Interview with Colin Tappe of Rod Of Correction
I first "met" Colin through following his Record Store called Standards. I only later made. I remember watching their videos on instagram and thinking "that dude looks familiar". It was bugging me until i pulled out my copy of Rod Of Corrections album "Lies" that i made the connection. Anyway, he's a solid dude in a great crossover band also featuring members of Take Offense and Narrows If you dig old school crossover with a New York hardcore vibe, most definitely check them out.
Straight off the bat, if you were to introduce extraterrestrials to music using 5 albums, which albums are you choosing?
I’m tempted to say a bunch of Whitehouse and 100 Gecs records just to confuse them. But in the end I think they’d appreciate those Environments albums from the 70s more than any music humans make, so I’ll just say the first five of those records.
Rod Of Correction have released a couple of killer crossover EP's. What have you got coming up for the band? (assuming the world doesn't end again).
We have a whole damn album written! 11 songs, ready to go! There’s been a lot of screwy setbacks getting it recorded, but it will come out whether the world ends or not, scout’s honour.
For people that don't know, you also own and run a sweet Indie record store in California. how'd that come about? (also, do you still run your label?)
I gave up on putting out records entirely, and whenever I hear about these 9 month+ turnaround times and see the cost of making small run records, I’m only more confident in my decision. I’ll get out of the way and leave it to the pros!
As for the shop, well, I’ve been obsessed with records since high school (I’m 40 now), so the shop is the natural and ultimate extension of that obsession. That and I’m essentially useless when it comes to doing anything but selling records, so there you go. Shout out to Radiation Records in Anaheim for giving me my first proper record store gig and showing me the ropes, though.
Listening to your previous releases "Lies" and "If Might Makes Right" i personally hear a mixture of mid-period Suicidal Tendencies, mixed with early Anthrax/D.R.I and i wanna say "Age Of Quarrel" era Cro-Mags. What ARE your main influences?
Greg is the main riff man, especially on those releases, and as you can hear with all the Take Offense records, that Venice and NYC hc/metal sound is embedded in his DNA. So that metallic hc sound is inescapable, but we’re all huge music nerds so hard rock, glam, jazz fusion, there’s a wide variety of music that comes up at practice. We have a song built around a tweaked Billy Squier riff that’s hard as nails, and it took years of playing it before I caught the reference.
Are you an avid record collector? If so, what is your white whale?
I don’t go as hard as I did in my 20s, but I’m always picking stuff up here and there, usually whatever is interesting to me at the time. I don’t consider this “collecting,” proper, just buying music I like when it’s available.
One exception is 80s straight edge hc records. I am still one of those weirdos who hoards 20 versions of the Bold 7” or whatever. I love the music, of course, but something about having all the different pressings and colors and all that is appealing in a way that doesn’t interest me with other music I love.
I’d love more test pressings in that department, but the No For An Answer “I Spy” sleeve and creme GB 7” are two big missing pieces of that puzzle.
I watch your weekly check-ins when they come out and honestly, they get me stoked on records all over again. I don't know how it is with you but by the end of the week i kind of don't want to think about LP's. What keeps you excited about the vinyl format, specifically?
Thanks for watching! I do try to keep things entertaining while advertising the shop, but that’s the trick with all social media, right?
Maybe this qualifies as “over sharing,” but I really do have a messed up brain that gets caught on certain aspects of life, and I don’t feel like I have much control in staying interested or moving on. I’ve been in therapy for years trying to figure this stuff out, it’s honestly difficult being a “fully realized” person when you have a brain that gravitates towards obsessiveness like this. And of course things get more complicated once you “monetize” that obsession, as I have with building a career around music fandom, my lifelong, principle obsession.
I’ll say this much though, one thing that keeps me from “burning out” is making a distinction between the record as a fetish object and the spiritual core of the music itself. I think there’s a longevity in developing your own relationship with and understanding of music, while the nitty gritty of “collecting records” can get extremely tiresome.
Personally, what are your non-musical influences?
As far as art goes, it’s really just comics. I try to read comics every day. Most ROC songs are translations of comic book stories, similar to how Misfits used horror movies as inspiration.
For instance, Blood Cult is based on a on the Conan of the Isles graphic novel. It’s a basic story about Conan as king, saving his people from an occult menace—standard fantasy faire, right? But the idea of the king putting himself in harm’s way for the sake of his people stuck with me. You have to ask what it says about a culture where a leader endangering himself is “fantasy;” it’s very much so the inverse of the “Fortunate Son” trope. To me this is the core issue of the story, and it’s all laid out with the John Buscema splash page of Conan in his throne. It’s no accident that “the warrior king” is the first line of the song. So yes, it’s a song about ancient gods and warriors and all that, but it’s also about the idea of leadership, of what makes a “good king.” And none of these ideas come about if not for an 80s Marvel graphic novel!
I could go on, but yes, I’m completely devoted to comics as a medium and hold the creators in immensely high esteem.
What's ONE song you wish you wrote and why?
I’ve recently decided my all time favourite song is “The Tiger” by ABBA. I would call that an absolutely perfect song, in terms of melody, performance and production, and I never tire of hearing it. But even though I’d call that the “best” song, I can’t imagine writing something like that any more than I can imagine building the Golden Gate Bridge by hand, you know?
Since I don’t play an instrument, I’m really left with lyric envy more than anything. There’s a certain kind of song I’m fixated on, but it’s hard to put into words…I’ll try to explain:
Any time I listen to Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War,” “Lonesome Death of Hattie Carol” and “Only a Pawn in Their Game,” John Prine’s “Flag Decal,” Phil Ochs “Pretty Smart on My Part,” Curtis Mayfield’s “If There’s a Hell Below,” I’m completely floored. These are all such scathing indictments of Western Culture, but they’re also small stories that emotionally affect the listener in a way a political manifesto couldn’t. But you can also dissect them on a literary level, looking at word choice, the “character” of the speaker, the syntax…they’re like dense, white dwarves of substance, like one of Martin Luther’s theses nailed to a church door.
Unfortunately, I think I’m destined to be a student of this style of songwriting than a practitioner. I’m not sure it can even be done in hardcore music. Embrace came VERY close. “Said Gun” comes to mind.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Yes, don’t let those discogs weirdos get you down!
Also follow @standardsrecordstore and check out the YouTube channel. Thanks!