Our chat with Albe and Emi from Flamingo Records
Flamingo Records is a record label, but also a punk record and clothing store in the historical city centre of Genoa. We asked Albe and Emi some questions, and here are their answers.
1. Welcome to Radio Punk: would you like to introduce yourselves to our readers?
Hello, We are Albe and Emi, two rascals, married for a year and a half and with a common passion for being bad.
2. Flamingo Records is both a record label and a record and clothing store: which of the two activities was born first?
We started with a small distro and producing Injection’s CD “One, two, threesome”, then we opened the physical store and we thought that the clothing would help us to earn a living.
3. Does the name Flamingo, represented by a pink flamingo, have a special meaning for you?
It’s the stupidest animal on the planet, have you ever seen it? Then Emi designed the logo with that lost expression and the deed was done. At first we wanted to call ourselves Linoleum like Nofx’ song.
4. What does it mean to you to be punk?
I’ll tell you that for us it means support, making the scene, promoting music and the ideals that derive from it.
5. What do you think about the current situation of Punk, both in your territory and in Italy and in the world?
In Genoa the scene is cohesive, it works, as demonstrated by Adescite fest that brings hundreds of people every year to share for one day the love for music. In Italy we are not able to be fans of ourselves, if you have a punk rock band and you are Italian you’re automatically bad for the others, luckily in hardcore there is a little more support, while in punk rock, which is a little less committed, zero. In the world I don’t think there’s a turnover for the simple reason that the money goes around the usual 5/6 big bands, which continue to be headliners at festivals and I think the situation will stay the same until the kids get back to the genre, if you want to look around anyway there are good bands.
6. As a label, with what criteria do you choose your bands?
Without logical criteria, we prefer the bands that sing in English (but not without exceptions) and basically that we like. If we think we would have liked to write their songs ourselves then we produce them!
7. As a shop, can you tell us something about your customers? Are they very young people or people of all ages?
All ages, unfortunately kids look for clothing, while adults tend to look for records. But we have heterogeneous customers, we have sold records to anyone and we are proud to have had men and transgender customers who felt comfortable with us enough to buy women’s clothing without having to hide.
8. For the opening of the store and on other occasions, you organized afternoon live shows in the square in front of you: how was this formula received?
With several calls to the Carabinieri who fortunately had other things to do (I do not know if better or worse), we are in an area considered critical but the truth is that every live or dj set has turned into a neighborhood party with a great participation and without any accidents or problems. Aggregation eliminates problems, but our councillor Garassino believes that security is achieved by closing the places of aggregation, isolating the weakest who are removed from the historical city center not to show the degradation.
9. How can local shops cope with large-scale distribution and online commerce, in Italy and particularly in Genoa?
They can’t! But they don’t even try, we offer a place where you can come and chat in the heart of Genoa, buy, listen, lose time. Sometimes we take two beers to drink with our customers at the bar next door. Then if you want to save two euros and do not leave home because you do not give a damn that in your neighborhood there are only closed shutters, well, free to do so.
10. What are your plans for the immediate future?
Producing good music, surviving and having fun.
11. We thank you and wish you to continue with your projects! We leave you free space to say anything to our readers!
Have fun, don’t make this scene an elitist stuff for posers, no more fuss and a lot of punk rock! Ah, and support us if you can!