December, 30th 2008 - AZ Underground
I typically do a lot of shopping the day after Christmas. This year was
no different. First, I returned all the gifts that I couldn’t stand, and the
various clothes that my family bought that I’ll never fit into. Once
finished with all my exchanging, I finally got to take my cash and buy
some new CD’s to ring in the New Year. I headed to Zia Records to
finally purchase the new Numbers On Napkins CD. The album was
scheduled for release in the summer of 2008, but had been
postponed until December. To my surprise, Zia had yet to receive
the new album, and only had copies of their first two releases on their
shelves. I considered heading to Best Buy, but decided I should
head back home to search the web for the album instead. After
searching online for the disc, I realized that the album had once again
been postponed until 2009. Being a huge fan of the band, I was
extremely bummed. After all, I had some Christmas money burning a
hole in my pocket, and had been planning on buying the disc for
I decided that I needed to get to the bottom of this issue, and e-
mailed the band on MySpace to get to the bottom of this issue. I
figured that if I was going to be drilling them, searching for info about
the new CD, I might as well do an interview. After all, I can’t be the
only one wondering why the disc has yet to be in my CD player. The
band agreed to meet with me for an interview on December 30th at
seven in the evening.
I made it to the home of Chase Stain, fashionably late at 7:30. As I
entered the apartment, I notice a pile of rugs, including three bear
skin rugs, and a wolf rug. A poker table is in the center of the dining
room, and a variety of Native American weapons ranging from
Tomahawks and Spear, to Bows and Arrows and Stone Clubs are
spread out on top of it. A mountain lion rug is resting on top of the
refrigerator, and kachina dolls are all over the counter tops. Chase
Stain is sitting at one of the three chairs that are in the living room,
and Matt Martini greets me as he invites me in with a huge grin on his
scruffy face. Chase gives a quick hello and offers me a drink as he
walks to his fridge. I accept his offer, taking a Pepsi, and he pulls out
a bottle of Bud Light for Matt and a Dr. Pepper for himself. The three
of us sit down as Stain shuts off his Television. I set up my tape
recorder and we start the interview.
“Okay, I guess my first question is where is everyone?”
Martini - Well tad and Moe can’t be here, they are busy with their
kids tonight. So it’s just me and Chase.
“So my big question is what is going on with the new CD?
There has been a lot of delays, is it ever coming out?”
Stain (lets out a laugh) - Yes, Yes. I assure you it will be coming
Martini - There’s been a lot of delays, I’ve been wondering when it’s
coming out too. It seems just when everything is ready, something
happens. I mean, the CD was finished like over a year ago.
Stain - Well it hasn’t been a year I think, well, maybe a year since we
finished recording and mixing. But we didn’t get it mixed until, well, a
year ago now, huh.
Martini - That’s what I’m saying, a year at least.
“Well I know it was supposed to be out this summer, and than
it was put off until December, and now it says on your website
it won’t be out until 2009. So I guess I’m wondering what is the
Stain - It’s a bunch of different things.
Martini - Well it was because the label was broke, and now it’s
because we are waiting to sign a contract from a new label. It’s a
“So the new album isn’t going to be on Bad Stain?”
Martini - The First Edition Collector’s Pressing is going to be on Bad
Stain, and the regular pressing will be on F-Bomb Records,
assuming that we sign the contract. The Collector’s Edition is also
limited to 500 copies and contains an extra 3 songs on the disc. So
basically, the album will be on F-Bomb.
Stain - The reason it has taken so long is partially because of my
money situation, and also because we have been shopping the CD
Martini - Well it did take us awhile to record the album. We had Joe
Queer produce it, and we had to schedule things around his
schedule. He actually only entered the studio once with us while he
was on tour, but we would send him the songs to listen to through e-
mails and he would give his opinion. But while he was in the studio,
he really helped out a lot. I was really stoked because he spent a lot
of time working on the only song I wrote for the album. It’s a song
called “Bad Decisions”, and he really focused on everything with that
song. He suggested some different guitar tones that really made the
song stand out, and even changed the lyrics in spots to help the song
flow a lot smoother lyrically.
Stain - When the recording was finally done, we did a rough mix and
sent it to about fifty labels, but none of them even got back to us.
Martini - Yeah, because it sounded like shit, so we decided to mix it
so it would be presentable.
Stain - Yeah, but it was a huge waste of time sending those out. Of
course when we got it mixed we sent it out again. We put together
an amazing press kit and sent it…..well….I can’t remember how
many now to be honest.
Martini - I think it was like a hundred labels or so, wasn’t it?
Stain - Yeah, I think it was. We sent it to so many places. I mean, we
sent it to major labels, and indie labels. Just a bunch of labels in
general. It cost us like a grand to do it, cuz the press kits cost us like
five or six bucks each, and it cost a couple bucks to mail them.
“So what made you decide to leave Bad Stain?”
Stain - Well, Bad Stain is basically my label, and Matt, Moe and Tad
all help me run it. Along with a few other friends. So we are not a
huge label. We wanted to find a label that could help promote and
distribute the album better than we were capable of doing.
Martini - We did have some labels pretty interested in the new album
when we sent it. Universal Records actually almost put it out. Well,
not almost, but we did have some A & R guy call us and we met with
him about getting a contract.
Stain - Yeah, and like a week later we had another couple small
indie labels wanting to offer us contracts. I think we had seven offers
for this album, but something happened every time.
Martini - And of course that added to the delays. So when they
came to us with the offer, we had just got it mastered and was about
to go to press.
Stain - Yeah, cuz we waited to get it mastered. We were kinda
hoping the label we signed to would handle that expense.
Martini - Yeah. But like a week before we were gonna send it out, all
these labels start getting back to us. And we figured if we could get
Universal to release the CD, it would be a great deal.
Stain - But Universal ended up not being as interested as they
Martini - Well I think the A & R guy was totally stoked about us, but
the label just wasn’t interested. He seemed to really like us. He
basically asked us a bunch of crazy questions, and we had to get all
of the information about our record sales and show him old invoices
from orders from our distributors. So we did all this work for him for
like a month, and then he just told us the offer wasn’t there anymore.
It just sucked to come so close to a good deal and than lose it.
Stain - Man, we tried to salvage the other deals, but all of a sudden
the only good deal left the table. Basically, anytime any label showed
us a contract, it was horrible. They wanted too much money, or one
label said we couldn’t release anything from the band for the three
years we were signed. Plus I couldn’t release my solo albums, and
any side projects we were in couldn’t be released for the duration of
the contract. There was one good contract, and we didn’t get it.
Martini - And by the time we got all of that figured out, it was the
summer. So we had to push the release date back to December.
We figured we would release it on Bad Stain and do it ourselves.
Stain - Well nothing was working out. But then my other company
was robbed. I make a small amount of money from the label, but I
always put all the profit back into the label. I don’t actually make
anything from the label. I own a jewelry business with my father, and
that’s how I made all my money. When the business was robbed, it
put me in a bad situation. The guy got away with over $235,000. So
I had to use Bad Stain money to live on, and spent everything in my
account. Then my apartment was robbed and the crooks got away
with everything I owned. I lost $36,000 worth of music equipment.
Then, I was involved in a hit and run that totaled my car, so I lost that
Martini - (Laughing) Yeah, stay away from this guy! He’s had the
worst luck I’ve ever seen.
Stain - Well. Yeah. I suck. But I had nothing. In fact I still have
nothing. I’m actually barely making it. So I couldn’t afford to put out
the CD in December and had to change the date to 2009. I realized I
may not be able to put it out for awhile, so I sent a copy of the CD to a
dozen labels that are small, but bigger than Bad Stain. F-Bomb
responded and they are actually a really good label. They have a
great contract. It pays very good, and they have a bit more
distribution than Bad Stain. We are in the middle of working things
out. Hopefully we will be signing the contract in a week or so.
Martini - I think the album will be out in May, or June. That’s
assuming everything works out and we don’t have anymore problems.
Stain - (Laughing) Knock on wood. It’s just crazy how many
problems we have had.
“So what’s up next after you guys release the album? Do you
plan on touring a lot?”
Stain - Well of course we will tour, but probably not non-stop like in
the past. We are thinking of a quick two week tour, following our CD
release. Then we’ll come back for a month, and leave again for a
couple weeks. Touring for thirty days is just hard for us right now.
Martini - Well Moe and Tad both just had kids.
Stain - Yeah, and it’s their first too.
Martini - Exactly, so, ummm, it’s just hard for them. I figure in a few
months we can get back to the regular touring. For now we are just
going out for a couple weeks now and then.
“So are you guys planning on releasing other albums on F-
Bomb, or will future releases be on Bad Stain”
Martini - I guess we will see. It all depends.
Stain - Well this contract is for three years and one album. So we
aren’t sure if we will sign any other albums with them. It depends on
whether or not they want to continue to work with us. I assume they
will make that decision after they see how this first album sells. We
have six songs all recorded and just need to lay down vocals. We
also have another eight or nine songs that we have the bass and
drums finished on. So we could put out an E.P. as soon as a month
after “Borrachos” comes out, or we could put out an L.P. two or three
months after it comes out.
“Well I’m glad I finally have all my questions answered. So do
you have any other future plans?”
Martini - yeah, go get drunk and play some pool.
Interview By: Teresa Heritage