In the early/mid 90’s an underground music community was flourishing across the country. Prior to the age of the internet, on the heels of Revolution Summer’s call to action, and inspired by the DIY ethos of the punk scene that came prior, a generation of teenagers were sharing ideas, networking, starting bands, and booking their own shows and tours across the country.
With a commonly held set of values, various sub-genres of music cross-pollinated and mutated over time; punk, hardcore, post-hardcore, art punk, pop punk and emo. Countless record labels sprung up to release their favorite bands and a growing number of DIY show spaces gave them a place to play. It was the era of YMCAs, VFW halls, and basement shows where kids bartered and sold their wares out of cardboard boxes set up on rickety, folding card tables in a corner somewhere. Zines along with cheaply and creatively designed 45s and compilations were the preferred mediums for sharing ideas and learning about the going-ons in other cities. If you were lucky some of these records ended up in your local record store but most were sold at shows and by small mail-order distributors. Some of these labels grew and became sustainable over time but many were fleeting; releasing just a handful of records before calling it quits. Whether they released 5 records, 50, or more, they were important and they helped support and shape a community.
In 2022 a few friends from this 90’s scene reconnected over their shared appreciation for the community, people, and bands that influenced them 30 years prior. They also lamented over the fact that many great records from this era were long out of print, expensive, and still not available on streaming services. They wanted to get this music properly archived and back into circulation for others to experience. They decided to pool their collective knowledge and resources to start a label focused on reissuing music from that period as well as new music from artists similarly inspired by this scene. Solid Brass, named after Circus Lupus’s 1993 album on Dischord Records, was formed.
Jason Pearson lives in Los Angeles and runs the day-to-day operations of the label. He grew up in Richmond, VA and also lived in Cleveland and Chicago before spending 15+ years working in production and customer operations roles for several tech startups in the SF/Bay Area.
Chuck Pettry lives in Los Angeles and spent the 90s and early 2000s in Oakland where he worked for Alternative Tentacles, the merchandise company Cinder Block, and ran his own label Sound On Sound. Currently he manages Sandbag, a music merchandise company known for their work for some of the largest artists in the industry. He also plays in the metal band, Glaciers.
Justin Sinkovich lives in Chicago and is currently a Professor at Columbia College where he teaches students how to launch their own businesses. During the early dotcom era he co-founded, and sold, the music streaming site Epitonic. He also worked as the US label manager for Southern Records as well as Head of Digital at Touch and Go Records. In the 90s Justin played in Thumbnail and Atombombpocketknife. He currently plays in The Poison Arrows.