Quick question: when was the last time (if ever) you purchased a new pre-recorded music cassette tape? If you are like the majority of people, it’s probably been quite a while, but if you are a fan of Rubber Brother Records, your answer may be completely different. Started in Tempe in the summer of 2013 by music enthusiasts Robbie Pfeffer and Gage Olesen, Rubber Brother Records has been extremely prolific in it’s mission of promoting local independent music, releasing over 30 albums in under 6 months, all on the cassette tape format. Included in Rubber Brothers impressive roster are such local talents as Wolvves, The Numb Bats, Petty Things, Playboy Manbaby, Echo Bombs, Snake Snake Snakes, Wooden Indian, and many more. The diverse line-up focuses primarily on garage and punk rock, although Pfeffer insists that he will release anything as long as he likes it: “We don’t care if it sells, we don’t care if other people like it, we don’t care if it fits with an image we are supposed to maintain. If we like it, we put it out…” He goes on to state: “I think musical taste is a lot like a diet, if you have the same thing over and over, it’s no good for you. So we like to mix it up with the occasional electronic artist or motivational hip-hop artist or whatever we feel like as long as it’s positive and fun.”
Fun would seem to be the unifying theme that drives Rubber Brother Records, and a quick listen to any of the bands on the fledgling label proves it. Creating and promoting a fun, energetic, D.I.Y. music scene in and around The Valley is a mission that Rubber Brother Records puts its heart and soul into. According to Pfeffer: “There’s a place for everyone to go and band that fits almost every taste and style. I think Phoenix is a fantastic place to make art and I think the potential is unlimited. This is based on a very simple realization, Phoenix is what you make it. If you want to start a band, do it. If you want to start a label, a clothing line, an art gallery or anything you can imagine, all you have to do is just start doing it. No one will stop you, and if you fail, you can just try again.”
In addition to releasing music cassettes, Rubber Brother Records also has had its hand in hosting the second PHX FMLY FEST, which drew over 1000 people and 60+ bands last year and will be held again this December 27th at Fifth Street and Roosevelt, Phoenix. With an amazing line-up of regional and national acts, this festival is sure to be a rocking good time for anyone interested in checking out some cool bands. But you don’t have to wait until then to join in the fun, so do yourself a favor, dust off your old Walkman, get some AA batteries, and get yourself some awesome local music from Rubber Brother Records. Your ears will thank you.