Posted: Oct 4, 2015 2:11 am
Kryptonite Records was an independent label founded by Roy Oden in Manitowoc, WI as a vehicle to sell Last Sons of Krypton singles. Over the years Roy collaborated with many people, including myself (Brad X), Steve Ziarnik, Martin from The Sores, and his ex girlfriend Wendy, resulting in a pile of excellent vinyl releases spanning nearly a decade. The label evolved over the years from putting out records by friends to releasing great better known artists like King Louie and Scat Rag Boosters, while always staying true to its roots. Every record, through the final "Perscription Pills/German SS" single he played on and produced, follows a simple and pure philosophy of fast and loud, simple and stupid.
Roy, Jamie King, Steve Ziarnik, and myself would hang out every single day/night, and Roy had money to spare because he was working part time and living with his parents. We were talking about doing a new Last Sons of Krypton single, and when RJ came back to town with a freshly written "Teenage Trash" it was easy to convince Roy that releasing a record was a good idea. About a year later, in 1998, KR-001 was released, thus launching an empire that eventually spanned the globe and spread the sounds of Manitowoc to the world...
In 1997 I videotaped The Donnas first out of state performance, in Green Bay WI, and Roy supposedly got their permission to put out a live record. The shitty sounding result was produced by Steve Ziarnik, as was the VOM bootleg. Roy finally moved out of his parents house to be with Wendy, who I am pretty sure was in that Kill-A-Watts band, I don't remember that time period so well, but what i DO remember, is when Roy needed a place to stay about two years later after they broke up.
For about 3 months Roy slept on the couch in my basement, and over the next year we recorded on a regular basis together, what eventually became The Evolutions LP, MC Monkey and Ape W Attitude - Human Zoo (KR-014), and Dirty Needles. It was probably Roy's most prolific time musically, and he also continued collaborating with others and releasing great records like Mystery Girls (KR-012) and crap records like The Sores (KR-013).
Around the time I married my wife in 2005, Roy did his final project, Perscription Pills, with Jamie King. I thought it was an excellent conclusion to a creative streak. We also collaborated around that time on a split 7" with The Fatals from France, who released their first domestic record in the United States on Kryptonite!
And that's it! Roy basically ran out of ideas and got bored with playing music and running a record label. Last I talked to him I told him some stories about being in a band with Rev Norb and we reflected on where our lives have taken us. Steve still talks to him on a regular basis.
I have nothing but respect for Roy, he contributed something cool to a world that NEEDS people who create SOMETHING, ANYTHING, even if that thing is just releasing the work of others to a few hundred weirdos for one very short and specific duration of time and place.