If you don’t know the name you know the music. The late 80’s and 90’s were littered with bands on the Amphetamine Reptile Label. You couldn’t get away from them and they often ended up as your house guests. His own band Halo of Flies put out many stellar albums and singles as well as the Cows, Boss Hog, Lubricated Goat, the Melvins, Hammerhead, Servitron, Helmet and many more. Along with other labels such as Sub Pop, Caroline, Touch and Go, Matador and others they ruled the 90’s with relentless abandon. The years have passed and Mr. Thomas Hazelmyer is now producing more art than music. He still puts out a limited edition record from time to time but that razor sharp wit is always there. As we get ready for SXSW and the Super Record Rummage Sale at Obsolete Studios on Thursday March 13th starting at 12 noon, https://www.facebook.com/events/214701695392606/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming, we take a moment to speak to Tom and ask his opinion on music, art and beards. Sit back put on your Halo of Flies record and read the oh so soothing words of Mr. Thomas Hazelmyer, Gun Owner.
Q: Please introduce yourself to your fans out there, also because I don’t want to include or leave out anything that might incur your wrath.
TM: 1st wave Hardcore kid to Marine Corps. While there started Amphetamine Reptile Records with a Halo Of Flies. Got older and got Grumpy’s. Now 5th wheel art punk in camp Melvins.
Q: Tell us what it is that you are doing right now that you are enjoying the most. Your woodblock prints are amazing, but I know you still have your hand in the musical thing as well.
TM: Music is sidetracked and infrequent. That said, I just collaborated with Australian band No Anchor and was pretty stoked with results. Lots of linocuts (same as woodcuts but done on linoleum instead). Have never spent as much time in one art medium and kinda enjoying it.
Q: Is the entire Amphetamine Reptile back catalog still available for purchase? Do you have any new titles coming out?
TM: Most is available digitally, but not physically. Right now I’m focusing on “art” releases. Projects released in conjunction with art shows and events I’ve put together.
Q: I mentioned your art, are you selling individual original pieces as well as prints?
TM: Both, yes.
Q: I’m not sure if everyone knows about your bars in Minneapolis. Are there still two? Or more than that now? What is your crowd like, lots of old cranks or beard pushing hipsters?
TM: There’s 3 Grumpy’s and all are completely different from each other. None are too too hipster heavy though.
Q: Give us your thoughts on the beard/moustache trend. Hot or Not?
TM: NEIN< NEIN<NEIN – A good set of pork chops is about the only facial hair I find acceptable. Beards seem to be the domain of the man baby these days.
Q: What is the music coming out of Minneapolis like at the moment?
TM: Very diverse, and pretty amazing despite not having the national spotlight (again). Lots of great rock & noise stuff I’m fond of as well.
Q; Are you still playing music regularly?
Q: Tell us about what all you have going on during SXSW this year. The only thing I have heard of is the Garage Sale at Obsolete on the 13th.
TM: That’s all I’m in town for is the RECORD label RUMMAGE sale RAMPAGE!!! Should be fun and weird!
Q: You will be starting your yearly drive from Minneapolis to Austin soon. What road music to you have to bring along and are there any places you must stop at every time you make this drive?
TM: I have my iPod with 120 gigs of music, so that’s covered – I BRING EVERYTHING I’VE EVER LIKED!! I try to hit every Half Priced Books on the way down 35. The Czech Stop in TX for Kolaches is a MUST! Also the In & Out Burger in Dallas if I can swing it. Once in Austin I have to get out to Lockhart for BBQ at least once.
Q: Are there any events at SXSW you will be attending by choice?
TM: Honestly have no idea what’s going on. I’m usually in Lockhart getting BBQ.
Q: The future of music, let’s hear your Kreskin like predictions.
TM: The Germans will invade with DIE NERVEN. One of the best new bands I’ve heard in years. They played at a gallery show I had in Dusseldorf and it was one of the greatest shows I’ve seen in years.
Q: If there was one popular trend in music you could make disappear…what would it be?
TM: The revival of the girly man singer songwriter dreck.
Q: Lastly, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and if there is any brick of wisdom you could chuck our way, what would it be?
TM: Know what it is you don’t fucking know. It’ll make your life a whole lot easier.
Thank you Mr. Hazelmyer, artist, music maker, believer of the American Way! http://www.shoxop.com (the current website for Am Rep catalog and Art)
all photos courtesy of Amphetamine Reptile Records and Thomas Hazelmyer
Janet Elizabeth Hammer