Glen Stilphen, who owns Trev Records, recently released Drop The Needle: Boston Punk Anthology. A benefit dedicated to the late Smegma And The Nunz vocalist, Alec Steere aka “Smegma,” who was tragically hit by a train in 1999, Stilphen has also been a staple in the Boston punk/hardcore scene for many years. Thanks to Stilphen for doing this interview!
1. State your name and what you do.
My name is Glen Stilphen. I own and operate Trev Records.
2. The Boston punk/hardcore scene has been thriving for 30+ years now. What kind of testament is that to the scene and the people that support it?
Boston was one of the original hardcore cities. Tough to pin-point exactly why it won’t die. Maybe because it is just good fun shit whether you are 15 or 55. Boston is essentially a college town so the constant flow of different people and musicians from all over the world helps keep things new and fresh around here. The punk and hardcore scene is a niche with some very loyal followers.
3. The bands on the comp have, in some respect, maintained their relevancy for 20 or 30 years. That staying power is very rare, especially in punk/hardcore. Why do you believe that's so?
Thanks to the Internet! Gang Green lives probably because of the originality of the early recordings. “This is Boston Not LA” compilation tracks and “Another Wasted Night” each sound slightly different than most of the other hardcore and punk bands in Boston. I am not saying they were the best but clearly a little different. Plus the fact that Chris Doherty keeps re-forming the band with different guys every decade is a constant reminder. Even if the latest line-up sucks, for whatever reason, people seem to want to recollect about the the old days when they were good. Smegma + The Nunz lives simply because of the absurdity of the name itself.
4. The music industry has changed and shifted so much. What's the biggest difference you see now compared to when you started out?
People were only offered a few radio stations to listen to and they had to visit a record store to purchase music. People's lack of exposure to music without being able to just "point and click" added to the excitement of a new good band or album back in the day. All-ages shows and alternative rock / punk in general around here would take place in larger venues like The Channel vs.smaller bar shows or basement parties that are more common today. Things did change with the loss of clubs like The Rathskellar and The Channel as well as the clubs owned by The Lyons Brothers Group on Landsdowne St.
5. Although a simple question, why did you decide to put this compilation together now?
The idea really started with the discovery of the Smegma And The Nunz demos in 2012 that neither my brother nor I had heard in about 30 years. They were Chuck's first real punk rock band and they rehearsed for a while in my mom's basement in 1982. They were really my first direct exposure to punk rock back then so they have always occupied a place in my heart ever since. They were truly a great band but the name was or is not truly marketable. We contemplated the idea of an exclusive Smegma And The Nunz release but we also had several other unreleased recordings in our possession that we always thought were pretty good. The concept of all the bands being related just seemed to make sense. Mainly, we did this for ourselves with the support of some really good friends. The project just kept progressing. I recently connected with an old friend, Gary Jay, who runs Land Shark Promotion Studio in New Jersey. Without his help and support, we may not have done it at all.
6. Has putting this compilation together inspired any of the bands to reform or do something special to coincide with this release?
Gang Green does shows with a new line-up occasionally. There is nothing planned right now for any other live shows but I do have dreams of creating a band to perform as "The Nunz" who would play those Smegma & The Nunz songs. It would have to include living band members somehow and it is nothing more than an idea right now.
7. Are there any newer Boston bands we should be on the lookout for?
I like Mellow Bravo and White Dynomite on Mad Oak Records.
8. Anything else you want to say?
Thank you to Sean McAuley who did an amazing job editing the new "Let's Drink Some Beer" video coming out this month and Peter McAuley who did an amazing job on the compact disc design. Both men worked for little in return and I can't thank them enough.