) and we tried to put our love into concrete form, so the label was
3. Your releases are works of art both
sonically and visually. How important is the packaging to the release?
Fundamental. It's a sort of split release
between the band and us: the band creates the music and we make the
artwork around that.
4. How has the response been to the label
Good we think.
5. Tell us something interesting about
Vernasca is a small village on the hills,
surrounded by woods and beautiful landscapes.
Here we're quite a bit out from the
civilization and for us it's like a refuge.
Basically is a town of hunter and migrants,
so we're the weirdos. And the villains.
6. What attracts you to noise?
Honestly? The "punk"
side. DIY attitude, non-music concept, luddite
use of technology, the spirit of community. In the last few years these
things have become more vivid. We think that, nowadays, there are no other
scenes that are exciting like this.
7. What is you favourite type of pasta and
ST is pasta and pizza addicted, Barbara
doesn't love pasta too much; she prefers salad and freedom fries. Our
brand new favourite pasta is Mezze Penne rigate alla carbonara vegetariana
(eggs, seitan, black pepper, cream). Barbara invented this, she's a great
chef. We also really love Pesto and Salsa di Noci.
And we are a fan of pasta ripiena as Tortelli
with Burro & Salvia.
A question to an Italian label about pasta is
quite stereotype-oriented. We mean, maybe you wanna know more about mafia?
8. How did you become involved with Hair
We were in love with a lot of Hair Police
records, in particular with Constantly Terrified, a masterpiece of new
American noise. When we started Hundebiss Records, a Hair Police release
was a priority.
Dominick, a friend of ours, introduced us to
HP. Amazing guys.
Hair Police's beautifully-designed Totaled and
9. What are some fellow labels you
Vermiform, Ultra-Eczema, Second Sleep,
Hospital, No Fun, Free Matter for the Blind, 8mm, Qbico, AA Records, Sound
Pollution, Slap A Ham, Ebullition, Crass Records.
10. What is the ultimate driving album?
Top ten best driving albums ever:
Assuck - Misery Index
The Adverts - Crossing the Red Sea
Orchid - Chaos is Me
Woods - How to Survive in + In The Woods
Wolf Eyes - Burned Mind
Oblivians - Soul Food
Indigesti - Sguardo RealtÓ
Municipal Waste - Hazardous Mutations
The Destroyer - Live @ DBoy 1994
The Germs - (G.I.)
The Misfits - Static Age
Oops, it's eleven.
11. Your five favourite movies - name
Riti, magie nere e segrete orge nel trecento
- Ralph Brown, 1972
Non aprite quel cancello - Tibor Takacs, 1987
Gummo - Harmony Korine, 1997
Ecce Bombo - Nanni Moretti, 1978
The Goonies - Richard Donner, 1985
pi - Darren Aronofsky, 1998
Oops, it's six.
12. How do you select what to put out on
There's no real selection. We work with the
bands - artists we contact for the releases. So, please, do not send any
13. Who is creating truly exciting and
groundbreaking experimental music these days?
Mudboy, Jason Crumer, Hair Police, John
Wiese, Francesco Cavaliere, Kevin Drumm, C. Spencer Yeh, James Ferraro and
14. What I've heard from Olyvetty has
really impressed me. How did their single end up as your first release?
Olyvetty's guys are friends of ours, and when
we saw their incendiary live-set in Florence two years ago we fel; in love
and we start talking to them about our label project. We think Olyvetty
could represent one of the few new attitudes coming out from the
youth-mass-migration to Berlin. The insane mix of various sounds, from
minimal techno to harsh noise, could be a starting point for some new
crossover languages. In another point of view, Claudio and Riccardo
represent the point of no return between two generations of
artist-musician-noisers from the Italian underground scene. And the
natural conflict between these two attitudes is apparent during their
15. What animal do you most resemble?
Obviously the dog! And the wolf, but only
when we're angry..
16. What is your strategy for getting
Hundebiss releases distributed and promoted?
We know the main distributors and simply ask
them to distribute our stuff. Some distributors are friends. We used to do
17. What is your favourite colour? Justify
Black, the sum of all colours.
18. Do you guys break even on your
Yes. For some releases we reach the sum in
few weeks; for others it takes more time, but at the end we even have the
money for the next release.
19. Who is your favourite novelist, and
We prefer to watch the figures.
20. What's in the future for Hundebiss?
Many releases, gigs in a special place we're
trying to create, and making friends all over the world!
A picture Simone and Barbara sent me
(draw your own conclusions)
conducted by Michael Tau
published June 3, 2009