Jarrett Koral: Has there been any rivalry between Cass and Third Man? Even an occasional friendly one?
Ben Blackwell: No, there's not a rivalry between Cass and Third Man. It's kind of hard to have a rivalry between two things you are a part of.
JK: I know you’ve been asked in every single interview, but how did Cass Records start out?
BB:I noticed a lot of music that I liked wasn't being released right around the same time my mom refinanced her house. It all worked out pretty well from there.
JK: Have you gotten used to the Dirtbombs shows after all these years? Does the energy ever fade out?
BB: After 12 years, yes, I feel like I've finally gotten used to it. But those first ten years...those were arduous.
JK: At the moment, do you have a favorite new band?
BB: I really like D. Watusi from Nashville.
JK: Thinking about any new solo work after your last album?
BB: I tested myself with a cover of Beck's "Pay No Mind" that is currently just languishing on my laptop.
JK: Why has Cass never released Record Store Day exclusive items? Is it a big enough label to have a major release?
BB: At Cass Records, every day is Record Store Day.
JK: Will there ever be a TMR staff jam session with Jack White, Ben Swank (of the Soledad Brothers) and yourself?
BB: Still waiting for this one. Someday.
JK: How do you feel about Detroit's music scene?
BB: I love it. I miss it.
JK: What is the favorite record in your collection?
BB: It's always changing, but I'm always pretty fond of my hand-painted "Lafayette Blues" single
JK: What can we expect next from Cass Records?
BB: In the making for over 8 years, I will finally be able to release the Vegetarian Cannibals recordings.
JK: One of the Cass releases is by a band called Tin Knocker, which was never available for sale. Can you tell us anything about this mysterious record?
BB: An awesome band. My uncle and a family friend who did some solid jams in the garage. One of my favorite things I’ve ever released.
JK: Aside from your favorite new group, what band has/had the best ever stage presence?
BB: That's a really good question, and a difficult one to answer. Instinct dictates the MC5 and/or the Stooges, but a to dig beneath the surface bands like the Cramps, Viva L'American Death Ray Music and the Clone Defects were all pretty amazing in their own way.
JK: Could you name your top 5 favorite albums of all time right here right now?
CW Stoneking "Jungle Blues"
Richard Ristagno and Soular self-titled
April in the Orange "The Glittering Fish Were Stars"
Dan Sartain "Too Tough To Live"
The Hentchmen "Ultra Hentch"
JK: On every Third Man release, there is a message in the dead wax of the vinyl. Sometimes they make no sense, but sometimes they’re complete genius
BB: It's the best way to communicate a secret, there's a meaning behind all of them.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.