Interview with Toby from Red Scare

Red Scare Industries just celebrated their 10th year Anniversary with a huge ass 8+ hour show in Chicago with so many wicked bands playing. I went, and it was honestly the best time I've had in my entire life. Srrsly. I e-caught up with Toby after he had a bit of time to recover from the killer weekend, here's what he had to say about it: 

First of all I just want to say I had a fucking amazing time at the anniversary show. We came down from Canada and it was so worth the long ass boring drive there and back!! 
Why thankee!  I'm stoked that so many folks came down.  But let's be honest, it kinda WAS the best show ever, heh heh...

How long did it take to plan it? 
I started asking bands about it a year ago.  Actually, no, it was like Summertime, so 14-16 months ago.  My god.  The Lillingtons were the first band to agree to do it, and that's when I knew we could have a good show brewin'.

How hard was it to schedule all the bands in Chicago at the same time?
Not really difficult, because a lot of bands were congregating for the annual Gainesville Fest and we gave all the bands ample time to do both.  Plus, they all knew a year in advance, so there was no excuse!  To be honest, a lot of credit goes out to the bands because it's hard work to prepare for a one-off show and a lot of travel bullshit for just one set.  It was a special occasion though, and I think we made it worth everyone's while!  We had a PACKED house, which was awesome.

How did you decide on the order of bands in for such a long show?
Well, obviously we want some of the more anticipated acts to play later in the day so as to keep everyone in the building.  Bands like Methadones, Enemy You, and Lillingtons haven't played in years, so I think it's fair to have them play later.  That said, we had some GREAT bands play early.  Plenty of folks though Direct Hit! were the best band of the night, despite playing third out of thirteen bands!  But somebody had to play early, so go out and do your thing.  Everyone had great sets, so it was a great day for everyone, especially the audience.

How did the actual event compare to what you had envisioned while planning it? 
It went way smooth.  All the bands really were on their shit that night and the Metro staff didn't even bat an eye at the 12-hour shift.  Total pros.  All of 'em.  I thought the attendees might get a little stupid and perhaps too drunk, but everyone got along.  I guess we're all older now and people can handle their booze better.  Nice work, team!

Is there anything you would have done differently looking back now? 
Yeah, sometimes I bite off more than I can chew and I shoulda delegated some more tasks rather than think I could handle all the bullshit that weekend.  Thankfully I had some homies that stepped up and helped out: Clint from TBR handled merch and Becky Bastard worked the door for Sunday's sideshow.  I was in no shape to do anything after I went to The Lillingtons matinee show.  Hoo-wee, I was good and cooked by Sunday night!

How’s your hangover? 
ROUGH.  But the first thing I heard on Monday morning was that Foxy Shazam (the band Masked Intruder was supposed to tour with for 3 weeks) cancelled their tour that started in a week.  Red Scare still books their tours and that was a complete bummer to deal with.  But ya know, that's how it goes, when one project is over, it's on to the next challenge.  No thanks to Foxy Shazam for deciding to break up only a few days before a big tour.  That was some lame shit I was not expecting to deal with.

Do you remember seeing a sombrero flying around the crowd during The Falcon and if so do you have any idea where it ended up?
Yes.  No.  Ha...
(this question really only matters to me and my friends but I'm posting it anyway.)

You have a great track record of signing bands that have gone on to success, what do you look for in a band when deciding whether to sign them to your label? 
We like to work with people who have good songs AND are good people.  It helps if you wanna work too.  It costs a lot of money to put out a record, so we like bands to meet us halfway and tour a bit.  I think you should believe in your music enough to get out there and play the songs, ya know?  It's most important that you're kind and you get along with your band.  That's half the battle.

What’s a typical day in the life of Toby of Red Scare like? 
Ha, uhhh, WELL, I have a day job too.  I work for a baseball team, if you can believe that.  So depending on where the season is at, I could be doing that.  In terms of Red Scare stuff, it usually starts pretty early.  Some band will have a problem or there will be something that needs fixing, so my day usually begins with an early phone call or text.  I spend a lot of time with my two dogs, Ernest and Jasper.  Having those two buddies puts a lot into perspective, and it's always nice to go for a walk.  In a perfect world, I will end my evening by going to a show and seeing some cool rock 'n' roll music.  I'm usually in bed in time to watch Daily Show and Colbert.  Bo-ring.

Do you ever get sick of hearing the bands you’ve signed? Are there any albums that you just can’t listen to anymore? 
No way!  It's really nerdy, actually, but I am super biased towards bands on the label and I listen to the catalog A LOT.  What can I say, I'm loyal to the home team!

What’s in store for the future of Red Scare, do you expect to be around for another 10 years? 
Sure, why not?  Streaming services may be the last straw though, and if that happens, so be it.  We had a great run and I'll always wanna help my friends with bands, so I'm sure Red Scare will linger around so matter what happens to our sad little music biz.

Who is your favourite up and coming band right now? 
We have new releases coming from Derek Grant (of Alkaline Trio) and a band from Seattle called Success!.  I'm stoked on that new blood.  As for non-Red Scare bands, I really like Lipstick Homicide from Iowa.  There's a fantastic Oi! band from Vancouver, BC called Bishops Green.  Dolly Parton has some new stuff out this year.  She's pretty up and coming...

Thanks so much Toby!

Tobias Jeg | Red Scare Industries