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Insurgence Records (Canada - label)

 

Earlier this year the Canadian label Insurgence released a brilliant CD by the famous Redskins. I sent them a few questions on this release. Answers by Phil.

July 2010 - Author: Paul Benschop - label website
Redskins

Almost 25 years after the band quit you decided to re-release some old tracks. Why do you think the Redskins are still relevant to today's skinhead scene?
The Redskins were an important influence on us in our younger days. The music was great, first and foremost. For us, keeping the memory of this influential band alive was an important thing. The next generation shouldn't miss out on such a phenomenon. To a more closed scene, the Redskins have influenced a whole movement of youth in the left-leaning subculture. My of its North American participants had never even heard the Redskins, yet they were part of something influenced by it. In that sense, it's also good that a retrospective look at this band has come from across the pond.

Compared to other bands you released, the Redskins play much different kind of music. Why are the Redskins such an important band to you?
Personally, they represent a time period to me; a time when in younger days, knowledge of this scene came like a breath of fresh air. Growing up completely unaware that this kind of band existed, especially coming from the skinhead corner. Finding out that it was not so much through the efforts of the band directly, but there was an anti-fascist movement existing at the time that had been winning the fight all along. In North America, knowledge of that was overshadowed by the reputation of the far right, which as always, seemed to make for a more interesting story in the hype-hungry media. In terms of the music style, we grew up listening to punk and soul, so we don't really see much of a digression. It all fits. The Redskins were about breaking the mold. By the same token, Insurgence doesn't like to pigeon-hole itself with classifications.

A few recordings are missing on the Epilogue CD, like the 'David Jensen radio session' and both Peel sessions. Why?
There were other additions that could've been made, but for various reasons sound quality being one of them, some sessions were left out. As for the Peel Sessions, these releases had already been established and we found that older versions of certain tracks were more relevant to this collection.

There's a strong anti-political tendecy within the skinhead culture, yet you seem to focus on bands who do take a political stand. Why is this so important to Insurgence?
In reality, we're not a label that goes out of our way to be political. We don't sign bands who measure up to a political line of sorts. We do however know exactly what we don't like and that includes cowardice hiding behind a 'no-politics' banner and shying away from dealing with the heavier issues of life. Immediately speaking, these involve threats against the subculture we're a part of. There's room for a lot in this game and we don't go around attempting to paint everyone the same colour. We do tend to have a polarizing effect, but that's a good thing. People should know where they stand and who's there alongside them. This isn't the cartoon that punk rock has become where people can dress up and play pretend rebels until it's time to retreat into private life. This scene is as real as it gets. The decisions people make in defense of those they surround themselves with, the choices people make in hard times..... If that's called politics, then so be it. We're an anti-fascist label and we're part of a scene that doesn't make any bones about it.

In the ten years of your existence you released a CD by the Angelic Upstarts, a DVD and and a few CDs by The Oppressed and now a Redskins epilogue. What are your next plans and how can you surpass releases like these?
Stay tuned! More great music and events to come!

Do you have any closing comments or anything to add?
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to be interviewed. All the best for your project! Cheers.