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Triple Eye Industries Celebrates Two Very Productive Years

Aug. 23, 2016
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In just two years, Milwaukee-based Triple Eye Industries has established itself as one of the most prolific record labels in the city. And the label’s roster, featuring such heavy acts as Volunteer, Northless, Hot Coffin and Soup Moat, has allowed the label to craft a definable aesthetic, one that positions them as a sort of Amphetamine Reptile for the 21st century. You know what you’re getting when you pick up the latest Triple Eye Industries—and that’s a good thing.

To celebrate their second anniversary, label co-founders Francisco Ramirez, Mark Sheppard and Martin Defatte (who all also play together in Volunteer) are throwing a little party. What started out as a record-release show for the upcoming Volunteer/Buildings split 12-inch quickly became a two-day festival. On Aug. 26 and 27, the Cactus Club will serve as the backdrop for a Triple Eye Industries-curated event, as bands from across the Midwest come to wish the label a happy birthday.

Yet, to hear label co-founder Ramirez tell it, there was never any sort of long-term plan for Triple Eye Industries. Why did he, along with Sheppard and Defatte, start the label? “We figured no one was going to release our record so we will do it,” Ramirez explains. “It’s that simple.” At the same time, the label retains a surprisingly casual attitude towards its growth over the past two years. According to Ramirez, “We are putting out records for bands that we like and also know.” But the label does have a certain sound it likes to capture. “It’s that combination of punk, metal, hardcore and experimental,” continues Ramirez, “mixed in a concrete mixer and poured into a beer glass.”

Attendees of the Triple Eye Industries will hear plenty of acts that have such a sound. From recent signees War Brides to non-label act High Priests, expect two nights of pummeling guitar riffs and strained vocals. Yet bands like Indiana-based The Rutabega suggest Triple Eye Industries is more than a one-trick pony. Their Triple Eye Industries 7-inch EP, featuring the anthemic “Shiny Destination,” suggests an underground musical world where catchy, guitar-driven songs never went out of style. Think Elliot Smith fronting early ’90s Superchunk.

Ramirez is already starting to think about next year’s anniversary party, hoping to expand the festival to three days. This is great news for those that enjoy the records Triple Eye Industries has put out so far. “You know what they say,” notes Ramirez, “‘Dream big, fall hard.’ Somebody said that, right?” But Ramirez isn’t looking too far into the future; he’s ready to enjoy the two upcoming shows at the Cactus Club. “I’m excited for sure,” he concludes. “I’m excited to see all the bands. Did I mention I am excited? I am!” Such excitement bodes well for both the Triple Eye Industries Fest, as well as for the long-term viability of the label itself. 

Hot Coffin, The Rutabega, The Terrible News, High Priests and Heat Death play night one of the Triple Eye Industries Fest at the Cactus Club on Friday, Aug. 26 at 8 p.m. Night two, on Saturday, Aug. 27 at 8 p.m., features Northless, Buildings, War Brides, Them Teeth and Volunteer.

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