Mike Simonetti cut his teeth in the '80s hardcore scene in New York City, attending notorious shows and buying records back when "collector's prices" were pretty much reserved for Elvis 78s. The sheer number of clubs where a savvy dude could DJ in the city at that time was overwhelming. When clubs started closing and gigs evaporated in the '90s, Simonetti turned his finely tuned eardrums groundward. After a brief stint as a zinester ('twas the season), he started the infamous record label Troubleman Unlimited, and curated nearly 200 releases from artists as diverse and damaging as Glass Candy, Erase Errata, Unwound, and Black Dice.
Apparently Simonetti likes to let the music do the talking. Over the holiday weekend, he was kind enough to answer two entire sets of interview questions using the fewest words possible. I was able to learn that a typical itinerary for his celebrity DJ days looks like this: "Plane, cab, hotel, DJ, hotel, sleep, train, DJ, plane. Maybe drink beer along the way? Record stores?" And lately he's been doing a lot of "Walking [his] dogs, eating, and sleeping." Pressing further, I found that his dogs are "two mutts: one pit bull mix and a black dog." This is just fascinating stuff that does a remarkable job of focusing my attention right back to his label, which recently splintered in two; the aforementioned Troubleman begetting the freshly minted Italians Do it Better.
While scouring the earth for remarkable sounds and spinning vinyl along the way, Simonetti reveals that some of his current faves are "Fleetwood Mac, Religious Knives, Watain, and the Bob Sinclar Show on Sirius." From this pleasantly eclectic list, I asked what it was about Swedish black metal Satanists, Watain, that particularly grabbed him. He waxed poetic. "Their live show is pretty intense. They go the extra mile."
Scrambling for one last laugh, I asked him if he was related to Claudio Simonetti (keyboardist for seminal Italian soundtrack artists Goblin). His response was simply "I wish!"