Structure Records was a short lived record label operated out of Hamilton, Ontario, by two notorious hardcore personalities; Jeff Beckman and Chris Logan, two members of Chokehold. They put out three releases and abruptly ended but those records are still talked about and considered gems by hardcore fans of the era. This interview was conducted solely with Jeff Beckman, as Chris Logan initially refused to answer it. After seeing this interview published he did send in some answers but they differed little from what Jeff had said. Hopefully he won’t ignore the Goodfellow Records interview for much longer so it can be published!
The complete Structure Records discography includes:
- #1 Burst of Silence – “To See You Suffer” (1992)
- #2 Structure Records Hardcore Compilation (1992)
- #3 Slugfest – Buried Alive 7″ (1993)
- #4 Bloodlet – Husk 7″ (1993)
-What year did Structure Records start out and who’s idea was it to start a label? Did you operate it with Chris Logan for any specific reason?
Maybe in 92, it was a collaboration between me and a at the time roomate. We both thought it was a good idea I guess.
-Why did you chose the name Structure Records?
Sounded like a cool 90’s hardcore name, thats about as deep as that goes.
-At the time you and Chris had both been playing in Chokehold for a couple of years, but the label’s first release was the Burst of Silence demo. How come you didn’t start out releasing something from Chokehold? In fact you never released anything from Chokehold during the existence of the label?
No we didn’t, well, we had people chasing us around to do stuff with Chokehold, so that was a no brainer, we wanted to put out stuff we liked and no one else was doing… It was the era of 20 million little labels then , there was a lot of great bands getting no attention at the same time.
-Now about this first release (the Burst of Silence demo tape), how many copies were made, and how did you set about distributing it? Did BOS play often with Chokehold?
I think, well I know for myself, I had no experience doing a label. Chris and I had done a zine for a little while in the early 90’s, we just used our connections with the band (Chokehold) to move the records, it’ didn’t take long to get rid of the small pressings we did. We played with a few shows together, we shared members off and on so… and being from the same circle of friends… we were close.
-Can you describe the zine that you and Chris did? What was it called, how many issues, and what was its philosophy?
I believe it was called “Within Reason”. At the time we were young optimistic sxe youngsters, the zine reflected that, maybe we did 3 issues… I would love to do a zine again… Do kids even read zines? Or just bullshit fucking blogs,??? But music art, mayhem, on paper, I love zines, ours at the time was like a diy vibe, not overly preachy about the edge, but I am sure there was some shit in there. Probably embarrassing to look back on, but I’ve moved so many times I don’t think I own any. Every idiot and their retarded brother did zines back then…
-The next release was a compilation tape that featured “Breakthru, Burst of Silence, Cinderblock, Conviction, Earth Crisis, Framework, Forethought (who became Autumn) and Support”. What can you recall about the making of this fantastic compilation, and how did you put this together?
I don’t even remember that one……. seriously.
-Chris Logan also did not have memories of this tape compilation, but Sandy Robertson (from Chokehold) came to me with information
I basically did it on my own. The Sean [listed in the cover] is Sean “Mo” Moriarty who was one of my bestie’s. I cant’ remember how we came to using the Structure Records name because this came out before the Slugfest 7″. That I’m sure of. I think I did this when I was 16. That’s me in the back of the picture too.
-So I asked Sean Moriarty to tell me a bit about it
The tape comp might have been me and Sandy from Chokehold. The only thing I remember was Conviction. I pretty much started that project, then Sandy took over. It sucked pretty bad, the quality was horrible. I was bummed because he kept asking me for money to pay for his phone bill and I kept thinking he was scamming me. So I stopped having anything to do with it. And when it came out, I don’t think I ever listened to it. It was going to be called “The Scorched Earth Compilation”. I don’t remember it being on Structure or anything. I don’t think we had Earth Crisis or Framework at the time, I would have remembered both those bands.
-The label’s third release was the Slugfest 7″ “Buried Alive”. This record is still a gem for anyone who’s into early metalcore. Do you know how many copies were pressed, and how many colors were made of it (I read of some on black, blue and clear)? There was also a very limited different cover, what was it for?
I think it was 900 black, 80 blue?, 20 clear?, 4 test presses. I could be wrong, I know I had a blue one, but never a clear one. The limited cover would of just been copied quickly on xerox, probably waiting for the offset printer to do all the cuts/dies, blah. Printing is much much easier now, way fucking cheaper too. But this record is a classic, one of the best hardcore bands of that era… and still no one cared too much about them until years later.
-Finally you worked with Bloodlet, all the way from Florida. How many copies of “Husk” were made? How would you compare the making of this 7″ to the Slugfest one? How did this record do in Canada?
I made a thousand; I made 100 on deep blood red, 400 were confiscated at the boarder as I tried to sneak them over not paying duty, cause we were broke as fuck and the Canadian Dollar was worthless then… Anyways yeah customs took 4oo copies off of me, so that meant there was only 6oo copies, I never got them back, they must of destroyed them, as they wanted a ridiculous $$$ fee to recover them. I later repressed 500, but ran out of covers, I owed the printer like 500 bucks so I never got the original art back. I still have a few boxes of the 2nd press on black here somewhere. Plus Victory Records repressed it on the singles comp “Eclectic”. Whatever… great record, good dudes. Unfortunately I learned hard lessons from that experience, and they (the band) suffered more than I.
-Apart from the four releases, did Structure records ever press any merch?
-How and when did the label end?
Somewhere in between Slugfest and Bloodlet I think we just stopped telling each other what was going on or what we were gonna do…
-Have you considered doing another record label, since Chris Logan went on to do Goodfellow Records?
No, Chris was cut out for that kind of stuff, I am not at all. I am a procrastinator, lazy, and inconsiderate… Bad qualities to run a label, mind you I would do it in a heart beat if i knew I wouldn’t fuck it up… I love vinyl… I collect records and love the aesthetics about every one I own, I have great ideas for layouts and comps, but no drive. So many great bands that should of seen the light of day.
-Do you have anything left from your record label days?
Yeah, a bunch of Bloodlet 7″ and a stack of money orders and letters I never sent out… hahaha worst label owner ever…
-Thank you Jeff for this great interview! Jeff still has some Structure Records vinyls left as well as records of the bands he was in. Here is what he has and what you have to do to get one of these rare copies left!
Alright, since all the bands I have ever been in has been paid with records, not money, I have a shit ton of everything left. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org we will talk prices. There is a good chance I will not email you back, so be persistent if you want the shit!
Bloodlet – Husk 7″, first press pre-order covers 10$ postage paid
Left For Dead – Live LP
Haymaker – everything except the LP
Pick Your Side – Suicidal Prayer 7″ , every colored vinyl and test press
Our War – random stuff
Chokehold – Tooth and Nail/Jawk Records 7″, some test press