What is Struggletown Records?

Struggletown is a not-for-profit, self-funded label for punk, hardcore and emo bands; founded by Steven Hill it is in its fourth year of existence.

The label’s aims include: to put out local punk music in a variety of formats, bring together the scene through tours and initiatives, bring promotion attention to bands and support them through monthly shows at the Glasgow venue Bloc.

What type of music is it?

When Struggletown say punk, they don’t necessarily mean “Oi”-style 1970s revivalists. Bands on the label include the likes of Bear Arms, Algernon Doll, Wolves at Heart and In Wrecks – all of whom fall on the post-hardcore side of the spectrum.

While these bands are more likely to mix emotive lyricism and dynamic structure with high energy, they also share the DIY ethos that has characterised punk for generations.

“All of the bands we’ve put out are guitar-based bands with a DIY ethos,” says Hill. “The one unifying factor for all these bands is their attitude. We like to support bands who support each other. There’s no room for selfishness.”

What do they mean by DIY?

The label is a good example of the do-it-yourself, independent culture that is manifest in Glasgow and across Scotland.

It takes no money from the bands, seeking only to break even – a huge task for any independent label.

The DIY ethic is historically associated with punk rock ideology, adopting a counter-culture strategy to music production and promotion. For Hill it’s about community.

“It’s very much a ‘treat-others-how-you’d-like-to-be-treated’ mentality, with zero exploitation involved. When money and careers are involved things tend to get messy.

“There’s a lot to be done to keep the DIY ship afloat and it’s all run on a voluntary basis, so people shouldn’t do it unless you love it.

“Fortunately I do, and I’ve met amazing people because of it.”

Where can you see Struggletown acts live?

As well as a monthly Bloc showcase, the label runs an annual day festival devoted to DIY/punk acts.

This year’s festival features Bear Arms, Aberdeen emo troop Carson Wells and Glasgow pop punk acts Veto and The Kimberley Steaks. Punk acts from England such as Maycomb and Bluebird are also making the trip up to Glasgow.

“Since we started Struggletown it has always been a goal to mix bands and styles up as much as possible,” says Hill. “We want to keep the attitudes and outlooks the same, but the music varied. From punk to hardcore to emo to post-hardcore and indie rock, we’ve tried to include something for all [loud and guitar-based] tastes in the line-up.”

The event kicks off at 4pm next Saturday at Audio, Glasgow.

Where can you download music?

You can download all Struggletown releases at struggletown.limitedrun.com