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A Brief Lesson In Scoring PR From Fan Death Records

February 17, 2010

| Image by Josh Sisk

Fan Death is a punk label run by Sean Gray and the Baltimore-based Chris Berry that’s put out swell music from the likes of Drunkdriver, Rosemary Krust, Clockcleaner, and Ringo Deathstar, among others. Fan Death is also largely responsible for the now-mammoth DNA Test Fest, which moves to Baltimore this year from Washington, D.C. Berry and Gray did this interview some time ago with All Our Noise, in which Gray lets this fly:

D.C. is a shitty place, with shitty bands, and a shitty outlook on life. I mean, it’s kind of sad in a way because there’s a lot of history here that everybody knows about. And I don’t think it went down the path that I would have wanted it to. I think with D.C. there’s this thing that bands want to make it. They think they can make it in D.C. because they’re from D.C., there’s that history there, that that’s an automatic foot in the door to whatever they’re doing. But even beyond that attitude portion of it, there’s just not good music. You can’t name me—there are two good bands in D.C.

The Washington City Paper put up a blog post about the the slam, igniting a comment shit storm and, incredibly, a print feature about D.C.’s most “butt hurt” by the criticism. (There was more, but that’s the bulk of it.) It was kinda funny, but mainly just helped prove Gray’s point. In a later e-mail to WCP, he wrote: “We are just 2 record nerds. And the fact that 2 nerds who run a no-name punk label that isn’t even in D.C. can shit on 2 soft targets and make tons of people butt-hurt is telling of how lame the city actually is when it comes to crappy ‘indie’ music/culture or whatever it is those bands are into.”

This morning, Gray wrote in an e-mail to Noise: “i think the article speaks for it self, it’s telling when that story has been run three times. we are too busy putting out records and keeping up with off season O’s and white sox news to even give a shit anymore.”