Pink Mist is a collective of likeminded independent record labels, a new music blog, a gig promoter, an idea, a friendship, and a triumph. We spoke to the faces behind the collective to discover the inner workings of Pink Mist.

The Labels:

  • Name: Big Scary Monsters
  • Based: Oxford
  • Run by: Kevin Douch
  • Have released: Tall Ships, Kevin Devine, Joyce Manor

  • Name: Holy Roar Records
  • Based: London
  • Run by: Alex Fitzpatrick
  • Have released: Rolo Tomassi, Brontide, Run Walk!

  • Name: Blood & Biscuits
  • Based: London
  • Run by: Simon Morley
  • Have released: Tall Ships, Three Trapped Tigers, Sleep Party People

  • Name: Tangled Talk Records
  • Based: London
  • Run by: Andrej Presern
  • Have released: Gnarwolves, Listener, Kerouac


How did Pink Mist first become an idea and then actually come to fruition?

Alex, Holy Roar - Pink Mist came about because, largely, Holy Roar, Big Scary Monsters, Blood and Biscuits and Tangled Talk had all co-released or partnered up in various scenarios before. We realised we all had similar (although not the same) ways of working, ethics and such. This led to many discussions in which we figured out that we could share resources and infrastructure (boring) whilst also doing many fun collaborative things (which led to the live side of things amongst others...)

Kev, Big Scary Monsters - Initially it was Big Scary Monsters, Holy Roar and Blood And Biscuits who began things, very quickly joined by Tangled Talk. The idea was that we'd each previously worked together on separate projects (joint releases, tours, etc) and thought we could get more done by coming together. Shared resources, a bigger combined presence, things like that. I think it was Simon (Blood and Biscuits) who initially suggested it when first launching his label and things slowly came together over the following months.

Simon, Blood & Biscuits - I liked Alex and wanted more to do with him. Employed Kev as a wingman.

Andrej, Tangled Talk - The other three labels started Pink Mist (I'm sure they had their reasons) and then asked me to join a bit later.

What does your particular label bring to Pink Mist, and how are the four parts different from each other?

A, HR - The four labels, to be crass, are different from each other as follows... BSM = indie/emo, BNB = electronic/prog, TT = screamo, HR = hardcore. There is overlap and convergence in each direction. My label brings some interesting t-shirts and general underperformance.

K, BSM - BSM sits kind of in the middle, musically, of all four labels as we've worked with bands which could sit (and in some cases, have) on one of the other rosters. Everyone involved in Pink Mist does things differently and that can be quite a fun thing to see. Kind of like how the best bands have members with really varied taste, so they end up making something unique, as opposed to all going into it loving the one particular artist and straight-up ripping them off. I think that as a collective PM is different to anything else you'll find in the world.

S, B&B - My label is popular with lonely bearded men. Alex's label makes us big on Tumblr, Kev's label makes us big on Twitter, and Andrej is big on Grindr.

A, TT - There's quite a bit of overlap but each label has its own niche. Simon does confusing music with no words, Alex does angry music with loud words, Kev does generic music with generic words and I do jangle-core. I also bring youth, since the others are all in their 30s.

What makes Pink Mist greater than the sum of its parts, and how has your label been changed/improved by working so closely with three other labels?

A, HR - I've certainly learnt a bunch from the other labels. It's made me more aware of some promotional tactics I guess. I think it has made me more focussed generally too. There are still times we need to learn how to be democratic and work for the greater good rather than the individual, but I guess this is natural.

K, BSM - There's a broad scope of musical genres covered, an amazing combined back catalogue, regular (and more often than not, free entry) shows and a frequently updated blog introducing people to a whole host of new bands. Pink Mist is almost a tiny musical community in itself now. Over the couple of years we've been doing this I've picked bits and pieces up from each of the others. Alex is the merch king, always thinking up weird and wonderful new designs, which is something I definitely wasn't giving enough thought to before all of this. Simon is the only one of us who isn't "self-taught", as in he came from working at a bigger label before this, so he has brought a certain amount of experience in managing larger and longer campaigns and not always taking the 100% DIY approach, which has been interesting to learn from. And Andrej is a massive geek! He's already forgotten more about the internet than I will ever know.

S, B&B - The guys who run the live shows and the website really know what they're doing. The labels not so much...

A, TT - The three core parts of Pink Mist (the labels, shows and blog) mean we've pretty much got any area covered if you're a fan of interesting, 'heavy' music. The live and online guys really know their stuff and I get to see what the other three labels are doing wrong and improve on it.

What's one release and/or show you're most proud of that's come out of PM, and one upcoming thing you're most excited about bringing out?

A, HR - I'm excited about bringing out the next Bastions EP, which is part of a bigger picture (a double EP set), and something else I can't announce yet!

K, BSM - I think the release I'm most proud of during the Pink Mist era would be Everything Touching by Tall Ships. We co-released that on BSM and Blood & Biscuits, with Simon and I working together on that band for over three years now. The campaign couldn't have gone better for us and it felt like the culmination of a lot of hard work!

Hard to pick one show I'm most proud of. Our New Years Eve party last year was huge! We had Tubelord (whose second album we actually released via PM) playing their last ever show alongside Tall Ships and Tangled Hair doing brilliant party covers sets, and loads of friends DJing across two floors of drunken chaos! The Joyce Manor Old Blue Last show last year was also very special. We had Gnarwolves open it and before they'd even begun it was one in one out. By the time Joyce Manor played the queue hadn't moved for two hours and stretched down the stairs, across the bar area, out the door and round towards Shoreditch High Street. I'd never seen anything like it! People stuck about hoping to get in but in all honesty, we could've filled that place three times over. As far as first ever London shows go, that was big and it was amazing to be involved. California X was also great, and I think it's one band everyone in PM actually likes (which is quite a rare thing!) and it was nice to put on one of their first shows, having also been one of the first UK sites to blog about them.

S, B&B - all the labels have released music by one of my favourite bands at one time or another. which is pretty sweet. and i'm about to release records by múm and Efterklang for cassette store day, which is ridiculous.

A, TT - Kerouac's final show at The Old Blue Last. Absolutely insane. Queues up the street before it started. All incredible bands, loads of friends, it sort of summed up Pink Mist for me. Highlights included Alex throwing up onstage mid-headbang and Pariso managing to get a human pyramid going with a circle pit around it. It was beautiful.

How would you sell the music Pink Mist puts out to someone who isn't familiar?

A, HR - A way to find some bands that will go on to become big, and some bands that will forever remain obscure but very, very good. You are more than likely to find something you like within our collective if you have any decent interest in music.

K, BSM - Whether you want to find your new favourite band, have a good night out or lose yourself in a whole world of underground and as yet unheard of music, there's something for everyone. Money back guarantee!

S, B&B - I'd lie to them...

A, TT - It's really, really good.


The Shows

Ross Allmark, events for Pink Mist

tall ships

What are three things you look for when booking a Pink Mist show?

The point of doing Pink Mist is that I get to book only the stuff I'm into, so it always starts with whether or not I like a given band. Then I have to figure out if enough people like the band for me not to lose a bunch of money putting them on. If there isn't then I have to ask myself how I can convince people that a band is totally excellent and they should spend their hard earned cash on a ticket, or beer, or whatever. Or I just say fuck it, I love the band, I don't mind taking the hit. Kinda like buying a super expensive ticket. I guess the point is the process always starts with whether or not I like a band's music, everything else is secondary.

What's the show you're most proud of having put on over Pink Mist's existence?

There's so many. Mission of Burma was a total trip because they were one of those bands that started, way back in the late seventies, a tradition that we would (optimistically) see ourselves as being part of. And they were such nice, humble people. I guess OFF! and Narrows would kinda fall into that category in their own way, and Bosnian Rainbows too, in that their various members made a huge contribution to our own musical evolution. Then there's the new music stuff. Bands like Metz, Joyce Manor, Milk Music, Cerebral Ballzy, Fang Island, Title Fight etc, all of which we put on right back at the beginning. And sometimes we just throw big, horrible drunken parties and get bands to play covers, like our NYE party at the Old Blue last year... I'm probably most proud of the fact that there's a genuine community around what we do and we can all get drunk together.

To get a first hand idea of the experience of a Pink Mist show, we headed down to the first night of a Cerebral Ballzy double-header at the Old Blue Last in August and spoke to Ross at length about what Pink Mist shows mean.

"I think if we thought about it too hard, it wouldn't be as natural and cohesive as it is", he tells me. "All our 'meetings' involve eating too much meat, drinking too much beer and never actually getting anything done. People simply want to come to shows, and we just deliver that."

The collective put on a large chunk of their shows at Dalston's new Birthdays venue, and Ross says this has allowed different genre shows to be specifically placed in the venue best for them. "As Cerebral Ballzy tonight is showing, The Old Blue Last is perfect for sweaty punk shows, where Birthdays' low ceilings suits electronic artists."

"London is always changing, and everyone thinks it's a bad thing, but we completely embrace it. It's changed the way we think about putting on shows in this town, and it's helped us massively."

"The Old Blue Last used to be a complete dive - an eyesore, but Shoreditch is changing, and it wouldn't appeal to anyone anymore if it wasn't also evolving. It now faces trendy bistros and diners, and by moving with the times, it's become, in our opinion at least, one of the very best small venues in London."

It's clear Pink Mist really think about which venues to put their bands on in, support slots - everything that makes this a perfectly formed punk show. It's true, Cerebral Ballzy wouldn't have shined more in any other venue in London than the Old Blue, and support from Danish punks Lower, who share a practice room with Iceage, and Chain Of Flowers, complement the New Yorkers perfect. Despite Ross' comment about no-one thinking too hard, it's clear that every detail of what might make this show better is deliberated over and contemplated until the show becomes the best it can be. It's that insistence on the best that made this night run perfectly, culminating in a typically riotous Cerebral Ballzy show, who were given the right venue, the right time, and the right support bill to make them completely shine. That's what Pink Mist do, and they do it impeccably.


The Blog

Suzi Ireland, runs Pink Mist blog

tall ships

What does the blog hope to add to the Pink Mist experience and overall make up?

We realise that fans of the four labels are predominantly music obsessives. They geekily seek out new music and crave finding their new favourite band almost daily. The six of us under the Pink Mist banner are pretty much the same, so we thought we should shout about the bands and music we love via the Pink Mist website. Hopefully we write about bands that not many people have heard of.

Although not focusing entirely on the bands attached to the Pink Mist labels, is the style of the bands you write about on the blog similar to that of the bands that Pink Mist release? Or is there a significant branch out from that in terms of genre. If so, what else do you like to cover?

The blog has naturally taken on a life of its own. We all love different types of music but can also all appreciate good music even if it's 'not our thing' individually. We all have input into what bands make it on to the blog, with some suggestions getting shot down in the most humorous of ways sometimes (Alex has a way with words). We do listen to each suggestion and if it fits with the Pink Mist ethos, we feature them on the blog. The music has to be unique.

Who are one band/artist that you've highlighted on the blog that everyone should be focussing their attention onto?

Not sure I can stick to just one band. Definitely California X who we put on for their first UK show on 28th August. Their album is killer. Personally I absolutely adore the The Front Bottoms, even though they have possibly the worst band name in history. Vasco da Gama are also very promising, AKDK rule, and some US/Canadian stuff like Single Mothers, Velocicopter and 2 Ton Bug are definitely worth keeping an eye and ear on!

You can find out more information about Pink Mist at and @hellopinkmist.