1. Tell me about how Troubleman got started, and how Italians Do It Better became an imprint.
Italians originally started out as an imprint, but now its 100% a separate entity. When Johnny (from Glass Candy) signed on to be partner we decided to make IDIB its own thing. TMU got started almost 15 years ago as an offshoot of a zine I did in high school. I released a cassette compilation with an issue and the label started that way. The rest is history, as they say.
2. In that same vein, how did you make the transition from punk (hardcore, indie, etc.) rock to championing dance music?
I’ve always been into dance music. TMU released dancey stuff back in 1997 and 1998. bands like Erase Errata and early Glass Candy! but no one paid attention. at the time “dance punk” wasn’t mainstream and TMU was one of the only labels releasing all these new post punk revival bands…
3. What’s your musical history? In addition to running the labels, are you making music yourself?
Sorta. I am dabbling in a few things I cant really talk about just
4. I know you got your start working at such clubs as Palladium, The Tunnel, Save The Robots, Soul Kitchen, The Red Zone, Building, NASA and The Limelight. When did your DJ career really kick off?
I started djing a while ago- i used to do weekly parties around NYC
in the 1990s up until a few years ago. i gave up on NYC for djing. its
a wasteland out there.. NYC is a yuppie haven and they want their
streets clean and the noise down and they don’t want people walking
around drunk at night… When i used to work at clubs in the 80s it
was a different world. I know you hear it a lot these days, but its
5. What’s in heavy rotation for you right now?
Bruce Springsteen, Can, Bone Awl, Fucked Up, Tragedy, Los Crudos,
Unwound, The Hated…
6. What’s next for the label? Where can people get your records?
They are available through mail order at Troublemanunlimited.com
or in stores. They are well distributed, but they sell out fast sometimes! Next up is Invisible Conga People and Tiedye records as well as AFTER DARK on vinyl ! (3xlp set!))
7. What are your top “Killer Kuts” right now?
I recently got a copy of Dicks “Hate The Police” 7″ – a record I’ve
been after forever. The best Texas punk band ever!
Mike Simonetti Thrash Disco Mix