Rebel Tunes For Rebel Times – Podcast

OK,so we’re figuring out how to do a podcast! Here’s the first two episodes of Rebel Tunes For Rebel Times … dig it … the sounds of revolution …

REBEL TUNES FOR REBEL TIMES

COMMUNIQUE NUMBER 4

( Never Again Without A Rifle! / Ni Mai Piú Sin Fucile! )

The Rebel Spell – I Am A Rifle

The Subhumans – Urban Guerrilla

Guerilla – First Wordz

Guerilla – U.G.A.C.

Guerilla – Freedom Fighters

Spanner – Freedom Fighters

Urban Vietcong – Gli Invisibili

Action Sédition – Prisonniers Politiques

Afterboltxebike – A Las Armas

Brigada Roja-Zapatistas

Brixton Cats – FTP

Ya Basta – FTP

The Fallout – Same Old Shit

REBEL TUNE FOR REBEL TIMES

COMMUNIQUE NUMBER 3

( Struggle Together! Class Struggle Is The Motor Of History! )

Urban Vietcong – Attacco

Brigada Flores Magon – Pour Ma Classe

Action Sedition – Classe Contre Classe

Cor Fort- Actitud, Patria i Classe

The Class Assassins – No Justice No Peace

The Prowlers – Oi Against Racism

The Fallout – One Last Struggle

Mayday – Together

Afterboltxebike – De Que Lado Estas

ShotCallers – Luchas

Makhnário – Na Ponta do Fuzil

Killing Fields – Down To My Last Round

REBEL TUNES FOR REBEL TIMES

COMMUNIQUE NUMBER TWO

( in which we go a little heavy on the Lee Reed )

Union Made – Intro

Union Made – The Great Divide

Lee Reed, Kay the Aquanaut & Mother Tareka – Antifa

Lee Reed – ACAB

Streetlight Saints – Our Common War (Bash the Fash)

Steelhead – Enemy In Blue

Hold A Grudge – Straight To The Point

Lee Reed – Racist

Lee Reed & Mother Tareka ft. !KrymeWon. – 100

The Fallout – Strange Fruit

The Rebel Spell – Pride and Prejudice

Action Sedition – Nous Ne Reculerons Pas

Lee Reed – Killshot

The Fallout – Shock and Awe

Interview With Diego Armando

… here’s an interview with Diego Armando, singer / guitarist for Afterboltxebike … borrowed from the Más Punk que tú! blog …

Afortunadamente el punk ha permitido que gente de distintas formas de pensar converjan en la música y en la amistad. Monterrey me ha dejado grandes compis y uno de ellos es Diego, que desde la hoz y el martillo ofrece una propuesta HC política y sin nada  de medias tintas.

Te conocí en el tiempo de Rotten tocando Hardcore, rápido y poco thrashero, como fue qué llegaste a la escena punk?

Pinche gustazo el conocerte, verdá de dios, yo me juntaba con los de Fight Back, con ellos comencé a ir a las tocadas; primero a las de San Nicolás (municipio metropolitano cerca de Monterrey) que eran de las bandas de hardcore locales, eso fue a mediadios de los 90, en esa época me tocó a ir a unos Días de Colectividad y ahí conocer a las bandas de punk locales, después juntarnos con los de Plan 9 en las tocadas que ellos hacían que eran otras bandas de punk mas influenciadas por lo melódico y el punk de esos años de la Epitaph. Mi hermano Dani y yo comenzamos a escuchar bandas de punk ochentero de Finlandia como Kaaos y Rattus, lo mas rápido de Ratos de Porao, el crust de Disrupt, el thrash punk de D.R.I., S.O.D., M.O.D. y todas las bandas con siglas, también el thrashcore de What Happen Next?  y fue cuando hicimos Rotten con la idea de mezclar ese tipo de géneros y nos salió un mugrero.

Personalmente Brigada Roja me gustaba mucho, ¿cómo fue que esa banda surgió en una escena regia despolitizada?

Supongo que por mi terquedad, después de Rotten yo quería seguir tocando pero no encontraba con quien hasta que conocí a Mike y a Ángel quienes querían tocar punk y hardcore, pero en ese momento la mayoría de las bandas de hardcore regias estaban muy influidas por el metal o la actitud “thug guy”, algo que no queríamos hacer ninguno de los 3, la idea que teníamos era tocar rápido mas al estilo Minor Threat, Seven Seconds, H2O, pero también nos gusta mucho la onda vasca de Kortatu, La Polla y Eskorbuto, entonces por ahí le dimos.  La cuestión política fue porque en ese momento los 3 andábamos de dizque comunistas y fue algo que discutimos previamente, no queríamos hablar de los temas habituales de ese momento entre las bandas regias que se limitaban a cantar sobre la amistad o enemistad y demás tópicos clichés, entonces decidimos hacer algo mas político, Mike fue el responsable del 90% de las letras y tal vez yo solo hice 1 o 2 canciones. En ese momento, tocar ese estilo de música con letras hablando sobre política, nos “cerró” algunas “puertas” pero nos abrió otras donde si eramos bienvenidos.

Cuéntanos de tu actual banda y ese primer vinilo de Afterboltxebike.

Hay dos cosas que yo no puedo dejar de hacer: la primera es dejar de tocar y la segunda dejar mi trabajo político, sin esos dos elementos (y sin mi familia) mi vida no tendría sentido. Para mi el punk es intrínsecamente político, entonces ahí puedo cubrir dos partes importantes de mi vida. Y  los buenos lectores podrán preguntarse ¿a que viene esta perorata? Pues es por mi terquedad de querer seguir tocando, ante todos los pinches problemas con el grupo, que seguimos tocando con Afterboltxebike. Mas o menos fue lo mismo que con Brigada, seguir la linea política anticapitalista y antifascista, algo que sigue sin caer o gustar en Monterrey. Las primeras canciones las hicimos mas punk del estilo Kortatu y Núcleo Terco pero también con unos toques al estilo Negative Approach y Minor Threat, hicimos 7 canciones mas un cover de Ópcio K-95 y sacamos un casete con la ayuda de nuestro amigo Randy de Rebel Time Records. Ahora estamos en proceso de sacar un 7 pulgadas con 2 canciones nuevas y nuestra versión de Odio a la policía de las Vergas, nos están apoyando de nuevo el camarada Randy y Dure Réalité de Canada y con Victor Le Chinoise de Discos Machete de la CDMX. Creo que el 7 suena mas hardcore punk que las otras canciones. Y la idea de Afterboltxebike es hacer propaganda en forma de música.

Hace algunos años me enteré se comenzaba una  organización antifascista en monterrey,  ¿cómo les fue con eso?

Pues yo creo que les fue mal, varios compas andaban ahí, pero les falto mucho trabajo, varios de los que iniciaron eso no estaban ni comprometidos y lo hacían por otros motivos ajenos a la cuestión política. Yo no me quise involucrar porque militaba en otra organización comunista, los apoyé en varias actividades, pero a varios de ellos les falto mucho compromiso y seriedad. No podría comentar mas sobre el tema porque no participaba ahí.

¿La música es sólo música?  Se puede terminar  rockeando con una banda que al final tiene letras racistas, homofóbicas o antifeministas con el pretexto de que tocan bien chido.

Si y no, cada quien debe decidir si “La música es sólo música”, las bandas que yo he escuchado que son racistas o fachas sinceramente están bien gachas, suenan feo, la voz chillona del Ian Stuart es mas fea que mi voz (y la mía es horrible). No le encuentro sentido a escuchar bandas que te denigran como ser humano, me parece muy pendejo escuchar una banda que diga, por poner un ejemplo, que esta en contra de los inmigrantes y que sean nacionalistas, pues uno ya sabe que son racistas, y luego andan pagando por verlos. No tiene ni sentido que esas bandas nazionalistas vayan a los países de donde salen esos inmigrantes que tanto odian. Existiendo tantas bandas que no son ni racistas, ni machistas, ni nacionalistas ¿qué pinche necesidad tiene la gente de escuchar bandas nazis?

Luego están quienes se hacen pendejos y van y tocan con las personas que sabemos tienen gustos “raritos” por las ideas racistas o nazis y no dicen nada, y lo peor es cuando esas bandas se dicen antifas o anarquistas o comunistas pero por tocar van con los fachillos a sus tocadas, hay varios así en Mty.

Tu orientación política te ha impedido relacionarte con la escena Punk en México?  O pregunto de otra forma, a la escena punk le ha costado relacionarse contigo por tu orientación política (¡No, Diego no es facho!)?

De mi parte no, de las otras personas pues creo que tampoco, por lo menos no que yo me haya dado cuenta.

Algunas veces he pensado que la escena está inundada de drogas y alcohol, esto lo veo más precisamente en CDMX y EDOMEX. No es por un carácter moralista, a mí me encanta la cerveza, pero a veces pareciera que no te puedes divertir si no estás borracho o drogado. ¿Qué opinas de esto?

Yo sigo sin entender esa banda que se cree muy antisistema o muy rebelde por andar bien ebria o drogada. Creo que para emborracharse y drogarse no tienen ni que salir de su casa, dejen que las personas se diviertan en las tocadas. Quienes escuchamos punk y sus variantes no estamos exentos de recibir la información del resto de la sociedad, las ideas, que para mi son reaccionarias, del alcohol y las drogas permean de manera muy fuerte en la microsociedad que le llamamos escena.

Prefieres:

Old school o new school. No school.
Straight edge o sociopolítico. Para mi es lo mismo.
Oi! o punk. Suenan igual.
Agua natural o refrescos (sodas). Agua.
Carne asada o piza. Ajua, carne asada.
Bandanas o gorras. Bandana, pero cualquiera de las dos me hace ver mal.

Shorts (bermudas) o pantalón. Chores

 Por qué crees que ahora que esta Morena en la presidencia mucha gente en México lo ve  como un Mesías.  ¿Estamos  necesitados  de un icono  que nos proteja, seremos infantes perpetuos?

Al parecer no hemos pasado la etapa del caudillismo, también porque el Peje tiene como 15 años o mas en campaña electoral, la gente esta tan cansada del PRI y del PAN que votaron por cualquier cosa que no tuviera los logos del PRI y el PAN, pero pues votaron por pura gente formada política y culturalmente en el PRI y en el PAN. También hay que sumarle que la izquierda anticapitalista no ha podido presentar una opción para la mayoría de la población. Lo que necesitamos es una organización política seria, comprometida, que haga trabajo de base, que no se quede en las tocadas, que salga a la calle, que este codo a codo con el pueblo, ahí si, nos falta madurar en esos aspectos.

¿Por qué en Nuevo León revivieron esa onda de la república de rio grande y porque con el tránsito de inmigrantes en busca del sueño americano salió lo peor de la gente de Monterrey y su área metropolitana (ésta área en específico, ya que no tengo entre mis contactos gente de otros municipios)?

Creencias de gente pendeja. Los pendejitos que traen sus chingaderas de la República de no se que mierda son los mismos que piensan que Porfirio Díaz fue un buen presidente y que enaltecen a Maximiliano de Habsburgo, son fachos de closet.

Sobre lo de la inmigración, la sociedad regia es muy ignorante pero no es culpa del pueblo, es culpa del gobierno, de los ricos y de los medios masivos de comunicación (básicamente es culpa de la superestructura burguesa del capitalismo regio). Durante décadas les han metido en la mente ideas racistas y reaccionarias.

Una de mis canciones favoritas de brigada Roja decía: ¡porque no nacimos en el mismo lugar, por no somos de la misma clase social! Y siempre me remitió a pensar en los privilegios y que realmente nos ayudaría a entender un chingo de cosas. Podrías  explicar más  de esto, si es que estamos en la misma postura.

La letra de la canción habla sobre las diferencias de clases sociales y sobre las constantes criticas que recibimos quienes pensamos que podemos construir un mundo mejor, un mundo distinto en el que hoy sobrevivimos y sufrimos. La frase a la que haces referencia quiere dejar en claro esa parte, hay quienes tienen mas privilegios que otros, aun asi, las personas con mas privilegios pueden tener empatía con las personas que son de la clase proletaria, lo malo es cuando los proletarios sueñan con querer ser ricos, o sea, sueñan con explotar a otras personas, que es la fantasía que nos venden los capitalistas.

Desde hace unos años hemos visto que viejas bandas regresaron a tocar, ¿a quien te  gustaría ver en vivo y porque?

Quisiera ver a Minor Threat o a Kortatu en vivo, pero dudo que vayan a volver a tocar. Esas son dos de las bandas de las que mas he aprendido, que, creo yo, interpretaron el punk de la manera mas correcta siendo consecuentes entre lo que decían y lo que hacían, algo que es muy difícil y que a la mayoría de las bandas poco o nada les interesa. Para mi ahí radica una gran diferencia entre solo escribir canciones y entre escribir lo que vives y haces.

Cuando tendríamos en México el 7” y ¿que podemos esperar  en cuestión de música?

Buena pregunta que no sabría como responder, pero tengo muy buenas excusas. Como desde hace un año vivo exiliado por cuestiones que no vamos a discutir aquí pero cualquiera puede imaginarse, el proceso del 7’ ha sido muy difícil; queríamos meter 3 canciones nuevas originales pero no teníamos ni un miserable riff hecho, así que en diciembre del 2019 fui a Monterrey 1 semana y ahí tuvimos que hacer las canciones desde cero, pero por falta de tiempo y creatividad solo pudimos hacer 2 canciones y una intepretación propia de un cover de las Vergas, en esa semana solo grabamos las bases y las voces porque tenia que regresarme al exilio. Después Hugo y Marcos tuvieron que grabar sus partes, editar, etc… y pues que llega el inesperado Covid-19, alias el coronavirus, que ha entorpecido mas el proceso, y para rematar, al parecer, la fábrica de discos había detenido sus operaciones, algo que no sabemos exactamente.

La música suena mas hardcore punk, con partes mas rápidas, las letras son parte del concepto del disco que llamamos Agitación Marxista y sobre aviso no hay engaño, las letras hablan exactamente de eso.

Yo pensaba que no íbamos a vender ni un casete del álbum anterior por la estética del diseño, por las letras de la banda, que aparte están en español y por cuestión de distribución lo están vendiendo en Canadá y Estados Unidos, pero se ha movido muy bien, así que en el 7’ traducimos las letras al ingles y al francés y esperamos se mueva igual de bien que el casete.

Es momento de despedirnos. Danos algunas palabras finales.

Gracias por apoyarnos, invito a las personas que quieran hacer un cambio en su entorno, en su realidad, a salirse de su confort, ir a las calles, a las fabricas, estar codo a codo con la clase trabajadora. Si quieren defender el anarquismo o el comunismo, que lo hagan con convicción, no solo en las tocadas sino afuera con el resto de las personas. Les dejo una frase del comunista italiano Antonio Gramsci, que fue preso por la dictadura fascista hasta su muerte: “Instrúyanse, porque necesitaremos de toda nuestra inteligencia; conmuévanse, porque necesitaremos todo nuestro entusiasmo; organícense, porque necesitaremos de toda nuestra fuerza”

Afterboltxebike – Working Class Revolution / Marxist Agitation

Afterboltxebike: anti-capitalist, anti-fascist, anti-racist, agit-prop punk from Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

“Marxist Agitation” is the name of their latest release, a three song EP of anti-capitalist, class-struggle, combat-core. It’s out on Discos Machete, Dure Realite, Incendiario and Rebel Time Records bandcamp pages.

“Marxist Agitation” is available as a free / pay what you can download at both the Discos Machete and Rebel Time Records bandcamp pages.

Here’s the three tracks from the EP, set to footage from the film  “The Battle of Chile,” a documentary film directed by Patricio Guzman. The film was released, in three parts: The Insurrection of the Bourgeoisie (1975), The Coup d’état (1976), Popular Power (1979).

About the film:

“Filmed in the months preceding the September 11 coup, it combines hundreds of on-the-street interviews with intimate footage from Chile’s political battlefields — street demonstrations, judicial proceedings, workers’ assemblies inside occupied factories, even fascist rallies where battalions of shock-troops strut in formation down public streets.

Guzmán’s documentary offers a rare glimpse at a revolutionary process in its most heightened period of crisis — dispossessed elites conspire to lay siege to the economy from within, emboldened workers seize factories and demand arms, and, throughout it all, the specter of a dissident military threatens the survival of one of history’s most promising socialist movements. It’s a harrowing story.

But the film’s greatest strength may be its portrayal of Chilean workers. In nearly every scene, workers show themselves to be a powerful and transformative force — the people who make history rather than the people to whom history happens. In The Battle for Chile, we witness ordinary people at their best, using the organizational resources at their disposal to collectively make sense of a disorienting and high-stakes reality — and ultimately confronting both business and state elites in an effort to establish a radically new kind of society.”

Track One: Manifiesto

SPANISH

Durante siglos hemos sido explotados
Somos los pobres, somos los proletarios
Nuestra existencia es producto
Del sistema capitalista
Con nuestras manos construimos la riqueza
Que se la apropian los dueños de las empresas
A nosotros solos nos dejan
Las migajas que nos quieren dar

Una clase, solo una trinchera
Revolucion de la clase obrera

Ahora estamos desorganizados
Sin unidad o en sindicatos blancos
Es hora de abrir los ojos
Y tomar los medios de producción
Organizados en una sola clase
Sin religiones ni miedo a sus dioses
Codo a codo los trabajadores
Construiremos un mundo mejor

FRENCH

Nous avons été exploités pendant des siècles
Nous sommes pauvres et prolétaires
Notre existence est le produit
Du système capitaliste
Nous construisons la richesse avec nos mains
Les propriétaires des entreprises nous la volent
Ils ne nous laissent que les miettes
qu’ils veulent bien nous donner

Une classe, une seule tranchée
Révolution de la classe ouvrière

Aujourd’hui nous sommes désorganisés
Sans unité ou dans des syndicats soc-dem
Il est temps s’ouvrir les yeux
Et de prendre les moyens de production
Organisés en une seule classe
Sans religions, ni peur de leurs dieux
Coudes serrés, les travailleurs
Nous construirons un monde meilleur

ENGLISH

We’ve been exploited for centuries
We are the poor and the proletariat
Our existence is a product
Of the capitalist system
We build wealth with our hands
While the business owners steal it
Leaving us only crumbs that they are happy to give us

One class, one trench
Working class revolution

We’re not organized today
Without unity or in social democratic unions
It is time that we open our eyes
And seize the means of production
Organized into a single class
Without religion, without fear of their gods
Arm in arm, workers
We will build a better world

Track Two: Consciencia De Clase

SPANISH

Encerrado en una fabrica
Trabajando sin descanso
Produciendo las ganancias
Para enriquecer al patron

DESPIERTA, COMBATE, CONCIENCIA DE CLASE

Diez horas en una cocina
Perdiendo toda mi vida
Laborando por un salario
Para poder sobrevivir

FRENCH

Enfermé dans une usine
Travaillant sans répit
Produisant des bénéfices
Pour enrichir le patron

RÉVEILLE-TOI, COMBATS
CONSCIENCE DE CLASSE

Dix heures dans une cuisine
Je perds toute ma vie
Je travaille pour un salaire
Pour pouvoir survivre

ENGLISH

Locked in a factory
Working tirelessly
Making money
To enrich the boss

WAKE UP! FIGHT!
CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS!

Ten hours in a kitchen
I lose my entire life
Working for a wage
Just to survive

Track Three – A.C.A.B. ( cover of Hate The Police by The Dicks )

SPANISH

Mami, mami, mami
Mira a tu hijo
Debías haberme amado
porque ahora estoy armado
ya me uní a la Fuerza Civil

Papi, papi, papi
orgulloso de tu hijo
conseguí un buen trabajo ,
matando obreros e indios
ahora soy de la Guardia Nacional
ahora soy de la Guardia Nacional

Afterboltxebike
Odia a la policía
Es el brazo de represión
De la burguesía
También odiamos a la Guardia Nazional
También odiamos al ICE
Odiamos al ICE

Donald, Donald
Mira a tus hijos
Arrestando y separando
Familias de sus hijos
Todo por ser ilegal
Todo por ser ilegal
Por ser ilegal

FRENCH

Maman, maman, maman
Regarde ton fils
Tu aurais du m’aimer
Maintenant je suis armé
Et j’ai rejoint la Force Civile

Papa, papa, papa,
Fier de ton fils
J’ai trouvé un bon boulot
Pour tuer des ouvriers et des indiens
Maintenant je suis de la Garde Nationale
Maintenant je suis de la Garde Nationale

Afterboltxebike
Déteste la police
Le bras de la répression
De la bourgeoisie
Nous détestons aussi la Garde Nationale
Nous détestons aussi l’ICE
Nous détestons l’ICE

Donald, Donald
Regarde tes enfants
Qui arrêtent et séparent
Des familles de leurs enfants
Juste parce qu’ils sont illégaux
Juste parce qu’ils sont illégaux
Parce qu’ils sont illégaux

ENGLISH

Mommy, mommy, mommy
Look at your son
You might have loved
But now I’ve got a gun
And now I’ve become a cop

Daddy, daddy, daddy,
Proud of your son
He got him a good job
Killing workers and indians
Now I’ve joined the National Guard
Now I’ve joined the National Guard

Afterboltxebike
Hate the police
The repressive arm
Of the bourgeoisie
We also hate the National Guard
We also hate ICE
We hate ICE

Donald, Donald.
Look at your kids
That arrest and separate
Families and their kids
Just because they’re illegal
Just because they’re illegal
Because they are illegal

Spanner – Black Lives Matter / Anti-Fascist Street Defence Fundraiser

… MUSIC FOR SOCIAL CHANGE, NOT FOR PROFIT …

Taking our cue from / following the lead of / working in tandem and solidarity with the Spanner crew,  Rebel Time Records will be ensuring that proceeds from any Spanner downloads for at least the next three months will go “towards direct support and solidarity for all comrades arrested on BLM demos and anti-fascist street defence.”

From the desk of Spanner:

“All strength and solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Respect to all fighting to destroy white supremacy and racism
everywhere.

For the next three months all proceeds from our record, CD and T shirt sales will go towards direct support and solidarity for all comrades arrested on BLM demos and antifascist street defence.

Spread the word. Stand together. See you on the streets.”

We’ve got three Spanner releases that are currently free / pay-what-you can (two full albums and one split EP with Action Sedition):

It should be noted that the Spanner Bandcamp Page has a bunch of releases not available on the Rebel Time Records Bandcamp page, so you’ll want to head on over there as well!

All about Spanner:

“Spanner has been mixing politics and pleasure since around 2000, and we aim to still be at it when it’s time for dancing on the ruins of the empire. We’re taking bookings for the after party now! Our sound is a small contribution to the soundtrack to revolution and we hope to inspire both much dancing and more direct action. We play militant, ska’d up punk that’s not just for entertaining “alternative” consumers or being part of the illusion of rebellion. Punk for us has to be more than noise and more than a hairdo. We want punk and punks to be part of a community in opposition and resistance to this murderous system which leaves everything it touches damaged or dead. We know that with our creativity and determination we can make a new world, and punk is about doing it now! We’d also very much like our music to strike fear into the hearts of capitalists, cops, bosses and politicians everywhere… if only they could hear the words!

We love meeting DIY bands, gig collectives, subverters, squatters, rebels, resisters, renegades, revolutionaries and fellow trouble makers from all over. It reminds us that we are everywhere!!! We are always looking for gigs and festivals to play, so get in touch if you think you could do with a Spanner in the mix.”

Union Thugs – Folklore Ouvrier

“the people are on the march and must have songs to sing” (Pete Seeger)

… absolutely overjoyed to have Union Thugs added to the “left wing mob” that comprises the Rebel Time Records line-up / family …

Based in Montreal, and made up of members of punk/oi bands like Action Sedition, Riot Porn and Mayday, this six-piece combo plays amped-up, accordian-fueled revolutionary folk-oi. As they put it, they’re here to “rock folk songs and folk rock songs in order to present a revival of classic popular and working class songs, with an original flavour.”

Union Thugs concentrate on covers of working class anthems and the album is a musical journey through the pages of the revolutionary songbook. You get fighting songs / songs of solidarity and struggle, by the likes of Anne Feeney, Jaques Brunet, Leonard Cohen, The Almanac Singers (with Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie) and Molodoi.

Band members are active in organizations like the I.W.W. (International Workers of the World), COBP (Committee Opposed to Police Brutality) and RASH (Red And Anarchist Skinheads). and they’ve played countless benefit shows for anti-fascist, anti-colonial, community organizing and student movement causes. More often than not, you’ll find the band on the picket lines and the front lines, firing up the workers!

Folklore Ouvrier / Worker’s Folklore is an exercise in international solidarity and mutual aid, with the album being released via Discos Machete (Mexico), Dure Realite (Quebec), Fire and Flames Music (Germany), Kale Borroka Records (Basque Country), Rudy’s Back (France) and Rebel Time Records (Canada).

Comes with a big zine too!!

Of this release, the band says:

“A second release for the Thugs! This time, 6 songs including War on the Workers, Les piqueteuses de la gloire, Partisan, Union Maid, La complainte des ouvriers and The Preamble of SITT-IWW with banjo accompaniment.

This worker’s folklore album is part of our continued effort to develop a revolutionary working culture. Though modern popular songs have been omitted from our selection this time in favour of certain classics like Union Maid and Partisan, you will still find yourself in this mix of folk and punk-rock ready to wake up the striker in you!

This short album we dedicate to strikers and those locked out, grassroots activists, militants and delegates, professional shit-disturbers, and to everyone for whom taking it laying down has never been an option! ”

 

Of their mission, the band says:

“Hello Everybody! We are the Union Thugs, A Labor Folk band based in Montreal. Let’s get this out of the way, we are not musicians, but workers that play music. We travel far and wide looking for people like us, who are part of the working class and are pissed off!

Pissed off to always see the same fat cats getting all the wealth while our conditions stall or get set back. Pissed off to witness condos upon condos being constructed in the city while people still sleep in the streets. Pissed off to see that when we rise up, we’re getting stomped on by back to work legislation, the police and their batons.

Friends we come to you with a message. We are fed up and we want change! We don’t think that this change will come from ballots. Ignoring the problem and participating obediently and quietly will do us any good.

We think it’s through organizing our workplaces, our neighborhoods to take back control. To produce by the community for the community, without bosses to steal the fruits of our labor.

For this to work, we have to stop being afraid of differences, namely : religion, sexual orientation, skin color, gender, native language, among others. No, we have to realise the truth! The true enemies are the bosses that exploit our labor, landlords that harvest our rents every month, bankers that put us in debt and shareholders that throw workers out on the streets by voting to close a plant at the last board of directors meeting, It’s also politicians that introduce themselves as heroes of the people, but once they are in office they’ll cater to capital’s needs.

It’s high time we trust ourselves and we clean this mess up, It’s time for the revolution! If we organize properly, we’ll just have to cross our arms so every single person stops working to see that old world crumble like a sand castle, we’ll clean up the rubble after.”

The Punk Site had this to say about the new release:

“Montreal’s Union Thugs are a six-piece combo that are on a musical journey through the pages of the revolutionary songbook, one that on their latest release includes Anne Feeney, Jaques Brunet, Leonard Cohen, The Almanac Singers and Molodoi, that is delivered in seven songs of accordion fuelled revolutionary folk punk and oi. Union Thugs are active in organizations like the I. W.W., C.O.P.B and R.A.S.H and, more often than not, you’ll find them on the picket lines and the front lines firing up the workers. Union Thugs have now issued their second release, and their debut EP, “Folklore Ouvrier”“, via an international coalition of like minded labels scattered across North America and Europe. The “Folklore Ouvrier” EP is delivered in both French and English, whilst I only possess a tenuous grasp of the French language the message from Union Thugs comes through loud and clear, from the opening chords of ‘Intro‘ to the final notes of ‘Preamble To The I.W.W. Constitution’, a track that lays out a revolutionary manifesto.

Whilst there is a distinctly vintage feel about this EP, mainly because all but one of the songs on “Folklore Ouvrier” is an interpretation of vintage protest songs, there’s an appeal for this EP for any fan of blue collar pro-union rabble rousing punk rock from Dropkick Murphys through to Mischief Brew and Gogol Bordello, with my personal highlight being their interpretation of Anne Feeney'[s 1969 protest song ‘War On The Worker‘. This is an EP that isn’t just words, Union Thugs clearly back up their soundtrack with action and the final verse in ‘Preamble To The IWW Constitution‘ is a sentiment that is echoed within the seven tracks of “Folklore Ouvrier“. “It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism. The army of production must be organised, not only for everyday struggle with capitalists, but also to carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organising industrially we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old”.

“Folklore Ouvrier” is now available for streaming and as a ‘name your price’ download via Discos Machete (Mexico), Dure Realite (Quebec), Fire And Flames Music (Germany), Kale Borroka Records (Basque Country), Rudy’s Back (France), Rebel Time Records (Canada) and Union Thugs‘ Bandcamp.”

And Spring Magazine also weighed in, at length, on the album:

“Union Thugs are a Montreal-based six-piece that play a mixture of folk and oi in the spirit of working class and revolutionary anthems. Their latest release, Folklore ouvrier (Worker’s Folklore), presents six of these anthems with a companion zine which details the history and meaning behind the songs and their importance. You can find info on Union Thugs on their Facebook, Bandcamp, and Instagram.

“This short album we dedicate to strikers and those locked out, grassroots activists, militants and delegates, professional shit-disturbers, and to everyone for whom taking it laying down has never been an option!” Folklore ouvrier is Union Thugs’ second release and first EP. The band makes it clear in their introductory track, “[W]e are not musicians, but workers that play music.”

The band sees their music as a tool for organization and the mobilization of political action. All members are active members of groups such as I.W.W. (International Workers of the World), COBP (Committee Opposed to Police Brutality), and RASH (Red And Anarchist Skinheads). To further this message, the EP is delivered with a companion zine, as well as info about anti-fascist movements today and calls to action. The tracks cover work from Anne Feeney, Woody Guthrie, and more. Union Thugs are leading the way in showing that music can not only be a tool for change, but one of revolutionary change and working class solidarity.

I was immediately blown away by the passion and energy that covers this EP from start to finish. Ouvrier is simply drenched in working class power and anti-capitalist spirit. While I wasn’t familiar with all of the songs presented, each one was performed with an infectious energy, and the bilingual zine helped give insight and context into those written for specific struggles.

Music to action
I think it is sadly too common for bands, and certainly punk bands, to make leftist platitudes of political and social change without backing it up with action. The band is active with anti-fascist and pro-worker activities and heavily promote the struggles they are involved in, and those around the world. It’s clear that Union Thugs see the need for cultural expression that represents the ideas of the proletarian, and not the ruling class. By creating art that is not just for, but by and relating to workers, we are able to actually share and communicate radical ideas while also creating platforms for organization.

As mentioned before, the album’s opener, “Intro,” is probably the most pump-in inducing song I’ve ever heard. Like a youth crew singer getting ready for gang vocals, you can’t help but start pacing around the room and throwing your fists out. It also gives the band a chance to lay the cards out on the table: they’re here, ready for a fight, and ready to unite. “We are fed up and we want change! We don’t think that this change will come from ballots. Ignoring the problem and participating obediently and quietly will not do us any good. We think it’s through organizing our workplaces, our neighbourhoods to take back control. To produce by the community for the community, without bosses to steal the fruits of our labor.” They then turn to the need for international and intersectional solidarity and really get listeners engaged to not only hear what they have to present on the album, but take action afterwards.

The rest of the album is a great lesson in historical struggles, with the zine filling in the gaps and relating their relevance today. Part of what makes this album so great is learning the history of these powerful anthems and getting them stuck in your head for days. “War on the Workers,” is an earworm that gets any picket line shimmying. The track, by activist and composer Anne Feeney, is dedicated to Jim Beals and Karen Silkwood. Beals was killed on the job and Silkwood died trying to expose toxic working conditions. Today, workers are being forced to bear the brunt of the Covid-19 crisis, dealing with increasingly unsafe workplaces and being stripped of their pandemic pay, often in minimum wage positions.

Union Maid
Another highlight is their version of “Union Maid.” While the first few tracks on the album place the musical emphasis on the group’s oi sound, “Union Maid,” goes deeper into the folk side of their repertoire. The zine gives the background to the song, something I was unfamiliar with. In 1940, The Almanac Singers (of which Guthrie was a member) were touring with Bob and Ina Wood, who ran a political bookstore in Oklahoma city where Bob was the secretary of the state’s communist party and Ina was an organizer. The group was performing a series of concerts in solidarity with striking hooverville workers. Ina spent time with Guthrie, criticizing him for putting communist women on the periphery of his songs. He took the message to heart, writing and performing the song while on the same tour.

Folklore ouvrier is working class music for the working class movement. It’s inspiring, catchy, radical, and most importantly, good. By delving deep into the revolutionary songbook and providing context for today, Union Thugs are providing a solid memory of class struggle while also proposing organization and solidarity for those fighting for change in the present. If you’re looking for some punk and folk that asks more of the listener than to simply agree with the lyrics, but one that provides you with the next steps, then Folklore ouvrier is the perfect release.”

“The Times Have Never Changed” – Review

Thanks to Lord Routledge at the Faster and Louder blog for the very kind, very nuanced review of “The Times Have Never Changed” … here it is, in both english and spanish:

“The Fallout’s new album could not be any more of a soundtrack to this moment. It’s packed full of fist-pumping punk rock anthems railing against injustice, inequality, and the systemic oppression of the people. It’s music in the grand tradition of late ’70s/early ’80s political punk rock and the protest folk that inspired it. This Toronto-based band has been active since 2004 and strives to write “songs of unity, inclusion, solidarity and struggle”. It’s inspiring now to see so many people finally waking up to injustice in the world and getting angry about it. The Fallout have been angry from the start, and they’re ready as always to take up the fight.

Out on Rebel Time Records and Discos Machete, The Times Have Never Changed opens with the premise that the protest music of the past promised change that has yet to be delivered. That’s not a cynical statement so much as it is a message that the struggle has yet to be won. Over the course of 15 tracks, it’s clear that The Fallout reserves all of its cynicism for institutions of power, which must be resisted and confronted if real change is to ever occur. So don’t let the album title fool you. These guys are true believers in the idea that songs can change the world – or at least that songs have the power to inspire the people who will change the world. If you can watch authority clash with dissent at this moment and honestly side with authority, this is clearly not the band or album for you. The Times Have Never Changed rages against everything from endless wars to partisan politics to institutionalized homophobia to organized religion to police brutality to the marginalization of sex workers. It’s full of urgency, passion, and absolute conviction. Sometimes the whole idea of “political punk” can turn people off because the music tends to be generic at best or an afterthought at worst. But The Fallout is a throwback to a time when protest punk was just as much about the tunes as it was about the message. These guys write catchy songs that are tailor made for you to shout along with. The music is powerful and aggressive but also fun to listen to. And that’s the way it ought to be. If a song is going to inspire people, it has to be inspiring. Songs like “Red Light Union” and “Raise Your Flag” will have you fired up to run through a brick wall for the cause! This is “street” punk in the truest sense of the term – music for the people that is relevant to what’s actually happening on our streets.

Certainly when this album was being prepared for release, the band and labels had no idea it would arrive on the eve of a mass protest movement of historic proportions. But the injustices and inequality that ignited this movement have persisted for generations. I used to assume that most people had the sense to know that racism is wrong and fascism is bad. But in this modern-day Bizarro World where anti-fascists are suddenly “terrorists”  and not wanting cops to murder people of color is a “divisive” position, it’s clear that nothing is obvious. We can’t take for granted that sanity will prevail or that progress is inevitable. We must resist and keep resisting. And we will listen to awesome music while we do it.”

El nuevo álbum de Fallout es la banda sonora de los momentos que estamos viviendo. Está repleto de himnos punk rock que critican la injusticia, la desigualdad y la opresión sistémica en contra de la gente. Es música que se sitúa en la gran tradición del punk rock político de finales de los 70 / principios de los 80 y en la canción de protesta que lo inspiró. Esta banda originaria de Toronto ha estado activa desde 2004 y se esfuerza por escribir “canciones de unidad, inclusión, solidaridad y lucha”. Es inspirador ver a tanta gente que por fin está despertando frente a la injusticia en el mundo y que está enojada por eso. The Fallout han estado enojados desde el principio, y están listos como siempre para comenzar la pelea.

Producido por Rebel Time Records y Discos Machete, The Times Have Never Changed parte de la premisa que la música de protesta del pasado prometió un cambio que aún no se ha entregado. Esa no es una declaración cínica, sino un mensaje de que la lucha debe continuar. Al escuchar las 15 rolas, está claro que The Fallout reserva todo su cinismo para las instituciones de poder, a las que hay que resistir y confrontar para conocer un cambio real. Así que no dejes que el título del álbum te engañe. Estos tipos son verdaderos creyentes en la idea de que las canciones pueden cambiar el mundo, o al menos que esas canciones tienen el poder de inspirar a las personas que cambiarán el mundo. Si en estos momentos de tensión entre la autoridad y la disidencia estás del lado de la autoridad, esta banda no es para ti.

The Times Have Never Changed explota contra todo, desde guerras interminables hasta políticas partidistas, desde la homofobia institucionalizada hasta la religión organizada, desde la brutalidad policial hasta la marginación de las trabajadoras sexuales. Es un disco lleno de urgencia, de pasión y de absoluta convicción. A veces, la idea de un “punk político” puede enfriar a la gente. Pero The Fallout es un regreso a una época en la que el punk de protesta tenía que ver tanto con las melodías como con el mensaje. Estos chicos escriben canciones pegadizas hechas a medida para que grites junto con ellas. La música es poderosa y agresiva, pero también divertida de escuchar. Y así es como debe ser. Si una canción va a inspirar a la gente, tiene que ser inspiradora. ¡Canciones como “Red Light Union” y “Raise Your Flag” te harán enloquecer para atravesar una pared de ladrillos por la causa! Este es el punk “callejero” en el verdadero sentido del término: música para las personas que es relevante para lo que realmente está sucediendo en nuestras calles.

Seguramente, cuando se estaba preparando este álbum, la banda y los sellos no tenían idea de que estallaría un movimiento de protesta masiva de proporciones históricas. Pero las injusticias y la desigualdad que encendieron este movimiento han persistido por generaciones. Solía suponer que la mayoría de la gente sabía que el racismo y el fascismo está mal. Pero en este bizarro mundo moderno donde los antifascistas de repente son “terroristas” y donde puedes no odiar policías por asesinar a personas de color está claro que nada es obvio. No podemos dar por sentado que la cordura prevalecerá o que el progreso es inevitable. Debemos resistir y seguir resistiendo. Y escucharemos música increíble mientras lo hacemos.

Afterboltxebike – Marxist Agitiation EP

… out now  on almost all digital platforms, 7″ vinyl coming sooner than later …

Afterboltxebike : punk agitprop, anticapitalista, antifascista, antirracista de Nuevo León, México. 3 rolas de combat-core anticapitalista para la lucha de clases. Cantos sediciosos y gritos de unidad revolucionaria traídos por Discos Machete, Dure Réalité, Incendiario y Rebel Time Records.

Afterboltxebike: anti-capitalist, anti-fascist, anti-racist, agitprop punk from Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Three tracks of anti-capitalist, class-struggle combat-core. Seditious songs / revolutionary rallying cries. Brought to you by Discos Machete, Dure Realite, Incendiario and Rebel Time Records

Afterboltxebike: punk agitprop, anticapitaliste, antifasciste, antiraciste de l’état de Nuevo León au Mexique. 3 morceaux de combat-core anticapitaliste pour la lutte de clases. Chansons séditieuses et cris révolutionnaires offerts par Discos Machete, Dure Réalité, Incendiario et Rebel Time Records

Review ( in German and English ) from Underdog Fanzine:

Afterboltxebike sind eine Hardcore-Punkband aus San Nicolás de los Garza, Mexiko, die 2015 mit der Absicht gegründet wurde, kommunistische/marxistische Inhalte in einem rauen Sound zu betten. Der Bandname stammt von einem Lied der baskischen Punkband Kortatu (die ein explosives Gemisch aus Ska- und Punkelemente gebraut haben) und wird After Bolsheviks gesprochen. Sie vermitteln ihre Botschaft aber nicht nur über Musik, Marcos, Hugo und Diego beteiligen sich auch an verschiedenen politischen Initiativen.

Working Class und Hass auf die Polizei in simplen melodischen Strukturen, die knallen wie ein Molotow-Cocktail. Rau. Laut und schroffe Riffs, heiser-krakeelige Vocals und fertig ist die musikalische Version für eine visionäre bessere Welt, in der es nur eine Klasse, eine Einheit gibt, ohne Religion, Arm in Arm mit den workers of today!

3 Songs, die mit dunklen Klangfarben Eindruck schinden und in einem Sound ertönen, der geeignet ist für den Marsch der Working class revolution.

Afterboltxebike are a hardcore punk band from San Nicolás de los Garza, Mexico, which was founded in 2015 with the intention of embedding communist / Marxist content in a raw sound. The band’s name comes from a song by the Basque punk band Kortatu (who brewed an explosive mixture of ska and punk elements) and is spoken after After Bolsheviks. They convey their message not only through music, Marcos, Hugo and Diego also participate in various political initiatives.

Working class and hatred of the police in simple melodic structures that pop like a Molotov cocktail. Rough. Loud and rugged riffs, hoarse-crackled vocals and the musical version is ready for a visionary better world in which there is only one class, one unit, without religion, arm in arm with the workers of today!

3 songs that make an impression with dark timbres and sound in a sound that is suitable for the march of the working class revolution.

 

Randy’s Interview With Ojo X Ojo Magazine

I’d like to thank Victor at OjoXOjo zine, out of Mexico City,  for allowing me to ramble on, a few months back, for far too long about various topics and issues! The Spanish version of this interview will appear in the next issue of OjoX Ojo . Victor is also the founder of Discos Machete, and Rebel Time Records is stoked to have worked with Discos Machete and RASH CDMX on the Urban Vietcong tour and to be  working with Discos Machete on at least a couple of projects: the new album from The Fallout and the new EP from Afterboltxetbike!

Hi, Randy. Can you introduce yourself? And, how did you get to punk, to oi, to politics?

For me personally there is a direct line from punk rock to left-radical politics. The fact that we are even having this conversation can be traced back to a Canadian punk band called The Subhumans. From Vancouver, they put out an album in 1980 called “Incorrect Thoughts.” I’m actually listening to it as I type this and the songs still resonate … songs about refugees, macho/patriarchal assholes, jocks, waging war on the powers that be, not fitting in / feeling cast out, urban guerrillas, etc. An album that changed my life.

Anyways, long story short, the bass player for the band, Gerry, was arrested in 1983 for actually being an urban guerrilla. Along with four others he was arrested for being part of a Canadian armed clandestine organization known as Direct Action. In the early 1980s, among other things, they fire-bombed several porn shops and bombed Litton Industries in Toronto and a Hydro substation in British Columbia. After their arrests they became known as The Vancouver Five or The Squamish Five. Gerry began writing a column for a lefty punk rock magazine called Maximum Rocknroll. I should add, this is all pre-internet, of course, so magazines and newsletters were how you got information about what was happening both in your own backyard and around the world.

From one of Gerry’s columns I got the address for the Vancouver 5 Defense Committee. I wrote them, sent in a contribution and began to receive their newsletter. That newsletter led me to other Canadian magazines such as Open Road and Resistance both of which covered armed resistance / left radical politics and those in turn led me to other like-minded American and European magazines such as Breakthrough, The Insurgent, De Knipselkrant, L’Internationale and Correspondances Revolutionaire.

Then, around 1988/1989, I joined the Toronto Anarchist Black Cross. The Toronto chapter of the Anarchist Black Cross was an active one, doing a lot of prisoner support work as well as publishing magazines like Reality Now and Wimmin Prisoners Survival Network. We supported prisoners financially and wrote them often. We did a lot of support work around Direct Action / The Vancouver  Five, as well as around the Red Guerrilla Resistance / Resistance Conspiracy Case Six and the United Freedom Front / Ohio 7, folks who had been arrested for being part of the armed clandestine movement in the United States. As well, people from Toronto Anarchist Black Cross were active in Native struggles, Anti-Racist Action, Love and Rage, anti-apartheid struggles, etc. Some of them were also active in the Toronto punk rock scene, playing in bands, putting on shows ,etc.

In 1990, my friend/comrade Ron Cooke and I started a magazine called Arm The Spirit. It focused mainly on armed struggle, anti-fascism, militant struggles, etc. We published the magazine for 10 years, covering organization such as the Red Army Faction, Red Brigades, GRAPO, Anti-Racist Action, PKK, Devrimici Sol, MRTA, Action Directe, FPMR, etc, etc.

Of interest, in the early 1990s we published a pamphlet in support of Yves Peirat, arrested for his involvement in the armed actions of the Francs-Tireurs Partisans in France. The FTP had claimed eleven actions against the National Front and it’s allies.

I should add that I originally met Ron through punk rock. Ron had been involved in putting together “Still Angry: The Compilation Tape And Fanzine – A Benefit For The Toronto ALFSG” and had written an article called “Multinationals, No Thanks!” for the fanzine that referenced Direct Action / Vancouver and Rote Zora / Revolutionary Cells. We met at a punk rock show and we immediately bonded over a shared love of political punk rock and left-radical politics.

Almost 40 years after hearing “Incorrect Thoughts, my love for political punk and left-radical politics continues!

How is the scene in your city? What are the important points of activity in Canada for punk and Oi? What bands do you recommend us?

Rebel Time Records is based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The scene here is good! Hamilton is a city of about 550,000 people and it is known as “The Steel City” because the city is home to two steel factories.

Musically, we are very fortunate to have a great venue/bar called “This Ain’t Hollywood.”  The bar first opened in 1893! In 2009 it was bought by some some Hamiltonians who have been very involved in the local music/punk scene forever. This bar is where we have hosted our Rebel Fest weekends, our Punk Rock Matinees and both local and international bands (Curasbun, Red Alert, Stage Bottles, Urban Vietcong and more). And, importantly, the show are all-ages and licensed. Also, on the last Sunday of every month the venue hosts an all-ages punk show known as Slamfest. (Note: since this interview was completed, the bar has been sold, and it is unlikely that it will host any more shows)

Also musically, we are fortunate to have some great record / music stores.

Hammer City Records “your friendly neighbourhood punk rock record shop” is run by people associated with the amazing Hamilton-based punk/hc record label Schizophrenic Records. An amazing selection of records, tapes, cds, zines, shirts, buttons, etc.

Crash Landing Music Store is also an integral part of the scene and is owned and operated by a couple who have been into punk since the beginning. Crash Landing is part music store, part record store. Lots of vinyl, drumsticks, amps, shirts, strings, kazoos, books, etc.

Politically, Hamilton is home to The Tower, an anarchist social space. The Tower hosts workshops, skill-shares, reading groups, discussion series, speaking engagements and more. As the organizers of the space say: “the space is not an end in and of itself, but a means to building our movements, strengthening our networks and expanding our capacities to resist.”

The Tower has come under attack by both the state and the far right. Organizers have been  harrassed, threatened, attacked and arrested,  The Tower itself has been attacked twice with broken windows and other damage.

The Tower remains undaunted and open for business! As they said after one attack:”We are not in the least afraid of ruins, for we carry a new world here in our hearts.”

Hamilton is also home to a branch of the IWW and there are also some organizations such as Hamilton Against Fascism and the Revolutionary Student Movement (based out of McMaster University in Hamilton)

Canada is a very big country (apparently it is the second largest nation in the world!) and I am not up-to-date on all the various punk scenes across Canada. 

But, for Rebel Time Records, I will say that Montreal, Quebec has always been an important ‘point of activity,’ both musically and politically. 

Musically, it has been home to some great  bands such as SCUM, Jeunesse Apatride, Esclaves Salaries, Killing Fields, Hold A Grudge, La Gachette,  The Prowlers, Street Troopers, Mayday, Action Sedition, Union Thugs, etc, etc. Montreal also hosts two fantastic music festivals: Oi Fest (every year in April ) and Revolution Fest (every year in October). 

Importantly, it is home to Dure Realitie, “a self-managed and militant Montreal association that wishes to promote a revolutionary culture through artistic outlets. DR books tours, promotes bands, releases records and publishes a webzine.  Rebel Time Records is very happy to have a good working relationship with Dure Realite. 

Politically, Montreal is home to strong and active chapters of RASH and IWW. Also strong, active and militant are organizations such as Montreal Sisterhood, Solidarity Across Borders (Solidarite Sans Frontieres) and Montreal Antifasciste.

In terms of bands that I would recommend? Well, I have mentioned some great Montreal bands already!

Insurgence Records, out of Toronto, Ontario, is currently releasing amazing material from some of my favorite Canadian bands: Streetlight Saints, Reckless Upstarts, Rough Cuts and The Prowlers.

Personally, I would highly recommend the “fiery anti-capitalist rant-hop” of Lee Reed. Lee is from Hamilton and is committed to revolutionary struggle and a better world, voicing anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist politics through hip-hop. Just amazing!

I must also highly recommend The Fallout. From Toronto and, yes, they are on Rebel Time Records. Catchy-as-heck political punk rock, songs of union, inclusion, solidarity and struggle. New album out in 2020!

Other bands that Rebel Time Records is fond of include: Barbed Wire Braces, Back Breaker, Alien Boys, Maldita, They Call It Chaos,  and Bring The War Home. A couple of bands that are not active now, but are still highly recommended are The Rebel Spell and The Class Assassins.

 Here in Mexico the political scene has lost strength. Is it the case in Canada?

Locally, I think the political scene is strong. In Hamilton, and more broadly, in our province of Ontario, there is a lot of political work being done, particularly around anti-fascism, gentrification and indigenous resistance.

I don’t we can talk about the local Canadian political / activist punk scene without talking about Lee Reed and without talking about the Union Thugs.

Lee Reed is from Hamilton, Union Thugs are from Montreal, both have played a lot of Rebel Time Records shows and both have, consistently, via their music and message and via on-the-ground / in-the-area organizing, contributed to a strengthening of the political scene.

Importantly, a review of the causes they have supported via benefit shows / fundraisers makes clear that indigenenous struggles and anti-colonial struggles are becoming a clear and present priority, particularly with the current situation around the Wet’suwet’en in the province of British Columbia and their struggle against pipelines. This is a situation which has seen numerous solidarity protests,demonstrations and blockades spring up in Hamilton and the rest of Ontario.

Lee deals in left-radical, anti-capitalist hip-hop / rant-hop. But, don’t worry, he does have punk rock credentials! His band Warsawpack was signed to Propaghandi’s record label in the early 2000s … as Lee says: “From my early days with Warsawpack.. getting signed with G7 Welcoming Committee.. and coming up in the Hamilton music community.. I’ve always had a great musical and personal relationship with punks and the punk community. The ethos and DIY spirit of punk has had as much of an influence on my writing and performance as hiphop has.”

Lee has been a big part of the anti-gentrification struggle here in Hamilton and he’s done a lot of the grunt work: organizing, making phone calls, knocking on doors, organizing meetings raising awareness, etc., with the Hamilton Tenants Solidarity Network. He also released a 5-song digital pay-what-you-can EP titled “The Steal City.” Every song deals with gentrification, rent strikes and the displacement of the working class. 100% of proceeds go to the Hamilton Tenants Solidarity Network (HTSN) and the East Hamilton Rent Strike Defense Fund.

You can check out “The Steal City” EP here … 

100% of proceeds to the Hamilton Tenants Solidarity Network (HTSN) and the East Hamilton Rent Strike Defense Fund.

Other struggles Lee has been involved in and and raised funds for include: Unist’ot’en Camp, Hamilton Pride Defenders Legal Fund, Tiny House Warriors, Stop Line 9 Legal Fund and SACHA (Sexual Assault Centre Hamilton and Area) and he has performed at many sites of resistance including Grassy Narrows, Stop Line 9, Wet’suwet’en Blockade Hamilton and the Supreme Court Rally for Chippewa of the Thames & Clyde River Inuit.

The Union Thugs are a “revolutionary folk / oi band,”comprised of members of Montreal punk/oi bands such as Action Sedition and Mayday. They play covers of working class songs by artists like Woody Guthrie, Utah Phillips, Angelic Upstarts, Brigada Flores Magon, etc., and consider themselves first and foremost as workers and then as musician. They are involved with the Industrial Workers Of The World (IWW). Some members are also involved in the record label Dure Realitie (a self-managed and militant Montreal association that wishes to promote a revolutionary culture through artistic outlets).

Union Thugs have played many benefit shows for antifascist, anticolonial, union, community organizing and student movement causes.

Although based in Quebec, they have played many shows and supported many struggles here in Ontario! Here in Hamilton, they played on the picket lines when the teachers at Mohawk College were on strike and on their most recent visit to Hamilton they were part of the blockade of the CP Rail Line, in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en.

The band has played in Toronto at actions carried out by Parkdale Organize, a group of working class people who organize to build neigbourhood power in part of Toronto. In Quebec, they have played in Extinction Rebellion demonstrations, played a benefit for Cafe Refuge (a home for abandoned animals), and Harm Reduction Union, raised funds for COBP (Committee Opposed to Police Brutality), played the Festival Against Gentrification, the Day Against All Forms Of Oppression and the Protest Against Racism.

And, Union Thugs also played a benefit show to raise funds for La Biblioteca Social Reconstruir in Mexico City!

In Canada, how is the fight against fascism going? Who’s winning?

Again, because Canada is such a big country, and because there are many different anti-fascist struggles happening, I will just give a small over-view of the situation here in my hometown of Hamilton.

It is important to note that in 2018/2019, Hamilton had the highest rate of police-reported hate crimes in Canada. (97 incidents in 2018). Of course, there are also many hate crimes that are not reported to the police…

Hamilton seems to have become a real haven for far-right and neo-nazi organizing.

Racist, white nationalist, xenophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-muslim and homophobic organizations like the Proud Boys, Soldiers Of Odin, Yellow Vests, Northern Guard and Canadian Nationalist Party and Canadian Combat Coalition all rally in Hamilton, particularly in front of Hamilton City Hall.

Of course, they are met with resistance! Groups like Hamilton Against Fascism, Hamilton Queers Against Hate, No Hate In The Hammer and local anarchists are all very vocal and forceful in confronting and countering these hate groups.

For example, in March 2018, a few of the white nationalist groups like Soldiers Of Odin, Proud Boys and Northern Guard organized what they called a “Patriot Walk” on Locke Street in Hamilton.

This “Patriot Walk” was their response to an anti-gentrification demonstration by a black bloc of about 30 / 40 people that had occured a few days ealier. During this black bloc demonstration, some vandalism had occurred … rocks were thrown, windows were broken, etc. This led to about $100,000 in damages to businesses on Locke Street. Because the demonstration occurred immediately after an anarchist book fair organized by The Tower, arrests were made of people associated with The Tower and The Tower itself was vandalized.

Hamilton Against Facism, local anarchists, Hamilton District Labour Council, Shut Down Hate and other groups all worked together to counter this “Patriot Walk.” and came together under the banner “Locke Street Anti-Fascist Counter-Rally,” all together about 150 people.  There were a lot of riot police in the streets and the two sides were kept separated by the police. In spite of the heavy police presence, the Counter-Rally was able to disrupt the “Patriot Walk” and claim victory.

Older ‘old school’ neo-nazis like Paul Fromm and Marc Lemire also make Hamilton their home. These two were active in the Heritage Front in the 1990s. The Heritage Front was based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and was, at the time, the largest and most important white-supremacist organization in Canada.  In fact, Marc Lemire was one of the leaders of the Heritage Front. Toronto Anti-Racist Action, of which I was part, was formed at that time to fight the Heritage Front.

In 2019, it was discovered that Marc Lemire had been employed by the City of Hamilton over a decade, in the city’s IT department. After an investigation, he was let go from his job.  And, Paul Fromm ran for Mayor of Hamilton in the last local election.  Thankfully, he did not receive very many votes.

Also in 2019, the Hamilton Pride celebration, held in a local park, was attacked by a  group of far-right homophobes, christian fundamentalists, neo-nazis, and queer bashers.  There was a big brawl and the police did nothing but arrest queers who were defending themselves against these haters.

Interestingly, some of the Pride participants (the anarchist “pink bloc”) had created a huge thirty-foot wide, nine-foot tall black banner that they placed directly between the haters and the Pride celebration.

In the days following the attack, there was a lot of repression and more arrests, particularly of anarchists associated with The Tower. Queer activists / anarchists like Cedar Hopperton were targeted, harassed and arrested. Of course, there were many acts of solidarity, counter-demonstrations and Days of Action in support of those who were arrested and who’s only crime was defending themselves against attack.

Collectively, those arrested are known at the “Pride Defenders.” While some charges against them have been dropped, some of the Pride Defenders still have court dates coming up.

This has been a very small and incomplete look at the fight against fascism in Hamilton. If you would like more information, I would suggest a couple of websites:

Anti-Racist Canada

North Shore Counter Info

How was Rebel Time Records born? Why did you decide to create a record label? How were the beginnings?

Rebel Time Records started in 2008. At the time, I was working with Insurgence Records. Insurgence Records focused strictly on skinhead and hardcore bands (and their respective scenes) that had something to say. Of course, a fantastic label!

But, there were also some great punk bands with something to say that were maybe not such a good ‘fit’ for Insurgence. I remember that bands like The Rebel Spell and Broadcast Zero contacted Insurgence Records hoping to be ‘signed,’ however, these bands were more punk than skinhead or hardcore. Sadly, there was no home for these bands…

So, after some discussion with Phil, one of the guitarists with Broadcast Zero, we decided to create a record label that would deal in socially-conscious, politically-charged, left-radical political punk rock. Our motto would be “rebel tunes for rebel times.”

Initially, our focus was on Canadian bands such as Broadcast Zero, The Rotten, Cambridge, The Rebel Spell, The Class Assassins, etc, however, lately, we have been honoured to be able to work with like-minded bands such as Spanner (militant ska-punk from England), Urban Vietcong (street/oi/core from Italy) and Afterboltxebike (hc punk from Mexico).

To date, we have just over 20 releases, with more to come! Often, these releases are co-productions with like-minded labels such as Dure Realitie, Fire And Flames, Anfibio Records Casual Records, Rusty Knife and others. All labels well worth supporting!

You have edited very heterogeneous bands: either geographically (Italy, Canáda, México, Great Britain, etc.) or musically (punk, Oi !, anarchopunk). How do you select them? What attracts you?

Someone famous once said “there are only two kinds of music – good music and bad music.” Of course, Rebel Time Records only deals in “good” music!  

We are a political record label, so we look for bands who’s lyrics and message are socially-conscious, left-radical and politically-charged. Bands with inspirational, incendiary and insightful music and lyrics are what we are attracted to … songs of protest and resistance, songs of love and rage!  

We are very fond of the Pete Seeger quote: “the people are on the march and must have songs to sing” … 

Also, we look for bands that “walk the talk,” bands that are active in their local scenes (musically and politically). For example, members of Mexico’s Afterboltxebike are active in Communistas Unidos, produce a political punk fanzine (Incendiario) and make documentaries on the Mexican political punk scene.  Members of Spanner take an active part in running a local social center / community co-op called Kebele in Bristol, England. Members of Urban Vietcong are active in the social centers Ex Caserma Occupata and Centro Politico 1921 in their hometown of Livorno. The Fallout are active union members.

And, because the struggle is world-wide, we don’t limit ourselves geographically. Our most recent releases are from Italy, Mexico, England and Canada. While we are separated by distance, we are joined together and united by a common struggle, vision and purpose.

I think Pete Seeger summed it up best: “Songs are funny things. They can slip across borders. Proliferate in prisons. Penetrate hard shells. I always believed that the right song at the right moment could change history.”

Hopefully, Rebel Time Records is releasing some of those “right” songs! That is our mission!

As a record label, how has the 100% digital change been? How has the business evolved (in a non-profit sense of the word) with the arrival of platforms such as Spotify? Why did you choose Bandcamp to spread your music?

For me personally, Rebel Time Records has always been more about the music and the message than about the medium. It’s more about ‘propaganda’ than profit. And, anyways, there is no profit!  Rebel Time Records is a labor of love and a very expensive hobby…

The almost 100% switch to digital has been both a blessing and a curse.

On the one hand, now it is much much easier for Rebel Time Records to get our music and message into the hearts,minds and ears of people.  As a means of ‘spreading the  gospel,’ as a way of spreading left-wing political ideas, these digital media platforms are very efficient and cost-effective.

Services that the label uses like Spotify, Youtube, Facebook, Itunes,  Bandcamp, podcasts, etc, etc,all provide simple, convenient, almost instantaneous and generally free / low-cost ways for people to access our bands. So, that is a positive evolution for sure!

And, as a ‘consumer’, you don’t really need money or a turntable or CD player or cassette player to listen to the music, just an internet connection and your phone or tablet or computer. 

And, as a record label, using, for example, a service like Bandcamp, we don’t really need money to disseminate and spread our agitprop! Also a very positive evolution. Download some or our releases for free at our Bandcamp  site!

On the other hand, while ‘free’ is good, unfortunately, money is a necessary evil and the switch to (almost) 100% digital has ensured that there is now even less of it coming in than ever before.  There are still bills to pay!

Streaming services pay literally pennies per song play / download. Some  pay even less than pennies per song play. 

Most importantly, I think these miniscule payments devalue and diminish the hard work,energy, effort and ‘blood, sweat and tears’ that bands put into their craft and their art. 

Being in a band is an expensive proposition. Instruments, recording time, rehearsal studio time, gas for the van, etc, etc. It all costs money and nothing is free.

Well, nothing is free it seems, except for the music. 

So, please supports the bands! Attend a show, buy a shirt, buy a CD or cassette, pick up some vinyl! And, speaking of vinyl and cassettes…

We talked about digital music, but on the other hand you keep producing discs in vinyl format and, even stranger, in cassette. Why?

Ha…yes, that is a very good question! It is a question I ask myself almost daily!

The short answer is that there is still a demand for ‘physical’ product. At least for now.

While digital / streaming is cheap, easy and convenient, it does not allow for ‘ownership.’  

Digital media is not tangible, physical, or tactile, and there is less to ‘experience.’ 

You can’t hold a Spotify playlist in your hands and admire artwork and liner-notes as you can with a record ( or cassette).   A Bandcamp download doesn’t allow you to look for those little hidden messages sometimes found in the run-off grooves of a record. And, you certainly can’t have fun browsing through a record store for something to add to your Itunes collection! 

Fans ( and bands!)  like to have something they can hold onto. And, I understand that. And, I will say, that it is generally fans of a certain (older) age who are interested in holding onto a physical product (and, holding onto the past!)  I think the younger generation is quite content with digital media, it is all they know. My son is 14 and has only ever ‘consumed’ music via computer, tablet or phone … he know’s of no other way.

But, as noted, physical product can be very expensive. While CDs are inexpensive to produce, sales of CDs are going down. And, while vinyl is very expensive to produce, sales are going up! 

So, really, for a record label, while there is less and less money coming in from digital sales ( and CD sales ), there does need to be more money going out for physical / vinyl product.  This can be hard on the wallet! (cartera / billetera)

So, yes, sometimes, as a cheaper way to produce a physical product, we will make a cassette! Cassettes are a bit a niche market for sure, but they are a kind of ‘unique’  and inexpensive method of providing fans with something they can hold in their hands.

Returning to your productions: how was the meeting with Afterboltxebike? What do you like in that band?

I was first introduced to Afterboltxebike in 2016, after I saw two of their videos on Facebook. The videos were for the songs “Pavilichenko” and “De Que Lado Estas?”
Musically, the songs were very catchy and memorable with sing-a-long choruses and the lyrics (about class struggle and anti-fascism) were righteous. Good stuff!! I had to know more about this band!

I got in touch with Diego, the singer/guitarist and did a bit of an interview with him for the Rebel Time Records blog. I was impressed to learn that Diego was not only a musician, but also produced a zine (Incendiario Zine) and was working on video documentaries about music and politics in Mexico.

When Afterboltxebike released their 8-song digital demo in 2018, we were happy to put it up on the Rebel Time Records bandcamp page so that hopefully the demo would reach more people.

Now, in 2019, Rebel Time Records (with Incendiario Zine) is very proud to have released a cassette version of digital demo. The songs have been remixed a little bit…

What attracted me to Afterboltxebike was, of course, the music, but especially the lyrics. Songs about waking up very early in the morning to go to a shitty job,songs about ETA and YPJ/YPG,songs about anti-fascism and anti-colonialism, and, especially, a song about reading!! How many bands have done a song about the importance of reading?? For me personally, literature/books/zines are very important and a big part of my life, so it was inspiring to hear the band sing: “Read to study/ Read to learn/ Read for liberation.” Go read a book!

What also impressed me (and is very important to me) is that Afterboltxebike “walks the talk” … Diego not only produces a political punk zine and makes punk documentaries, but he (and, at the time) other members of the band were active in local left-wing political organizations and struggles. Like DOA said: “talk minus action equals zero.”

And, lastly, for me personally, working with Diego and Afterboltxebike has given me the opportunity to learn a lot more about the Mexican punk scene, Mexican history and the current political situation in Mexico. For this I am very grateful…

What are the other activities of Rebel Time Records besides producing records? Concerts? Fanzine?

One of the other activities is a radio show called Rebel Time Radio, on CKMS 102.7 FM out of Waterloo, Ontario. Mike (and sometimes Dan and Elisha) spin tunes every Wednesday at 9PM.

It is a punk rock show with a (very!) political flavor. We play a wide variety of punk, hardcore, ska and oi while having a laugh at politicians and rich people. We’re anti-fascist, against sexism, want to wipe out homophobia and transphobia, and generally can’t stand it when powerful people take advantage of others. In sum, these are rebel tunes for rebel times!

We did, in the past, publish two issues of a fanzine called The Rebel Times. You can find both issues here: The Rebel Times … 

Of course, we also host concerts.

We do host an occasional “Punk Rock Matinee” at a club in Hamilton called This Ain’t Hollywood. These shows happen on Sunday afternoons and are all-ages.

Also, for 3 years in a row we hosted a two-night event called Rebel Fest, with the motto “Our Music! Our Message!”.

Now, generally, we do a Spring Offensive tour and a Fall Offensive tour with the aim to support and spotlight bands that have something to say and something to sing about. Most recently, we were very happy to have Urban Vietcong from Italy play our Fall Offensive 2019 shows!

What are your projects?

An ongoing project of mine is the Arm The Spirit archives – an online archive preserving the history of left-wing / left-radical / revolutionary / autonomist / anti-imperialist / militant protest movements.

From 1990 to 2000 I was part of a small collective in Toronto that published a magazine called Arm The Spirit – For Revolutionary Resistance.

Over the course of those 10 years, we received many, many publications from all over the world and we saved most of them. So, now I am scanning and uploading those publications to the internet.

At the moment I have uploaded 1,800+ documents / magazines / papers. You can find material in many languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Danish, Turkish, Japanese, etc) and covering many topics (anti-fascism, armed struggle, political prisoners, militant struggles, etc).

You can find more info / links at the Arm The Spirit blog

And, I have recently received a big archive of movement material from the Dragonfly Farm (a commune here in Ontario) and it contains left-wing material from the 1960s onwards, so I am also working on scanning and uploading that material.

You can find more info at the Dragonfly Archive

Something you want to add?

Thank you OjoXOjo and RASH CDMX for doing the interview and for helping to keep print zines and political music alive! Thanks for your ongoing commitment to spreading left-radical politics!

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to read the interview! 

Thanks to everyone who supports record labels such as Discos Machete, Dure Realitie, Incendiario and Rebel Time Records and  everyone who supports the politics that these labels are based on. Thanks to everyone who supports the bands that are on these labels. It is greatly appreciated! 

 ¡Ponte trucha! Vivan Los Sonidos de la Revolucion!

The Fallout – The Times Have Never Changed

… “the people are on the march and must have songs to sing” (Pete Seeger) …

… “just like us you want to figure out / the pain and injustice all about / we picked up our guitars / and we wrote some songs / about protecting rights / and correcting all the wrongs” (The Fallout) …

Don’t care about the Bob Dylan you quote / Books you’ve read or poems you wrote / I see suffering I see no hope / The times have never changed / That’s what drove Phil Ochs insane / The times have never changed / Protest songs of ’67 / Against a war you never ended / All that posing and pretending / The times have never changed / That’s what drove Phil Ochs insane / The times have never changed / The more things change / The more they stay the same / Happens time and time and time again / All I know for sure is we have endless, endless war / The times have never changed

… here it is … proudly presented to you by Discos Machete and Rebel Time Records … “The Times Have Never Changed” … 15 tracks of partisan and unapologetically political agitp(r)op punk rock … songs of unity, inclusion, solidarity and struggle … it’s movement music, it’s people’s songs … and it’s currently a free / pay what you can download on bandcamp … on all other digital platforms shortly, followed by CDs … dig it …

… 15 balazos de punk melódico y político … canciones de amor, rabia y resistencia, de unión, de inclusión, de solidaridad y de lucha …

… ¡Estos son los sonidos de la revolución! …

It’s happening again / Our bleeding hearts are overflowing / Spilling out into the streets / You tell me one more time / No one can change the world / That’s exactly what they say / Every time we come close to overthrowing / All our despair they hope to shatter our dream of global unity / No one is free until everyone is free / To liberate a world oppressed all we really need is / One more movement by the people / One last struggle for the world / Let this be a movement without borders – without nationality / A revolution without gender / – without sexuality / A struggle for all people all races all ethnicities / No segregation – liberation without triumph in defeat

Union Thugs – Revolutionary Folk & Oi From Montreal

Here at Rebel Time Records, we’re big fans of Union Thugs … revolutionary oi and folk out of Montreal … former members of great bands like Action Sedition and Mayday.  Honored to have had them play a number of our shows over the last few years.

They’re a band that has played countless benefit shows for anti-fascist, anti-colonial, union, student movement, community organizing and other righteous causes. They are involved with the Industrial Workers Of The World (IWW). Some members are also involved in the record label Dure Realitie (a self managed and militant Montreal association that wishes to promote a revolutionary culture through artistic outlets).

In 2018, the band released a fantastic 4-song demo:

Now, in 2020, we are stoked to be one of the labels (along with Discos Machete, Dure Realitie and Fire And Flames) helping to put out their upcoming release “Folklore Ouvrier.”

Here’s the song “Les Piqueteuses De La Gloire,” one of the tracks that will be on “Foklore Ourvier”:

And, here’s the first video for the song “Partisan” …

The band says: “composed for the first time in 1943 in the heart of the 2nd World War, the song was re-popularized by Leonard Cohen during the 90s. We are taking it up here in homage to antifascists from all over the world.

Freedom will come soon and we will emerge from the shadows … ”

Oh the wind, the wind is blowing; Through the graves the wind is blowing Freedom soon will come; Then we’ll come from the shadows

Les Allemands étaient chez moi; Ils me dirent “Résigne-toi” Mais je n’ai pas peur; Et j’ai repris mon arme

Personne ne m’a demandé; D’où je viens et où je vais Vous qui le savez; Effacez mon passage

J’ai changé cent fois de nom; J’ai perdu femme et enfants Et je tourne en rond; Dans la prison des frontières

Un vieil homme dans un grenier; Pour la nuit nous a cachés Les Allemands l’ont pris; Il est mort sans surprise

Hier encore, nous étions trois; Il ne reste plus que moi Mais j’ai tant d’amis; Et j’ai ma classe entière

Oh the wind, the wind is blowing; Through the graves the wind is blowing Freedom soon will come; Then we’ll come from the shadows

From their bio:

“Considering themselves first and foremost as workers and then as musicians, the Thugs are six syndicalists who moonlight as a six-piece revolutionary folk band. Union Thugs has a specific goal: to rock folk songs and folk rock songs in order to present a revival of classic popular and working class songs with an original flavour.

​ Averaging thirty concerts a year, the Thugs go where the fight calls them. The Thugs have been known to play concert venues, general assemblies, bar scenes, outdoor festivals, picket lines, you name it! With a set packed by covers of the likes of Woody Guthrie, Utah Phillips, Vilain Penguin, Corrigan Fest, Angelic Upstarts, Molodoi, Brigada Flores Magon and many others, the Thugs deliver an inspiring message of syndicalist revival that puts the emphasis on a boundless Solidarity. Through music, they continue to carry this message further, louder, and stronger.

For a union for all workers,
For industrial democracy and the 4 hour workday,
Abolish the wage system,
Down with a society based on class division,
For a fucking good Rock n’ Folk show!
SOLIDARITY!”

Here’s an excellent min-documentary about the band … :