We may not have known it then. But Florida in the 1990s was a bonafide punk rock factory.
Down in South Florida, labels like Starcrunch, 4 and Half Finger Records, and Far Out were pressing soon-to-be classics by the Stun Guns, Chickenhead, and the Crumbs. Our not-too-distant neighbors in Tampa Bay delivered the goods via Stiff Pole Records, home of the Pink Lincolns, the Gotohells, and a noisy outfit called Pull.
Long after our labels folded, the folks at Stiff Pole continued to carry the everlasting flame -- until founder Richard "Stiff" Konwinski suddenly died in 2010. Fortunately, his business partner Tim Hubbard has decided to keep the label going and the label's latest release will be by St. Petersburg's No Loves.
Frontman Jim Putney and crew promise to always keep the spirit of road-burning punk rock that made Florida infamous. And while their debut record isn't exactly street legal yet, you can stream it at reverbnation.com/noloves.
It's a drag race of an album. The songs are fast and heavy. The hooks are catchy. The guitars are blazing. And these unloved ones are hauling ass to Churchill's Pub this Friday. So we got a chance to talk to Putney about his label, the band, and their new record.
Crossfade: How did you guys get involved with Stiff Pole?
Jim Putney: I was in a band called Pull in the late '90s that did a seven-inch for them. I had always thought we'd approach them about our record, and he passed while we were working on it. And of course, that thinking goes out the window when I got the news. It's pretty sad. We had a big tribute show at the State Theater. Then I heard through the grapevine, Tim was going to keep it going. It'll be the first release since Stiff's passing -- along with a Pink Lincolns retrospective.
When did you start the No Loves?
We put this band together around '96. That lasted till '99. Then back around 2003, we started playing together again. Little bit of lineup changes throughout the years. We always wanted to put out a full length. We spent a lot more than we expected on it. In the end, it exceeded our expectations.
You spent your own money recording it?
I'm a workaholic. I got a full-time day job. I drive a taxi part time at night. We did all the funding, and here we are. It comes out this Friday. The vinyl is shipping Thursday.
Have you ever played at Churchills before?
No, we sure haven't. Our drummer Chuck has played there in couple of other bands.
I'm pretty excited. We know To Be Hated. We've played with them in St. Pete before. We've heard good things about the club. We just want to play in front of new people more than we want to get gas money.
A lot of bands don't get to do that.
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Exactly. I define success as being able to do this and have a fun, punk rock attitude about life. The camaraderie with this great bunch of guys and the love of music -- that is success to me. Things aren't the way they used to be. I wish it was still a rock 'n' roll America!
No Loves with Pool Party, ENOUGH!, To Be Hated, Big City Bombers, Flamingo Nosebleeds, U.N.R.B., and DJ Skidmark, presented by Destroyio Records. Friday, January 20. Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. The show starts at 7 p.m. Call 305-757-1807 or visit churchillspub.com.