WR694: The Battle Commanders

Episode 694 June 02, 2022 00:31:07
WR694: The Battle Commanders
Witchpolice Radio
WR694: The Battle Commanders

Jun 02 2022 | 00:31:07


Hosted By

Sam Thompson

Show Notes

Collectively calling themselves The Battle Commanders, longtime collaborators Adam "MadamimadaM" Parsons and Drew Diduke have a whole pile of upcoming projects — including some dropping this week — via their new Rusted Robot Recording Co.

We talked about the origins of the label, their work with punk outfit Sportingman and creating beats for artists like Double Crossed and much more.

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Episode Transcript

WITCHPOLICE RADIO: Welcome to Witchpolice Radio. On this episode, I have two people who have been on the show before, really going back a while. One of them was on last year on a Quick Hits episode. But these guys were kind of early guests on Witchpolice, dating back to I think it's got to be 2014 or ‘15 the first time either of you were on. And the reason I wanted to have you on now is not just for nostalgia purposes. It's always nice to kind of revisit past guests on the show. But suddenly I just noticed, like, on social media, there's, this barrage of content coming from you. So it seems like there's a lot of exciting things happening and new stuff that would be a great time to talk to you again. So I think the best way to start this off is if the two of you want to introduce yourselves and then maybe just give a bit of background about, first of all, the record label. Because that seems like the most exciting new project that you have going on. And I'm going to start with Adam because you are the more known quantity to listeners in that you were on the show on a Quick Hits last year. ADAM PARSONS: Yeah, for sure. My name is Adam Parsons. I go by the producer named MadamimadaM and I recently just started a record label called Rusted Robot Record Co. So we're just getting it rolling right now. And we're hoping if everything goes well, June 1 is going to be the launch. So hopefully this Wednesday we're going to launch and have a whole bunch of music released on that day. WR Cool. Yeah. AP: Pretty stoked on it. DREW DIDUKE: Hi, my name is Drew Diduke. I play in Sportingman, which is going to be on the record label. And I'm also in a group called Battle Commanders with Adam, which is also going to be released on the label. WR Cool. And so, like I said, there seems to be this kind of barrage of content. Suddenly I saw this label. I was like, oh, what's this? Oh, it's local. Oh, I recognize the Up ‘N Atom style art of the logo. I better know who this is and then the Battle Commanders thing. And then, I mean, Sportingman has been around for a while. And Adam, you've been doing your DJ stuff for quite a bit too. Now, what is the background behind this? Why start a label? Is it just because you have so many projects within your group of friends that you want to release? AP: Yeah, pretty much. Like, I'm in Sportingman as well, so we're releasing a single and we just were thinking about a way to release it, as well as the Fresche Boys. I've been working with AMC as well, and Double Crossed. So all this music was coming out and it seemed like a hassle to try to do it individually. So instead to start a label and just release it all at once and then just kind of just help my friends get their music out there as well. So it seems like it was the right idea to do, especially at this time, where, like you just mentioned, there's so many projects going on, it just makes sense to kind of collaborate and just have it all in one label. WR: Are there so many projects in part because we're coming out of the pandemic? Because I imagine that's probably helped to get things sort of moving because this been in the works for a while. AP: Yeah, so all the projects actually did start during the pandemic and now we released a bunch of stuff. And then I was kind of tired because it always showed up as like, my name featuring something or featuring this. So I'd rather just have the actual artists and stuff like that so that it's actually like Sportingman and that's their single and AMC, that's their single. So then my name is not attached to everything. WR Okay. AP: I can just be mentioned in the notes because I like to make the music, but I also like to spot, like, the artist, you know what I mean? WR For sure. What maybe a question for you then is what is Sportingman? Because I've seen that you guys have this band going on and it seems like it's made up of people who are, you know, kind of well known people within the local music scene who have been in other bands and other projects, and sometimes together, sometimes not. But what is the background of that group? What type of stuff do you play? DD: It actually kind of started I was actually playing guitar in that band. Now I play bass. But me and Nick Harder, we've been friends since we were in high school and we've been jamming for such a long time and wanted to start something new, so we started playing and Adam ended up joining started playing the drums. Alyssa Blackey was also in the band, which also played in Up ‘N Atom. She moved once through all those we needed to find a new bass player, so I jumped in. Troy Styles from Badpants ended up jumping in on vocals, so it's kind of hard to explain. We're kind of an amalgamation, I'm going to say, about most of all of our favorite styles of music. The influences are definitely there when you listen to it. I can't really say that we've captured a particular sound. Like, I wouldn't say we're just a straight up punk rock band. We definitely have roots of that. I kind of figure it's more of like an alternative band, but yeah, no, we started kind of right before the pandemic hit. And then when it hit, I didn't really know if it was going to even keep on or do you know what I mean? Just things were so up in the air that whole time for everybody. Not just sort of you didn't even know what was going on. But we were able to kind of keep going and keep going through. And then December, we got to play our first show and now we're releasing a single this week. And yeah, no, things have been really good with that. So it's just been fun to keep going. WR: Cool. I feel like I need to push back a little bit on the description of alternative because it's like the most vague genre description at this point in time. I know in the 90s it meant something specific. Right. But what does alternative mean to you? I'm tempted to call the punk band just because of the background you guys are in, but I know there's more happening than that. Adam, what do you call it? Are you similarly kind of stuck at finding a way to define the genre? AP: Yeah, I would say I agree with the alternative point, but if you're wanting to get more specific, it's like alternative post punk rock with a hint little sprinkle of hardcore and stuff like that, you know what I mean? But it also has some other really indie vibes as well, too, which is like kind of we all like as well because we're getting a little older, so we're not so aggressive. But then we have songs that are super aggressive. So that's why it's hard to kind of pinpoint a specific thing. DD: Okay. We're all over the map on it. I will say that we definitely touch on every type of music that I think we're all kind of really into. But that's the one thing I actually really like about it. Instead of having nine songs that sort of sound like one thing, we got nine songs that sort of sounds very different from each other, which is very cool. WR: Yeah. That is good to have. Yeah, for sure. Especially like you say, as you're getting older too, right. You don't necessarily want to put all your eggs in one basket because you're listening. You've expanded your horizons, hopefully, since you were like 20, right? DD: Yeah, I'd like to think so. Right. WR: Sportingman sounds like maybe the odd one out in terms of the other people on the label, in the sense that the rest of it seems very hip hop focused. And that's obviously related to Adam, to your stuff you've been doing DJing and things like that. But is the rest of it more in that vein of the people who are currently working with you guys? AP: Yeah, for sure. I would say most of it is definitely more hiphop just because that's mostly the projects I've been working on lately. But I don't want it to be just that. I'd rather that's why I like having Sportingman in my band on there, just because it's a different type. So I don't want to just single myself out as just one thing, you know what I mean? Because I just really want to help artists be able to release their music on a thing and that way they can get it everywhere and it doesn't cost them a thing and stuff like that and helping out friends in the music community. WR: Have either you run a label before or is this the first time attempting to do this? AP: This is my actual first time. Almost the best part was coming up with names. I don't even remember half them. What was it? Intergalactic Fist Records. DD: Intergalactic Fish Records. Yeah, that was one. AP: I like that one too. But we ended up setting on oh, yeah, Penny Lane Records. DD: Penny Lane Records. WR: It's a little too Beatlesy maybe, right? You're going to get people thinking it's something. AP: Yeah. Oh, there was a ton of weird I don't even want to get into. Like, when I was talking to my friends in the Fresche Boys, half of them were just like Hot Mustard Records and Tainted Sauce Record Co. WR: What are you going to do with it? Are you going to be releasing physical music? I assume so, because it's a label and things are so different now than they would have been even ten years ago in terms of how music is getting out there. So what is sort of the plan for how you're going to actually put music out in this weird dystopian future where people are all putting out streaming only or there are tape or everything? What's the sort of the strategy? AP: Well, I would like to do, like I said, even for Sportingman, I would like to do a hard release. For most of my stuff, I would like to do a hard release, but just depends on it. But it would be very limited in the sense. So I know for me and Double Crossed, we talked about releasing a record. So I'd like to do a vinyl with that. And then with Sportingman, I'm sure we would like to release the vinyl. We've talked about it numerous times, so I'm pretty sure that's like easily done. And then with the Fresche Boys, I have a couple of cassettes back here that I still have to finish up. And then I'm going to do a really limited run of cassettes. I don't know if you can see it, but they're like all sparkly, shiny. Yeah, I got a bunch. So I have to finish those up. And so we're going to do that because we're going to try to move on to the next project this fall. WR: And I think that's kind of the way a lot of people are doing it, too. A lot of people I know with labels are doing limited releases because it seems like there's I'm part of this market for sure, but the market of people who are strictly wanting physical stuff and they're going to get the physical copies regardless of whether there's digital ones out there, and then there's a much larger segment of the audience that is cool with just getting a stream or an MP3 or whatever or band camp. You have to kind of fit the different crowds. But it makes sense to do us to do short runs, too, especially because if you're releasing them yourselves, you can always just put out another issue of it if you run into tapes. AP: Right, exactly. And that way we kind of have control because we had a little experience, especially Drew can know about when we did the record for up and out and stuff like that. So we kind of know the process of how long to get the records. Now that's probably changed the supply and demand, not sure, and orders and stuff like that. But we've already done that before. So I kind of know the avenue to do that again. So I'd like to try it again and see if we can do it Canadian this time. Try to keep it on this side of the border. But we'll see. DD: Yeah, for sure. WR: Well, yeah, you have that experience of working with Deafwish when they were putting out vinyl for your Up ‘N Atom record. So yeah, that makes sense. AP: Yeah, for sure. WR: Do you still have a bunch of those lying around? AP: Yeah, funny enough is like I'm actually shipping those out all probably this week because I was just waiting to kind of get all of them collectively so I could just go to the post office all at once and send them all out. And then the kid happens. So then I've been a little delayed. So next week I'm going to send them out. So I got rid of 25 of them. WR: Nice. AP: And I just got a little small stack for myself now. That's cool. Well, for Drew and Nick and Jowsey, if you want one. WR Cool. So yeah, I guess what is the best way for people to check out what's happening? I know at the time we're recording this, you don't have anything that's out yet. But by the time people hear this, you probably will. And especially if people hear this a week or two or three or a month or whatever after it comes out. So what's going to be the best way to find your stuff online or elsewhere once it's out in the world? AP: Well, I'm sticking with using Distrokid. And I'm just choosing the label and turning my own thing into a label. So I think the best way to is obviously right now, just any streaming service. So it releases it on everything. So on June 1, there's going to probably be a few singles release, including The Sportingman one. So we're pretty stoked on. And it's all going to come out on June 1st, hopefully at midnight. It all goes well, of course. So I would say, like, if you Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, it'll be on YouTube, like Instagram Music. And I'm hoping to get the lyrics eventually I'll get the lyrics from Troy and upload. So then we can have the lyrics also a part of the videos and stuff like that. And make a lyric video and stuff. WR: Cool. Yeah. I guess that's the way you got to do it now, right? You have to just dump it on every possible place that people might want to be looking for music. AP: Yeah, well, it helps because I've done that for the last two years with just MadamimadaM stuff. So I kind of know what to do. And so now it's just easy to switch it over to the label because I've already been doing it for so long. The hard part is creating each artist now. So I've been doing that for the last couple of days. WR: Are all of the artists based in Winnipeg or Winnipeg related? Or do you have anyone right now who's out of town? AP: Just the Fresche Boys. Yeah, because that's just me. And then my friend Ryan in BC and my friend Alex in Toronto. WR: Okay. I know you mentioned them kind of off the top, but what are the artists that are putting things out coming up soon on the label? AP: So on the first, if everything goes to plan, of course. Yes. So I'm hoping it will. WR: You guys, we know about that one yet. AP: So Sportingman is going to be released, a new Fresche Boys song called ‘Dial-A-Ditty’ that's going to be pretty funny. DD: It's pretty good. AP: And then AMC has got a new track called This Time Today. Yeah. So that's going to be coming out as well. , and then Battle Commanders and Double Crossed did a song together called We In Our Element. And that is right now being mastered. So I'm hoping to get that back probably Thursday. And if that is, I wanted to sit on Friday, depending on we got the Art and stuff like that altogether. So I'm trying to get it all together so it all comes out. So you have a nice record label sampler and it goes all around. WR: What do you guys do as Battle Commanders? AP: I'm going to let Drew answer. DD: Actually about ten years ago when we were in up and out, we started kind of messing around with this hip hop idea. We were definitely doing it on a more organic -- Adam playing drums. I played bass or guitar, whatever kind of better suited. It definitely kind of fell apart the wayside though through the years. But the more he got into DJing, the more I was still super into hip hop and wanted to kind of get something going. So we started kind of just throwing the idea of being throwing in some live bass with the DJ and seeing what we could do and wanted to mess around with it first. Didn't want to make any kind of crazy plans without having it kind of work out but did a couple of jams and they worked out really well. And so it just kind of came together really quick and then Double Crossed, Aaron, kind of heard what we were doing and he laid a really sick track over what we came up with and very happy with the results so far. So I'm really excited to show the world that song too. And yeah, it's going to be a crazy week, that's for sure. WR: Is that going to be an ongoing collaboration with Double Crossed? DD: I'm hoping so, for sure. Like I said, we've all been friends. , all three of us have been friends for a long time so it makes it a lot easier too when it's people you know that you're , working with, of course. But I think one of the things with Battle Commanders that we wanted to kind of go try to do is kind of get different MCs on a lot of tracks and work with different people. Like Adam and I both are really into different types of music and I think that kind of helps us with this because we can kind of get a sample from anything and then kind of have an idea with it right away. So I think that sort of makes it easier to work with a whole group, different set of group of people. So yeah, that's kind of the plan. We'll see how it goes but so far so good for sure. WR: Cool. DD: Yeah. WR: Are there any plans for any upcoming live stuff with any of these projects? DD: That would be a good question. I would love to do something with the Voucher, just the logistics of it. I don't know if that's something on the DJ side that I can do for me to bring my bass and my amp is nothing but that's more of logistics question. For sure. And then just if we are going to be working with a bunch of different MCs to make sure that they're able to do it as well. WR What about Sportingman? Is there any shows coming up for that group? DD: Yeah, we actually have something sort of in the works for the end of summer. I think it's going to be more September, but we were kind of hoping for something earlier as well. But definitely something kind of happening in September. Just still kind of working on the details with that. WR: Yeah, awesome. And then the best way, I guess, to keep track of you guys outside of I mean, listening to the music, like you said, it's on all the streaming services and whatnot. But as far as finding out what you're up to and following you online, there's all these Instagram pages all of a sudden. DD: I know, yes, the Instagram pages would probably be the best way to kind of keep up with the Beat kind of thing as far as what's going on with us. Going to try to keep those updated as best as possible. with everything that's going on, obviously shows and single releases and stuff like that, it'll be definitely on there for sure. So I would give us a follow if you're interested in what you're seeing right now. And for Instagram, for Battle Commanders, it's @thebattlecommanders and the Sportingman one is @sportingman_band. WR: Cool. DD: And the label that is… I’ll let Adam do that one. AP: Oh, that's @rustedrobotrecordco. All one word. WR: Awesome.

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