An Interview With Fatt Grabbers
7.14.16 by Mike Haley
Fatt Grabbers. That’s what was written on a sign in a Los Angeles wig shop back in 2010. “It was like a term or something pertaining to wigs. But there wasn’t any info anywhere as to what it was supposed to mean, so it was anybody’s guess. I thought it could be, like, skate slang.” I called a local wig shop to ask them about it and they had no clue what the hell I was talking about. Whatever the meaning, Chris Lazard and Tierra Williams decided it would work for a cassette label name and ran with it.
Fatt Grabbers’ cassettes stick out like shiny quarters in a fountain of pennies, and don’t act like you never thought about jumping in the deep end of a mall fountain to grab those bad boys. Metallic silver Jcards, conspicuous artwork (by Lazard) printed in all black, and tapes with no titles furnish the look. FDM (Flustered Dance Music) and all around paranoid sounds handle the audio. Don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard about Fatt Grabbers yet. Even though their releases ooze with terminal creativity, Chris and Tierra’s handling of things is super mellow. I’m not good at Google, so I contacted Chris, who with Tierra also does the project Moment Trigger, for more informations about the label.
What’s behind the decision to not have any titles for your releases?
I think by not adding any other info, it groups all the singles into a series of releases with a consistent theme. I thought in terms of “like, this is the artist. And here’s a couple tracks.”
Is the plan to stick with the exact look throughout the existence of the label, or do you think you’ll change it up/allow it to evolve?
I’ve made small adjustments to the layout and design. And I’ll probably continue to evolve the design. I like working in black and white and figuring out how it complements the metallic papers I’ve been using. But for now I’m liking the consistency of the design for the singles.
I don’t see anything on your site or Discogs about FG001-006. Does your catalog start with release number 7?
No. But the look and format does start with FG007. FG002-006 ended up being basically, one-off prototypes for the singles I’m putting out now. FG001 is a Moment Trigger / Obstacle Corpse split. Old HDD failed so I cannot retrieve 002-006.
What was the artwork like for the first tape?
Letterpress. Corydon (Obstacle Corpse/Sissy Spacek) had access to a letterpress. Inside cover was an illustration of a skater that he did when he was like 8 or 9 years old.
And how about 2-6?
2-6 6 were color. Printed at Kinkos. The cover art for those was a sphere with different gradients for each release.
What labels (if any) influenced the current state of Fatt Grabbers?
No labels in particular. Costs of getting things printed and my ability to get specialty papers cheap online influence it a bit. Or in a way seeing a few labels all kind of gravitating towards the same design themes informed me to stay away from certain aesthetics.
Let’s say all the silver paper in the world burned tomorrow. What color do you switch to for Jcards?
No biggie. Probably just switch to white. Whatever makes it easy enough to keep pumping out more singles, that look good.
In addition to the sounds and artwork, there are so many tiny details I love about your tapes. Namely the hand numbering in parallelogram on the back and the additional spine folded into the inside of the Jcard. Do you ever nerd out on cassette artwork or packaging?
Yeah, I like checking out all the different tape packaging and design layouts that people are doing. I follow a couple blogs as well that post a lot of different unique tape designs/packaging. I definitely nerd out when figuring out a good, repeatable, design for the FG tapes.
Are all your tapes editions of 24?
Yeah. I do 24 because I can get four different singles out of one box of tapes. With 25 being the master.
Do you handle all of the dubbing and assembling yourselves?
Yeah, we do all the manufacturing ourselves.
How have you gone about choosing what to release so far? Is it mostly people you know personally?
Yeah. We’ve just asked our friends that make weird music so far.
Is there anything that really annoys you about running a cassette label?
Nah, we have fun making the tapes and putting them out. Maybe we’d be annoyed if we had unreal expectations or something like that. Shipping rates to Europe are a little bit annoying.
What tapes are on deck?
We should have a couple of tapes coming out by the beginning of August. A Wade Blazer & Steph Russ split single, and a Moment Trigger single. Anthony Anzalone coming out with the other tapes as well. I’ve been working on a zine that will be out in the beginning of August as well. We have some limited edition shirts and hats that we made too, that we’ve yet to announce.