Triple B Records’ Sam Yarmuth Talks About Putting Together The Monstrous New Compilation America’s Hardcore Volume 5
Sam Yarmuth founded the Boston hardcore label Triple B Records in 2007. Three years later, he released the first compilation in his America’s Hardcore series. On that album, Yarmuth included new songs from a group of bands who, at the time, represented a cross-section of the hardcore universe, including Power Trip, Title Fight, Rotting Out, the Rival Mob, Backtrack, and Foundation. Since then, as Triple B has grown into the most vital hardcore label in existence, Yarmuth has continued to release a new America’s Hardcore compilation every few years. His latest, the fifth volume in the series, is the biggest yet.
America’s Hardcore Volume 5 is a double LP with new songs from 38 different bands. Yarmuth drew from the Triple B roster and from elsewhere in the hardcore world, and the album features some of the biggest and most exciting bands in the genre, including Terror, Citizen, Mindforce, Regional Justice Center, Inclination, Anxious, Sunami, Restraining Order, Never Ending Game, Life’s Question, Bib, Firewalker, Fuming Mouth, Worn, Magnitude, Division Of Mind, and Open City. It would be hard to picture a compilation that worked as a better introduction to the present-day hardcore community, in all its multi-faceted glory.
Earlier this week, I had an email conversation with Yarmuth about what it’s like to put together a compilation like this. Below, Stream America’s Hardcore Volume 5 and check out that interview.
What was the idea behind the first compilation? It seems like, from the beginning, these comps have represented a real cross-section of different styles and approaches within the genre. Was that the intent?
SAM YARMUTH: The idea of the first compilation was actual Gil from Free Spirit’s. They were like, “Yo, you should do a comp and have Title Fight on it; they’re really down.” From there, we locked down Free Spirit, Rival Mob, Wolf Whistle, Thought Crusade, and I think Power Trip. I then kinda thought we should keep adding some bands and make it a 12″, and that’s kinda how the first one was born. I decided to keep doing them after the first one did so well. I didn’t expect it to get that much buzz, but people loved it. They are a fun way to kinda snapshot bands of that time period. That wasn’t so much the original intent, but that’s definitely one of the reasons I keep doing them.
Do you feel a motivation to document what’s going on in hardcore at a particular moment?
YARMUTH: Yeah, for sure. I prefer working with new bands, booking new bands, and seeing new bands play and come up over older reunion bands. It just makes it more fun. I think the comps do a good job at that. I try to mainly keep it to only current and new bands. There are some older bands on it, but 90% of these comps are young bands.
Do you put a lot of thought into what you consider to be hardcore? Does that shape how you put a comp like this together?
YARMUTH: My definition of hardcore is probably vastly different than most. Is Citizen a hardcore band? Nope, but they’re a band full of hardcore kids who are my friends, and I just really wanted to have them involved. To me, that’s the hardcore mentality. Hardcore mentality and hardcore “music” are different, and as long as one is there, then I’m down to have a band on board.
As far as I can tell, you’ve never had a band show up a second time on any of these comps. Any particular reason?
YARMUTH: Yeah, there haven’t been any repeats. I try to keep everything as fresh as possible and only have a band on once. I think it kinda motivates the bands to really deliver a banger track, and also there are so many new and cool bands popping up that I want to include as many as possible.
It’s been four years since the last album. Is this a project that’s always in the back of your mind, or do you put these together quickly?
YARMUTH: This new one took about two years to put together. Usually, I’m always “working” on an AHC comp, sometimes more slowly than others. This one was mainly delayed because of COVID. Studios, and the world, being shut down for a year definitely didn’t allow bands to practice/record. I’m already working on Volume 6 right now. I have about 24 bands confirmed, and it’ll be another 2xLP deal.
At this point, are bands just excited to be asked to appear?
YARMUTH: I’d like to think so! I definitely don’t have to sell bands on being on it. It’s a simple text: “Hey, wanna do a track on the next AHC?,” and I pretty much always get an enthusiastic YES response. It’s a very good feeling to know people you like and admire are fucking with something you do.
How do you pick the bands who you want to include?
YARMUTH: There’s no real rhyme or reason. If a friend starts a new band, more often than not they’ll have a track on whatever new comp is next. Sometimes, I see a band have a crazy show.
Is there anyone you’re especially excited to have on this comp? Anyone you wanted to get who couldn’t do it?
YARMUTH: I was pretty stoked to get Citizen on there. I’ve known those guys for about five years now, and they’ve become great friends, so it’s awesome to have those guys on the discography. I’m very stoked to have Inclination on as well. They’re probably my favorite non-BBB hardcore band right now. Worn, Maniac, Firewalker, it’s kinda hard to pick. I’m grateful for everyone that contributed. I had a few bands confirmed that had to drop, but they’re on Volume 6 now, so I can’t really give any spoilers!