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Seattle punk fan Carrie Whitney was one of the countless diehards that decided to launch a zine back in the ’90s. She called hers Point Furthest From The Middle. Then in 1997 she released a compilation of hardcore bands—-many of them friends—-in conjunction with the zine. She called it All About Friends, and it included tracks from bands like Botch and Coalesce. The comp’s been out of print for a while.
But Whitney and her fiance, Rich Hall, want to bring back All About Friends. In July, Hall helped move Whitney from Seattle to his home in Brooklyn. Hall had been a fan of Whitney’s zine long before meeting her, and he prodded her about the compilation. “I was like, ‘Hey, why don’t you put your comp back out? Why don’t you put it out on vinyl?'” Hall says. “By the end of the trip she was like, ‘Do you think you could do this?'”
So, Whitney and Hall turned to Kickstarter for help. Now they’re hoping to raise $10,500 to release All About Friends Forever, a double LP compilation that pairs Whitney’s original release with a new collection of songs from new friends, including D.C.’s Regents. “Carrie and Rich are all music friends of mine I’ve known 10-plus years,” says drummer Jason Hamacher. The couple turned up for Regents’ first show in New Jersey last fall, and afterward thought, “They have to be on the comp.”
The problem was Regents had no new material: All the songs they’d been working on were going on their forthcoming full-length. But, the issue fixed itself when Regents played with thundering hardcore group Ladder Devils at Siren Records in Doylestown, Pa. “What ended up happening was this completely spontaneous dual-band attack, where they set up on the floor and we set up on the stage,” Hamacher says. The show provided the groundwork for the song that Regents (and Ladder Devils) would contribute to All About Friends Forever.
On Super Bowl Sunday, the two bands rolled into the Magpie Cage with a simple plan: Take one day to write and record a song that would feature both bands. Regents had a solid relationship with J. Robbins, who recorded, helped write, and played bass on the group’s forthcoming full-length. Robbins ended up contributing to the Regents/Ladder Devils track, too, and it’s also the first recording to feature Regents’ live bass player, Lukas Previn (formerly of Thursday).
Whitney and Hall were present for the recording. “Being involved in the studio at the time was amazing,” Hall says. The bands wanted the final track to feature each act on one side of a two-channel stereophonic sound system. “If you turn the balance to the left, you’ll hear Ladder Devils. If you turn the balance to the right, you’ll hear Regents,” Hamacher says. It proved to be a little difficult for Robbins to mix, but Hamacher is happy with the results. “It turned out to be much heavier than I thought,” he says.
That heaviness sounds like it’s in keeping with Regents forthcoming full-length. “It’s a much more diverse record than I anticipated,” Hamacher says. “It’s a little bit more contrasting than the 7-inch, [it has] a little bit more melody, [and it’s] a little bit heavier, and a little catchier.” Hamacher expects the album to come out in September on Lovitt Records. But the special collabo is saved just for All About Friends Forever.
Photo by Nick Kessler via Facebook