DJ: Hugh Schmidt
Genre: Loud Rock
Show: Document #90.1 with DJ Skramboi
Major: History with an Education Minor
Tell me a little bit about your show.
My show is called Document #90.1, and it’s basically an hour where I’m playing emo, screamo and the various sub-genres that go under that, or have influenced it, for instance, post-hardcore, sassgrind, sass, emocore, that kind of stuff.
What kind of artists do you usually play?
My two favorites, or maybe three, that are putting out stuff right now would be See You Space Cowboy, they have a song called “We’re not a Screamo Band”, because they’re not, but they’re definitely influenced by sass and grindcore and I think their guitarist, Jesse, plays in another band I really like called Letters to Catalonia. They’re definitely more straightforward screamo. Then Senza as well, they sound really cool, and I’ve been playing them a lot.
How did you get into this genre of music?
I got into what some people would refer to as “real emo” a few years ago because I downloaded a Revelation Records sampler and they mostly put out 80’s hardcore. But they had Texas is the Reason on there, so through them I fell into the emo wormhole and I eventually ended up discovering City of Caterpillar, Rites of Spring, and Pg. 99. So, kinda first wave screamo bands, I guess.
When was this ‘first wave’?
Screamo kinda caught on, far as I know in around the mid-to-late 90’s, and then in the early 2000’s it was probably at its peak in popularity. That was when more of the post-rock influenced stuff happened, but now it’s kinda getting a revival I guess.
Is there a big scene in Massachusetts?
No. Or at least, not that I’m aware of. It’s such abrasive and sorta niche music that it isn’t a super big scene, but there’s a lot of it online. There’s probably like, five bands in most major cities, if that. It’s definitely a very online-focused community, but there are a few bands there, a few bands here, a few bands in California, but it’s really spread-out because it’s so niche, I guess.
What are you listening to right now?
I’ve been listening to a lot of late 80’s emo-core and post-hardcore so stuff like Embrace, Moss Icon, Rites of Spring, Gray Matter, and Still Life. So stuff that influenced a lot of screamo, so more catchy and sad hardcore, basically.
I saw you write for a Zine?
Yes. I write for Yer Scene, which is basically an online zine where people from basically all over the world (we’re trying to expand our international reach right now), submit articles about their local scenes and DIY music in general, and then we put it together and release it. It’s a monthly thing. It’s really exciting and it’s interesting to see that, say, my hometown scene is similar to St. John, Canada. It’s cool to see how people’s scenes are
different. Like, there are a million different scenes in LA, so it’s cool to see someone’s scene in LA, versus someone’s scene in Poland, or like Louisiana.
Because this genre is so international, do you have international friends?
Yeah, there’s a group, a facebook group called Scram Cave, it’s your classic music sh*tposting facebook group, but it’s kinda cool because its people from all over the world coming together to post their bands, or share bands that they’ve found on blogs from the early 2000’s. So I’ve definitely met some people through there who are really nice, including some who are in the area, who I’ve met at shows and stuff. The scene is so small, so you find out about stuff, like bands that are local, but you might not know them in your area, but they’re popular in Malaysia. It’s just such a close-knit group of people, so you kinda have to latch on where you can, and the internet has really allowed for that. I’ve had bands from like, Germany, Italy and Malaysia send me their music, which is wild.
Do you think its growing?
I don’t know if it’s necessarily growing, I mean, I got into it recently so in the grand scheme of things I’m like a total poseur when it comes to the scene in general. I think, though, with the internet, niche genres are kind of growing in general because people are able to discover them more, which is really cool. So, I haven’t been in it long enough to be able to see if the number of bands is increasing at all, but there definitely is increased awareness of bands everywhere, which is cool.
What was the first concert you went to?
Oh man, okay. My first real concert was between my freshman and sophomore year of high school, and I went to go see FISH. It was a horrible experience, because I really like their studio records, because they just sound like your average, sometimes bluesy, sometimes psychedelic band, and their songs will be like 3-4 minutes long, like a normal song should be. But live, they stretch out a three-minute song into, like, twenty minute songs, and was with my mom. So, everyone else around me is just super high, having the time of their goddamn lives, and I was just sitting there, and I was so bored. It was a little mind-numbing, honestly. So that was my first concert experience, I guess. That was a time.
So, what’s the first CD/cassette/record you ever bought?
It was probably my freshman year of high school, and I bought The Real Folk Blues by Sun House from Newbury Comics in Boston. Because I got really into delta blues my freshman year, so I bought a Sun House record.
What’s your favorite part of being a KUPS DJ?
My favorite part of being a KUPS DJ is just having an hour alone to just focus on putting together a good show, and being able to listen to the music that you love. So, to me, just being informative, and playing new music that people may have not heard before, or that people are trying to get out there, is really rewarding. I did radio all throughout high school, and it was the best thing I ever did. I just like having a show, I like being on air.
(Interview by Liv Sage, Social Media Director)