PORY NOG/TAPE MONSTER INTERVIEW
Pory Nog is the head of DIY label NOG RECORDS and the man behind the harsh noise project Tape Monster. He agreed to let us interview him and this is what unfolded:
GRVD: When did you start NOG? Is this the first label you've operated?
NOG: I started in May of 2012. It is the first label I operated but I attempted to help be a part of the Piranha Party netlabel but by that time the label had already died. For like a year and a half NOG was a digital only label. Then I started doing releases like crazy in about August of last year, but there was a CDr release released prior to that which I still count as the first physical NOG release.
GRVD: With underground music and labels seeming to be gaining more and more momentum today, what would you say is the importance of underground DIY culture, labels, zines, and ethic?
NOG: It's important to support one another and not to take it too seriously. Mutual support is what will help the DIY underground survive, and lack of it is discouraging to say the least. A lot of people who run labels or make diy music just seem to only care about whoring out their own brand which is entirely okay, but then you'll ask them to check out your stuff and they'll just blow you off. I think it's great that so many labels are emerging, many of them by friends of mine. Physical music is great and the DIY labels are helping fight against the monster that I call digital download prices. There's literally nothing wrong with paying for music, but I refuse to do it in digital form because that's just silly. But I digress. It's important to mutually support one another, respect one another, and to have a great time. Throw cool DIY shows and create cool cassette releases. Keep the culture alive.
GRVD: NOG covers quite a variety of artists. Do you think having that sense of variety is important for a label - both artistically and economically?
NOG: It really depends on the label. I personally won't release anything by someone I'm not friends with at this point because there have been a few releases in my library that once I released them, the person behind it hasn't talked to me since. I won't name anyone because it's bad to slander people, but it has happened more than once. That's why the people I'm close friends with have more releases on the label than anything. Because they've supported moreso. Genre hardly has anything to do with it, but I do only release stuff I like, which is pretty much any cool genre. I haven't really found a genre that's lucrative, maybe a release here or there sells fairly well, but I don't mind that because I'm not doing it for the money. Some genres generally don't sell well period like anti-music, most noise, noisecore, and weird stuff like that. All in all, it's all for the artistic purpose, a vast library of lots of cool genres and music by my close friends is all I really wanted.
GRVD: As an individual who has always wanted to set up a small label myself, what would you say is the most enjoyable part of the job?
NOG: The satisfaction of getting releases done, the idea of just having a distro in general, and when people actually want your product. Not to mention when a person you release something for gets really stoked on it. It's maddening and stressful at times, I won't lie. But I would rather do it than not do it overall.
GRVD: Any advice for someone just starting out with their DIY label?
NOG: Acquire cool releases by cool people and offer to give it a physical run. Tapes.com is a beautiful website that you can get all your CDr and cassette needs from for great prices, and the service is wonderful too. You'll have to keep an eye out for other formats (mini CDr, business card CDr, floppy, or perhaps if you have a desire to explore more obscure formats), vinyl I couldn't give advice on because the first NOG vinyl isn't out yet and that shit is pricey. Maybe when the label makes more sales in the future I'll do vinyl runs here and there. But my advice is, just do it. keep the DIY spirit alive!
GRVD: Now, you also make noise under the pseudonym Tape Monster. How did that project come into being?
NOG: It started in mid 2012 under the moniker Seagulls Fucking Seagulls (which has over 60 releases or so, and there's still 1 or 2 that haven't come out yet that still might one day). I just wanted to make noise, and not anti-music garbage as unfortunately memorable as it may have been to spectators. I played a bunch of shows in 2013 as SFS, namely a warehouse space that friends and I had for about 7 or 8 months opening for some cool acts that we organized shows for such as Crank Sturgeon, PCRV, c@, Nequam Sonitus, etc. Eventually that died down, the space died sadly (but it had its issues for sure), and I started getting less shows. After a few more shows, I kind of developed a permanent style for my live setup, so I appropriately changed the name of the project to Tape Monster since that's exactly what it is. As far as the audio, just making weird noise which I've actually kind of lost a feel for because I don't know what new things to do.
GRVD: Describe a Tape Monster set. Would you say it lives up to the chaotic and spastic nature of your music?
NOG: It does, TM has only officially had five sets in the new era and it's not looking like I'm going to be getting more, which is why TM is probably going to be ending soon unfortunately as it's a primarily live project. blahblahblah negativity etc but my live sets used to be me just like breaking things or harassing people or just doing weird things. I harass people who go to shows with the intent of sitting outside during people's sets and not support as well which is cool.
GRVD: I have to ask, how did you come up with the name Tape Monster?
GRVD: With 2014 coming to a close here pretty soon, do you have an idea of your album of the year?
NOG: I couldn't just choose one! So many awesome releases. Some that stuck out (as a rule, I'm only naming non-NOG releases):
Bubblegum Octopus - Critters
Watabou - Plasticity
Rent Strike - RENT STRIKE!!!
Ghost Dads - Next To The Water Heater
Styrofoam Sanchez - Coastal Run 2014 tour tape
Crank Sturgeon / PCRV - Future Steps For An Ancient Fever
Sordo / Chainsaw Squid - Split
Corvid Canine - Eviscerated, Exsanguinated, I Am Hollow
There's probably more but I'm forgetful and whenever I think of a sick release I realize it's something older that I just happened to get recently.
GRVD: Anything you'd like to leave us with?
NOG: m...miss u