CNQ: What is the origin of Metal Postcard Records? Can you talk about where you were location and life wise when you first started MP?
SH: I started a art project label with a friend in 2000. 12 Apostles. And released the first piece of vinyl by the likes of Girl Talk, cult London band ROC and Sydney mash up artist DSICO. With still the best Nirvana cover ever on the “punk as pussy” 12”
The label was run by myself in Sydney and my partner in crime Ben in London. After this project drew to a close I decided I’d like to run my own Lakeland on moving to NYC in 2004 I started Metal Postcard records with the following release as a 7” vinyl:
Make Sure you listen to both sides!
CNQ: You've lived all over -- you're in Sydney now, correct? Didn't you live in Hong Kong too, or am I making that up? Did you grow up in London?
SH: Today I’m 55 and when you get to this age you work out life is quite a complicated thing ! So here’s the potted
Was born in Adelaide Australia 1964
From age 3-8 lived in the West Indies ( Island of Tortola). First music memories Carnival, Steel Bands and what was called at the time Jump Up music - never wore shoes, school what was that !
So aged 8 went to a dark and grey England ( 1972 in the UK was a different world). And off to boarding school where the highlight of the week was Sunday evening being allowed to listen to the radio to hear the top 20 chart singles of that week.. that’s what really got me into music.. there’s lots to say about that place .. essentially for your generation imagine Hogwarts with peadophiles and sad men who survived the 2nd world war but took the sadness of their damaged lives out on small children with physical cruelty.
CNQ: I'm 43! I do feel like I have a lot in common with millennials but Potter-mania definitely not one of them. That's ok tho, it's good I present younger than I am, I think.
SH: There you go I imagined you were 10 years younger - although to be honest I didn’t have you as a potter reader I just thought the analogy might make sense
For secondary school I went to a place called Charterhouse - google it - famous musicians from there included Genesis ( who we all hated). And a Cocteau Twin was a couple of years above me in my house( boarding again) This is where music really kicked in - started aged 14 in 1978. So we’d sneak out of school and go and see the likes of the Ramones, Banshees, Damned, Undertones, Cramps,Killing Joke - the list goes on forever and all those really bad punk bands like Anti Nowhere League, Expolited, Cockney rejects , sham 69 etc etc
After school it was university at Sussex Uni - which in those days was proper Marxist ( not what people think Marxism is today) I studied American Literature with Marx & Engels critique .. my teachers were poets, real feminists.. they didn’t believe in exams so I only ever had to do finals and hand in a few essays.. so the rest of the time was spent what you should do at uni, reading, taking as many drugs as possible within our lean budget ( acid was very unhip in the mid 80’s so it cost nothing and along with cheap Lebanese hash was how we’d operate) as for music I’ll go into that later
After uni spent 2 years on the road - Australia, SE Asia and India
Then back to the UK at the height of Acid House - living in London
Then ran out of money - went back to Aus and settled there for 10 + years with the odd couple of years back in Europe
On 9/11 was in Battery Park City 2 blocks away from WTC and was a part of all that - mention it because it made a big effect on the music I released - told you about Wax Audio
But not DJ Foundation. From Mosul Iraq - I think you’ll like it
Mid 2000’s lived in NYC for a few years Brooklyn - sort of getting gentrified but not quite there so it was a fun time to be there
Then after that to Hong Kong as you correctly say - was there for 10 years and then to Portland OR from 2015 - 2018
And now back in Sydney while my son from one of my marriages finishes high school - he needs a bit of male guidance so we don’t have too many disasters
When he finishes - who know where next - but nowhere is forever. We live on a big beautiful planet and as far as I’m aware we are only here one so might as well make as much of it as I can
It’s all as clear as mud now !
CNQ: You stopped putting out hard copies (vinyl, I assume you also did cassettes and CDs?) with MP a while back, and now focus on digital releases. What do you think are the plusses and minues for musicians and labels putting out physical media vs digital releases only? Any advice for people who may be thinking of starting a label, or for bands who may want to submit to MP? And do you think you'll ever return to physical media with MP?
SH: Yes - when I ran out of money .. most physical never made its money back except for a few, I have released all three formats and as a collector who has just sold a 10k records and 5K cd collection I’m loathe not to sell physical. I will do so again when there is money !
If you want to be on MP - it’s simple write me a nice email and I’ll do my best to help you with your release. Just a word of warning , if money is the first thing on your mind I’m probably not the best label to talk to .. all the budgets spent on music pr, radio promo etc was a waste of time and I’m doing it no longer. So I’m interested in you weirdoes out there who want to build your catalog with a small label and I’ll do my utmost to make independent, radio, blogs, online pay attention and see if my licensing and sync buds will push out to their clients.
And finally, if Mr. Hocking wasn't busy enough, he was kind enough to make a Spotify Metal Postcard playlist specifically to accompany this post. Let's rock: