The RRR Record label and store has played a seminal part in the history of noise and extreme music – as well as being the first american label to release Japanese noise artists such as Merzbow, Masonna and Hanatrash, for nearly 30 years Owner and founder Ron Lessard has enthusiastically supported established and new artists alike – the label has hundreds of unique releases in its back catalogue. A driving force in underground music,what follows is a short interview Black Forest conducted with Ron….
When did you establish RRR and the RRR store?
I opened on Jan 3, 1984
the original address…..
151 Paige Street
Lowell MA 01852
What was the first ever release on RRRecords?
The very first release was a cassette compilation of musicians and artists from the city of Lowell called Lowell Dreams – its seemed like the obvious thing to do when you open up a record store.
What was your first exposure to noise music and how did you discover Japanese artists such as Merzbow, Violent onsen geisha and Hanatrash?
I’m not sure what my 1st exposure to noise music was, it was just the natural evolution of my tastes and interests- I was listening to all sorts of whacked-out shit, I was on a quest to find the most extreme music out there
I first heard Merzbow when I bought some of his cassettes from a small label and distribution called Aeon, they were from Colorado – I 1st heard Violent Onsen Geisha when Juntaro Yamanouchi mailed me the masters for the Anal Onanie LP (it was also the 1st time I heard Masonna) – and I’m not sure the 1st time I heard Hanatarash but that 2nd LP of theirs floored me…
Tell us about the ‘2 o’clock matinee series’ – what acts played at these events and what were your favourite performances?
I used to have in-store performances in my shop every Saturday afternoon at 2:00 – I did that for years, many an artist have played the shop, just about everyone involved with the New England noise and underground scene as well as tons of travelling artists – picking favorites would be futile but as I’m sitting here I’m reminded of the show Brett from Nauscopy Records did – he played the drums but forgot to bring his drumsticks so he played his set using his shoes – he then lit some foul chemical incense concoction that stunk up the place..
RRR’s recycled music cassette releases consist of a release being taped over a pre-existing rock or pop release , the artist only identified by handwriting or adhesive tape on the spine
You record under a multitude of aliases, Emil Beaulieau and Needles being what people might be most familiar with, tell us about the other projects you are involved with or have been involved with….
Emil Beaulieau is my solo project and the one I have devoted most of my time to – Due Process can be considered the official RRR house band – usually when I work with someone, its Due Process – I’ve also released material under the names Needles, Mornois, Communist Ukeleles, Johnny Cage & The Stockhausen Five, amongst others – these were mostly just 1-off projects with various friends.
As someone who established themselves pre-internet , what are you views on how the internet has changed the way most people consume music?
The consuming aspect all that important, its being able to access and hear what you want to hear that’s important – the internet is excellent for listening to noise and music, I’m not too concerned with the way people have changed their buying and spending habits…
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