A little story of the source of Snack Ohm Tapes, and the first couple of years

by Bjarte Olsen, 2008; 2014

Snack Ohm Tapes did happend partly coincidendtly. The idea it self came from my friend, Knut in the Norwegian fanzine; Sjokk in 1982, and he talked about creating a label releasing punk music (there was not so many labels back then). And in 1983 a music festival was arranged in my hometown, Bergen and several alternative bands did appear, such as Liliedugg and The Aller Værste. Some friends and me wanted to attend, but we were to young to go. And we could join if we wanted attend as an underground label. So we did.

Snack Ohm Tapes started up with three youths involved; the boss himself was Knut, and the two apathic followers; Bjørn and me (Bjarte). And there was a lot of talk about things and punk bands  we wanted to release.

The name of the label we made up in the same way. During that time we had ideas concerning of making a label, but we lacked a proper name. Many name was proposed, but was rejected until we stood back with a single name. Snack Ohm Tapes doesn’t mean a lot, but was a sort of ironic. Like our releases were something to talk about...

The Facsimale ad for the first release by Snack Ohm Tapes, to be found in the last Sjokk nr. 6 - 1984

Before our first release Knut made an ad in his own fanzine (Sjokk nr. 6/1984) to collect punk bands to our first punk release. The ad said: »The first release will be an Norwegian comp.  punk release. All bands interested can send a demo with info  and pics to Sjokk. The sound of the demo MUST be good. Deadline is not yet decided. But contact us as soon as possible. This tape will show the rest of the world that Norway also can make deadly raw punk music. Please, bands try to make something special and good. Punk music can easily be full of cliches and copycats. Punks of Norway today ok!!»

The zine, Sjokk from 1981-1982

Bands were collected, and we played all the demos among ourself and friends. Bands like; Siste Dagers Helvete, Bannlyst and Befalsskolen. The sound of the band; Siste Dagers Helvete and their forthcoming LP in 1984 was great. Bannlyst sounded fast and raw and fresh, although their recording was done live in their rehearsal room. And Befalsskolen sounded new, slow but punkish. With interesting lyrics.

Later on; like 6 months or so, Knut left to USA for further studying, and was away for a year. The boss in the tape label was gone, and we didn't what to do. So Knut wrote us  later that year, told us to release the damn tape. Working slowely we managed in a way. It's okei tape including a live recording with Wannskrækk 

The zine, Sjokk from 1982-84

Our first release on Snack Ohm Tapes was done, and we liked it. And Knut returned to Norway that summer. But never talked about Snack Ohm Tapes again. Maybe he did't like the look of the comp. tape. Or maybe he didn't like our funney thanks to him on the tape cover; «Thank you Knut for loosing some of the tape material.» Knut had left punk and Snack Ohm Tapes. He had advanced as he said himself, liking The Cure, and not Hüsker Dü any longer, as he had seen live during his USA stay.

And later on Bjørn disappear too. He didn't say anything. He just left. Me, Bjarte continued Snack Ohm Tapes on my own. And I liked it.

Each releases began by receiving some demo’s from bands or contacting them. Some of the demo’s were collected to a master tape. The lyrics of the bands didn’t concern me, but I printed the lyrics on the cover of the release, to make the bands responsible for what they wrote. Each cassette releases were made in 100-200 copies, and the vinyl and CD releases were made in 500- 1000 copies. The prices have been low to make sure that people can get our releases at reasonable costs. This to avoid the profitmaking or the commerce business that runs the society else where.

The name of each releases reflects my message to the society in an anarchistic manner, and are surely political. Everything from attacking the nasionalism, patrotism, militarism, and of course attacking our goverments and the beloved state and it’s protective hand. In many matter have my releases  been influenced by great authors as Orwell, Kafka, Stirner and the Norwegian author; Bjørneboe.

that we did in Bergen in early 1984. We told the band that we wanted to include Wannskrækk on the forthcoming tapes, but the singer wanted to hear the recording first. But we never sent it. We was so lazy.  And a band played live with Wannskrækk called; De Håpløze was to be included on our first release, but was forgotten and never included. So embarressing. Really. 

We did copying this tape with Likvider in Oslo in 100 copies. The copying were done on the poorest sounding tapes and cheapest on the marked, and some 20 pieces of the tape cover were damaged during sending back to us. So we were really pissed off. That person, Trygve Mathiesen in Likvider was a swindler and we have been ripped off, we thought. So we didn't send any tape cover back to him, as he requested. We wanted nothing more to do with him. Today I find him a very  nice fellow, and Trygve has contributed  much to the Nor. punk in  a lot of ways. He has himself done 2 different fanzines; 79-kriser and Sider  Du Ikke Ser  I Dagslys, and  contributed on other fanzine; Zink. And released a lof of bands under his own label Likvider Tapes, and of course played in punk bands. As far as I know.

And making of the cover has it's own story. By this time we knew what to call the compilation tape.  «Ja, vi elsker/ Yes, we do love this country» Like in Norway national athem. We loved the name, and we wanted a photo copy of the flag included on the cover, but that was difficult task. During these times, only local byraucrats had a copying machine, and they asked so many question, and refused to make a copy to us, from a history book. «Why do you want the flag copied?» and so on. But one day we did make a sucsessful copy, and some other photo from the holocaust with the nation and state symbol; the lion with and axe). I agree today. It's maybe over the top.

Now more compromising during release. I made the cover myeself for years on my tapes in the years 1988-1999. I draw all the pics on several tape relases. Not all. The last release I did in 1999: «Der volder ennu noget rabalder... (It’s going to be some more noise... ), a friend of mine did steal some  propaganda pics from a political party in a  book, and turn the pics  to sound anarchistic.

Only the second release with another tape label from Voss (on the west side of Norway). This time on vinyl with a lot of bands that turn international reputation later on; Kafka Prosess, Barn Av Regnbuen, and blah, blah, blah... I was again a really silent partner. I didn't do much,  and I didn't care. Well, the bands collected were great, but it was not my project. And I know recall that I got in contact with  the bass player in Overlagt Drap in Bergen, and asked him is the band wanted  to be included in this project,. And gave him the adress to my partner.     I  contributed also economic on the «Tsjernobilly Boogie». There were so much bullshit during this release in 1986. The record nearly never was to be released in 1987, I belived back than. But it did.

After that, releaseing records with other labels I stopped compromising too much.

All the releases on Snack Ohm Tapes since 1984.