As I said in a previous post. I am going to be posting interviews that I have done for FTS issue #3 that never came up. This time I interview Sean Youngblood about life and such. This Interview was done in the summer of 2006 so it might sound a bit out dated.
Looking back and reading the interview I wish I would have done the interview over the phone or even on aim and followed up on questions that I asked and where Sean took the questions and just went deeper with topics. Maybe look for an updated Interview for Stuck In The City blog in the future.
Check out the new Coptic Times “Temptation” and Police & Thieves “Amor y Guerra 7"s that came out a couple months back! Also keep and eye open for a Coptic Times Interview that is being done by your very own for SITC in the next couple weeks (i hope). For more info about Youngblood Records click http://www.youngblood-records.com Thanks so much to Sean for doing this. I'm sorry it took so long for it to see the light of day.
Who are you and why did you start Youngblood Records?
My name is Sean. Almost 10 years ago Joe Onlife, Straight Tait and I started the label out of love for hardcore. We started right around when the whole youth crew revival was taking off. That was a great time for hardcore and luckily Rancor needed a label. Since then, I’ve taken over running the label with Joe and Tait’s blessing but friends, family and the Youngblood bands all help out.
How did you get into hardcore and punk?
I got into hardcore/punk pretty young. I think I was 11 when I got Dead Kennedys “Bedtime For Democracy” on tape. I distinctly remember sitting in class during 6th grade and me and my friend Joey Seda passing a walkman back and forth with that tape in it. I was 12 when I went to my first show in 1989 which was The Undead, Onlife & Transmission.
Skateboarding was my gateway to punk/hardcore. All it took was seeing a few Black Flag or Misfits stickers on the bottom of some decks in Thrasher and I needed to know more. The rest, as they say, is history.
I know you have been going to shows for a while now. What keeps you interested in hardcore with so many mediocre bands that are around these days?
For some reason I’ve never gotten sick of it. I’m a lot less tolerant of the bullshit and mediocrity in hardcore but there are enough positives to keep me around. I also think that there are bands around today that are just as good as any of the classics.
What is getting alot of play in your stereo lately?
Honestly, the Iron Age LP gets a ton of play on the stereo for sure. For about two months it was almost literally the only thing I listened to. Other records I’ve been listening to a lot: Spacehorse 12”, Wrangler Brutes LP, Welcome To Venice compilation, LOJ “Soul Power + 4” 12”.
Sean with Iron Age On the NYC subway.
What has been going on in YBHQ in the last 2 years? The only thing that has come out has been the Lights Out LP?
Um…what? Haha. The following records have come out since April, 2004:
YB-18 Our Turn “Catch Your Breath” 7”/MCD
YB-20 Lights Out “Overload” LP/CD
YB-22 Worn Thin “Long Road Ahead” 12”
YB-23 Iron Age “Constant Struggle” LP/CD
YB-5 Carry On “It’s All Our Blood” CD Re-issue
YB-12 Knockdown Discography CD
The following records are coming soon:
Fired Up 7”/MCD
Lion Of Judah LP/CD
Set To Explode 7”/MCD
Plus two EPs that I can’t mention yet! You can expect most of this stuff to be released in 2006. Also in the works are Rancor and Bladecrasher discographies.
I know you got married and have a child how has this changed your lifestyle and your outlook on hardcore?
Being married and having a kid definitely makes it harder to get out to shows as much as I’d like. There are plenty of times when I’ve been driving to a show in DC or somewhere and I’m thinking about something at home that I should probably be taking care of instead of traveling to a show. I love hardcore and I love going to shows so I think I’ve found a good balance in dividing my time between my family and hanging out.
Obviously family comes first and gets most of my time but I manage make it out to at least 2 shows a month. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve know plenty of dudes who dropped out of hardcore the moment they started getting responsibilities and it totally doesn’t have to be like that.
What are your top 5 hardcore albums of all time and your top 5 current hardcore bands?
Man this is always a hard question to answer. I’ll list my favorite 80’s records:
Misfits “Walk Among Us”
Negative Approach “Tied Down”
Uniform Choice “Screaming For Change”
Minor Threat “Out Of Step”
Abused “Loud And Clear”
Top five current hardcore bands:
Lion Of Judah
Set To Explode
Notice something in common with these bands? Other great bands: The First Step, Police & Thieves, Mind Eraser, Bitter End, Fucked Up, Betrayed, Cloak Dagger, Justice, Icepick (Europe), etc, etc.
What has been your favorite release you have done and why?
My standard answer used to be Lifes Halt “We Sold Our Souls” 7” but Carry On “The Line Is Drawn”, Desperate Measures “It’s On Your Hands” 7”, Lights Out “Overload” LP and Iron Age “Constant Struggle” LP are all up there with Lifes Halt.
Is there any record you have done or layout you where just not happy with? what one and why?
The Touch Down 7” is the only thing that I kinda am not happy with. I always loved Touch Down but while working on this 7”, I came to realize that the past is the past and I’m way more interested in releasing what’s going on today. There are far too many great bands happening right now for me to consider doing more archival releases. Luckily the Touch Down 7” came out on Youngblood Vaults and not on Youngblood proper so I can still say that I stand behind everything that’s ever come out on Youngblood. Malfunction (who we released the Touch Down 7” with) was great to work with so no complaints there.
It seems like every other kid out there is doing a label and getting bands to do records before they are even established what do you think of that? And what sets you apart?
All I can say is that not every band that has thrown together a demo deserves to be released. Our rule is that we don’t release anything unless we can totally stand behind it. I put a lot of thought into a potential release before it gets the go-ahead.
Have there any bands what you wish you got to work with and it just could not be worked out?
We worked with both bands but I really wish the Carry On/Striking Distance 7” would have happened. It was planned to be released on Youngblood and Carry On even recorded for the split but it never saw the light of day. In fact, the Carry On tracks that were recorded were literally thrown out. According to Todd Jones, the tracks weren’t up to snuff so he threw master away. Maybe he still has the masters and doesn’t want the tracks getting out? Much love to Todd and the rest of Carry On.
If you had a time machine and used it just to sign bands to YB where would you go and what bands would you want to release?
That gets back to the whole Youngblood Vaults thing and how I’ve abandoned that whole idea. It’s all about the NOW but it certainly wouldn’t suck to be able to say that Youth Of Today or The Abused were on the label.
We all know you as Sean Youngblood but what else do you do other then the label?
I guess you could say I live a pretty adult life. A house, a wife, a kid. Despite this, you’ll never find me doing the following: golfing, sitting around and watching sports, hanging out at bars. Hardcore and punk has had the biggest impact on me will affect the way I live until the day I die. I also plan on being Straight Edge and vegetarian forever.
Sean and Joe At Sean's Weeding.
I’m into running, skateboarding, hanging out with friends & movies. Although I don’t have much time to watch, I’m into 70’s and 80’s horror, euro trash & exploitation movies. Films from directors like Jean Rollin, Ruggero Deodato, Umberto Lenzi and the like. If I had the time I’d watch tons of movies.
I have a full-time job at a newspaper but somehow I’ve figured out how to steal time every day so I can run the label. By the way my son’s name is Kenavan and he is a year old.
Have you ever thought of doing Youngblood fulltime or do you think it will ever be possible?
I’d love to do the label full time but I don’t see it happening because there would be too many concessions to make. The type of bands we release and the way we present the label would have to change and that would suck so I’m not quitting my day job. If by some strange turn of events the type of music YB releases got bigger, I’d see nothing wrong with making a living off the label as long as the ethics stayed the same.
Any final thoughts for the readers?
Thanks for the interview Rick! Maybe I’ll see you at some shows or fests sometime this summer?
Shout outs to From The Start Zine, Grave Mistake, Malfunction, Mind Eraser, Carlos and Police and Thieves, Champion Ship Record Store and Venue (best venue on the east coast), my wife Theresa, Carl Cordova, Joe Onlife, Straight Tait, Quentin, Collapse Records, Stop, Look and Listen Zine, Bitter End, Minor Disturbance Productions, Fired Up, Set To Explode, Lion Of Judah, Iron Age, Lights Out, My Luck and the Straight Edge.
P.S. I wish Town Of Hardcore Zine was still around.