Fuck Montreal plays raucous, deconstructed punk music, kicking off a two-week US tour (to promote its new seven-inch record upon return) with a show at Club 1668 on November 27 with Strings, Liars on Fire, Good Kids Bad Kids and Dave Fultz.
Alex Currie and Jenny Empey, two members of Fuck Montreal (along with Mike Nunes, Heather Rappard and Franc Lopes), also run the Radiator Collective, a co-op label formed in 2004. Radiator has established itself as one of the most prolific labels in Halifax, primarily due to the fact that it's not a label in the conventional sense of the word, it's a group effort. With over 25 releases (Currie can't say for sure how many tapes, records, CDs and compilations have been put out under the Radiator umbrella, perhaps a testament to just how open-concept the label is) and members living all over Canada and the US, with an especially active branch in Ludlow, Massachusetts ("They all kind of hang out in a teepee out there making music," says Currie), plus distribution help from Brooklyn label Stumparumper, the collective plans on blanketing North America with pop, punk, experimental and folk music.
Their new website, theradiatorfamily.blogspot.com, has tons of releases for download, videos, photos and updates coming at a lightning pace. Empey and Currie's laidback attitude could fool the casual observer, but the pair is working constantly to make tapes and records from bands like The Blue Shirts, Scribbler, France and the Freemasons, Stop Motion Massacre, Velvet Chrome, Pig, The Fantods and many more.
"We spend a lot of time on it," says Empey. "We come home from work, and it's a dub party. Cutting and pasting all night."
They try not to do it alone, and they're not providing cash, a slick crew of publicists or contracts. Often, cutting and pasting might be the only thing you get out of the collective. But bands are drawn to Radiator because they want support and enthusiasm. "If you come to us, we're not going to pay for the record or book shows," says Currie.
"The more you put in the more you get out," adds Empey. "We don't have to front every cost ever, some people fall back on the idea of a label, but that's not what it's like, you need to do stuff."
"Some people have dropped off, saying, 'You're not doing anything for us,'" says Currie, "and we're like, 'Well, what are you doing for us?'"
Fiercely DIY, and always looking for new ways to include more people and new bands, Currie believes the label came into its own in the last year. "We took a whole year off most of 2007, because we were doing so much and starting so many new projects that everything was wearing really thin. We just focused and figured out what direction we wanted to go with and figured out what bands are going to be real bands and what bands are going to be side projects or whatever. It's worked out.
"We've always done everything the hard way," says Currie. "It's finally getting a little easier."