The fast-growing, punk-championing local label celebrates its anniversary with a two-day weekend showcase at the Double Down. We caught up with label head Allan Carter for an update.
What do you view as the state of SquidHat right now? Everything’s going great. It grew a lot faster than we hoped or even planned for. Sounds of Threat was our 14th album. This year we’ll probably do eight to 10 new records. We’ve never had a shortage of things to release.
What are you looking for in a new band for the label? Great songs. That’s what we started with and the direction we continue to go. Great energy, and not just a band we think we can sell. It’s not even as much about genre any more. Pet Tigers was way outside the punk borders. This year [for the anniversary party] we’re really excited, because we have a good mix with Eliza Battle and The CGs.
What’s happening this year that you’re most excited about? We’re going to launch a sub-imprint in the late summer called Squid Pro Quo, a subsidiary label for non-Las Vegas bands. SquidHat itself has always been and will always be for Las Vegas bands, but we wanted to expand a little bit, to get not just national bands but international bands like The Heiz from Japan. We’ve been planning this for a while, and The Heiz is the first one we can talk about.
I’m just scratching my head [that] it’s already been three years. Eighty percent of companies don’t survive the first year or two. We put that first record out three years ago and never looked back.
SquidHat Showcase featuring Eliza Battle, New Waves, The CGs, Sounds of Threat, Guilty by Association (January 23); Franks & Deans, False Cause, War Called Home, Attack Ships on Fire, Surrounded by Thieves (January 24); 10 p.m., free. Double Down Saloon, 702-791-5775.