It was the early 90’s. I was playing in a band and Atlanta was still a pretty small town with an even smaller punk scene. We were trying to learn to play music but that was the extent of it. There was no one to put it out. You must remember that this was way before us kids had access to good computers or the internet or any of that type of stuff. We would record with some pzm mikes live straight to the best cassette deck our parents had laying around. We would take this to the cassette duping company. They would even print on them and shrink wrap them if we brought them something to stuff in the jank.
The inspiration and name for the formal label “Moodswing” was driven by Jeff Sousa of Miami who was in a band called Floor. Russell Jackson who went on to create the Riffest series released under ansurbana helped us set up a show at a warehouse in the worst ghetto of the city at the time. There was a dead body at our doorstep hours before the show started. The police cleaned up the mess and we played “going on with the show.”
Soon after that Brian Kincheloe and I created a demo studio in an old meat locker in the back of the Northside Tavern on Howell Mill. It was asbestos filled and had rats in the walls but the rooms were so dead that we recorded over 30 reels those years around the 96 Atlanta Olympics.
That’s when we started figuring out how to assemble makeshift recording studios, and buy coffee for the guys at the local printing presses. It just kind of took off from there. One record after the other. Running to Nashville for 7”’s and 12”’s and then the whole cd and digitized bastardized mess came about. 13 years with one name and 47 releases. Only one compilation, one part time employee, a couple of white Chevy vans, credit cards, and a Johnny Carson suit jacket with two patches....”Ferrari”...and “west end fuck you.” Instead of Mohawks, piercing and tattoos we had “Bike Patrol”, “Ferrari Freak-out”, and “Gregzilla.”
Its been about 17 years since my fever started while helping sell a cassette and 7” my brother helped his high school pals put out. That’s over half my life. Moodswing has gone through a lot of moves, and lots of heartbreaks. Lots of bands that were great and somehow formed into other messes, and a few that have stuck it out for a while and moved on to bigger and better things. I’ve had some hands meddle in the mess along the way. The greatest part of it all was the friends we made and the music that got released that did not compromise a bit for what was the status quo.
I’ve always believed in leaving this world with something more then it started with, hopefully a bit more inspiring then was originally there. The music moodswing has put out so far is beautiful. And its real. It’s from the hearts of the most incredible musicians and artists to ever walk the streets of this town. Moodswing music is honest, and I guess that’s why it has never been mainstream. It has never been released to make money or to license a look or a style. Moodswing always released it because it was the bands last option. No one else would do it. Moodswing has been the undergrounds stepping stone.
Bastards of young, we always ended up living by the railroad tracks. I guess the sounds of the train cars drowned out the noise of the neighbors. Maybe it was the nightlife, or the long summer, but it definitely wasn’t the egos, they were bigger then the city. It all started out in the suburbs, jumpin fences and shot gunning mickys in the parking lot of the quarter coke. That’s where we learned to jam econo, and the rules that you scream till you die and you’ll probably die swinging. There were boot boys who jammed big, and jis jams that slammed danced. They had pretty hair, tattoos and the tight black pants like the Stinson’s copt off of Thunders. It was 77 and the buffet was closed...Howell Dragon had banned us for greasy book bags, and the cops were catching on to the backyard shows.
Coming back from Richmond we stopped at the Sunny Garden. This town has fooled us, what was once our escape we now call our home. If there were an audience there would be expectations. So many fucking stories, most of them starting off with a couple of cheap beers and a show at a place that was a week from eviction. What an absolute mess an Econoline full of folks have made. I miss the trains, and the baby pools. Mostly I miss the views from the west end. Those nights could have lasted forever. We are the sons of no one.
The history of this label is a history of the Atlanta underground during our reign. And amazingly, the conglomerate empire known as Moodswing still has some tricks up its sleeve.
Chuck p moodswing keep smiling.....77 in 95 punks not dead, its still alive.
That will forever be our slogan.