Published Mar 25, 2014Bay Area scenester Tony Molina has spent the last dozen years or so with his feet planted firmly in the punk scene, playing in bands like Caged Animal, Violent Change and Ovens (which is pretty much in the same vein as his solo work just with a band). But last year, his first release under the name Tony Molina, the power pop-charged Dissed and Dismissed, unwittingly took off, despite only 500 copies being pressed by the tiny Melters label. Now Tony is making up for that unexpected oversight by re-releasing the record — one of Exclaim!'s 10 most underappreciated albums of 2013 — on his new label, Slumberland Records, today (March 25).
"As soon as we started playing shows and going out on the road it was already out of print," Tony tells Exclaim! "I was like, 'What the fuck? The only reason I play shows is so people can buy the record.' But the Melters guys can get busy with their lives, and it's a really low-key operation. So I just asked Mike [Schulman, Slumberland founder] if he was willing to do it. We'd already talked about me doing a new record."
Dissed and Dismissed is unlike any power pop record you've heard, maybe ever. The 12-song album clocks in at 12 minutes, which is no doubt Tony channelling his hardcore roots. "If you play in a bunch of bands like I do, where 20 seconds is the normal length of a song, it's not weird to have a short song with another project," he says.
And while some people might not considerate it a full-length, the album is fully formed, just to the point, short and sweet. "It's not like it was a fully conscious decision, the songs just ended up that way," he explains. "I started writing songs that were a bit longer and there were parts that I felt I didn't need repeating to make it a legit song. And then I just got comfortable with that."
A press release for Dissed and Dismissed acknowledges that another Tony Molina record will be "released on Slumberland later in 2014," but the songwriter says he's unsure of exactly when. (He did release the very limited, self-explanatory Six Tracks E.P. via Matador for the label's Singles Going Home Alone series last fall.)
"I'm just taking my time with it," he confesses. "I've got about half that I'm pretty confident with. I'm not in a hurry to put anything out right away. Ideally, I'd like to do an LP and a 7-inch this year, but right now I'm just trying to focus on writing riffs and stuff."
While Molina has spent most of his life playing with friends and garnering little attention, he says now that people are listening, it's changed how he writes songs.
"It's getting harder lately. I'm a lot slower than I used to be and I think it's because I've been doing the same shit for so fucking long. I feel really strongly about making the next thing a lot stronger than the last thing I recorded. The next record will be the first one I make where I know people will actually hear it. That's never happened to me before ever. I shouldn't be thinking about that, but I feel there may be more pressure from that."